«Its Causes, Course and Consequences A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in History in the ...»
rata. The total estimated profit was calculated as follows:
20 Letter by Minto to East India Company, London, dated 15/12/1810 I.O.L. & R. E/4/78.
This net profit of well over 300 per cent shows clearly that, in spite of the failure of the Dutch monopoly, there was scope for an increase in the price paid to the MOluccans • Martin also wanted to disqualify the infirm and the old from compulsory labour, so that they would be able to "apply themselves with greater diligence to their domestic occupations".
On the shortage of labour Martin reported to Bengal:
"Anchorage at Ambon is good, but the lack of labour creates difficulties. Often no more than 300 bags of rice can be discharged in one day. The Dutch extracted a contribution of labour from the villagers round Fort Victoria, paying so little that it did not cover the labourers most urgent wants n23 • Martin found it necessary not only to continue demanding contributions of labour from the local people; but Daendels, staat d'er NederTa.ndsch Oost Indische Bezitting~. The Hague (1814) pp. 71-72.
23 Martin to Gov.Gen. in Council 25 May 1811. I.O.L. & R. E/4/376.
also to divert workers from other jobs to work at the anchorage. But, in his usual fashion, he increased their wages. In an effort to lighten the burden of the local people he made an attempt to persuade the Government to send convict labour to the Moluccas. In this he was unsuccessful;
the Governor General was unwilling to do so in consequence of the uncertainty existing in respect of the return of the Islands to the Dutch. In that case the convicts would have to be removed at great expense "since they could not, with any kind of propriety be left, in the conditions of slaves, in the hands of a Foreign Power,,24 We may note in passing that although mail from England took many months to reach India, by 1814 the Calcutta government appears to have been aware of the fact that there was little likelihood of a permanent British occupation of the Moluccas.
explained in a letter to Bengal that because of the smallness of the population the emancipation of slaves employed in the spice plantations would be premature until they had arrived at a greater state of civilisation. Christianity, he reported, was gaining ground and the inhabitants were keen on instruction. To make that and the establishment of schools and the system of education more efficient, he suggested that some missionaries at Serampore be invited to come to Ambon and take up the management and the supervision and instruct pupils in the principles of Christianity25.
25 Martin's Letter to Bengal Govt. dated 18 August 1813.
I.O.L. & R. 167/56.
Martin worked particularly hard to resurrect the Moluccan church and promote "popular enlightenment"; hence his request for missionaries from Bengal. In his endeavours to obtain bibles he was greatly assisted by Raffles, who in response to a government promise of money for their purchase, wrote to Calcutta, pointing out that in Java, unlike Ambon, there was no numerous class of native Christians. "In Ambon there are Christians for whom schools are provided by the government and consequently an Edition (of the Bible) in Arabic type will be the most valuable gift that could be dispersed ••• We trust that the sum which the Supreme
be applied entirely in support of (this plan) 1126.
Martin wanted to start a IICentral School" in Ambon, but he lacked properly qualified teachers. He urged the Calcutta government to acquire some IImissionary hearted educationalists" from Serampore. He also wrote to William Carey for his help. "I earnestly beg of you to concert means for sending a missionary to Amboyna. The advantages would be incalculable. As the Head of Administration here I would consider it a sacred duty to give all the assistance in my power". In reply William Carey offered his son Jabez. In January 1814 Jabez Carey received his appointment and free passage from the Bengal government and within the span of three days got married, was ordained and sailed for Ambon.
He took on the superintendency of the schools, made inspection tours of the islands, preached for the garrison,
numbers of children were gathered in a room, seated in rows usually of ten pupils each. An adult master taught the monitors and each monitor taught his row of pupils the lessons in reading or writing. The defect of this system arose, not from the principle that children can or should learn from each other - they do anyhow - but from the elaboration and distortion of it. To achieve mass results and mass economies the adult teacher was relegated to position of bystander, learning was based on dril1. This
ences arose on points of tradition and dogma, as we will see later in this chapter, but there is no doubt that the first groundwork in re-estab1ishing the Church, which had drifted for a long period, was done by Jabez Carey.
29 Encyclopaedia Britannica Vol. 13 (1971).
. 30 De Graaf, op.cit. p.206.
missionaries came from Bengal, and put the blame for this restriction on the British Administration in India, which "was reluctantly passing out of fierce hostility to Christian Missions into confessed indebtedness 1131. Prior to 1807 the opinion of the British East India Company had been that "if it were practicable to convert Hindus to Christianity, it was not desirable ll32. But further help arrived in the Moluccas in 1815, in the person of Joseph Kam, one of the first missionaries sent out by the Netherlands Missionary Society, which had been established in 1797. s arrival was welcomed by Martin and the Ambonese Christian community, which had not had a regular minister of the Reformed faith since 1794. Thousands of children had not been baptized and no Communion Service had been held for more than twenty years. That the church still functioned in some way was entirely due to the schoolmaster-pastors and the strength of the church adat.
forties, when he had joined the Netherlands Missionary Society. As there were as yet no missionary colleges in the Netherlands, he was trained in theology by a number of ministers. When he had finished his training in 1811, the war with England and the French Continental System barred the sea-routes, but in 1812 he had reached England via Sweden. At first he was distrusted (he might have been a spy) but in the end he. was received very well and given some missionary training at a theological college at Gosport.
31 Pearce Carey, op.cit. p.306.
32 From a speech by Wilberforce, putting the case for free admission for missionaries into the Company's territories.
Source: P.J.Marshall. Problems of Empire: Britain and India 1757 - 1813. London (1968) p.187.
