The D'Andrado Manuscripts
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The de Andrado papers (volume No. 3210, Dutch records) are an interesting collection of legal and administrative documents of the 17th and early 18th centuries, which illustrate the various stages of a long conflict between the Judiciary and the Executive.
They consist of deeds and certificates affecting land, dating back to the early years of Dutch rule - petitions and declarations submitted to Court, extracts from the Judgment Roll, copies of writs and summonses, counter petitions, minutes by the Governor and reports from executive and judicial officers. These various papers were collected into a single file and deposited in the Secretariat for ease of reference by contemporary litigants.
The facts in the case are briefly as follows. Bras de Andrado had promised his future son-in-law Thomas Pieris, Junior Surgeon, a dowry of Rix - dollars 400 and had remitted in cash, jewellery or in land, the bulk of this amount. But a quarrel seems to have broken out between the two families (a notable feature of the case is the implacable hostility between the Andrados and the Pierises) and Bras refused to pay over the small balance of the dowry money still due, even though threatened with legal penalties.
The case, Bras de Andrado Vs Louise Pieris, father of Thomas Pieris.
Pieris sued him for the recovery of the money. But, though he obtained a decree against Bras he still could not force him to pay. Finally, various properties belonging to Bras were seized and auctioned by Disava Schot, in satisfaction of this and certain other claims. Most of the lands confiscated in this way were parveni properties, a fact well known to Bras who was so sure that they could never be taken from him whatever the circumstances, that he looked upon their sale and transfer to others with indifference, if not sardonic amusement.
The main interest of the book lies in the action of the Judiciary in declaring null and void the orders of a Governor de Heere, as carried out by Disava Schot and the extra ordinary strictness with which the sanctity of parveni lands was upheld.
Other elements of interest are the character of Bras de Andrado, often vilified without justification in the heat of legal exchanges, and the social customs among his kinsmen of the Fonseka family and others.
J. H. O. Paulusz
Government Archives No:
4333 & 4334 The Attorney of Wilhelmus Philippus van Cuylenburg, married to the widow of Rij & kloff Izaak Kriekenbeek contra Michiel de Andrado. 2 files. 1761.
4219 & 4220 Andries Peiris, as guardian of the minor, and Dominicus Peiris contra Thomme and & Mighiel de Andrado. 2 files.1743.
4335 Petrus van Dort and others contra Wilhelmus Philippus van Cuylenburg. 1761 - 1762.
4493 Joan de Fonseka contra the "weesmeesteren", as executors of the estate of the late Captain Johannes Everhardus Jongbloet. 1787.
4513 The Secretary of the court of justice contra the executors of the estate of Nicolaas Fonseka and Catharina Fernando, widow and executor of the estate of Philip Gomes Rajepakse Mohandiram. 1789.
2622 1781 January 3 - December 31, Nos. 1 - 188. By Hendrik Diederi, Dias da Fonseka.
2623 1781 - 1796 January 25.( n.b. Although composed by different clerks the numbering in this file is consistent), Nos. 1 - 54. The specification is as follows:
Nos. 01-11: 1781 - 1783 September 5 by Dias da Fonceka ; (see No. 2622).
Nos. 12-45: 1791 November 6 - 1795 April 14 by Gerrard Joan Fybrands ; (see Nos. 2626-2631).
Nos. 46-51: 1795 November 10 - December 22 by Johannes Henricus Schroter ; (see No. 2632).
Nos. 52-54: are by sworn clerks Jan Andriesz Paauw and Pieter Adolph Loffman.
3671 Allied Cases. Translations of Sinhalese garden Registers in the Kalutara district. 1772.
2848 Letters from the Colombo disava Class Schodt to the chief of Kalutara, Gerrit van der Scheur, and a letter from van der Scheur to the Governor. 1698 July21 - 1701 June 16.
(n.b. The letter to the Governor is not the one which accompanied this file, which, according to the old index list, was found among the documents of governor de Heere after his death. These letters have some relation to the complaints in Kalutara against the disava and the chief there, regarding which we have some information in that list. As the council minutes of this period are missing, there is no further information regarding this matter.)
2850 Extracts from various letters from disava Class Schodt to the chief of Kalutara Gerrit van der Scheur. 1698 - 1701.
(n.b. The originals are in No. 2849.)
Register of the documents, enumerated below which have been brought, on the orders of His Excellency the Governor Hendrik Becker, to the Secretariat, by the Hon'ble Captain da Costa, to be registered and preserved there, viz:
- Images of the original Dutch records could be found within the following documents. Please follow the link to read the English translation and then to view the images.
No. 1 - Deed of gift of a piece of land named Coilwatta, situated in the village of Calamulla granted by H. E. the Governor of Ceylon, L. Pijl, on the last day of August A. D. 1687 to Bras de Andrado covering in area 303 1/2 square perches.
No. 2 - Deed of gift of a plot of ground named Alegiduriawatta, situated in the aforesaid village of Calamulla, and covering in area 204 square perches, granted by and to the same persons and on the same date as above.
