The English Factory in Siam, 1612-1685
Distributed for British Library
Seventeenth-century Siam was a remarkably open society, where at the great port city of Ayutthaya the English found themselves interacting and competing not only with their hosts but also with Persians, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesians, Portuguese, French and Dutch. The English Factory in Siam 1612-1685 contains more than 700 documents from the archives of the English East India Company, making it an important new source for the history of Southeast Asia.
The surviving documents range from business correspondence, commodity accounts and ships' journals to more intimate letters home, bitter denunciations of rivals and vicious pamphleteering. The cast of characters includes Siamese kings and high officials, East India Company servants, renegade Englishmen, and the amazing Constantine Phaulkon, a former Company employee of Greek origin who became a Siamese minister, invited a French army into Siam, and was executed in a palace coup in 1688. This two-volume text is sure to become an invaluable reference tool for historical research.