Run is one of the smallest
islands of the Banda Islandswhich are a part of Indonesia. It is about 3 km long and less than 1 km wide.
In earlier times Run was of considerable economic importance due to the value of the spices
nutmegand mace which are obtained from the nutmeg tree (Myristica fragans), at that time only growing on the Banda Islands. During the history of the spice tradesailors of the British East India Companyof the second expedition of James Lancaster, John Davis and John Middletonwho stayed in Bantam on Javafirst reached the Island in 1603and developed good contacts with the inhabitants.On December 25th, 1616 [ [http://timelines.ws/countries/INDONESIA.HTML Timeline Indonesia ] ] , Captain Nathaniel Courthopereached Run to defend it against claims of the Dutch East India Company. A contract with the inhabitants was signed accepting the English King as sovereign of the island. After four years of siege by the Dutch and the murder of Nathaniel Courthopein an ambush in 1620, the English and their local allies departed without a struggle.
According to the Treaty of Westminster ending the
First Anglo-Dutch Warof 1652– 1654Run should have been returned to England. The first attempt in 1660 failed due to formal constraints by the Dutch; after the second in 1665 the English traders were expelled in the same year and the Dutch destroyed the nutmeg trees.After the second Anglo-Dutch Warof 1665– 1667England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands agreed in the Treaty of Bredato the status quo: The English kept the island of Manhattanwhich the Duke of York (the future James II, brother of Charles II), had occupied illegally in 1664 and renamed from New Amsterdamto New York and Run was officially abandoned to the Dutch. The Dutch monopoly on nutmeg and mace was destroyed by the transfer of nutmeg trees to Ceylon, Singaporeand other British colonies in 1817 after the capture of the main island, Bandalontor, in 1810 by Captain Coleleading to the decline of the Dutch supremacy in the spice trade. There are, however, still nutmegtrees growing on Run today.
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=4%C2%B0+33%E2%80%B2+25.87%E2%80%B3+S,+129%C2%B0+41%E2%80%B2+1.63%E2%80%B3+E&ie=UTF8&ll=-1.933227,95.800781&spn=72.882094,176.484375&t=h&z=3 Location] , courtesy Google maps.
Giles Milton's book " Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One Man's Courage Changed the Course of History" (Sceptre books, Hodder and Stoughton, London) gives a vivid account of the struggle for possession of the Banda Islands.
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