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News out of East India
Pepys, i, 94, B.L., one woodcut (which is reproduced here), four columns.
English colonists founded a small settlement at Cambello in the island of Amboyna, Dutch East Indies, about 1615. It was destroyed by the Dutch in the massacre of February, 1623. Many pamphlets, both in Dutch and English, were written on the massacre; for example, Waerach-tich Verhael Vande Tidinghen ghecomen wt de Oost-Indien, met the lackt ghenaemt de Haze, in lunio 1624. in Texel aenghelandt. . .Ghedruckt int laer 1624, and A Trve Relation of the Vnivst, Crvell, And Barbarovs Proceedings against the English at Amboyna In the East-Indies, by the Neatherlandish Governor and Covncell there, 1624 (British Museum, 106. a. 58 and 802. k. 1). From these pamphlets the ballad was summarized, and from them it borrowed its lugubrious woodcut.
A play dealing with the massacre was "ready to be acted" in 1625, but was suppressed by the Privy Council (Court and Times of James I, 11, 500; C. H. Firth, Royal Historical Society Transactions, Third Series, v, 49). Jacobean playwrights frequently allude to the Amboyna affair; for example, in Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn, iv, ii, this passage occurs:
Forobosco. Thence to Amboyna i' th' East Indies,
for pepper to bake it. Clown. To Amboyna? so I might be pepper'd.
In 1630 (according to H. Lestrange's Reign of King Charles I, 1656, p. 117) two English captains who were serving in Germany waylaid with a troop of horse, near Frankfort, "Eighteen Hollanders (whereof three had been actours in the English Tragedy at Amboyna)," hanged seventeen of them, including "Johnson the chief of the Amboinists," and sent "the odde man home" to tell the story; in 1654 Cromwell extorted £300,000 and a small island from Holland to compensate the descendants of the victims of the massacre; and in 1673 Dryden produced his tragedy of Amboyna, or the Cruelties of the Dutch to the English Merchants. See further F. S. Boas, "The Amboyna Outrage," Times Literary Supplement, December 14, 1917, p. 614.
On the tune see No. 49.