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Title: The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765

Author: J. E. Heeres

Release date: January 3, 2006 [eBook #17450]
Most recently updated: October 15, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Colin Choat


* Refer to the note at the end of this ebook for an explanation, by Peter Reynders, of usage regarding 17th Century Dutch Surnames.







[Illustration: ]

(No. 19. Little map of the world from the Journal of the Nassau fleet, 1626)



List of books, discussed or referred to in the work

List of Maps and Figures


I. Dutch notions respecting the Southland in 1595
II. Notices of the south-coast of New Guinea in 1602
III. Voyage of the ship Duifken under command of Willem Jansz(oon) and Jan Lodewijkszoon Rosingeyn to New Guinea.--Discovery of the east-coast of the present Gulf of Carpentaria (1605-1606)
IV. Fresh expedition to New Guinea by the ship Duifken (1607)
V. Voyage of the ships Eendracht and Hoorn, commanded by Jacques Le Maire and Willem Corneliszoon Schouten through the Pacific Ocean and along the north-coast of New Guinea (1616)
VI. Project for the further discovery of the Southland--Nova Guinea (1616)
VII. Voyage of de Eendracht under command of Dirk Hartogs(zoon). Discovery of the West-coast of Australia in 1616: Dirk Hartogs-island and -road, Land of the Eendracht or Eendrachtsland (1616)
VIII. Voyage of the ship Zeewolf, from the Netherlands to India, under the command of supercargo Pieter Dirkszoon and skipper Haevik Claeszoon van Hillegom.--Further discovery of the West-coast of Australia (1618)
IX. Voyage of the ship Mauritius from the Netherlands to India under the command of supercargo Willem Jansz. or Janszoon and skipper Lenaert Jacobsz(oon). Further discovery of the West-coast of Australia.--Willems-rivier (1618)
X. Further discovery of the South-coast of New-Guinea by the ship Het Wapen van Amsterdam? (1619?)
XI. Voyage of the ships Dordrecht and Amsterdam under commander Frederik De Houtman, supercargo Jacob Dedel, and skipper Reyer Janszoon van Buiksloot and Maarten Corneliszoon(?) from the Netherlands to the East-Indies.--Further discovery of the West-coast of Australia: Dedelsland and Houtman's Abrolhos (1619)
XII. Voyage of the ship Leeuwin from the Netherlands to Java.--Discovery of the South-West coast of Australia.--Leeuwin's land (1622)
XIII. The Triall. (English discovery)--The ship Wapen van Hoorn touches at the West-coast of Australia.--New projects for discovery made by the supreme government at Batavia (1622)
XIV. Voyage of the ships Pera and Arnhem, under command of Jan Carstenszoon or Carstensz., Dirk Meliszoon and Willem Joosten van Colster or Van Coolsteerdt.--Further discovery of the South-West coast of New Guinea. Discovery of the Gulf of Carpentaria (1623)
XV. Voyage of the ship Leiden, commanded by skipper Klaas Hermansz(oon) from the Netherlands to Java.--Further discovery of the West-coast of Australia (1623)
XVI. Discovery of the Tortelduif island (rock) (1624?)
XVII. Voyage of the ship Leijden, commanded by skipper Daniel Janssen Cock, from the Netherlands to Java. Further discovery of the West-coast of Australia (1626)
XVIII. Discovery of the South-West coast of Australia by the ship Het Gulden Zeepaard, commanded by Pieter Nuijts, member of the Council of India, and by skipper Francois Thijssen or Thijszoon (1627)
XIX. Voyage of the ships Galias, Utrecht and Texel, commanded by Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen.--Further discovery of the West-coast of Australia (1627)
XX. Voyage of the ship Het Wapen van Hoorn, commanded by supercargo J. Van Roosenbergh.--Further discovery of the West-coast of Australia (1627)
XXI. Discovery of the North-West coast of Australia by the ship Vianen (Viane, Viana), commanded by Gerrit Frederikszoon De Witt.--De Witt's land (1628)
XXII. Discovery of Jacob Remessens-, Remens-, or Rommer-river, south of Willems-river (before 1629)
XXIII. Shipwreck of the ship Batavia under commander Francois Pelsaert on Houtmans Abrolhos. Further discovery of the West-coast of Australia (1629)
XXIV. Further surveyings of the West-coast of Australia by the ship Amsterdam under commander Wollebrand Geleynszoon De Jongh and skipper Pieter Dircksz, on her voyage from the Netherlands to the East Indies (1635)
XXV. New discoveries on the North-coast of Australia, by the ships Klein-Amsterdam and Wesel, commanded by (Gerrit Thomaszoon Pool and) Pieter Pieterszoon (1636)
XXVI. Discovery of Tasmania (Van Diemensland), New Zealand (Statenland), islands of the Tonga- and Fiji-groups, etc. by the ships Heemskerk and de Zeehaen, under the command of Abel Janszoon Tasman, Frans Jacobszoon Visscher, Yde Tjerkszoon Holman or Holleman and Gerrit Jansz(oon) (1642-1643)
XXVII. Further discovery of the Gulf of Carpentaria, the North and North-West coasts of Australia by the Ships Limmen, Zeemeeuw and de Bracq, under the command of Tasman, Visscher, Dirk Corneliszoon Haen and Jasper Janszoon Koos (1644)
XXVIII. Exploratory voyage to the West-coast of Australia round by the south of Java, by the ship Leeuwerik, commanded by Jan Janszoon Zeeuw (1648)
XXIX. Shipwreck of the Gulden or Vergulden Draak on the West-coast of Australia, 1656.--Attempts to rescue the survivors, 1656-1658.--Further surveyings of the West-coast by the ship de Wakende Boei, commanded by Samuel Volckerts(zoon), and by the ship Emeloord, commanded by Aucke Pieterszoon Jonck, (1658)
XXX. The ship Elburg, commanded by Jacob Pieterszoon Peereboom, touches at the South-West coast of Australia and at cape Leeuwin, on her voyage from the Netherlands to Batavia (1658)
XXXI. Further discovery of the North-West-coast of Australia by the ship de Vliegende Zwaan, commanded by Jan Van der Wall, on her voyage from Ternate to Batavia in February 1678
XXXII. Further discovery of the West-coast of Australia by the ship Geelvink, under the skipper-commander of the expedition, Willem De Vlamingh, the ship Nijptang, under Gerrit Collaert, and the ship het Wezeltje, commanded by Cornelis De Vlamingh (1696-1697)
XXXIII. Further discovery of the North-coast of Australia by the ships Vossenbosch, commanded by Maarten Van Delft, de Waijer under Andries Rooseboom, of Hamburg, and Nieuw-Holland or Nova-Hollandia, commanded by Pieter Hendrikszoon, of Hamburg (1705)
XXXIV. Exploratory voyage by order of the West-India Company "to the unknown part of the world, situated in the South Sea to westward of America", by the ships Arend and the African Galley, commanded by Mr. Jacob Roggeveen, Jan Koster, Cornelis Bouman and Roelof Roosendaal (1721-1722)
XXXV. The ship Zeewijk, commanded by Jan Steijns, lost on the Tortelduif rock (1727)
XXXVI. Exploratory voyage of the ships Rijder and Buis, commanded by lieutenant Jan Etienne Gonzal and first mate Lavienne Lodewijk Van Asschens, to the Gulf of Carpentaria (1756)

INDICES. (Persons, Ships, Localities)


No. 1 Gedeelte der (Part of the) Orbis terrae compendiosa describtio
No. 2 Gedeelte der (Part of the) Exacta & accurata delineatio cum orarum maritimarum tum etjam locorum terrestrium, quae in regjonibus China...una cum omnium vicinarum insularum descriptjone ut sunt Sumatra, Java utraque
No. 3 Zuidoostelijk gedeelte der Kaart (South-eastern part of the Map) Indiae Orientalis Nova descriptio
No. 4 Caert van (Chart of) 't Land van d'Eendracht Ao 1627 door HESSEL GERRITSZ
No. 5 Uitslaande Kaart van het Zuidland door HESSEL GERRITSZ (Folding chart of the Southland).
No. 6 Kaart van het Zuidland van (Alap of the Southland by) JOANNES KEPPLER en PHILIPPUS ECKEBRECHT, 1630
No. 7 Kaart van den opperstuurman AREND MARTENSZ. DE LEEUW, der Zuidwestkust van Nieuw Guinea en der Oostkust van de Golf van Carpentaria (Chart, made by the upper steersman Arend Martensz. De Leeuw, of the Southwest coast of New-Guinea and the East-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria)
No. 8 Kaart van (Chart of) Eendrachtsland, 1658
No. 9 Kaart van (Chart of) Eendrachtsland, 1658
No. 10 Kaart van (Chart of) Eendrachtsland, 1658
No. 11 Kaart van de Noordzijde van 't Zuidland (Chart of the North side of the Southland), 1678
No. 12 Opschrift op den schotel, door Willem De Vlamingh op het Zuidland achtergelaten (Inscription on the dish, left by Willem De Vlamingh at the Southland), 1697.
No. 13 Kaart van het Zuidland, bezeild door Willem De Vlamingh, in 1696-1697 door ISAAC DE GRAAFF (Chart of the South-land, made and surveyed by Willem De Vlamingh in 1696-1697)
No. 14 Uitslaande kaart van den Maleischen Archipel, de Noord- en West-kusten van Australië door ISAAC DE GRAAFF (Folding chart of the Malay Archipelago, the North- and West-coast of Australia) 1690-1714
No. 15 Kaart van (Chart of) Hollandia Nova, nader ontdekt anno 1705 door (more exactly discovered by) de Vossenbosch, de Waijer en de Nova Hollandia
No. 16-17 Kaarten betreffende de schipbreuk der Zeewijk (Charts, concerning the shipwreck of the Zeewijk) 1727.
No. 18 Typus orbis terrarum uit GERARDI MERCATORIS Atlas...De JUDOCI HONDIJ, 1632.
No. 19 Wereldkaartje uit het Journaal van de Nassausche Vloot (Little map of the world from the Journal of the Nassau fleet), 1626



{Page i}



In writing my biography of Tasman, forming part of Messrs. Frederik Muller and Co.'s edition of the Journal of Tasman's celebrated voyage of discovery of 1642-1643, I was time and again struck by the fact that the part borne by the Netherlanders in the discovery of the continent of Australia is very insufficiently known to the Dutch themselves, and altogether misunderstood or even ignored abroad. Not only those who with hypercritical eyes scrutinise, and with more or less scepticism as to its value, analyse whatever evidence on this point is submitted to them, but those others also who feel a profound and sympathetic interest in the historical study of the remarkable voyages which the Netherlanders undertook to the South-land, are almost invariably quite insufficiently informed concerning them. This fact is constantly brought home to the student who consults the more recent works published on the subject, and who fondly hopes to get light from such authors as CALVERT, COLLINGRIDGE, NORDENSKIOLD, RAINAUD and others. Such at least has time after time been my own case. Is it wonderful, therefore, that, while I was engaged in writing Tasman's life, the idea occurred to me of republishing the documents relating to this subject, preserved in the State Archives at the Hague--the repository of the archives of the famous General Dutch Chartered East-India Company extending over two centuries (1602-1800)--and in various other places? I was naturally led to lay before Messrs. Frederik Muller and Co. the question, whether they would eventually undertake such a publication, and I need hardly add that these gentlemen, to whom the historical study of Dutch discovery has repeatedly been so largely indebted, evinced great interest in the plan I submitted to them.[*]

[* See my Life of Tasman, p. 103, note 10.]

Meanwhile the Managing Board of the Royal Geographical Society of the Nether lands had resolved to publish a memorial volume on the occasion of the Society's twenty-fifth anniversary. Among the plans discussed by the Board was the idea of having the documents just referred to published at the expense of the Society. The name of jubilee publication could with complete justice be bestowed on a work having for its object once more to throw the most decided and fullest possible light on achievements of our forefathers in the 17th and 18th century, in a form that would appeal to foreigners no less than to native readers. An act of homage to our ancestors, therefore, a modest one certainly, but one inspired by the same feeling which in 1892 led Italy and the Iberian Peninsula to celebrate the memory of the discoverer of America, and in 1898 prompted the Portuguese to do homage to the navigator who first showed the world the sea-route to India.

