The Amboyna Conspiracy Trial




Schrum, Kelly
Preperato, Chris
McCartney, James
Lee, Joo Ah
Clulow, Adam

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Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media


Trials fascinate us because they present a single question — innocent or guilty. But trials can also be used to tell us about a particular society at a particular time. This project focuses on a famous legal case from the early modern period, the Amboyna Conspiracy Trial of 1623. In this trial, Dutch authorities accused a group of English merchants and Japanese mercenaries of plotting to seize control of a castle on a remote island in modern-day Indonesia, killing anyone who resisted. The user plays the part of a juror in this case. They consider both sides, evaluate the evidence, and deliver their verdict while learning about European expansion in Asia, the race for spices, and the politics of torture and waterboarding. Hosted at


The WARC file can be viewed using a web archiving program such as Conifer ( The ZIP contains a static version of the website.


Digital history, Pedagogy