History

History is given a different perspective, as we take you on a trip back in time, visiting some of the vary places and events mentioned elsewhere in this website.

This page also covers significant events of that era, pluck their background stories  to gives us a broader understanding of our past. In keeping within the timeframe of the genealogical data presented elsewhere in this web site, we limit the scope of the material to a period beginning with the Kotte period and ending up in the British Period, in the later part of the 20th Century.

The case of Manuel Dias Andrady

The Genealogical Tables produced elsewhere in these ancestry pages document the family genealogy  to 1658, a 340-year history. These were the last days of the Portuguese, and the recoded history by Baldaeus places both Manuel D’Andrado and Michael de Fonseka in Jaffna at that time, with the invading Dutch forces. Jaffna was the last bastion

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JAYAWARDHANAPURA: The capital of the kingdom of Sri Lanka 1400-1565 A. D.

JAYAWARDHANAPURA Kotte, as its name indicates was originally a fortified city; the word Kotte, is derived from the Malayalam word Kottei  (fortress). Jayawardhanapura  meaning victory enhancing city in Sinhala, was the name assigned to the place by its founder Nissanka Alagakkonara (Prahhuraja)  (1340-1380)1. This fortified city was constructed with a view to facing a possible

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Remains of the Day – Kingdom of Kotte as it is today.

Thousands of people who travel daily down the parliament road and head for the city for their work, pass thru the picturesque suburbs of Atul Kotte. Little do they realize that this tranquil place bordering the Diyawanna Oya was once a walled citadel, the one time seat of power of the whole country, the throne

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A virtual tour of Kotte

This page hopes to take you on a virtual tour of the remains of Kotte. It is not an exhaustive analysis of the place, but a virtual glimpse of the main features remaining to be seen by a visitor today. We start our journey from the entrance to present day Athul Kotte ( which was

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Early Prints of Kalutara and it’s Fort.

‘K’ is for Kalutara : From the evidence collected so far it seems that the De Fonsekas and one branch of the D’Anderado family settled in Kalutara North, while the Lowe, De Rowel, Thamel and Tissera families settled in an around Kammala, an area stretching from Negombo to Chilaw, but were mostly concentrated around Marawila,

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The Whist Bungalow

The Whist Bungalow: With a documented existence of over 200 years, the “Whist Bungalow” at Mutwal, is a property steeped in history. It was one of the best-known residences of the British period, and is featured in the writings of such greats as Haeckel, Tenennt and Cordinor. The neighboring bungalow – and perhaps the only

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Interrupted Genius: Donald Friend and the City of Galle

Donald Friend 1915-89 Donald Friend, who is often referred to as “the great wine of Australian Art”, was born in Sydney on 6th February 1915. He studied with Dattilo Rubbo at the Royal Art Society of New South Wales in 1934 and under Bernard Meninsky and Mark Gertler at the Westminster School of Art, London.

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Closenberg; The Cliff Citadel

‘His fine natural taste led him to choose for his house a site of almost unequaled beauty ….. a perfect little Miramar’ Ernst Haeckel – ‘A Visit to Ceylon’, with reference to Captain Bailey and Closenberg.   “Closenberg” lies to the south of the Galle Town, in a peninsula jutting out into the Galle Bay. It

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Early Postal History of Ceylon and the P&O Steam Navigation Company

 Dr. Srilal Fernando In these days of instant communication it is difficult to conceive the difficulties that existed 200 years ago. When a letter was mailed to Europe, a response could with some luck be expected one year later. The sailing ships carrying the mail would have to sail around the Cape of Good Hope

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Mackinnon Mackenzie & Company of Ceylon and the P&O Company

Mackinnon Mackenzie & Company of Ceylon and the P&O Company Mackinnon Mackenzie and Company of Ceylon Limited dates back to the early years of the century and has a proud history of association with the British India Steamship Company (BI) and the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company (P&O). The Telescope used by the  manger a

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Sri Lanka History – The Portuguese Period

By the late fifteenth century, Portugal, which had already established its dominance as a maritime power in the Atlantic, was exploring new waters. In 1497 Vasco da Gama sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and discovered an ocean route connecting Europe with India, thus inaugurating a new era of maritime supremacy for Portugal. The

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Sri Lanka History – The Dutch Period

The Dutch became involved in the politics of the Indian Ocean in the beginning of the seventeenth century. Headquartered at Batavia in modern Indonesia, the Dutch moved to wrest control of the highly profitable spice trade from the Portuguese. The Dutch began negotiations with King Rajasinha II of Kandy in 1638. A treaty assured the

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Sri Lanka History – The British Period

By the mid-eighteenth century, it was apparent that the Mughal Empire (1526-1757) in India faced imminent collapse, and the major European powers were positioning themselves to fill the power vacuum in the subcontinent. Dutch holdings on Sri Lanka were challenged in time by the British, who had an interest in the excellent harbor at Trincomalee.

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