In March 1623, a brief period of Anglo-Dutch cooperation in the Spice Islands (present-day Indonesia) ended when the Dutch governor of Amboina ordered the execution of the English factor on Amboina, as well as nine other Englishmen, ten Japanese mercenaries and a slave overseer.

The charge was planning to seize the fort and murder the governor. Those who were executed had confessed under torture to their supposed plans; two Englishmen, who confessed without having been tortured, were pardoned.

The facts of the case are murky. There is no way that the small group of Englishmen can have considered it at all possible to seize the well-armed and well-garrisoned Dutch fort. Furthermore, they had already received an order from the English head office at Bantam to close down the factory and curtail any further activities on Amboina. On the other hand, the actions of the Dutch governor seem completely disproportionate, unless he somehow had good reason to feel threatened.

True or false, the accusations and the executions caused a decline in Anglo-Dutch relations for years to come, and were used for propaganda purposes by the English in all three 17th century wars with the Netherlands.

Among the more immediate consequences of the massacre was the withdrawal of the English East India Company from the Spice Islands, which caused the company's relocation of its efforts to Bengal - which eventually resulted in the British Raj.

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