On This Day: 17 June 1685

On this day in 1685, Thomas Bowrey was living in what he called Achin.

The East India Company had first established a factory at Aceh in 1615 but suffered continuous opposition from the Dutch and it was abandoned by the English three decades later. The English did not return until 1668 when they built a grand building for the head of the factory and his factors. By the time Bowrey arrived there for the first time, this grand building had burnt to the ground and not replaced because very few English resided there because of the conditions.

Bowrey described how the houses were built many feet above ground on stilts as protection from the annual flooding of the town each September or October. In 1685, Bowrey was to depart before the rains arrived.

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