The History of the Kingdom of Jaffna. 

Translated from the Tamil by C. BRITTO, Colombo 1879.

This book which may have been written around 1736 during the Governorship of Jan Maccara, was translated from Tamil by C. Brito, and was first published in 1879. The work is looked upon as one of great authority among the Tamils of Jaffna. It has references to Don Manuel D’Anderado in what has come to be known as the ‘D’andrado Curse’. This story is depicted in a play known as the ‘Poothathampi Nadagam’. Don Manuel’s presence in Jaffna is also reported by Baldaeus in his book ‘A Description of Ceylon’.

Given below are the sections of the book which refer to Manuel D’andrado. The explanations in brackets have been introduced by me.

The Vaipavamalai (A Historical Garland)  :  ‘The Dutch’ (Pages 52 – 53)

The first public act of the Ulanthesar  (Hollanders, Dutch) was to introduce the Irappiramathu-Saththiya-vetham  (The Reformed True Religion, Protestantism). In respect of the Civil Government, they appointed Puthaththampi, a Velalan (high caste Tamil), to be Muthali (Mudaliar)  for the revenue branch of the government, and Manuel Anthirasu  (Manuel D’Anderado) a man of the Kuru-kula  (Karava) caste, to be Muthali  for the writing branch. An intimacy sprung up between the two Muthalimar, and Anthirasu, being one day at Puthaththampi’s  house on an invitation to dinner, happened to have a sight of his host’s wife, a woman of transcendent beauty, and was inflamed with a violent passion for her. She was a sister of Kayilasc Vanniyan  and had inherited the haughty spirit and stern morality, by which her ancestors were distinguished among the nobility. She received Anthirasu’s  wicked proposal with indignation and displayed her resentment by subjecting his messenger to the ignominious punishment of being lashed with a broom. The spurned suitor meditated revenge and planned a diabolical one. He procured Puthaththampi’s  signature to a sheet of blank paper, pretending that it was to be filled up with an order for the removal of government timber from Kachchaiththurai.  But the paper was actually filled up with treasonable matters, couched in the form of a letter from Puthaththampi to the Parangkis  (Portuguese), offering to assist them to recover the kingdom if they would but make the attempt. A messenger, who was found carrying the letter, was seized and brought before the Governor. And witnesses were not wanting to fill up the details of the wicked farce. However, a strict investigation having been instituted, Puthaththampi’s  innocence was completely established. But the Governor of Yalpanam  (Jaffna), who was a friend of Anthirasu, allowed himself to be influenced by Anthirasu’s  arguments and entreaties, and Puthaththampi  was sentenced to death. The sentence was executed in a great hurry, before news could reach the governor’s brother, Puthaththampi’s  most powerful and intimate friend, who was then absent at Urkavat-turai  (Kayts), building the Kadat-koddai  (Fort Mammanheil) there. On the representation of Kayilaya-Vanniyan,  who went to Kolumpu  (Colombo) for the purpose, the governor of Yalpanam  and his friend, Anthirasu, were, in the month of Puraddasi (6th month), in the year Vilampi (32nd in a cycle of sixty), ordered to proceed to Kolumpu.  On their way thither, the former suffered ship-wreck and was drowned, the latter was crushed to death by a wild elephant.


Nadakam is drama. The distinction into comedies and tragedies does not obtain in Tamil. Generrally speaking in all dramatical compositions there are a birth, marriage and death. But there is no drama without a scene of the endurance of unmerited evil or a scene of female devotion. Nor is there one which ends without poetical justice being done to all parties.

The author of the present Nadakam is, as is stated in it, one Davidu, son of Juvan Costan of Mantotte. But he gives us neither the date of his work: not that of the events which he dramatises. The latter date however is easily found. The Vines Taprobanea says that Rev. Caldero was decapitated in the year A.D. 1658 by the Dutch on a charge of his having concealed his knowledge of the treasonable correspondence which Don Lewis Puthaththampi had with the Portuguese. The year 1658 (June 21st) was the date when the Dutch took the fortress of Jaffnapatanam from the Protuguese.

Puthththampi and his dramatist appear from this work to have been Saivites (followers of Siva) notwithstanding the Christian names they bore. For the dramatist invokes on his work the favour of the usual Hindu gods, and represents his hero as appealing to the same gods for succour in times of distress, while he carefully makes the Dutch characters sweat like Christians.

