Kalinyamat Sultanate

Kalinyamat Sultanate, Kalinyamat Kingdom or Jepara Kingdom, was a 16th-century Javanese Islamic polity in the northern part of the island of Java, centred in modern-day Jepara, Central Java, Indonesia.

Both Jepara and Kalinyamat was first established as a Duchy settlements under Demak Sultanate. After succession feud, Kalinyamat was declared as a separate polity from Demak. Traditional accounts provide the names of several of its leaders; Sultan Hadlirin, and his wife and also successor, Retna Kencana (Ratu Kalinyamat) (r. 1549–1579).

Kalinyamat Sultanate

CapitalKalinyamat City and Jepara
Common languagesJavanese language
Islam, Kejawen
• 1527–1549
Sultan Hadlirin
• 1549–1579
Retno Kencono
• 1579–1599
Pangeran Arya Jepara
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Demak Sultanate
Mataram Sultanate


The settlements in Kalinyamat and the port of Jepara was established as a kadipaten or duchy under Demak Sultanate. The daughter of Sultan Trenggana of Demak, Retna Kencana and her husband, Sultan Hadlirin, was appointed as the duke and duchess of Kalinyamat by Demak Sultan.

After the death of Trenggana, the throne was succeeded to his son Sunan Prawata. In 1549, Arya Penangsang, the duke of Jipang Panolan ascend to the throne of Demak after assassinating his cousin Sunan Prawata. Prawata younger sister Ratna Kencana, sought justice to Sunan Kudus, the teacher of Penangsang. Sunan Kudus however, declined her request since previously Prawata has committed the crime by assassinate Penangsang's father, Raden Kikin (Sekar Seda ing Lepen), thus rendered Penangsang's revenge justified. Disappointed, Ratna Kencana went home with her husband, Sultan Hadlirin, from Kudus to Kalinyamat only to be attacked by Penangsang's men on their way. Hadlirin was killed in this attack while Ratu Kalinyamat barely survived.

After the succession feud that led to the assassination of Sunan Prawata of Demak by Arya Penangsang, Queen Kalinyamat declared her domain, Kalinyamat, Jepara, and other parts as a separate kingdom from Demak. Ratu Kalinyamat sought revenge on Penangsang, since he also murdered her husband, Sultan Hadlirin. She urged her brother in-law, Hadiwijaya (popularly known as Jaka Tingkir), the Duke of Pajang (Boyolali), to kill Arya Penangsang.

Encounters with the Portuguese

First campaign against the Portuguese in Malacca

In 1550, Queen Regent of Jepara, Kalinyamat, alarmed at the growth of Portuguese power in the region, sent 4,000 soldiers in 40 ships to meet sultan Johor's request to free Malacca of the dreaded Europeans. Jepara troops were later joined forces with Malay Guild with combined up to 200 warships. The combined forces attacked from the north to capture most of Malacca. However, the Portuguese, in retaliation, pushed back the invading forces. Malay Guild troops were repelled, while the Jepara troops remained on shore. While trying to evacuate the shores, the Jepara troops were ambushed by the Portuguese, thus suffering an estimated 2,000 casualties. The storm came crashing and stranded two Jepara vessels back to Malacca shore, and they fell prey to the Portuguese. Jepara soldiers who made it back to Java were not more than a half of those managed to leave Malacca.

Second campaign against the Portuguese in Malacca

In 1564, Ali Riayat Syah of Aceh asked for Demak's help to attack the Portuguese in Malacca. At that time the ruler of Demak was Arya Pangiri, the son of Sunan Prawata. The easily suspecting Pangiri killed the Acehnese envoy instead. Disappointed, Aceh still went on with their plan and attacked Malacca in 1567 without the help of Java. The attack however was ended in failure.

In 1568, Jepara again attacked the Strait of Malacca, combined with the forces of the Aceh Sultanate led by Alauddin al-Kahar. The combined forces met success in plundering the goods of the Portuguese, though it was short-lived. After being beaten back by the Portuguese, the coalition forces retreated.

In 1573, the Sultan of Aceh asked for Queen Kalinyamat's help to attack Malacca once again. The Queen sent 300 ships containing 15,000 Jeparan soldiers. The Javanese forces was led by the Admiral Ki Demat and just arrived in Malacca in October 1574. Yet when they arrived, the Aceh troops has been beaten back by the Portuguese.

Jepara vessels opened fire directly to the fort of Malacca from the strait. The next day they landed and built some defences on the shore. But eventually, the Jeparan defence was being penetrated by the Portuguese that set fires to around 30 Jeparan ships. Jeparan was shaked, but still refused the peace talks. Meanwhile, six supplies ships delivered by Queen Kalinyamat was captured by the Portuguese. The lack of logistics has weakened the Jeparan troops and finally they decided to retreat. From the original numbers of troops sent by Queen Kalinyamat, only about a third of them survived to return to Java.

Despite being beaten several times, the Portuguese had great respect for Queen Kalinyamat, dubbing her "Rainha de Japara, Senhora poderosa e rica, de kranige Dame," meaning "Queen of Jepara, a rich and powerful woman, a brave woman".

Third campaign against the Portuguese in Moluccas

Queen Kalinyamat never was deterred. In 1565 she met the demand of people in Ambon (Moluccas) Hitu to face the disruption of the Portuguese and the Hative.


After Ratu Kalinyamat's death, the kingdom was entering a period of decline and later was annexed by the Mataram Sultanate.



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DECREE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIAAND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE NATIONAL ARMED FORCESOn the official reintroduction of the 1945 State Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia

With the Mercy of Almighty God


Hereby declare with respect:

That the proposal of the President and Government to return to the 1945 Constitution as conveyed to the entire Indonesian people with the mandate of the President dated April 22nd, 1959 did not result in a decision from the Constitutional Assembly as stipulated by the Provisional Constitution;

That with the declaration of the majority of the members of the Session to Produce a Constitution to no longer attend sessions, it is no longer possible for the Constitutional Assembly to complete the task entrusted to it by the people;

That this has resulted in a situation that endangers the unity and security of the Nation, Land and People, as well as hampering overall development toward a just and prosperous society;

That with the support of the majority of the Indonesian people and urged on by our own certainty, we are forced to follow the only path to save the Proclaimed Nation:

That we are certain that the Jakarta Charter dated July 22nd, 1945 inspired the 1945 Constitution and is part of the chain of unity with the aforementioned Constitution.

Therefore, based on the above,


Resolve thus to order the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly,

Resolve that the 1945 Constitution is once again in force for the entire Indonesian people and the entire Indonesian nation, as from the date of this decree and that the Provisional Constitution is no longer in force within the Republic,

Resolve to order the establishment of a Provisional People's Consultative Assembly, which is made up of the members of the House of Representatives with the delegates from the regions and groups, with the establishment of a Provisional Supreme Advisory Council to be organized as speedily as possible, in keeping with the provisions of the aforementioned Constitution.

Resolved in Jakarta

on July 5th, 1959

In the name of the People of Indonesia:

President of the Republic of Indonesia/Supreme Commander of the National Armed Forces



Riklefs (1982), A History of Modern Indonesia, Macmillan Southeast Asian reprint, ISBN 0-333-24380-3

Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia (1975) 30 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka: Jilid 2 (1950–1964) (30 Years of Indonesian Independence: Volume 2 (1950–1964))


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West Timor


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