{Page ii}

How imperfect and fragmentary even in our days is the information generally available concerning the part borne by the Netherlanders in the discovery of the fifth part of the world, may especially be seen from the works of foreigners. This, I think, must in the first place, though not, indeed, exclusively, be accounted for by the rarity of a working acquaintance with the Dutch tongue among foreign students. On this account the publication of the documents referred to would very imperfectly attain the object in view, unless accompanied by a careful translation of these pieces of evidence into one of the leading languages of Europe; and it stands to reason that in the case of the discovery of Australia the English language would naturally suggest itself as the most fitting medium of information[*]. So much to account for the bilingual character of the jubilee publication now offered to the reader.

[* The English translation is the work of Mr. C. Stoffel, of Nijmegen.]

Closely connected with this consideration is another circumstance which has influenced the mode of treatment followed in the preparation of this work. The defective acquaintance with the Dutch language of those who have made the history of the discovery of Australia the object of serious study, or even, in the case of some of them, their total ignorance of it, certainly appears to me one, nay even the most momentous of the causes of the incomplete knowledge of the subject we are discussing; but it cannot possibly be considered the only cause, if we remember that part of the documentary evidence proving the share of the Netherlanders in the discovery of Australia has already been given to the world through the medium of a leading European tongue.

In 1859 R. H. MAJOR brought out his well-known book Early Voyages to Terra Australis, now called Australia, containing translations of some of the archival pieces and of other documents pertaining to the subject. And though, from P. A. LEUPE'S work, entitled De Reizen der Nederlanders naar het Juidland of Nzeuw-Holland in de 17th en 18th eeuw, published in 1868, and from a book by L. C. D. Van Dijk, brought out in the same year in which MAJOR'S work appeared, and entitled Twee togten naar de golf van Carpentaria; though, I say, from these two books it became evident that MAJOR'S work was far from complete, still it cannot be denied that he had given a great deal, and what he had given, had in the English translation been made accessible also to those to whom Dutch was an unknown tongue. This circumstance could not but make itself felt in my treatment of the subject, since it was quite needless to print once more in their entirety various documents discussed by MAJOR. There was the less need for such republication in cases which would admit of the results of Dutch exploratory voyages being exhibited in the simplest and most effective way by the reproduction of charts made in the course of such voyages themselves: these charts sometimes speak more clearly to the reader than the circumstantial journals which usually, though not always, are of interest for our purpose only by specifying the route followed, the longitudes and latitudes taken, and the points touched at by the voyagers. These considerations have in some cases led me only to mention certain documents, without printing them in full, and the circumstance that my Tasman publication has been brought out in English, will sufficiently account for the absence from this work of the journal of Tasman's famous expedition of 1642/3.[*]

[* I would have the present work considered as forming one whole with my Tasman publication and with the fascicule of Remarkable Maps, prepared by me, containing the Nolpe-Dozy chart of 1652-3 (Cf. my Life of Tasman, pp. 75 f). Together they furnish all the most important pieces of evidence discovered up to now, for the share which the Netherlanders have had in the discovery of Australia.]

{Page iii}

The documents, here either republished or printed for the first time, are all of them preserved in the State Archives at the Hague[*], unless otherwise indicated. They have been arranged under the heads of the consecutive expeditions, which in their turn figure in chronological order. This seemed to me the best way to enable readers to obtain a clear view of the results of the exploratory voyages made along the coasts of Australia by the Netherlanders of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

[* My best thanks are due to Jhr. Th. Van Riemsdijk, LL. D., Principal Keeper, and to Dr. T. H. Colenbrander, Assistant-Keeper, of the State Archives of the Hague.]

For this and this only, was the object I had in view in selecting the materials for the present work: once more, as completely and convincingly as I could, to set forth the part borne by the Netherlanders in the discovery of the fifth part of the world. I have not been actuated by any desire to belittle the achievements of other nations in this field of human activity. The memorial volume here presented to the reader aims at nothing beyond once more laying before fellow-countrymen and foreigners the documentary evidence of Dutch achievement in this field; perhaps I may add the wish that it may induce other nations to follow the example here given as regards hitherto unpublished documents of similar nature. Still, it would be idle to deny that it was with a feeling of national pride that in the course of this investigation I was once more strengthened in the conviction that even at this day no one can justly gainsay MAJOR'S assertion on p. LXXX of his book, that "the first authenticated discovery of any part of the great Southland" was made in 1606 by a Dutch schip the Duifken. All that is asserted regarding a so-called previous discovery of Australia has no foundation beyond mere surmise and conjecture. Before the voyage of the ship Duifken all is an absolute blank.



If one would distribute over chronological periods the voyages of discovery, both accidental and of set purpose, made by the Netherlanders on the mainland coast of Australia, it might be desirable so to adjust these periods, that each of them was closed by the appearance in this field of discovery and exploration, of ships belonging to other European nations.

The first period, extending from 1595 to 1606, would in that case open with the years 1595-6, when JAN HUYGEN VAN LINSCHOTEN, in his highly remarkable book entitled Itinerario, imparted to his countrymen what he knew about the Far East; and it would conclude with the discovery of Torres Strait by the Spaniards in 1606, a few months after Willem Jansz. in the ship Duifken had discovered the east-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, the latter discovery forming the main interest of this period.

The second period may be made to extend from 1606 to 1622, i.e. from the appearance of the Spaniards on the extreme north-coast of the fifth part of the world, to the year in which the English ship Trial was dashed to pieces on a rock to westward of the west-coast of Australia; the discovery of this west-coast by the Dutch in and after 1616, and of the south-western extremity of the continent in 1622, constituting the main facts of the period.

{Page iv}

We next come to the palmiest period of Dutch activity in the discovery of Australia (1622-1688), terminating with the first exploratory voyage of importance undertaken by the English, when in 1688 William Dampier touched at the north-west coast of Australia. This period embraces the very famous, at all events remarkable, voyages of Jan Carstensz (1623), of Pool and Pieterszoon (1636), of Tasman (1642-1644), of Van der Wall (1678), etc.

The last period with which we wish to deal, lies between Dampier's arrival and Cook's first visit to these regions (1688-1769), and is of secondary importance so far as Dutch discoveries are concerned. We may just mention Willem de Vlamingh's voyage of 1696-1697, and Maerten van Delft's of 1705; Gonzal's expedition (1756) is not quite without significance, but the results obtained in these voyages will not bear comparison with those achieved by the expeditions of the preceding period. Besides this, the English navigator Dampier and afterwards Captain Cook now began to inscribe their names on the rolls of history, and those names quite legitimately outshine those of the Dutch navigators of the eighteenth century. The palmy days of Dutch discovery fell in the seventeenth century.

In some such fashion the history of the Dutch wanderings and explorations on the coasts of Australia might be divided into chronological periods. The desire of being clear has, however, led me to adopt another mode of treatment in this Introduction: I shall one after another discuss the different coast-regions discovered and touched at by the Netherlanders.



[* As regards the period extending from 1595-1644, see also my Life of Tasman, Ch. XII, pp. 88ff.]

We may safely say that the information concerning the Far East at the disposal of those Dutchmen who set sail for India in 1595, was exclusively based on what their countryman JAN HUYGEN VAN LINSCHOTEN, had told them in his famous Itinerario. And as regards the present Australia this information amounted to little or nothing.

Unacquainted as he was with the fact that the south-coast of Java had already been circumnavigated by European navigators, VAN LINSCHOTEN did not venture decidedly to assert the insular nature of this island. It might be connected with the mysterious South-land, the Terra Australis, the Terra Incognita, whose fantastically shaped coast-line was reported to extend south of America, Africa and Asia, in fact to the southward of the whole then known world. This South-land was a mysterious region, no doubt, but this did not prevent its coast-lines from being studded with names equally mysterious: the charts of it showed the names of Beach [*], the gold-bearing land (provincia aurifera), of Lucach, of Maletur, a region overflowing with spices (scatens aromatibus). Forming one whole with it, figured Nova Guinea, encircled by a belt of islands.

[* That the Dutch identified Beach with the South-land discovered by them in 1616, is proved by No. XI A of the Documents (p. 14).]

{Page v}

So far the information furnished by VAN LINSCHOTEN [*]. At the same time, however, there were in the Netherlands persons who had other data to go by. In 1597 CORNELIS WIJTFLIET of Louvain brought out his Descriptionis Plolomaicae augmentum, which among the rest contained a chart on which not only Java figured as an island, but which also represented New Guinea as an island by itself, separated from Terra Australis. The question naturally suggests itself, whether this chart [**] will justify the assumption that the existence of Torres Strait was known to WIJTFLIET. I, for one, would not venture to infer as much, seeing that in other respects this chart so closely reproduces the vague conjectures touching a supposed Southland found on other charts of the period, that WIJTFLIET'S open passage between New Guinea and Terra Australis cannot, I think, be admitted as evidence that he actually knew of the existence of Torres Strait, in the absence of any indications of the basis on which this notion of his reposed. Such indications, however, are altogether wanting: none are found in WIJTFLIET'S work itself, and other contemporary authorities are equally silent on the point in question [***].

[* See No. I of the Documents, with charts Nos. 1 and 2.]

[** COLLINGRIDGE, Discovery, p. 219, has a rough sketch of it.]

[*** Cf. also my Life of Tasman, p. 89, and Note 8.]

After this digression let us return to the stand-point taken up by the North-Netherlanders who first set sail for the Indies in 1595. They "knew in part" only: they were aware that they knew nothing with certitude. But their mercantile interests very soon induced them to try to increase and strengthen their information concerning the regions of the East. What sort of country after all was this much-discussed New-Guinea, they began to ask. As early as 1602 information was sought from the natives of adjacent islands, but these proved to have "no certain knowledge of this island of Nova Guinea" [*]. The next step taken was the sending out of a ship for the purpose of obtaining this "certain knowledge": there were rumours afloat of gold being found in New Guinea!

[* See No. II of the Documents.]

On the 28th of November 1605 the ship Duifken, commanded by Willem Jansz., put to sea from Bantam with destination for New Guinea. The ship returned to Banda from its voyage before June of the same year. What were the results obtained? What things had been seen by Willem Jansz. and his men? The journal of the Duifken's voyage has not come down to us, so that we are fain to infer its results from other data, and fortunately such data are not wanting. An English ship's captain was staying at Bantam when the Duifken put to sea, and was still there when the first reports of her adventures reached the said town. Authentic documents of 1618, 1623, and 1644 are found to refer to her voyage. Above all, the journal of a subsequent expedition, the one commanded by Carstensz. in 1623, contains important particulars respecting the voyage of his predecessors in 1605-6. [*]

[* See pp. 28, 42, 43, 45 infra. I trust that these data will go far to remove COLLINGRIDGE'S doubt (Discovery p. 245) as to whether the ship Duifken sailed farther southward than 8° 15'.]

On the basis of these data we may safely take for granted the following points. The ship Duifken struck the south-west coast of New Guinea in about 5° S. Lat., ran along this coast on a south-east course [*], and sailed past the narrows now known as Torres Strait. Did Willem Jansz. look upon these narrows as an open strait, or did he take them to be a bay only? My answer is, that most probably he was content to leave this point altogether undecided; seeing that Carstensz. and his men in 1623 thought to find an "open passage" on the strength of information given by a chart with which they had been furnished. [**] This "open passage" can hardly refer to anything else than Torres Strait. But in that case it is clear that Jansz. cannot have solved the problem, but must have left it a moot point. At all events he sailed past the strait, through which a few months after him Luiz Vaez de Torres sailed from east to west.

[* As regards the names given on this expedition to various parts of this coast, see my Life of Tasman, pp. 90-91, and chart No. 3 on p. 5 infra.]

[** See pp. 47, 66 infra.]

{Page vi}

Jansz. next surveyed the east-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria as far as about 13° 45'. To this point, the farthest reached by him, he gave the name of Kaap-Keerweer [Cape Turn-again]. That skipper Jansz. did not solve the problem of the existence or non-existence of an open passage between New Guinea and the land afterwards visited by him, is also proved by the circumstance that even after his time the east-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria was also called New Guinea by the Netherlanders. Indeed, throughout the 17th and 18th centuries the Dutch discoverers continued in error regarding this point. They felt occasional doubts on this head [*] it is true, but these doubts were not removed.

[* See inter alia a report of a well-known functionary of the E.I.C., G. E. RUMPHUS, dated after 1685 in LEUPE Nieuw-Guinea, p. 86: "The Drooge bocht [shallow bay], where Nova-Guinea is surmised to be cut off from the rest of the Southland by a passage opening into the great South-Sea, though our men have been unable to pass through it owing to the shallows, so that it remains uncertain whether this strait is open on the other side."]

