Guns for the King of Bantam

Gifts for trade relations

The East India Company carried cannons in their East Indiaman ships in order to present as gifts to rulers in return for favourable trade terms or as a free sample with the view to selling more.

Usually these guns were of the highest quality, so it no surprise that many of these cannons were made in Horsmonden.

The King of Bantam was presented with some guns made by the Browne family and William Wightman.

Bantam or Banten Java

Learn more: Bantam

Bantam near the western end of Java was a strategically important site and formerly a major trading city, with a secure harbour on the Sunda Strait through which all ocean-going traffic passed.

As a trading city Bantam received an early influx of Islamic influence in the early 16th century. Bantam was the seat of a powerful Banten Sultanate. Later, the Portuguese and Dutch fought for control of Bantam in the 17th century.

The English, who started to sail to the East Indies from around 1600, established a permanent trading post in Bantam in 1603. The Dutch found that they could control Batavia more thoroughly than Bantam, which contributed to its decline.