Originally published in 1815, Major William Thorn’s The Conquest of Java describes the military and naval elements of the British expeditionary force to Java in 1811.
It was a time of unrest in Europe. Napoleon was at the height of his power and had taken control of Holland and its colonies in Asia. In August 1810, Britain’s Lord Minto, Governor General of India, was ordered by the English East India Company to expel “the enemy” from the Island of Java.
On August 4, 1811 a fleet of 100 British ships, carrying 12,000 soldiers, landing in the Bay of Batavia. Among the landing party was the ambitious young company employee from Penang who originally masterminded the plan to take Java, and become LieutenantGovernor of the island at the tender age of 30. This was none other than Thomas Stamford Raffles who, eight years later, would found Singapore.
The Conquest of Java provides a unique and scrupulously detailed account of the British military campaign to wrest control of the island. Written by an officer who took part, Major William Thorn, and lavishly illustrated with 35 color plates, this historically important book provides a wealth of statistical and anecdotal information about Java and its environs.