The Managers of the E.I.C. did not remain content with this first attempt to obtain more light [*] as regards these regions situated to eastward, the Southland-Nova Guinea as they styled it, using an appellation characteristic of their degree of knowledge concerning it. But it was not before 1623 that another voyage was undertaken that added to the knowledge about the Gulf of Carpentaria: I mean the voyage of the ships Pera and Arnhem, commanded by Jan Carstensz. and Willem Joosten van Colstjor or Van Coolsteerdt. [**]

[* See pp. 6, 7-8, 13 and note 2 infra.]

[** See the Documents under No. XIV (pp. 21 ff.), and especially chart No. 7 on p. 46.]

On this occasion, too, the south-west coast of New Guinea was first touched at, after which the ships ran on on an eastern course. Torres Strait was again left alongside, and mistaken for a Drooge bocht,[*] "into which they had sailed as into a trap," and the error of New Guinea and the present Australia constituting one unbroken whole, was in this way perpetuated. The line of the east-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, "the land of Nova Guinea", was then followed up to about 17° 8' (Staten river), whence the return-voyage was undertaken [**]. Along this coast various names were conferred. [***]

[* As regards the attempts to survey and explore this shallow water, see infra pp. 33-34]

[** See p. 37 below.]

[*** As regards this, see especially the chart on p. 46.--Cf. my Life of Tasman, pp. 99-100.]

In the course of the same expedition discovery was also made of Arnhemsland on the west-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and almost certainly also of the so-called Groote Eyland or Van der Lijns island (Van Speultsland) [*] The whole of the southern part of the gulf remained, however, unvisited.

[* See my Life of Tasman, pp. 101-102; and pp. 47-48 below.]

{Page vii}

The honour of having first explored this part of the gulf in his second famous voyage of 1644 is due to our countryman Abel Janszoon Tasman together with Frans Jacobszoon Visscher and his other courageous coadjutors in the ships Limmen Zeemeeuw and Brak. [*] Abel Tasman's passagie [course] of 1644 lay again along the south-west coast of New Guinea; again also Tasman left unsolved the problem of the passage through between New Guinea and Australia: Torres Strait was again mistaken for a bay. The east-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria was next further explored, and various new names were conferred especially on rivers on this coast, which most probably got the name of Carpentaria about this time; of the names then given a great many continue to figure in modern maps. After exploring the east-coast, Tasman turned to the south-coast of the gulf. In this latter case the results of the exploration proved to be less trustworthy afterwards. Thus Tasman mistook for a portion of the mainland the island now known as Mornington Island; the same mistake he made as regards Maria Eiland in Limmensbocht. For the rest however, the coast-line also of the south-coast was delineated with what we must call great accuracy if we keep in mind the defective instruments with which the navigators of the middle of the seventeenth century had to make shift. The west-coast of the gulf, too, was skirted and surveyed in this voyage; Tasman passed between this coast and the Groote (Van der Lijn's) eiland.

[* See my Life of Tasman, pp. 115-118, and especially chart No. I of the Tasman Folio. Much information may also be gathered from chart No. 14 of the present work, since it registers almost the whole amount of Dutch knowledge about Australia circa 1700.]

The entire coastline enclosing the Gulf of Carpentaria had accordingly now been skirted and mapped out. The value of Tasman's discoveries in this part of Australia directly appears, if we lay side by side, for instance, the chart of the upper-steersman De Leeuw [*], who formed part of the voyage of 1623, or Keppler's map of 1630 [**]; and Tasman's chart of 1644 [***], or Isaac De Graaff's made about 1700 [****], which last gives a pretty satisfactory survey of the results of Tasman's voyage of 1644 so far as the Gulf of Carpentaria is concerned. Although Tasman's expedition of 1644 did not yield complete information respecting the coast-line of the Gulf, and although it is easy to point out inaccuracies, the additions made by this voyage to our knowledge on this point are so considerable that we may say with complete justice that while the discovery of the east-coast of the Gulf is due to Jansz. (1606) and Carstensz. (1623), it was Tasman who made known the south-coast and the greater part of the west-coast.

[* No. 7 on p. 46.]

[** No. 6 on p. 10.]

[*** Chart No. I in the Tasman Folio.]

[**** No. 14 below.]

More than a century was to elapse before Dutch explorers again were to visit the Gulf of Carpentaria. In 1756 the east- and west-coast of it were visited first by Jean Etienne Gonzal and next by Lavienne Lodewijk van Assehens [*]. The expedition is of little interest as regards the surveying of the coast-line, but these explorers got into more frequent contact with the natives than any of their predecessors--what especially Gonzal reports on this subject, is certainly worth noting. Gonzal also first touched at the south-west coast of New Guinea, and next, again without becoming aware of the real character of Torres Strait, sailed to the east-coast of the Gulf, skirting the same up to about 13° S. Lat., after which he crossed to the west-coast. What he did there is of little interest. Van Asschen's experiences are of even less importance for our present purpose. One remark of his, however, is worth noting: he states namely that he found the east-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria [**] to be "fully 12 miles more to eastward" than the charts at his disposal had led him to believe; and it would really seem to be a fact that Tasman had placed this coast too far to westward.

[* See No. XXXVI infra.]

[** The names there conferred by him on various parts of the coast, may be sufficiently gathered from Document No XXXVI.]

{Page viii}



In a previous work [*] I have attempted to show that the discovery of Arnhemsland must beyond any doubt be credited to the voyage of the yacht Arnhem, commanded by Van Colster or Van Coolsteerdt, which took place in 1623. Since the Journal and the charts of this voyage are no longer available, we are without the most important data for determining with certainty between what degrees of longitude the Arnhemsland then discovered was situated. To westward of it must be sought Van Diemens- and Maria's-land, touched at in 1636 by Pieter Pieterszoon with the ships Cleen Amsterdam and Wesell) [**]. There can be no doubt that Pieterszoon must have sailed far enough to westward to have passed Dundas Strait, and to have reached the western extremity of Melville Island (Roode hoek = red point). He took Dundas Strait to be not a strait, but a bay, and accordingly looked upon Melville Island not as an island, but as a portion of the mainland (Van Diemensland) [***].

[* See my Life of Tasman, pp. 100-102, and the Documents under No. XIV, 2 infra.]

[** See the Documents under No. XXV.]

[*** Maria-land lies immediately to eastward of Van Diemens-land, and to westward of Arnhems-land.]

In the course of these two voyages of 1623 and 1636, therefore, the whole of the north-west coast from Melville Bay to Melville Island was surveyed by Dutch ships. But in the absence of charts made on these voyages it is impossible for us to say with certainty, whether the coastline can have been traced with correctness. On this point also more light is thrown by the well-known chart of 1644, in which the results of Tasman's voyages are recorded. Tasman sailed along the whole of the coast, but in this case too, his observations were not on all points accurate. Thus the situation of Wessel-eiland and the islets south of it, with respect to the mainland, is not given correctly by him; nor has he apprehended the real character of Dundas Strait and of Van Diemen's Gulf, so that also according to him Melville island forms part of the mainland. But for the rest Tasman's chart also in this case approximately reproduces the coast-line with so much correctness, that we find it quite easy [*] to point out on the maps of our time the results of the Dutch voyages of discovery in this part of the Australian coast.

[* Chart No. 14 below may also be of excellent service here.]

Far more accurate, however, than Tasman's chart is the chart which in 1705 was made of the voyage of the ships Vossenbosch, de Waijer and Nova-Hollandia, commanded by Maarten van Delft [*]. This chart may at the same time be of service to elucidate Tasman's discoveries and those of his predecessors. It is to be regretted, therefore, that it only embraces a comparatively small portion of the north-west coast, namely the part extending from the west-coast of Bathurst island and the western extremity of Melville island to the eastern part of Coburg peninsula and Croker-island. This time again the real character of Dundas Strait and Van Diemens Gulf were not ascertained [**].

[5) See the Documents under No. XXXIII and Chart No. 15.]

[** I subjoin the names of localities that are found in this chart, since the reproduction had to be made on too small a scale to allow of the names being distinctly visible to the naked eye. Going from west to east they are the following: Kliphoek, Duivelsklip, Droge Hoek, Boompjeshoek, Wille Hoek, Noordhoek van Van Diemens Land, Waterplacts, Vuyle Bocht, Vuijl Eijland, Hoek van Goede Hoop, Hoefyzer Hoek, Fortuyns Hoek, Schrale Hoek, Valsche Westhoek, Valsche Bocht, Bedriegers Hoek, Westhoek van 3 Bergen's bocht of Vossenbos Ruyge Hoek, Orangie Hoek, Witte Hoek, Waterplacts, Alkier liggen drie bergen, Toppershoedje, Oosthoek van Drie Bergens bocht, Scherpen Hoek, Vlacke Hoek, Westhoek en Costhoek (van) Mariaes Land, Maria's Hoek, de Konijnenberg, Marten Van Delft's baai, Pantjallings Hoek, Rustenburg, Wajershoek, Hoek van Onier, Hoek van Canthier, P. Frederiksrivier, Jan Melchers Hoek. Pieter Frederiks Hoek, Roseboomshoek, W. Sweershoek, Hoek van Calmocrie.]

{Page ix}



In the year 1616 the Dutch ship Eendracht, commanded by Dirk Hartogs on her voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to Batavia unexpectedly touched at "divers islands, but uninhabited" and thus for the first time surveyed part of the west-coas of Australia[*]. As early as 1619 this coast, thus accidentally discovered, was known by the name of Eendrachtsland or Land van de Eendracht. The vaguenes of the knowledge respecting the coast-line then discovered, and its extent, is not unaptly illustrated in a small map of the world reproduced as below, and found in {Page x} GERARDI MERCATORIS Atlas sive Cosmographicae Meditationes de Fabrica mundi et fabricati figura. De novo...auctus studio JUDOCI HONDIJ (Amsterodami; Sumptibus Johannis Cloppenburgij. Anno 1632) [**]. If, however, we compare this map of the world with KEPPLER'S map of 1630 [***], we become aware that Hondius has not recorded all that was then known in Europe respecting the light which since 1616 European explorers had thrown on the question of the western coast-line of Australia. In Keppler's map, namely, besides the English discovery of the Trial rocks (1622) [****], and the name "'T Landt van Eendracht" in fat characters, passing from the north to the south, we meet with the following names, which the smaller letters show to have been intended to indicate subordinate parts of Eendrachtsland: Jac. Rommer Revier [*****], Dirck Hartogs ree, F. Houtmans aebrooleus and Dedells lant. What is more, Keppler's map also exhibits the south-west coast of Australia.

[* See on this point the Documents sub No. VII (pp. 8f.).--It will hardly be denied that these pieces of evidence may justly be called "documents immediately describing" Hartogs's dicsovery.]

[** For my knowledge of this remarkable atlas I am indebted to Mr. ANTON MENSING, member of the firm of Messrs. Frederik Muller and Co., of Amsterdam. These gentlemen kindly enabled me to reproduce this chart for the present work. I received it too late to allow of its being placed among the charts accompanying the various documents.]

[*** See Chart No. 6 on p. 10 below.]

[**** See under No. XIII (p. 17) below.]

[***** See on this point p. 54 infra (No. XXII A and note 3).]

[Illustration: ]

No. 18. Typus orbis terrarum uit GERARDI MERCATORIS Atlas...De JUDOCI HONDIJ, 1632.

Whence all those names? The answer to this question, and at the same time various other new features, are furnished by the chart of Hessel Gerritsz. of 1627 [*] and by the one dated 1618 [**], in which corrections have been introduced after date. The 1627 chart is specially interesting. Gerritsz., at the time cartographer in ordinary to the E.I.C., has "put together this chart of the Landt van d'Eendracht from the journals and drawings of the Steersmen", which means that he availed himself of authentic data [***]. He acquitted himself of the task to admiration, and has given a very lucid survey of the (accidental) discoveries made by the Dutch on the west-coast of Australia. In this chart of 1627 the Land of d'Eendracht takes up a good deal of space. To the north it is found bounded by the "Willemsrivier", discovered in July 1618 by the ship Mauritius, commanded by Willem Janszoon [****]. According to the chart this "river" is in about 21° 45' S. Lat., but there are no reliable data concerning this point. If we compare Hessel Gerritsz's chart with those on which about 1700 the results of Willem De Vlamingh's expedition of 1696-7 were recorded [*****] we readily come to the conclusion that the ship Mauritius must have been in the vicinity of Vlaming Head (N.W. Cape) on the Exmouth Gulf. From Willem Janszoon's statements it also appears that on this occasion in 22° an "island (was) discovered, and a landing effected." The island extended N.N.E. and S.S.W. on the west-side. The land-spit west of Exmouth Gulf may very possibly have been mistaken for an island. From this point then the Eendrachtsland of the old Dutch navigators begins to extend southward. To the question, how far it was held to extend, I answer that in the widest sense of the term ('t Land van Eendracht or the South-land, it reached as far as the South-coast, at all events past the Perth of our day) [******]. In a more restricted sense it extended to about 25° S.' Lat. In the latter sense it included the entrance to Shark Bay, afterwards entered by Dampier, and Dirk Hartogs island, likewise discovered by Dirk Hartogs.

