The island of Makian in the North Molucca Islands had a good harbour and was well-planted with clove trees. In 1608 the VOC captured it from the Spanish and gave to the sultan of Ternate on condition that all the cloves should be supplied to the VOC. The Spanish fort on the west coast was occupied and rechristened Zeven Provincieën (Seven Provinces). Here, as on the other islands of the Moluccas, the local population suffered under the violent measures used by the VOC to protect its trade monopoly. Illegally planted clove trees would be felled by VOC workers during so-called 'hongi raids', while supplying cloves to foreign merchants other than those of the VOC carried a heavy penalty.
Zeven Provincieën, fort