On This Day: 18 June 1685

On this day in 1685, Thomas Bowrey was still a temporary resident of Aceh.

Aceh, on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra in modern-day Indonesia was one of the places devastated by the tsunami in 26 December 2004. In Bowrey’s day, it already had a strong Islamic tradition, the religion having travelled along the ancient trade routes of the Indian Ocean.

Reading between the lines of Bowrey’s Papers, it is clear that there was some friction between the local people and the Europeans using the town as a trading post. In view of the friction between Catholics and Protestants, and even between the different Protestant religious movements, in Europe at the time it is not surprising that the Europeans in the East had little tolerance of those with other beliefs.

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