[* No. 4 on p. 9 infra.]

[** No. 5 (folding map).]

[*** It is evident that he did not use all the data then available. Thus, for instance, he left unused those furnished by the Zeewolf (No. VIII, pp. 10 ff. below), and those of the ship Leiden (No. XV, p. 49).]

[**** See the Documents under No IX (pp. 12 f.).]

[***** Nos. 13 and 14]

[****** Chart No. 14]

{Page xi}

More to southward we find in the chart of 1627 I. d'Edels landt, made in July 1619 by the ships Dordrecht and Amsterdam, commanded by Frederik De Houtman and Jacob Dedel [*]. To the north of Dedelsland the coast is rendered difficult of access by reefs,the so-called (Frederik De) Houtmans-Abrolhos (now known as the Houtman Rocks), also discovered on this occasion [**]. To the south, in about 32° S. Lat. [***] Dedelsland is bounded by the Landt van de Leeuwin, surveyed in 1622 [****]. Looking at the coast more closely still, we find in about 29° 30, S. Lat. the name Tortelduyff (Turtle Dove Island), to the south of Houtmans Abrolhos, an addition to the chart dating from about 1624 [*****].

[* See the documents sub No. XI (pp. 14 ff.). If NORDENSKIÖLD had known these documents, he would have withheld the second alinea on p. 199 of his interesting Periplus.--The doubts, also, concerning Frederik De Houtman's share in the discoveries on the west-coast of Australia, expressed by COLLINGRIDGE (Discovery p. 304), CALVERT (Discovery, p. 25), and others, are now likely to be set at rest.]

[** They were then held to lie in 28° 46'. On this point see also the documents of PELSAERT'S shipwreck (No. XXIII, pp. 55 ff).]

[*** About this latitude, between 32° and 33° S. Lat., also De Houtman and Dedel estimated themselves to be, when they first came upon land. They afterwards ran on on a northerly course.]

[**** See the documents sub No. XII (p. 17).]

[***** See No. XVI (p. 50) below, and the highly curious charts Nos. Nos. 16 and 17.]

So much for the highly interesting chart of Hessel Gerritsz of the year 1627. If we compare with it the revised edition of the 1618 chart, we are struck by the increase of our forefathers' knowledge of the south-west coast. This revised edition gives the entire coast-line down to the islands of St. François and St. Pieter (133° 30' E. Long. Greenwich), still figuring in the maps of our day: the Land of Pieter Nuyts, discovered by the ship het Gulden Zeepaard in 1627 [*].

[* See No. XVIII (p. 51) below.]

North of Willemsrivier, this so-called 1618 chart has still another addition, viz. G. F. De Witsland, discovered in 1628 by the ship Vianen commanded by G. F. De Witt [*]. In this case, too, it is difficult to determine exactly the longitudes between which the coast-line thus designated is situated. [**] But with great distinctness the chart exhibits the chain of islands of which the Monte Bello and tha Barrow islands are the principal, and besides, certain islands of the Dampier Archipelago, afterwards so called after the celebrated English navigator. I would have these observations looked upon as hints towards the more accurate determination of the site of this De Wit's land, and they may be of the more value since the small scale of the chart renders an exact determination of it exceedingly difficult.

[* See No. XXI (p. 54) below.]

[** See, however, No. XXI., C. infra.]

In Gerritsz's chart of 1627, as well as in the so-called 1618 one, we are struck by the fact, that on the west-coast the coast-line shows breaks in various places: De Witt's land is not connected with the coast of Willems-rivier; the coast-line of Eendrachtsland does not run on; there is uncertainty as regards what is now called Shark-bay; the coast facing Houtmans Abrolhos is a conjectural one only; the coast-line facing Tortelduyf is even altogether wanting; Dedelsland and 't Land van de Leeuwin are not marked by unbroken lines. This fragmentary knowledge sufficiently accounts for the fact, that about the middle of the seventeenth century navigators were constantly faced by the problem of the real character of the South-land: was it one vast continent or a complex of islands? And the question would not have been so repeatedly asked, if the line of the west-coast had been more accurately known.

{Page xii}

Tasman and Visscher [*] did a great deal towards the solution of this problem, since in their voyage of 1644 they also skirted and mapped out the entire line of the West-coast of what since 1644 has borne the name of Nieuw-Nederland, Nova Hollandia, or New Holland, from Bathurst Island to a point south of the Tropic of Capricorn. In this case also certain mistakes were committed: they failed, for instance, to recognise the real character of Bathurst Island, which, like Melville Island, they looked upon as forming part of the mainland; but if we make due allowance for the imperfection of their means of observation, we are bound to say that the coast-line has by them been mapped out with remarkable accuracy [**].

[* I pass by certain other exploratory voyages on the westcoast (see e.g. No. XXIV. infra, etc.).]

[** Cf. Tasman's chart of 1644 in the Tasman Folio.]

About fifteen years after the west-coast was more accurately mapped out also, to the south of the tropic of Capricorn. In the year 1658 Samuel Volekersen with the ship de Wakende Boei [Floating Buoy], and Aucke Pieters Jonck with the ship Emeloord surveyed a portion of the west-coast, and the charts then made have been preserved [*]. The coast-line from a point near the Tortelduyf down to past Rottenest (the large island on which Volkertsen did not confer a name, preferring to "leave the naming to the pleasure of the Hon. Lord Governor-General") and the present Perth, were surveyed with special care. In the same year the ship Elburg, commanded by Jacob Peereboom, brought in further reports about the Land van de Leeuwin, where she had been at anchor "in Lat. 33° 14' South, under a projecting point" (in Geographe Bay?).

[* See infra No. XXIX., pp. 75 ff., and the charts sub No. XXIX. E, F and I.]

The surveying of the lines of the west-coast was finally brought to a close by the exploratory voyage of Willem De Vlamingh in 1696-7 with the ships Geelvink, Nijptang, and het Wezeltje. A remarkable chart referring to this voyage, here reproduced [*], as well as the ISAAC DE GRAAFF chart [**] of circa 1700, give an excellent survey of the expedition. The whole coast-line from the so-called Willemsrivier (N.W. Cape) to a point south of Rottenest, Garden-island and Perth, was now mapped out. And that, too, with great accuracy. Thus, for instance, the true situation of the belt of islands enclosing Shark Bay was this time observed with unerring exactitude, and Shark Bay itself actually discovered, though its discovery is usually credited to Dampier (August, 1699).

[* No. 13.]

[* No. 14.]



The south-east- and east-coasts of Australia have never been visited by the ships of the East India Company. Tasman and Visscher [*] discovered Tasmania (Van Diemen's land) in 1642, but were unaware of the existence of what is now known as Bass Strait; they discovered the west-coast of New Zealand (Staten-land) and certain island-groups east of Australia, but did not touch at or sight the east-coast of Australia. Of course, after the discovery of the west-coast of New Zealand and of the island-groups east of Australia [**], the existence of an east-coast of Australia to westward of the regions thus discovered, was an indubitable fact, but this east-coast itself was never visited by the Netherlanders.

[* See the journal of this voyage and the discussion of it in my Tasman Folio.]

[** In the year 1616 Lemaire and Schouten (No. V), and in 1722 Roggeveen (No. XXXIV), also touched at various island-groups east of Australia, but these voyages fall outside the plan of the present work.]

{Page xiii}



Although it is quite true that the south-east- and east-coasts of the Australian continent were not discovered by Dutch ships, still it is an undoubted fact that, so far as is known up to now, the whole of the Australian coast-line from Prince of Wales Island and York Peninsula and along the Gulf of Carpentaria, the north- and north-west-coast of Australia then following, the whole of the west-coast, and the south-coast down to the islands of St. François and St. Pieter (133° 30' E. L. Greenwich) were in the 17th century discovered by vessels belonging to the Netherlands [*].

[* It is true that Dampier touched at the north-west coast in 1688, but at that time this coast had already been surveyed by Dutch skippers.]

We now come to the question of the object which the Dutch authorities had in view in arranging for the expeditions that ultimately led to these discoveries.

In answering this question we shall have to distinguish between two different categories of voyages: among the voyages undertaken by Netherlanders that have led to discoveries on the coasts of Australia, there are some which were not begun with the express purpose of going in search of unknown lands; but there are others also that were undertaken expressly with this end in view. Of course the second class only can be called exploratory expeditions in a more restricted sense--the voyages of the first category became voyages of discovery through accidental circumstances.

The discoveries on the west- and south-west coasts of Australia down to Tasman's time all bore an accidental character. Eendrachtsland was discovered by accident in the year 1616, and after that time a number of Dutch ships unexpectedly touched at those shores, thus continually shedding additional, though always imperfect light on the question of the conformation of the coast-line. How was it, we may ask, that it was especially after 1616 that this coast was so often touched at, whereas there had never been question of this before that time? The question thus put admits of avery positive answer.

When the Netherlanders set sail for India for the first time, they naturally took the route which they knew to be followed by the Portuguese. After doubling the Cape of Good Hope, they directly continued their voyage on a north-eastern course, along the west-coast, or close by the east-coast, of Madagascar, and then tried to reach India coming from the west. To this route there were grave objections both as regards the winds prevailing in those latitudes, the intense heat soon encountered, the great number of "shallows or foul islands," etc. Besides, the voyage was apt to last very long. In 1611, however, certain ships going from the Netherlands to India followed another route: directly after leaving the Cape they ran on an eastern course (in about 36° S. Lat.) for a considerable time, after which they tried to navigate to Java on a northerly course. The commander of these ships, the subsequent Governor-General {Page xiv} Hendrik Brouwer, wrote to the Managers of the E.I.C. about "this fairway" in highly laudatory terms. They adopted the idea suggested by Brouwer, of henceforth prescribing this route in the instructions for the commanders and skippers sailing for the Indies, leaving them a certain scope certainly as regards the latitude in which the said easterly course was to be followed, and the degree of longitude up to which it was to be kept. As early as the beginning of 1613 such a route was enjoined on the ships' captains by the Managers of the E.I.C. The ship Eendracht also was directed to follow this course: she ran so far to eastward as to come upon the west-coast of Australia, and the same thing happened to subsequent vessels.

Although in the sense thus indicated we must here speak of acczdental discoveries on the west-coast, yet the Dutch authorities were fully aware of the importance of such discoveries. As early as 1618, the Managers of the E.I.C. were considering the possibility of "discovering the Southern Lands in passing," and in a letter of September 9, 1620, with reference to "the discovery of a vast land, situated south of the ship Eendracht", etc., they expressly enjoined the G.-G. and Counc. to dispatch a ship for the purpose of "resuming this work with some hope of success." The lands discovered were to be mapped out, and efforts made to ascertain "the situation and condition of the country, its productions, what commodities it yields, the character of the natives, their mode of life, etc."

The Managers had not preached to deaf ears: the direction of the Company's affairs in India was at that time in the hands of Jan Pieternoon Coen, who, being himself strongly disposed in favour of extending the Dutch connections with the East [*], eagerly embraced the idea thus suggested, as is proved by the instructions, dated September 29, 1622, for the ships Haring and Hazewind, "destined for the discovery of the South-land". [**] Thus we see that one of the projects contemplated by the Dutch authorities certainly was the dispatching of ships also to the west-coast of Australia for the purpose of further discovery and of definitely ascertaining the real state of affairs there.

[* See below.]

[** See below, No. XIII, B (pp. 18 ff.)]

But not for the purpose of further discovery exclusively, although this continued to be "the principal end in view." The instructions of September 29, 1622, also point to other motives that led the Netherlanders to reckon also with regions to be first discovered, in carrying out their colonial policy. The commanders of this expedition were "specially to inquire what minerals, such as gold, silver, tin, iron, lead and copper, what precious stones, pearls, vegetables, animals and fruits, these lands yield and produce";--the commercial interests of the E.I.C.--and what was more natural in the case of a trading corporation?--were to take a foremost place. Wherever possible, also political connections were to be formed, and the counries discovered "to be taken possession of". The authorities were even considering the idea of at some future date "planting colonies" in some of the regions eventually to be discovered.

