Jan S. Timmerman-Thijssen was Governor of Dutch-held Malacca between 1818 and 1823. He died prematurely at the age of 40 years whilst still in office. To date no record has been found of an official inquiry into the circumstances of his death.

This research puts forward a select list of four people who were disaffected financially or politically by Timmerman-Thijssen during his time as an official based in the Netherlands East Indies (Southeast Asia). It is contended that the interactions of these four people with Governor Timmerman-Thijssen give rise to more questions than answers concerning his death. The author's research has also uncovered evidence showing Timmerman-Thijssen suffered from recurring ill-health, which ensures the material presented in this article is balanced between, on one hand, the hypothesis of questionable circumstances and, on the other hand, death from natural causes.

This article draws on primary material about J. S. Timmerman-Thijssen from archives in The Netherlands which has been translated from Dutch to English for the first time. Until his death Jan S. Timmerman-Thijssen had been a significant figure, being a chief official in Malacca during the period when the Dutch engaged in their final struggle against British efforts to establish Singapore and control trade through the Malacca Strait.


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