The events of the drama are as follows :-

The Dutch Viceroy of Colombo sent Anthony Amral as Governor of Jaffna and one Andirado (Manuel D’Anderado), a man of the Kurukula caste (Karava) as Amral’s Muthaliar. Amral appointed Puthaththampi, a Velalan (High Caste of the Tamil People) of the Kerala section, as second Muthaliar, and one Sinne Ulanthes as Captain of the Fort. Andirado made improper advances to Puthaththampi’s wife, which she not merely rejected, but subjected Andirado’s messengers to a degrading punishment. In order to avenge himself, Andirado had a letter framed purporting to have been written by Puthaththampi and Sinne Ulanthes and directed to Kirthi-singkan (Keerthi Sri Rajasinha) king of Kandi (Kandy), offering to betray the country to him. The letter was of course intercepted, and its bearer acted his part exactly as had been arranged. Puthaththampi was condemned on the strength of this letter and was, by the procurance of Andirado, executed without a moment’s respite. Sinne Ulanthes was then absent at Kayts building the sea-fortress. On his return he learnt the fate of Puthaththampi and, for fear of falling by an unjust sentence, committed suicide. But Puthaththampi’s brother-in-law Kayilayappillai, Vanniyan of Kachchaitturai, went to Colombo and made a representation to the Viceroy, upon which both Anthony Amral and Andirado were ordered to go to Colombo to defend themselves. On the way, Amral wilfully threw himself into the sea and was drowned, Andirado was killed by an elephant at Musali or Pandraththarthoppu. Puthaththampi left behind a widow, and a son named Sothi-Nathan. The widow committed suicide through grief.

Note by the translator: Ribeyro makes mention of an Anthonio Amral de Menezes, a Portuguese Governor of Mannar who was killed by a shot from an arquebuse in 1658. This loss so dispirited the Protuguese that although their number was large, they took fright and all fled to Jaffnapatam; and the Dutch possessed themselves of Mannar. In 1658 Adrian Van Der Meyden was the Dutch Governor of Colombo. Our author seems to be so ignorant a man that he uses the name Amral probably on the principle that all steamers are known to the vulgar in Ceylon by the name “Pearl”, as “Pearl” was the name of the first steamer they were acquainted with.  

( The account by the author regarding the killing of Don Manuel D’Anderado by a wild Elephant is incorrect and is make believe, as references are made to Don Manuel in later years. )

The debate on the Vaipavamalai and the Nadakam version raged even in the 1940s as indicated by the following letters published in the newspapers. The events described in the these version has certain inaccuracies as clearly pointed out by the authors.

YALPANA – Karava pamphlets and letters.

Don Manuel D’Anderado, Mudaliyar.
The Hero of’ Jaffnapattam 1658

The name of Don Manuel D’Anderado still lives in fact and fiction. Though he figured nearly three hundred years ago, the prowess of this ancient warrior chief finds a place in the writings of our present generation. Irresponsible playwrights of the 18th century have ingeniously weaved up a story regarding the doings of Don Manuel D’Anderado at Jaffna. Their fabrications, however, are not compatible with authenticated history. Although the incongruities of their version have been several times challenged and proved to be false yet occasionally we hear these unjust stories.

Early last year a misinformed gentleman wrote to the Ceylon Observer regarding this much criticized story as contained in the Yalapana Vaipava Malai. He too was silenced without much effort and compelled to view matters from historical evidence. This year too another dramatist puts before the unsuspecting public this same story with many variations. Unkind make-beliefs of this nature should for charity’s sake be stopped before it takes root and foster communal friction. The Editor of the Ceylon Observer very frankly commented on this subject under the caption of Ancestors (Vide C. O. 11th February 1940).

To meet these arguments and to present to the reader the facts of the case, it is fitting to sketch a brief history of Don Manuel D’Anderado. It is traditionally believed that the ancestors of Don Manuel whose full name is Varnakula Aditta Arasa Nlla-Itta Don Manuel D’Anderado came over at the invitation of the Sinhalese kings to fight in their wars. It is recorded that the Varnakula Aditta clan first migrated to Lanka in the middle ages.

An old Sinhalese account narrates that when Sri Parakrama Bahu Maha Raja was reigning at Kotte (Jayawardhanapura) a hostile people named the Mukkara landed’ in Ceylon and got possession of Puttalam. At the request of King Parakrama Bahu, the Rajahs of Kanchipura, Kavaripattanam and Kilakkare (settlements of Kuru refugees in South India) sent 7740 warriors who defeated the Mukkaru and recaptured the fort of Puttalam. One of the eight chieftains who came to help Parakrama Bahu was Arasa Nila-itte Mudali. On his appointment as commander of the army he was granted a sword in 1416 A. D. along with the Patabendi name of Maha Nagate Rajasinghe.