Here we have the colonial policy of the E.I.C. of the period to its full extent: commerce, increase of territory, colonies. And these ideas were at the bottom of most of the voyages of discovery to the north-coast of Australia before Tasman, and of Tasman's voyages themselves. The celebrated voyage of the ship Duifken (1605-6) {Page xv} bears a character of intentionality, and if we bear in mind that the same ship's voyage of 1602 had for its professed object the extension of the Company's mercantile connections, we need not be in doubt as to this being equally the motive or one of the motives of the expedition on which she was dispatched in 1605-6. We know, moreover, that New Guinea was then reported "to yield abundance of gold." The three principles of colonial policy just mentioned also underlay the voyage undertaken by Jan Carstensz in 1623; for we know that this commander got the instructions drawn up for the ships Haring and Hazewind, but not then carried into effect, since these ships did not sail on their ordained expedition [*]. These principles are found set forth with more amplitude than anywhere else in the instructions drawn up for Tasman and his coadjutors in 1642 and 1644 [**]. The voyages, then planned, were to be undertaken "for the enlargement, increase and improvement of the Dutch East India Company's standing and commerce in the East."

[* See below, p. 21, Note 1.]

[** See these instructions in my Life of Tasman, pp. 131 ff. and 147 ff.]

In the instructions for Tasman's voyage of 1644 the G.-G. and Counc., who drew them up, could still refer to "the express commands of the 'Heeren Maijoores" [*] to "attempt the discovery of Nova Guinea and other unknown Eastern and Southern lands." And it is a fact certainly, that in the first half of the seventeenth century the Governors-General who planned these exploratory voyages were in their endeavours supported by the Managers of the E.I.C. in the mother country [**]: it was especially Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1619-1623 and 1627-1629), Hendrik Broulwer (1632-1636) and Antonio van Diemen (1636-1645), who were most efficiently backed in their efforts for this purpose by their principals at home. Among these Governors-General Van Diemen holds the foremost place as regards the furtherance of discoveries by Netherlanders in the Far East: in the Pacific and on, "the mainland coasts of Australia." It is, with complete justice, therefore, that a foreign author mentions the name of Van Diemen as "a name which will ever rank among the greatest promotors of maritime discovery".[***]

[* Meaning the Managers of the E.I.C.]

[** See also the instructions for the voyage of 1636, p. 64 infra.]

[*** BURNEY, Chronological History, III, p. 55. Speaking of Van Diemen, we must not omit to call the reader's attention to sentiments such as the following: "Whoever endeavours to discover unknown lands and tribes, had need to be patient and long-suffering, noways quick to fly out, but always bent on ingratiating himself" (p. 65 infra), a piece of advice elsewhere taking the form of a command, e.g. p. 66: "You will not carry off with you any natives against their will". And, sad to say, such injunctions were often imperiously necessary!]

And this same eminent manager of the Company's interests in India lived to see at the end of his official career far narrower views about colonial policy not only take root in the mother-country (where isolated opinions that way had found utterance long before), but even get the upper hand in the Company's councils. Van Diemen's policy came ultimately to be condemned in the Netherlands, whatever homage might there be paid to his eminent talents, whatever acknowledgment vouchsafed to his great merits! It may almost be called a matter of course that great differences of opinions were bound surely, if slowly, to crop up between the Managers on one hand, and able Governors-General on the other, touching the line of conduct to be followed by the Netherlanders in the East. The Managers were in the first place the directors of a trading company: they hardly looked beyond the requirements of a purely mercantile policy. Eminent Governors-General on the contrary were conscious {Page xvi} of being more than this: they were not only the representatives of a body of merchants, they were also the rulers of a colonial empire which in the East was looked up to with dread, with hatred also sometimes, to be sure, but at the same time with respect and awe! There lay the ultimate cause of the fundamental difference of opinion respecting the colonial policy to be followed [*]. Van Diemen dreamt a bold dream of Dutch supremacy in the East and of the East India Company's mastery "of the opulent Indian trade." To this end he deemed necessary: "harassing of the enemy [**], continuation and extension of trade, together with the discovering or new lands." But if he had lived to read the missive [***], his grand projects would have received an effectual damper as he perused the letter addressed to him by the Lords Managers, on September 9, 1645, and containing the passage following: "[We] see that Your Worships have again taken up the further exploration of the coast of Nova Guinea in hopes of discovering silver- and gold-mines there. We do not expect great things of the continuation of such explorations, which more and more burden the Company's resources, since they require increase of yachts and of sailors. Enough has been discovered for the Company to carry on trade, provided the latter be attended with success. We do not consider it part of our task to seek out gold- and silver-mines for the Company, and having found such, to try to derive profit from the same; such things involve a good deal more, demanding excessive expenditure and large numbers of hands...These plans of Your Worships somewhat aim beyond our mark. The gold- and silver-mines that will best serve the Company's turn, have already been found, which we deem to be our trade over the whole of India..."

[* I have dealt at some length with this subject in Vol. III ('s-Gravenhage, NIJHOFF, 1895) of my Bouwstoffen voor de geschiedenis der Nederlanders in den Maleiscken Arckipel, pp. LVI ff.]

[** The eighty years' war was still going on]

[*** Van Diemen died April 19, 1645.]

Is it wonderful that, where the supreme authorities of the E.I.C. regarded matters in this light, there was no longer question of exploratory voyages of any importance? The period of the great voyages of discovery undertaken by Netherlanders, accordingly terminates with Van Diemen's death. It is true that occasionally voyages of this nature were planned [*]; that Australia--not to go further afield--was also visited now and then in later times, but such visits either bore an incidental character, or formed part of expeditions undertaken for other purposes [**], the occasion being then used to "obtain once for all some full and reliable information touching the situation and coast-lines" of lands previously discovered.

[* See p. 72 and Note below: 1645 and 1646.]

[** Now, for instance (No. XXVIII, 1648), for the purpose of seeking another route than the customary one from Batavia to Banda, at another time (No. XXIX, 1656-1658) to inquire into the fate of a shipwrecked crew; or to prevent the voyages of William Dampier from entailing unpleasant consequences for the Dutch E.I.C. (1705, No. XXXIII).--Thus, in 1718, a Swiss of the name of J. P. Purry submitted to the Managers of the E.I.C. proposals for the further discovery of Nuytsland. The proposal was duly reported on, but ultimately laid aside (Resolutions of the "Heeren XVII", Oclober 3, 1718, and March 11 1719; Resolution of the Amsterdam Chamber, April 17, 1719).]

Still, we must not omit to mention that at the close of the seventeenth century a desire to contribute to the enlargement of geographical knowledge for a moment got a voice in the question of equipping vessels for expeditions sent out for this purpose. And this scientific impulse originated in the mother-country [*]. The impulse was undoubtedly given by the well-known burgomaster of Amsterdam and Manager of the E. I. C., Nicolaas Corneliszoon Witsen, LL D, author of the work entitled {Page xvii} Noord en Oost Tartarije. He took a diligent part in the preparations for the voyage of skipper De Vlamingh: "We are having the vessels manned mainly with unmarried and resolute sailors; I have directed a draughtsman to join the expedition that whatever strange or rare things they meet with, may be accurately depicted". And Witsen anxiously awaited the outcome of De Vlamingh's expedition. He was disappointed by the results: the commander had indeed "surveyed and made soundings on the coasts, but had made few landings." At the same time Manager Witsen mentions not without some satisfaction the results of this voyage, meagre though they may be in his eyes, in letters to friends both at home and abroad, imparting to them what he has learned on the subject [**]. A few years later, however, he bitterly complains of the indifference of many of his countrymen in those days: "What does Your Worship care about curious learning from India," he grumbles in a letter to one of his friends [***] "no, sir, it is money only, not learned knowledge that our people go out to seek over there, the which is sorely to be regretted."

[* Resolution of the "Heeren XVII", August 25, 1692; see also p. 60 infra.]

[** As regards this see J F GEBHARD Het leven van Witsen I., pp. 480 f.: II. pp. 260 f. (Letter of Witsen to "Dr. Martin Lister, fellow of the Colledge of Physicians and R. S., concerning some late observations in Nova Hollandia." October 3, 1698), pp. 299 f. (Letter to Gijsbert Cuper at Deventer, 1698?) pp. 407, 414, 416]

[*** Witsen to Cuper, August 1, 1712 (GEBHARD p. 480).]

"The which is sorely to be regretted!"...The times of Van Diemen had failed to return; the spirit by which he was imbued no longer presided over the debates on colonial matters. But his name is indissolubly bound up with the palmy days of Dutch discovery in the Far East, initiated by the East India Company.

Fortunately, in our time Holland again bears a part in what is done by cultured Europe for the scientific exploration of the unknown regions of the world. In this field of inquiry the nineteenth century has again beheld her sons take a place which the achievements of their forefathers have as it were by right of inheritance assigned to them.

{Page 1}


I. (1595)

Itinerario, Voyage ofte Schipvaert, van JAN HUYGEN VAN LINSCHOTEN naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien [Itinerary, Voyage or Navigation of J. H. v. L. to Eastern or Portuguese India]...t' Amstelredam. By Cornelis Claesz opt Water, in 't Schrijf-boeck by de Oude Brugghe. Anno CIC.IC.XCVI (1596?--Ed.)[*].

[* There may have been an earlier edition of this book. At all events, the Netherlanders who in 1595 undertook the first voyage from Holland to India, were acquainted with the work either in manuscript or in print. See the journal of this voyage, kept by Frank Van der Does, one of the sharers of the expedition, and printed in the second volume of J. K. J. De JONGE'S well-known book: De Opkomst van het Nederlandsch gezag in Oost-Indië [The Rise of the Dutch power in the East Indies] ('s Gravenhage, Amsterdam MDCCCLXIV), pp. 287-372.

It may safely be assumed that Van Linschoten's book contains everything that the Dutch knew of the East, when in 1595 Dutch vessels were first sent out to those remote regions. Charts Nos 1 (a part of the Orbis terrarum combmdiosa descriptio. Antverpiae apud joafiem Baptistam Vrient), and 2 (a part of the Exacta & accurata delineatio cum orarum maritimarum tum eijam locorum terrestrium quae in regionibus Chiua...una cum omnium vicinarum instilarum descriptjone ut sunt Sumatra, Java utraque...) give a survey of this knowledge so far as our present purpose is concerned. I have made use of a copy of Van Linschoten's work in the library of the Leyden University.]

Pag. 25. Chapter the Twentieth.

Concerning the island of Java Mayor, together with its commodities, merchandise and dealings, weights, coins and value of the same, and other particulars.

[Illustration: ]

No. 1. Gedeelte der (Part of the) Orbis terrae compendiosa describtio

{Page 2}

South-south-east, facing the farthest extremity of the island of Samatra, south of the line equinoctial, lies the island called Java Mayor, or great Java...This island begins in 7 degrees Latitude South, and extends east by south a length of 150 miles but of its breadth nothing is known up to now, since it has not yet been explored, nor is this known to the inhabitants themselves. Some suppose it to be a mainland, [forming part] of the land called Terra incognita, which would then extend hitherward from beyond the C de boa Esperança but of this there is no certitude hitherto, so that it is usually accounted an island...

[Illustration: ]

No. 2. Gedeelte der (Part of the) Exacta & accurata delineatio cum orarum maritimarum tum etjam locorum terrestrium, quae in regjonibus China...una cum omnium vicinarum insularum descriptjone ut sunt Sumatra, Java utraque

{Page 3}

II. (1602).

Journal or Daily Register, begun on the 22nd day of April, A.D. 1601, kept on board the sho Gelderlant...

This 10th day of April 1602.

The meeting of the Plenary Council [*] having been convened by order of the Lord Admiral [**] to resolve to dispatch the yacht called Duyffken to the island of Ceram, the Council have drawn up the Instructions following, which Supercargo Master Claes Gaeff [and] skipper Willem Cornelisz Schouten will have to act up to.

[* The joint council of all the ships forming the flotilla to which the Gelderland belonged.]

[** Wolphert Hermanszoon.]

Imprimis he will have to navigate to the island of Ceran, and there call at the ports or roads following, to wit: Queuin, Quelibara, Quelilonhen or Goulegoubj [*], and failing these, at certain others where profitable dealings may be expected...

