Portuguese Capture of Malacca, 1511

The Sultanate of Malacca (Melaka) controlled the trade (mainly the spice trade) through the Malacca Straits, the main shipping route connecting the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.
A first Portuguese expedition with the aim to take Malacca had failed in 1509, and the Sultan held a number of Portuguese prisoners since. In June 1511 Afonso de Albuquerque lead a second expedition to Malacca, with 14 ships and about 900 Portuguese and 200 Malabarese soldiers; Sultan Mahmud Syah had a force of c. 20,000 men.
From July 27th onward the Portuguese, in a series of attacks, tried to conquer the city. On August 24th they were in control. The Portuguese constructed a fortress. Malacca was attacked in 1517, 1520, 1521 and 1525 by forces loyal to the expelled Sultan; in 1550, 1567, 1571 it was besieged by Achehnese and Johorese (Johor was the new Sultanate established by ex-Sultan of Malacca, Mahmud Syah, and his descendants). The Portuguese held on to Malacca until it was captured by the Dutch in 1641.
One of the men participating in the conquest of Malacca was Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.

Portuguese Malacca, 1511-1641, by Marco Ramerini
Conquest of Malacca by the Portuguese, by Tourism Melaka
The Coming of the Portuguese, 1511-1624, from Serajah Malaysia
The Malay Sultanate of Malacca
The Johor Empire, from Serajah Melayu

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 10th 2004, last revised on November 18th 2004

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