Here he also learned the English language, a useful acquisition at a time when the Dutch colonies were admin
child baptism, something about which, on the other hand, the Ambonese were very enthusiastic. Kam went, to work with great enthusiasm to put this matter right. Three thousand children were waiting to be baptized and Kam, baptizing 120
also baptized a great many christians on the other islands, he acquired the nickname "Tukang Sacramen" - Sacrament Merchant. Ram certainly was generous with the baptismal water, but he saw it as the only way to keep his enormous flock together by an outward sign. Beside his busy minister's duties Kam found time to set up a printing shop. Many negories had had to make do for years with just a few pages of the Bible, from which the schoolmaster would read on Sundays. Bibles, hymn books and catechisms soon came off his press. He was musical1too, and, where there was no organ available, he would start the flute orchestras that still enliven Ambonese church services today. There is no doubt then, that the Ambonese Christian society underwent a distinct revival in the years immediately after Kam's arrival.
Carey, however, was a complicating factor in the situation.
Carey's work in Ambon has been discussed by several writers but little mention has been made of the relationship between Carey and Kam. An insight into this comes through 33 e.g. E.Payne, South East of Serampore and Pearce Carey, William Carey.
clearly in the correspondence of Kam with the London Missionary Society, quoted by Enklaar • While Kam made no mention of Jabez Carey in his letters to the Netherlands Missionary Society, he did so, on several occasions, in those to the London Missionary Society - at first in neutral or praising words but later in a complaining and critical fashion. In June 1815 Kam, writing to the London Missionary Society, noted that the students (of the Ambon Central School) were IIwe ll attended" by "Mr Kerry" who had been complimented by Resident Martin on "satisfactory proof of progress". The Resident had promised continued support for the provision of lithe inestimable benefits of learning,
Kam took the view that, especially in the Moluccas, the superintendency and authority over the schoolmasters, who were also parish pastors., should not be vested in a neutral government school system, but in the minister. Of course in matters of religion Jabez was far from neutral, and here was Kam's second and most weighty objection. Carey, as a true son of his father, IIgave free rein to the dogmas of anabaptism". William Carey had urged his son to revise catechisms and schoolbooks in Ambon and thus introduce "sound doctrine and genuine piety,,37. As soon as he had sufficient command of the language (Malay) he should immediately attack child baptism and sprinkling with water 34 Enklaar op.cit. pp. 44-47.
35 Enklaar, op.cit. pp. 44-47. All quotations of the L.M.S. correspondence with Kam are taken from this source.
36 Van Doren, op.cit. p.156.
37 Payne, op.cit. pp. 85-88 (Quoted by Enklaar p.47).
and prove to them, with the scriptures, IIwhat is the right mode of baptism and who are the proper persons to be baptised. Let nothing short of a radical change of heart satisfy you in your converts ll •
conversion, but as a Calvinist minister he could not accept Carey's methods. Although Kam does not mention the name of William Carey and therefore does not indicate any appreciation of the latter's special place and work in the rejuvenation of the world missionary movement, he must have corresponded with him, probably specifically over his objections to Jabez's attitudes, because William Carey wrote
terms with him, but you must carryon a work entirely separate from him, if you ever hope to be useful ll • Basically, the new interest in their church by the British administration was well received by the schoolmasters and their congregations in 1811. The funding of schoolmasters' salaries and church expenses was seen as the most important renovation brought about by the British. Jabez's arrival three years later had been equally welcomed and if his refusal to baptize their children had offended, his efforts to provide books, and especially Bibles, were greatly appreciated. Once Kam was present and only too willing to baptize their children, the religious life was tranquil for the duration of British rule. The widespread religious 38 Pearce Carey, op.cit. p.327.
39 Enklaar, op.cit. p.47.
revival in some cases led to excesses. Whether was Martin's fervour for religion and morals, or the ministrations of Carey and later Karn, that encouraged these excesses is difficult to determine, but a section of Moluccan Christians began to consider their religious life as of sole importance.
Neglecting their normal daily obligations, they held daily devotional meetings where the Bible was read and psalms sung all day long.
Given this background, one is tempted to look for signs of "millennialism" or Messianic influences in the revolt that followed. Millenarianism often appeals to the socially deprived and the doctrine of the millenium and the Second Advent implies an overturning of the world as at present constituted • One is tempted, indeed, to make comparisons with movements such as Hau-Hau and Pai Marire in New Zealand. Yet, it must be emphasized again, the Arnbonese were not a recently Christianised group, like the nineteenth century Maoris. Their Christianity was the orthodoxy of the Calvinist church, with which they had been in contact for two hundred years. The author has found nothing which would indicate any millennialist or prophetic tendencies.
The special favours the schoolmasters enjoyed did not go unnoticed. While Daendels l through lack of fund had made the schoolmasters' salaries the responsibility of the negories, Martin paid them out of the government coffers.
This made them independent of the negories and thus strengthened their authority. Martin saw the schoolmasters as the "natural propagators of the enlightenment of heart and intellect". This was at first an attitude shared to some See Lanternari J The Religions of the Oppressed.
extent by the incoming Dutch Administration, whose Commissioners, in 1817, for one brief moment, considered the possibility of running the government with the schoolmasters rather than the old Regent class, because of their influence with the people. The idea was soon dropped.
As the importance of the schoolmasters had increased, so had the authority of the Orang Kayas, Patis and Rajahs diminished. Although the British had decided against changes in the old rule of government, they were much stricter in the supervision of the village officials. Whereas the Dutch had generally been considerate towards the old ruling families and had left them practically alone, so long as they produced enough cloves for the Government warehouses, the British had punished these traditional adat heads very severely for even minor abuses of power or corruption. This did nothing to improve their authority while that of the schoolmasters, on the other hand, increased. This change in authority may well have been the deciding factor in the ill-fated events which took place shortly after the return of the Dutch Government. Martin, albeit from the most idealistic motives, had upset centuries old social relationships.