KEIR, WILLIAM [SSNE 4856]
Text sourceIn November 1702, the Scottish ship Speedwell, became stranded on a coral reef near Malacca. Both these ships were probably working off a license from the Company of Scotland. The skipper of Speedwell, William Keir, remained in Malacca for some time. Indeed he had been granted civil rights by 1706 and granted permission to marry. However, a VOC missive noted soon after that 'the man is only helping his countrymen and will be removed' indicating a Scottish network operating in the area. The following year a further record showed that, although the governor had permitted Keur to stay in Malacca for another year, he now had to leave, if necessary with the VOC-ships heading for Bengal. Clearly he had continued to upset them through his work. It appears that by February 1707, the Dutch had had enough of British traders encroaching on their monopoly in Java. Their records show that 'as of now no English and Scots will be permitted to live in Batavia'. Soon after this ban, Scotland and England ratified their political union and created the state of Great Britain.
RPG, General Missiven der VOC, VI 1698-1713, pp.199, 404, 469;