[* Keffing, Kilwaroc,...Goeli-goeli. These place-names go to show, that by Ceram are meant the south-eastern extremity of Ceram and the Ceram-Laut islands.]

Secondly, [he will have to inquire] whether there is anything to be had there besides sago; their way of doing business and in what places; what commodities had best be sent thither; and to what limits their farthest navigation extends; also, whether they have any knowledge of Nova Guinea; whether they have ever sent ships thither, or whether ships from Nova Guinea have ever come to Ceran. In the island of Banda, actum April the 10th, A.D. 1602, on board the ship Gelderlandt. God send his blessing unto salvation. Amen.

Laus deo A.D. 1602 This 15th day of May in the island of Banda.

A brief account of certain islands with which they of the islands of Ceran and, Banda carry on trade...

They can say nothing certain respecting the island of Nova Guinea, but say that there are white people living on the south side, inhabited by Portuguese [*], but [the people of the parts of Ceram visited by the Dutch] had never seen any Portuguese ships. They can give no information about their dealings and commodities.

[* If any reliance can be placed on this report, it proves that in 1602 the Portuguese were acquainted with the South(-west) coast of New Guinea. But considering the fact that the Dutch were utterly unacquainted with New Guinea, it is quite possible that on this point they misunderstood the inhabitants of the parts of Ceram visited by them.]

{Page 4}

III. (1605-1606).


HACKLUYTUS Posthumus or PURCHAS his Pilgrimes Contayning a History of the World in Sea voyages, & lande-Travells by Englishmen & others.

English Voyages beyond the East-Indies, to the islands of Japan, China, Cauchinchina, the Philipinae with others; and the Indian navigations further prosecuted...


Chap. II.

Observations of Captaine Iohn Saris, of occurrents which happened in the East-Indies during his abode at Bantam, from October 1605, till October 1609...

The eighteenth [November 1605] [*] heere [**] departed a small Pinnasse of the Flemmings, for the discovery of the Land called Nova Guinea which, as it is said, affordeth great store of Gold...

[* Old style: therefore November 28, 1605.]

[** Bantam.]

The fifteenth [*] of June [1606] heere [**] arrived Nockhoda [***] Tingall, a Cling-man from Banda, in a Java juncke...

[* Old style: therefore Junr 25, 1606.]

[** Bantam.]

[*** Nachoda or Anachoda: a skipper.]

He told me that the Flemmings Pinasse which went upon discovery for Nova Ginny, was returned to Banda, having found the Iland: but in sending their men on shoare to intreate of Trade, there were nine of them killed by the Heathens, which are man-eaters; So they were constrained to returne, finding no good to be done there.


Instructions drawn up to serve as a basis for Answers on the part of the General United E.I.C. to the advice given by the Lords States of Holland and Westfriesland, touching the Charter of the Australia Company. Laid before the Council, Aug. 2, 1618.

...So that the E.I.C. opines that in every case the Australia Company aforesaid ought to be excluded from the Southern parts, situated between the Meridian passing through the Eastern extremity of Ceylon and the Meridian lying a hundred miles eastward of the Salomon islands; seeing that the United East India Company has repeatedly given orders for discovering and exploring the land of Nova Guinea and the islands situated east of the same, since, equally by her orders, such discovery was once tried about the year 1606 with the yacht de Duyve by skipper Willem Jansz and subcargo Jan Lodewijs van Rosingijn, who made sundry discoveries on the said coast of Nova Guinea, as is amply set forth in their journals. [*]

[* In 1618, therefore, there must have been extant journals of the expedition of 1605-6.]

{Page 5}


See infra the Journal of the voyage Of JAN CARSTENSZOON 1623, at the dates: March 7, May 11, 12, 15.


South-eastern part of the Map Indiae Orientalis Nova descriptio in the atlas JOANNES JANSSONIUS-MERCATOR-HONDIUS 1633 [*]

[* The whole map is reproduced in Remarkable Maps (II, 7.) See also C. H. COOTE'S Introduction; P. A. TIELE: Nederlandsche Bibliographic van Land- en Volkenkunde, s. vv. Janssonius and Mercator, and my Life of Tasman, p. 91, note I.]

[Illustration: ]

No. 3. Zuidoostelijk gedeelte der Kaart (South-eastern part of the Map) Indiae Orientalis Nova descriptio


Instructions for Skipper Commander Abel Jansen Tasman, Skipper Pilot-Majjr Frans Jacobsen Visscher, and the Council of the Yachts Limmen, Zeemeeuw, and the Quel de Brack, destined for the further discovery of Nova Guinea, and of the unknown coasts of the discovered East- and South-lands, together with the channels and islands presumably situated between and near the same.

Both by word of mouth and through the perusal of Journals, Charts and other writings, it is in the main well-known to you, how the successive Governors of India, at {Page 6} the express command of our Lords and Masters the "Heeren XVII", have, in order to the aggrandisement, enlargement and improvement of the Dutch East India Company's standing and trade in the East, divers times diligently endeavoured to make timely discovery of the vast country of Nova Guinea and of other unknown Eastern and Southern regions; to wit, that four several voyages have up to now with scant success been made for this desired discovery; of the which voyages the first was undertaken in the year 16066 with the Yacht 't Duyffken, by order, of President Jan Willemsz Verschoor (who then managed the Company's affairs in Bantham), on which voyage the islands of Key and Arouw were visited in passing, and the unknown south and west coasts of Nova Guinea were discovered over a length of 220 miles from 5 to 13¾ degrees Southern Latitude, it being only ascertained that vast regions were for the greater part uncultivated, and certain parts inhabited by savage, cruel, black barbarians who slew some of our sailors, so that no information was obtained touching the exact situation of the country and regarding the commodities obtainable and in demand there.\; our men having by want of provisions and other necessaries, been compelled to return and give up the discovery they had begun, only registering in their chart with the name of Cape Keer-weer the extreme point of the discovered land in 13¾ degrees Southern Latitude.


IV. (1607).

Second volume of "Het begin ende voortgangh der Vereenighde Nederlantsche Geoctroyeerde Oost-Indische Compagnie. Gedruckt in den jaere des Heeren 1646" [Rise and Progress of the United Netherlands Chartered East India Company. Printed Anno Domini 1646].

A Narrative and Journal of the voyage made from Bantam to the coast of Choromandel and other parts of India, by Supercargo PAULUS VAN SOLT in the years 1605 1606, 1607, 1608.

"On the 4th of March 1607, through God's mercy [we] arrived before the Castle [of Victoria in Amboyna] we found...the yacht Duyfken, which had come from Nova Guinea"...

V. (1616).

One of the journals of this voyage has been repeatedly printed in various languages. (See TIELE, Mémoire Bibliographique, pp. 42-62, and the same writer's Bibliographic Land- en Volkenkunde, s. vv. Begin ende Voortgangh, Herrera, W. Cz. Schouten, and Spilbergen). I need not, therefore, go into detail on this point here. The voyage was begun on the 14th of June 1615, and in January 1616 the strait of {Page 7} Le Maire was discovered. In the Pacific Ocean various islands unknown to the voyagers were touched at: inter alia Kokos-island (Boscawen or Tafahi), Verraders-eiland [Traitors' island] (Keppel or Niutabutabu), (Goede) Hoop island (Nino-fa), the Hoornsche islands (Fotuna and Alofi). Besides, various islands east of New Guinea were surveyed, and New Ireland, New Hanover and the north-coast of New Guinea with the islands north of it (among others Schoutens island), sailed round or touched at.

VI. (1616).


Resolution of the Governor-General and Councillors, October 8, 1616.

...Inasmuch as heretofore the Company has taken in hand to dispatch a ship for the discovery of the South-land-Nova-Guinea and the dependencies thereof, which project has not been executed owing to other intervening business, it has been resolved to take the said project once more in hand at the present time; and that to this end the Lord Admiral...[*] shall dispatch from Amboyna or Banda the ship de Jager with any other small yacht that should lie at anchor there, or happen to put into port, in order to the discovery of the lands aforesaid; seeing that it is much more convenient to visit those parts starting from here than from the Netherlands, and that the same can now be done without any inconvenience or detriment to the Company. And if in Amboyna or Banda no other yacht besides the ship de Jager should be found available, then the Lord Admiral shall be free to assign the ship Morgenster for the said purpose...

[* Steven Van der Haghen.]


Resolution of the Governor-General and Councillors, October 21, 1616.

...Considering the confident inclination to the said voyage evinced by the Lord Advocate Dedel [*], and the importance of this enterprise being conducted with great skill and judgment, it has been determined and resolved to employ the Advocate aforesaid in the said voyage, to the end that all things may be conducted in good order, with the requisite courage and resolution, for which purpose the Hon. Advocate will now depart for Amboyna with the Lord Admiral...

[* Cornelis Dedel, LL. D.]


Letter from the Governor-General LAURENS REAEL to the Managers of the E.I.C., May 10, 1617.

...Mr. Cornelis Dedel, LL. D., had by us been dispatched to this place [*] from the Moluccas, that with two or three yachts and pinnaces he might proceed to the discovery of the Southern lands, which undertaking had heretofore once more by order of...Admiraal Verhagen been engaged in by Jan Rossangin [**]. But when lying at anchor in Amboyna...Dedel's ships were employed on other services. [***]

[* Reael was then staying in Banda.]

[* This almost certainly refers to the voyage of 1605-6 under Willem Jansz. and Rosengein.]

[* Although, as we see, the project was not carried into execution, I have thought it good to print the above documents, because they bear testimony to the earnest intention of the Dutch authorities in India once more to undertake the discovery of the "South-land" (at the same time the matter was by no means lost sight of in the Netherlands, as is proved by a resolution of the Managers of the E.I.C., of October 1616); [and] because document C in the text is presumably fresh evidence for the voyage of 1605-6.]

{Page 8}

VII. (1616).


Letter of Supercargo Cornelis Buysero at Bantam to the Managers of the East India Company at Amsterdam.

Worshipful, Wise, Provident, very Discreet Gentlemen,...

...The ship Eendracht [*], with which they had sailed from the Netherlands, after communicating at the Cabo sailed away from them so far southward as to come upon 6 various islands which were, however, found uninhabited [**]...

[* Commanded by Dirk Hartogs, or Hartogszoon.]

[* What "uninhabited islands" the ship Eendracht "came upon", Buysero's letter does not say. Various authentic archival documents of 1618 and subsequent years, however, go to show that the land afterwards named Eendrachtsland or Land van de Eendracht, and the Dirk Hartogsreede (island) must have been discovered on this voyage.]

Bantam, this last day of August, A.D. 1617.
Your Worships' servant to command

[* Buysero was supercargo at Bantam (DE JONGE, Opkcornst, IV, p. 68,) and was therefore likely to be well informed as to the adventures of the ship, which had sailed from the Netherlands in January 1616, departed from the Cape of Good Hope in the last days of August, and had arrived in India in December of the same year, as appears from what Steven Van der Haghen, Governor of Amboyna, writes May 26, 1617: "That in the month of December 1616, the ship Eendracht entered the narrows between Bima and the land of Endea near Guno Api (Goenoeng Api) in the south of Java" (Sapi Straits).]


See infra Document No. IX, of 1618.

It proves that as early as 1618 the name of Eendrachtsland was known in the Netherlands.


The subjoined chart (reproduced on the original scale in Remarkable Maps, II, 4) was drawn by HESSEL GFRRITSZ, Cartographer in ordinary to the East India Company {Page 9} (Ress. of the "Heeren XVII", March 21, 1619 and October 21, 1629). He had accordingly at his disposal the official documents referring to this discovery.

[Illustration: ]

No. 4. Caert van (Chart of) 't Land van d'Eendracht Ao 1627 door HESSEL GERRITSZ


The interesting little folding chart, marked No. 5, is now in the possession of Jhr. J. E. Huydecoper van Maarsseveen en Nigtevegt, LL. D., at Utrecht. It is bound up with the said gentleman's copy of Abel Janszoon Tasman's journal of his voyage of 1642-3 [*]. The chart clearly shows that at times in subsequent issues of certain charts the dates given in the first issue were retained, while numerous corrections were made in the chart itself.

[* See my Life and Labours of TASMAN, p. 69.]

{Page 10}


Of the chart of which this is a small portion, a complete reproduction will be found in Remarkable Maps, II, 8. In 1630, accordingly, the discovery of Eendrachtsland was known at Nuremberg.

[Illustration: ]

No. 6. Kaart van het Zuidland van (Alap of the Southland by) JOANNES KEPPLER en PHILIPPUS ECKEBRECHT, 1630

VIII. (1618).

Letter of Supercargo Pieter Dirkszoon to the Managers of the E.I.C. at Amsterdam, dated June 24, 1618.


