British Sea Captain Alexander Hamilton’s New Account of the East Indies (17th-18th Century)

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This is a new edition of one of the most important accounts of the Indian Ocean and Asia during the late 17th century. It is heavily annotated with hundreds of footnotes, and completely indexed. Since its first publication in Scotland and England ( in 1727 and 1744, respectively), it has only been republished once, in a limited edition in 1930. It is a fascinating insight into the life of a Scottish seafarer, and an extraordinary history of southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, and other areas. Hamilton was an eye-witness to wars, pirate attacks, scheming English and Asian profiteers, and imprisonment. This edition is taken from the original text of the 1727 edition. Footnotes assist clarification of minor points of history and obsolete terms or names. A Glossary of place names updating Hamilton’s phonetic version to a current nomenclature is given at the end of the text.


“We are…indebted to the editors and publisher for making available a new edition of this most valuable and at times extraordinary eyewitness study of the early modern maritime world of Asia….Hamilton presents a fascinating and highly entertaining account of the East Indies, , liberally peppered with humour, anecdotes and colourful stories. He opens a contemporary European window on early modern Asia, and as such he offers much to maritime historians as well as to those with an interest in the places he visited.” – International Journal of Maritime History

“. . . the term ‘East Indies’ is much wider than one might imagine, as the account covers a sweep of Asia from India to China and many points between. . . . his words represent a primary source for students of Asian history, relevant to a time with the colonial period proper had not yet begun. . . “ – Stuart Robson

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