Plot or paranoia? The Amboyna conspiracy trial
Adam Clulow explores how fears of a sprawling conspiracy took hold in a remote Dutch East India Company fort in 1623 – with deadly consequences
In 1623, at a Dutch fort on the remote island of Ambon, in modern-day Indonesia, a young Japanese mercenary was arrested for asking suspicious questions – and interrogated using torture. Within just 15 days, 21 people were dead, and two nations were set at odds. Historian Adam Clulow (one of the winners of this year’s Dan David Prize for outstanding historical scholarship) joins Ellie Cawthorne to explore the story of the Amboyna conspiracy trial – and investigate why events escalated so quickly.
Adam Clulow is the author of Amboina, 1623: Fear and Conspiracy on the Edge of Empire (Columbia University Press, 2019)
Ellie Cawthorne is HistoryExtra’s podcast editor. She also contributes to BBC History Magazine, runs the podcast newsletter and hosts several live and virtual BBC History Magazine events.
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