Worshipful Wise Provident Very Discreet Gentlemen.

By the ships T'Wapen van Zeelandt, den Eenhoorn and Enckhuyzen (which with full cargoes arrived at the Cape de bone Esperance from these parts of India) I have on the 22nd of March last [1618] briefly advised Your Worships of our safe arrival there...[*]

[* The ship had sailed from the Netherlands in December 1617.]

{Page 11}

Now with this ship den Witten Beer Your Worships may be pleased to receive news of the subsequent successful progress of our voyage to this part of India, viz. that on the 24th of the said month we sailed from the Taeffelbaey [Table Bay] the ship Seewolf for Bantam (pursuant to Your Worships' orders); in such fashion that by God's grace we soon got south as far as 37, 38 and 39 degrees, after which we held our course due east for a thousand miles before turning it northward; so that on the 21st of May following we made the land in Cleyn Java about 6 or 8 miles east of the island of Bali; after which, passing between Bali and Cleyn Java, we came to anchor before our factory of Japara on the second day of June...

Having on the 11th of May reached 21° 15' S. Latitude, we saw and about 5 or 6 miles to windward east of us, which in consequence we were unable to touch at. We observed it to be a level, low-lying shore of great length, and looking out from the top-mast we saw on both ends of it, to north as well as to southward, still other land which showed high and mountainous. But as the land bore eastward from us, and we could not have got higher without considerable inconvenience, we do not know whether it forms an unbroken coast-line, or is made up of separate islands. In the former case it might well be a mainland coast, for it extended to a very great length. But only the Lord knows the real state of affairs. At all events it would seem never to have been made or discovered by any one before us, as we have never heard of such discovery [*], and the chart shows nothing but open ocean at this place. According to our skipper's estimation in his chart the Strait of Sunda was then N.N.E. of us at about 250 miles' distance; according to the second mate's reckoning the direction was North East, and according to the first mate's estimation North East by North. These statements, however, proved erroneous, since we arrived east of Bali on a north-north-east course. So that consequently this land bears from Sunda Strait south-south-west, and ships must arrive in Java eastward of Sunda Strait on a north-by-west or northern course; on which those who come in sight of this land from eastward and wish to go to Bantam, may safely base their course. This much by way of advice...

[* Dirk Hartochs's discovery had not come to their knowledge then.]

On board the ship Seewolff lying at anchor before Jacatra, this 20 of June, 1618.
Your Worships' obedient Servant


Letter of Skipper Haevick Claeszoon van Hillegom to the Managers of the E.I.C. at Amsterdam, dated June 24, 1618.

Laus Deo. On board the ship Seewolf lying at anchor before Jaeketerae, this 24th of June 1618.

Right Worshipful Beloved Gentlemen My Lords Directors of the United Company at Amsterdam, with friendly greeting, the present, after my best wishes for the {Page 12} well-being and health of my Worshipful Noble Masters, serves to express my hope that Your Worships may have duly received, through Pieter Gertsz, skipper of the ship Enckhuyzen [*], my letters of the 22nd of March, written in the Taefel Bay, recounting what had happened on our voyage up to said date. The present further serves to inform Your Worships of our progress up to this day, as follows. We set sail from the Cape de bon Esperanse on the 24th of the same month...

[* See supra A.]

On the 5th of May we got into Latitude 28° 26' South, when we saw numbers of birds many of which seemed to be land-birds, such as a white tropic-bird and a few scissor-tailed ducks, so that I surmised that we were near land. Two or three days afterwards we saw sea-weed floating in large quantities and long strips. On the 10th do. we passed the tropic in fine weather. On the 11th do. we saw land in 21° 20' S. Lat.: it was a level, low-lying coast extending to a great length, and bearing mainly south and north, falling off on both sides with high mountains; we could not get near it. Whether it was a mainland coast or islands only, is known to God alone, but from the signs seen at various times I suspect it to be a mainland. The compass has one point north-westerly variation here; we saw a good deal of sea-weed floating about, and observed land-birds up to the 16th degree, both of these being signs of the proximity of the mainland. This land is a fit point to be made by ships coming here with the eastern monsoon, in order to get a fixed course for Java or Sunda Strait; for if you see this land in 21, 22 or 23 degrees, and shape your course north-north-west and north-by-west you will make the western extremity of Jaeva. I write this as a matter of certainty, seeing that we have made the same on a fixed course, and ships following this course are sure to find it true. On the 21st do. we saw land, to wit, Kleyn Jaevae; we kept off and on during the night, and at daybreak made for the land, passing through the strait between Kleyn Jaeva and Baely...

Your Worships' servant to command


IX. (1618).

Letter Of supercargo WILLFM JANSZ(OON) to the Managers of the Amsterdam Chamber, Oclober 6, 1618.


Worshipful Wise Provident Discreet Gentlemen,

(Sailed 1000 miles to eastward in in 38 degrees with notable success.)

The present serves only to inform you that on the 8th of June last with the ship Mauritius we passed Cape de bon esperence, with strong westerly winds, so that we deemed it inadvisable to call at any land, after which we ran a thousand miles to eastward in 38 degrees Southern Latitude, though we should have wished to go still further east.

{Page 13}

On the 31st of July we discovered an island and landed on the same, where we found the marks of human footsteps--on the west-side it extends N.N.E. and S.S.W.; it measures 15 miles in length, and its northern extremity is in 22° S. Lat. It bears Eendracht S.S.E. and N.N.W. from the south-point of Sunda at 240 miles' distance; from there (Eendrachtsland [*]) through God's grace we safely arrived before Bantam on the 22nd of August...

[* This marginal note was made by an official of the East India Company, when the letter had reached its destination.]

Done on board the ship 't Wapen van Amsterdam, October 6, 1618.

Your Worships' Obedt. Servant



Worshipful Wise Provident Discreet Gentlemen,

See the Maps numbered VII, C and D (1616).

X. (1619)?

Instructions for Tasman 1644.

...In the interim in the year 1619 the ship 't Wapen van Amsterdam, passing Banda on her way thither, was east on the south-coast of Nova Guinea where also some of her crew were slain by the barbarian inhabitants, so that no certain information respecting the situation of the country was obtained...

[* I place a note of interrogation here. The matter is not quite clear. For the sake of completeness I mention it here, but without drawing any conclusion. On p. 95, note 5 of my "Life of Tasman" in Fred. Muller's Tasman publication I say: "Leupe, Zuidland, p. 35, cites a letter sent by the Directors to the Gov.-Gen. and Councillors, of Sept. 9, 1620. In this letter there is question of the discoveries made by d'Eendracht, Zeewolff, 't Wapen van Amsterdam, and quite recently by Commanders Houtman and D'Edel". When, we may ask, did the ship 't Wapen van Amsterdam survey the South-land? There certainly was a ship of that name by the side of another vessel, named Amsterdam pur et simple. According to the Register of departures of vessels of the E.I.C., preserved in the State Archives at the Hague, this ship set sail from the Netherlands on May 11, 1613. I have found no reliable trace of later date of this vessel, and the documents know nothing of any exploration of the South-land by her. I am inclined to think that Leupe is mistaken here. The letter itself, which is contained in the copying-book of letters, preserved in the State Archives, has suffered much from theravages of time. Between the words "Zeewolff" and "Amsterdam" the paper has suffered so much that nothing is left of the intervening letters. L. C. D. Van Dijk, in his Mededeelingen uit het Oost-Indisch archief. Amsterdam, Scheltema, 1859 p. 2, note 2, has also printed the letter in question. He puts the words: "'t Wapen van" in parentheses, in order to denote that they are merely conjectural. Leupe may have inadvertently omitted these parentheses. Perhaps the original text read: "ende Amsterdam". In this case there would have been two times question of Dedel's voyages: once by a reference to the ship Amsterdam; and afterwards by mentioning Dedel's name itself. I must not however omit to make mention here of what the Instructions for Tasman's second voyage, dated January 29, 1644, say about an unsuccessful expedition undertaken by the ship 't Wapen van Amsterdam to the south coast of New Guinea in 1619.]

{Page 14}

XI. (1619)


Letter of Commander FREDERIK DE HUTMAN to Prince Alaurice, October 7, 1619.

Most Noble Highborn Prince,

Most Highborn Prince, my last letter to Your Princely Excellency was dated May the 20th last from the Taefelbay near Cabo de bonne esperance with the ship Anna from England...

Now as regards my subsequent progress I would inform Your Excellency that on the 8th of June we set sail from the Tafelbay with a fair wind with the ships Dordrecht and Amsterdam, add that on the 19th of July following we suddenly came upon the Southland of Beach [*] in 32 degrees 20 minutes. We spent a few days there in order to get some knowledge of the same, but the inconvenience of being unable to make a landing, together with the heavy gales, prevented us from effecting our purpose, upon which shaping our course for Java, we got sight of the same on the 19th of August, and arrived safely before Jacatra on the 3rd of September...

[* Though De Houtman knew of the discovery of Eendrachtsland (see infra), he still uses the name Beach; which clearly proves that in the early part of the seventeenth century the Netherlanders identified the discovered South-land with the mysterious land of Beach.]

From Jacatra, this seventh of October, A.D. 1619.


Your Excellency's most devoted Servant



Letter of FREDERIK DE HOUTMAN to the Managers of the E.I.C., October 7, 1619.

Most Noble Wise Provident Very Discreet Gentlemn,

My last letter to Your Worships was dated May 20th from the Tafelbay...We next sailed from the Tafelbay with the ships Dordrecht and Amsterdam on June the 8th...

We ran on with a fair north-west wind as far as 36° 30', in which latitude we kept this steady breeze with us up to the 17th of July, when we estimated ourselves to have sailed straight to eastward the space of a thousand miles. We observed 16° decreasing north-westerly variation of the compass, and resolved to steer...on a north-east-by-north course, {Page 15} we then being in 35° 25' Southern Latitude. After keeping the aforesaid course for about 60 miles, in the evening of the 19th we suddenly saw land, which we steered away from. On the 20th we found it to be a mainland coast extending South and North. We resolved to use our utmost endeavours to obtain some knowledge of this coast, which seemed to be a very good land, but could find no spot for conveniently landing owing to the surf and the heavy seas. On the 23rd both the Amsterdam and our ship lost an anchor each, since our cables were broken by the strong gale. We kept near the coast till the 28th of July, but owing to the violent storm could not effect a landing, so that we were forced to leave the land aforesaid, not without imminent danger of being thrown on it by the strong gale.

On the 28th we sighted a cape of the said coast, off which we sounded in from 45 to 70 fathom, but shortly after we got no bottom, and in the evening the land was out of sight.

On the 29th do. deeming ourselves to be in an open sea, we shaped our course north-by-east. At noon we were in 29° 32' S. Lat.; at night about three hours before daybreak, we again unexpectedly came upon a low-lying coast, a level, broken country with reefs all round it. We saw no high land or mainland, so that this shoal is to be carefully avoided as very dangerous to ships that wish to touch at this coast. It is fully ten miles in length, lying in 28° 46.

On the 2nd of August, the wind becoming contrary, we turned our course eastward at noon we again sighted a long stretch of land in Lat. 27° 40' South. We are all assured that this is the land which the ship Eendracht discovered and made in the year [*], and noways doubt that all the land they saw in 22, 23, 25 degrees, and which we sighted down to 33 degrees, is one uninterrupted mainland coast.

[* Left blank.]

When in 26° 20' we were in sight of the land, we had 8 degrees decreasing northwesterly variation of the compass. We then shaped our course north and north by west, which leaves it due north, if the variation is deducted. On the 29th of August we made the south-coast of Java, 60 miles to eastward of the western extremity of the said island, so that if you are near this South-land in 23, 24 or 25 degrees S. Lat., and shape your course north by west, which deducting the variation is due north-north-west, you will strike the coast of Java [*] miles to eastward of its south-western extremity. Therefore, in order to have a fixed course from the Cape to Java, it is advisable to set sail from the Cape de bonne Esperance in June or July, and to run on an eastern course in 36 and 37 degrees Southern Latitude, until you estimate yourself to have covered a thousand miles to eastward, after which you had better shape your course north and north by east, until you get into 26 or 27 degrees, thus shunning the shoal aforesaid which lies off the South-land in 28° 46'.

[* Left blank.]

