Australasia 1811: Interregnum in the Dutch East Indies
France’s occupation of the Netherlands during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars made the Dutch East Indies a proxy French colony. In 1810 the British invaded, seizing control of the Moluccas and many of the outlying islands. Despite French attempts to fortify and reorganize the colony, Java and the remaining islands would fall to the British in August–September 1811.
Dec 1809 Burning of the Boyd▲
In retaliation for the flogging of a local chief’s son, Māori attacked and burned the Sydney-based spar ship Boyd in Whangaroa Harbour, New Zealand, killing and eating up to 70 crew and passengers (all but four of those aboard). European whalers responded by attacking the Bay of Islands pa of Te Pahi, in the mistaken belief that he had ordered the killings. The massacre virtually ended voyages to New Zealand for the next few years.
19 Feb–9 Aug 1810 British conquest of Moluccas▲
In early 1810 a British force under Captain Edward Tucker arrived off the Governorate of Ambon in the Dutch East Indies—at the time under French—and seized control of it and other Dutch possessions in the Moluccas. When news of Tucker’s success reached British India, reinforcements were sent to the region under the command of Captain Christopher Cole and captured the Banda Islands in August. The British held on to the islands until 1817, when they were returned to the Dutch.
13 Jul 1810 Annexation of Holland▲
Fed up with the inability of his younger brother, Louis Bonaparte, to enforce the Continental System, Emperor Napoléon of France forced him to abdicate his throne as Louis I of Holland in favor of Louis’s five-year-old son Napoléon Louis Bonaparte on 1 July 1810. Napoléon Louis reigned for less than a fortnight as Louis II of Holland, when Napoléon ended the Kingdom of Holland by annexing it into the French Empire.
18 Feb 1811 Indes-Orientales▲
In January 1808 Colonel-General Herman Willem Daendels arrived in Batavia, capital of the Dutch East Indies, to serve as governor-general on behalf of Louis Napoléon, the French King of Holland. Daendels immediately started building forts, hospitals, roads, and military facilities to prepare the colony for the British threat. In February 1811, following the annexation of Holland to France, the Dutch East Indies was officially reorganized as the French colony of Indes-Orientales.