Capture of Malacca

Happened: 1511-08-15


The Capture of Malacca in 1511 occurred when the governor of Portuguese India Afonso de Albuquerque conquered the city of Malacca in 1511.

The port city of Malacca controlled the narrow, strategic Strait of Malacca, through which all seagoing trade between China and India was concentrated. The capture of Malacca was the result of a plan by King Manuel I of Portugal, who since 1505 had intended to beat the Castillians to the Far-East, and Albuquerque's own project of establishing firm foundations for Portuguese India, alongside Hormuz, Goa and Aden, to ultimately control trade and thwart Muslim shipping in the Indian Ocean.

Having set sail from Cochin in April 1511, the expedition would not have been able to turn around due to contrary monsoon winds. Had the enterprise failed, the Portuguese could not hope for reinforcements and would have been unable to return to their bases in India. It was the farthest territorial conquest in the history of mankind until then.


TitlePublication DateDescriptionLink
Capture of Malacca (1511) (webpage from Wikipedia) A fairly long page about the capture of Malacca Link
Malacca Sultanate (webpage from Wikipedia) A long article about the sultanate Link
Portuguese Malacca 1511-1641 (webpage) A medium-length article with lots of citations and some pictures Link
The Fall of Melaka (webpage) A medium-length article from a Malaysian perspective about the capture of Malacca. Link
The Portuguese Conquest of Malacca (webpage) An account written by someone who currently lives in Malacca. The website contains lots of historical and tourist information about the city/state. Link
The Capture of Malacca, A.D. 1511 (article) 1912 Wilkinson, R. J. "The Capture of Malacca, A.D. 1511." Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, no. 61 (1912): 71-76. Link
Foreign documents and the descriptions of Melaka between A.D. 1505-1511 (article) 1991 An 11-page article on the city from 1505-1511 Link
Story of Malacca (article) 2009 “Story of Malacca” by Elvan Tong appeared as a three-part series in AMSA’s magazine Passages during 2009 and 2010. For the convenience of readers this is now consolidated into a booklet for.... Link
The fall of Malacca (webpage) 2011 An Asian view of the fall of Malacca written by Dr Lee Kam Heng. Link
The Capture of Malacca in 1511 (webpage) 2015 A medium-length article about the capture of Malacca Link


Eurasian Plate
Malacca City


NameDate of BirthDate of DeathShort Biography
Tun Mutahir 1510a famous Bendahara of the Malaccan Sultanate
Mahmud Shah 1528the ruler of the Sultanate of Malacca from 1488 to 1511, and again as pretender to the throne from 1513 to 1528
Francisco de Almeida 14501510a Portuguese nobleman, soldier and explorer
Afonso de Albuquerque 14531515a Portuguese general, a "great conqueror", a statesman, and an empire builder.
Diogo Lopes de Sequeira 14651530a Portuguese fidalgo, sent to analyze the trade potential in Madagascar and Malacca