The translation of the inscription on this sword reads thus:

In the year of Buddha 1959, at Jayawardhanapura, the Lord of Lanka, Sri Sangabodi Sri Parakrama Maha Raja, decreed and granted to Kaurawa Additya Kuruweera Arasa Nila=Itta Maha Nagate Rajasinghe the Office of Chief of the army and this sword with the inscription in Wesak Tuesday at Sri Wardana Wasala.

Two similar swords were granted to two other Kaurawas appointing them sub-kings. The dates of these swords are 1791 and 1792 Buddhist Era and the grantors were Kuda-Akbo and Sahisthiya Pandita Parakrarna Bahu respectively.

These swords were in the possession of the late Gate Mudaliyar Ambrosius de Rowel of Pitigal Korale South. In March 1905, a paper was read before the Roayl Asiatic Society (C. B.), by the late Mr. C. M. Fernando on the first two swords. The late Mr. H. C. P. Bell and Dr. Paul E. Peiris to whom the two swords were submitted for report by the Committee of the Society accepted the genuineness of the swords and the inscriptions thereon. Mr. Bell also mentions having seen the swords twenty years earlier (J1. B. A. S. XV II) Mudaliyar F. E. Gooneratne a reputed antiquarian on Ceylon history recognized the authenticity of the three swords and refers to them as the heir-looms of the Varnakula Additya Arasa Nila-Itte families of Chilaw. Two of those swords are preserved in the Colombo Museum, though centuries old yet the inscriptions can be deciphered and the flags of the Kaurawa Vanse – the Sun Banner and Moon Banner – are still perfectly visible. Besides these two banners, this sword bears a full-hooded cobra ready to strike.

With the conversion of the clan, several branches of the Varnakula Arasa-Nila-Itte seem to have formed according to the names adopted, the principal three being Rowel, Lowe and D’Anderado. The district where these Kuru chieftains settled down was at Alut-Kuru-Korale. The original home of this clan (Varunakula Adittya) was at – Cammala. When the Dutch came over to the help of Rajasinghe II after the treaty of 1638, the combined forces of the Sinhalese and Dutch met the Portuguese at Cammala in 1640 and the connection between the Dutch and the D’Anderado’s began, and they (the D’Anderados) assisted in many wars on behalf of the Hon’ble Company (Old Dutch Ms of the family & also Sees. paper 9-1933). The Anderado’s when they joined the Dutch settled in Calutara and later settled down in Colombo.

In Calutara the D’Anderado family displayed the same warlike spirit of their ancestors. In 1656 we see Don Manuel D’Anderado, Mudaliyar (regarding whom this pamphlet is written) guarding the pass of Calutara with his lascarins. His skilful management of affairs at Calutara earned for him a place of command in the expedition to Jaffna against the Portuguese where he “signalised himself before Jaffnapattam” (Baldaeus). After the complete annihilation of the Portuguese in 1658, the reorganization of the country commenced, and the Dutch Governor Adrian Amaral Vander Meyden being pleased to appoint him First Secretary.

I reproduce two letters concerning “The vain and fruitless” attempts of the Vellalas to make a hero of Don Luis Poothathamby at the expense of casting a stigma of derision on the fair name of Don Manuel D’Anderado. These letters appeared in the “Ceylon Observer” last year refuting certain gross misstatements in the contribution entitled “The Revenge of a Spurned Suitor”. Despite the fact that the theory of the drama immortalized in the “Poothathamby Nadagam” and the story in the “Yalapana Vaipava Malia” have long been exploded and proved to be “mere poetical fancy” and historically untrue, still we hear these accusations. Besides the other high offices held by Don Manuel D’Anderado he was entrusted to superintend over the Vellalas in the collection of paddy (of Instructions. P. 98)

The two letters referred to:

The Origin and Development of Simhala Nadagam 

From the Journal of the Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series Volume XVIII 1974. An extract from a public Lecture delivered by the Right Revd. Edmund Peiris O.M.I., Bishop Emeritus of Chilaw before the society on the 27th June 1974.

Jaffna is given the credit of taking the lead in the production of Tamil drama in nadagam style (rf Tamil Literature, pp 363 ff.). One such, the Gna-nap-pallu  (spiritual pastoral) was written about the middle of the seventeenth century, on a Christian theme, under the guidance of a Jesuit Father, who lived in Jaffna between 1644 and 1650. The Puthathampi Nadakam, has for its theme the murder of Puthaththambi by the Dutch on a false charge. Since King Kirthi Sri Rajasimha (A.D. 1747 – 1781) is mentioned, it must have been written in the latter part of the eighteenth century (rf Yalpana-Vaipava-Malai, pp xxxiv – xxxv).