Very soon the spice trade had become a Portuguese monopoly, and Malacca was the great headquarters of the trade.
Borneo began to be known to Europeans after the fall of Malacca in 1511, when Alphonso d'Albuquerque despatched Antonio d'Abreu with three ships in search of the Molucca or Spice Islands with instructions to establish friendly relations with all the native states that he might encounter on his way.
In the Malay Peninsula itself there is abundant evidence, ethnological and philological, of at least two distinct immigrations of people of the Malayan stock, the earlier incursions, it is probable, taking place from the eastern archipelago to the south, the later invasion spreading across the Straits of Malacca from Sumatra at a comparatively recent date.
The descent from the summits of the range into the plain is somewhat less abrupt on the western than it is on the eastern side, and between the foot of the mountains and the Strait of Malacca the largest known alluvial deposits of tin are situated.
In the great French war from 1781 to 1811 England wrested from Holland every one of her colonies, though Java was restored in 1816 and Sumatra in exchange for Malacca in 1824.
In the light of present knowledge concerning the trade-routes of Asia, which had been in existence for thousands of years ere ever Europeans attempted to make use of them, it is safe to identify Ptolemy's Sinus Perimulicus with the Gulf of Siam, the Sinus Sabaricus with the Straits of Malacca from their southern portals to the Gulf of Martaban, the Aurea Chersonesus with the Malay Peninsula, and the island of Iabadius or Sabadius - the reading of the name is doubtful - with Sumatra, not as has often been mistakenly attempted with Java.
This was in 1511, after the conquest of Malacca by D'Albuquerque, and the intimacy lasted over a century, the tradition of their greatness having hardly yet died out.
The Himalo-Chinese or Transgangetic province shows the characteristics of its avifauna also far away to the eastward in Formosa, Hainan and Cochin China, and again in a lesser degree to the southward in the mountains of Malacca and Sumatra.
In 1631 he led a Dutch fleet from the Indies to Holland, and in 1636 he was raised to the governor-generalship. He came into conflict with the Portuguese, and took their possessions in Ceylon and Malacca from them.
This king's sway extended to Moulmein, Tavoy, Tenasserim and the whole Malacca peninsula (where among the traders from the west Siam was known as Sornau, i.e.