No. 3 - Certificate of ratification granted by the same persons as above on the 13th September 1687, confirming that the said Bras de Andrado was entitled to possess the above mentioned two pieces of land in hereditary ownership, but in the event of his dying without issue, these same lands should revert to the Hon'ble Company.
No. 4 - Deed of transfer, executed before the Secretary Johannes Berghuysen, by the said Bras de Andrado on the 28th June 1695 of the aforesaid two pieces of land, as dowry of marriage portion, for his daughter Barbara de Andrado who had married the Junior Surgeon Thome Pieris.
No. 5 - Three short instruments in Malabar, executed by Bras de Andrado relative .to certain goods which he donates to his abovementioned daughter, with the translation thereof annexed.
No. 6 - Certificate issued by H. E. Admiral Rijkloff van Goens on the 3rd of January 1664, in favour of Manuel de Andrado, relative to a certain garden, situated in the Kalutara District, which at an anterior date, had belonged to the Portuguese Dom Manuel.
No. 7 -
Petition submitted to H. E. Governor Simons by Louis Pieris pleading
therein that everything might be left stayed, in the same position as at the
beginning of the lawsuit.
Likewise a declaration executed on the 14th December 1702 regarding the sale of the different lands of Bras de Andrado by the Dessave Class Schot.
And also, as extract from the Civil Judgment Roll, maintained on behalf of the Hon'ble the Court of Justice here, wherein the said Pieris is condemned to surrender back to Bras de Andrado the two bought gardens with the profits derived there from and enjoyed since the sale.
No. 8 - Petition submitted by the above-noticed Bras de Andrado, addressed as above, pleading that the aforesaid judgment, (whereto also is added ) might be put into execution
No. 9 - Writ and summons served by the Procurator Douwe Peterson on the person of Louis Pieris to quit the two purchased gardens ; together with a declaration of the 24th October 1703 wherein is shown how the goods which were sold by the Hon'ble the Disava (. in ownership. Always. ) held by the purchasers.
No.10 - Counter statement by the former Disăva and then Captain Lieutenant Class Schot, dated the 28th June 1706, against and in rebuttal of a petition from Bras de Andrado, and certain annexed papers, numbered 1 to 4.
No. 11 - Order made by H. E. the Governor, Doctor Cornelis Joan Simons on the 12th of June 1706 last, directing the Hon, Messrs Jan Christians Toorzee, Gregorius da Costa and senior Merchant Gerard Bessels to examine the above mentioned papers and make a written report thereon.
No.12 - Written statement made by the Hon. (P) Bolscho and da Costa on the 28th October regarding the two bought gardens of Louis Pieris and what profits could have been derived there from since the sale, so that these amounts could be refunded to Bras de Andrado.
Colombo, the 4th May, A. D. 1709.
The foregoing documents have been deposited here in the Secretariat, by Captain Hon. Gregorius da Costa in order that parties who might require them could make use thereof ; and His Honour accordingly hereby relinquishes responsibility for them.
Colombo, on the date as above.
Signed: Francoys Thivart. Sworn Clerk.
Annexes & Extracts from various
Works & Files :
These form no part of Vol. 3210
Note by the Editor:
The d'Andrado papers and other references pertaining to that family had been brought together and translated by Mr. J. H. 0. Paulusz,, who was the Government Archivist, from 1940 to 1958. Since its translation, the papers had been lying with a member of that family, Mr. F. B. de S. J. Wijenayake of Colombo, who very kindly, brought it to my notice.
In perusing the papers, given to me by Mr. Wijenayake, I found them to be most interesting, not only as Illustrating a conflict between the Judiciary and the Executive, but also as documents providing illustrative information on personalities, their land holdings, the nature of land documents, like deeds, grants and gifts, the operation of judicial procedures, and also as material yielding a cursory glance into the society of the period.
Thus, although the documentation seems inconclusive, and the other evidence too, may sometimes seem disjointed, yet it was decided to publish them for the per Se, interest, they yield, as well as for the illustrative value they provide, of documents that are available at the Archives, for research in genealogy, social history and other fields of study.
Mr. Paulusz, who is presently in Abergele, Wales, has written to say that he had carried out this work during the War under varying disabilities. He states that the subject would have been given fuller editorial treatment if he could have consulted the Jakarta records, then under Japanese occupation He, further says, that even later, severe restrictions had been laid by the Soekarno regime, on access for the repository, so that no thorough search had been possible there. This explanatory note by Mr. Paulusz, throws further light on material that would be available elsewhere, for studies in the Dutch Period' of Sri Lankan history.
Readers are also referred to the published Catalogues of Jurriaanse and Mottau for information on the Administrative Records of the Dutch period (1640-1796), available at the Sri Lanka Archives.
Copyright Department of National Archives, Sri Lanka.
Reproduced with the permission of the Director, Department of National Archives.