Journal of Southeast Asian Studies


The Seizure of the Sta. Catarina Revisited: The Portuguese Empire in Asia, VOC Politics and the Origins of the Dutch-Johor Alliance (1602 – c.1616)

Peter Borschberg a1
a1 History Dept., NUS, 11 Arts Link, Singapore 117570.


The seizure of the Sta. Catarina took place off the east coast of Singapore in 1603 and was popularised by the Dutch lawyer and humanist Hugo Grotius. Based on Dutch and Portuguese sources, the article revisits the incident to critique Grotius' account and provide a snapshot of Portuguese trade and diplomacy in Asia at the time.