When you have reached the 26th or 27th degree, run eastward until you come in sight of the South-land, and then, as before mentioned, from there hold your course north by west and north-north-west, and you are sure to make the western extremity of Java, as shown in the annexed small chart [*], which I have drawn up for the better assurance. This South-land, as far as we could judge, seems to be a very fair coast, but we found it impossible to land on it, nor have we seen any smoke or signs of inhabitants there; but further investigation is wanted on this point.

[* Not forthcoming.]

On the 25th of August we got into Sonda Strait...

In the fortress of Jacatra, October 7, 1619.
Your Worships' obedient servant

{Page 16}


Letter of Supercargo JACOB DEDEL to the Managers of the E.I.C., October 7, 1619.

Worshipful Wise Provident Gentlemen,

My last letter to you was dated May 20 last, in which I informed you of my arrival at Cabo de bonne Esperance..., where I found Commander Houtman...

On the first of June I was ready to set sail for Bantam from Cabo de bonne Esperance but contrary winds prevented my putting to sea before June 8th, when I sailed in company with the Hon. Houtman, pursuant to a resolution of the Plenary Council. The ships were found to have nearly the same sailing powers, so that we constantly remained in each other's company. After having had plenty of westerly, south westerly and southerly winds in 35, 36 and 37 degrees Southern Latitude, with occasional stiff breezes, we safely made the required distance to eastward, and on the 19th of July last came upon the south-lands situated behind Java. We anchored in 14 fathom in 32½ degrees latitude, the bottom being level and hard; in full sight of the land the sea was 100 fathom deep, the coast being steep and mountainous, the interior uniformly high, of which I append a map. We used our best endeavours to make a landing, which, however, could not conveniently be done owing to the steep coast, whereupon we resolved to run a little more north, where the coast seemed easier of access; but the wind steadily blowing very stiffly from the north under the land, and the tide coming in from the south, we spent a good deal of time in tacking, until a sudden squall from the west, which made the coast a lee-shore and made us lose one of our anchors, threatened to throw us on the coast. We then made all sail, and the wind coming round a little, we stood out to sea, not deeming it advisable to continue longer inshore in this bad weather with such large heavy ships and such costly cargoes as we had entrusted to our care, and with great peril to lose more precious time, but being contented with having seen the land which at a more favourable time may be further explored with more fitting vessels and smaller craft. We have seen no signs of inhabitants, nor did we always keep near the coast, since it formed large bays which would have taken up much time. Still we kept seeing the coast from time to time, until in 27 degrees we came upon the land discovered by the ship Eendracht, which land in the said latitude showed as a red, muddy coast, which according to the surmises of some of us might not unlikely prove to be gold-bearing, a point which may be cleared up in time.

Leaving the 27th degree, we shaped our course north and north by west, until on the 19th of August we struck the island of Java 70 miles to eastward of its western extremity...after which we arrived in Sunda Caleppe Strait on the 23rd of the same month...

This 7th day of October, 1619.

On board the ship Amsterdam at anchor before our fortress of Jacatra.
Your Worships' Servant

{Page 17}


Maps of Hessel Gerritsz, numbered VII C and D. (1616).

XII. (1622)


Chart of Hessel Gerritsz, VII C (1616).

I print such of the legends of this chart as refer to the results of this expedition:

"Duynich landt boven met boomen ende boseage.
Laegh ghelijck verdroncken landt.
't Landt van de Leeuwin beseylt Ao 1622 in Maert [*]. Laegh duynich landt."
[Dunes with trees and underwood at top.--Low land seemingly submerged (by the tide).--Land made by the ship Leeuwin in March, 1622.--Low land with dunes].

[* The ship Lecuwin had set sail from the Netherlands on April 20, 1621, and arrived at Batavia May 15, 1622, after a very long voyage, of which the G.-G. and Counc. did not fail to complain.]


Instructions for Tasman 1644.

...likewise, during the same period in the years 1616, 1618, 1619 and 1622, the west coast of the great unknown South-land from 35 to 22 degrees was unexpectedly and accidentally discovered by the ships d'Eendracht, Mauritius, Amsterdam, Dordrecht and Leeuwin, coming from the Netherlands...

XIII. (1622)


Letter from the G.-G. and Counc. to the Managers of the E.I.C., September 6, 1622.

...On the 5th of July there arrived here [*] a boat with ten men forming part of the crew of an English ship, named the Triall, and on the 8th do. her pinnace with 36 men. They state that they have lost and abandoned their ship with 97 men and {Page 18} the cargo she had taken in, on certain rocks situated in Latitude 20° 10' South, in the longitude of the western extremity of Java. These rocks are near a number of broken islands, lying very far apart, South-east and North-west, at 30 miles' distance northwest of a certain island which in our charts is laid down in 22° S. Lat. [**]. The said ship Triall ran on these rocks in the night-time in fine weather, without having seen land, and since the heavy swells caused the ship to run aground directly, so that it got filled with water, the 46 persons aforementioned put off from her in the greatest disorder with the boat and pinnace each separately, leaving 97 persons in the ship; whose fate is known to God alone. The boat and pinnace aforesaid arrived here each separately, without knowing of each other.

[* Batavia.]

[** See, for instance, the chart of Hessel Gerritsz: VII C (1616).]

The ship 't Wapen van Hoorn [*] has also been in extreme peril; at night in a hard wind she got so near the land of d'Eendracht or the South-land of Java that she was in 6 fathom before they saw land, which they could noways put off from, so that they ran on it. But shortly after the storm abating, they got the landwind, and came off safe, for which the Lord be praised.

[* She sailed from the Texel, December 22, 1621, and arrived at Batavia, July 22, 1622.]

The ships Amsterdam and Dordrecht [*] likewise got into great peril near the land just mentioned in the year 1619. Whereas it is necessary that ships, in order to hasten their arrival, should run on an eastward course for about 1000 miles from the Cape de Bona Esperance between 40 and 30 degrees Southern Latitude, it is equally necessary that great caution should be used and the best measures taken in order to avoid such accidents as befell the English ship Triall. They say that they met with this accident through following the course of our ships; that they intend to dissuade their countrymen from imitating their example, and that their masters are sure to take other measures accordingly.

[* See supra, p. 10.]

For the further discovery of the lands aforesaid we intend, in conformity with your orders, to send a ship thither as soon as practicable, for which purpose we have selected the yacht Hazewint [*]. May God Almighty preserve all your worships' ships from accidents and bring them safe to port...

[* See infra.]


Instructions for the yachts Haringh and Hasewint having destination jointly to discover and explore the South-land, September 29, 1622.

Inasmuch as Our Masters ["Heeren Majores"] earnestly enjoin us to dispatch hence certain yachts for the purpose of making discovery of the South-land; and since moreover experience has taught, by great perils incurred by sundry of our ships--but specially by the late miscarrying of the English ship Triali on the said coast--the urgent necessity of obtaining a full and accurate knowledge of the true bearing and conformation of the said land, that further accidents may henceforth be prevented as much as possible; besides this, seeing that is highly desirable that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether the regions or any part of the same are inhabited, and whether any trade might with them be established.

Therefore, for the purpose before mentioned, we have resolved to fit out the yachts Haringh and Hasewint for undertaking the said voyage, and for ascertaining as much of the situation and nature of these regions as God Almighty shall vouchsafe to allow them.

{Page 19}

You will accordingly set sail from here together, run out of Sunda Strait, and steer your course for the South-land from the western extremity of Java, keeping as close to the wind as you will find at all possible, that by so doing you may avoid being driven too far westward by the South-easterly winds which generally blow in those waters. You may therefore run on as far as the 32nd or 33rd degree, if you do not fall in with land before that latitude; having got so far without seeing land, you may conclude that you have fallen off too far to westward, for sundry ships coming from the Netherlands have accidentally come upon the South-land in this latitude; you will in this case have to turn your course to eastward, and run on in this direction until you sight land.

In running over to the South-land aforesaid, you will have to keep a careful lookout, as soon as you get in 14 or 15 degrees, seeing that the English ship Trial before mentioned got aground in 20° 10' Southern Latitude on certain sunken rocks, bearing north-east and south-west for a length Of 7 miles, according to the observation of the English pilot, but without having seen any mainland thereabouts. But the men who saved themselves in the pinnace and the boat, and thus arrived here, deposed that in the latitude of 13 or 14 degrees they had seen sundry pieces of wood and cane, and branches of trees floating about, from which they concluded that there must be land or islands near there. The sunken rocks aforesaid on which the Triall was wrecked, were exactly south of the western extremity of Java according to the statements made by the English sailors.

When you shall have come upon the South-land in the said latitude or near it, you will skirt the coast of the same as far as Latitude 50°, in case the land should extend so far southward; but if the land should fall off before you have reached the said latitude, and should be found to trend eastward, you will follow its eastern extension for some time, and finding no further extension to southward, you will not proceed farther east, but turn back. You will do the same if you should find the land to turn to westward. In returning you will run along the coast as far as it extends to northward, next proceeding on an eastern course or in such wise as you shall find the land to extend: in which manner you will follow the coast as close inshore and as long as you shall find practicable, and as you deem your victuals and provisions to be sufficient for the return-voyage, even if in so doing you should sail round the whole land and emerge to southward.

The main object for which you are dispatched on this occasion, is, that from 45 or 50 degrees, or from the farthest point to which the land shall be found to extend southward within these latitudes, up to the northernmost extremity of the South-land, you will have to discover and survey all capes, forelands, bights, lands, islands, rocks, reefs, sandbanks, depths, shallows, roads, winds, currents and all that appertains to the same, so as to be able to map out and duly mark everything in its true latitude, longitude, bearings and conformation. You will moreover go ashore in various places and diligently examine the coast in order to ascertain whether or no it is inhabited, the nature of the land and the people, their towns and inhabited villages, the divisions of their kingdoms, their religion and policy, their wars, their rivers, the shape of their vessels, their fisheries, commodities and manufactures, but specially to inform yourselves what minerals, such as gold, silver, tin, iron, lead, and copper, what precious stones, pearls, vegetables, animals and fruits, these lands yield and produce.

{Page 20}

To all which particulars and whatever else may be worth noting, you will pay diligent attention, keeping a careful record or daily journal of the same, that we may get full information of all your doings and experiences, and the Company obtain due and perfect knowledge of the situation and natural features of these regions, in return for the heavy expenses to which she is put by this expedition.

To all the places which you shall touch at, you will give appropriate names such as in each instance the case shall seem to require, choosing for the same either the names of the United Provinces or of the towns situated therein, or any other appellations that you may deem fitting and worthy. Of all which places, lands and islands, the commander and officers of these yachts, by order and pursuant to the commission of the Worshipful Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen, sent out to India by their High Mightinesses the States-General of the United Netherlands, and by the Lords Managers of the General Chartered United East India Company established in the same, will, by solemn declaration signed by the ships' councils, take formal possession, and in sign thereof, besides, erect a stone column in such places as shall be taken possession of; the said column recording in bold, legible characters the year, the month, the day of the week and the date, the persons by whom and the hour of the day when such possession has been taken on behalf of the States-General above mentioned. You will likewise endeavour to enter into friendly relations and make covenants with all such kings and nations as you shall happen to fall in with, and try to prevail upon them to place themselves under the protection of the States of the United Netherlands, of which covenants and alliances you will likewise cause proper documents to be drawn up and signed.

All such lands, islands, etc. as you shall take possession of in the fashion aforesaid, you will duly mark in the chart in their true latitude, longitude and bearings, together with the names newly conferred on the same.

In virtue of the oath of allegiance which each of you generally and personally has sworn to the Lords States-General, to His Princely Highness and the Lords Managers, none of you shall be allowed to retain for his private use or to abstract any written documents, journals, drawings or observations touching this present expedition, but every one of you shall be bound on his return hither faithfully to deliver up the same without exception.

According to the written statements of Jan Huygen [*], and the opinion of sundry other persons, certain parts of this South-land are likely to yield gold, a point into which you will inquire as carefully as possible.

[* Scil. Van Linschoten.]

For the purpose of making a trial we have given orders for various articles to be put on board your ships, such as ironmongery, cloths, coast-stuffs [*] and linens; which you will show and try to dispose of to such natives as you may meet with, always diligently noting what articles are found to be most in demand, what quantities might be disposed of, and what might be obtained in exchange for them; we furthermore hand you samples of gold, silver, copper, iron, lead and pearls, that you may inquire whether these articles are known to the natives, and might be obtained there in any considerable quantity.

[* i. e. drawn from the Coast of Coromandel.]

In landing anywhere you will use extreme caution, and never go ashore or into the interior unless well-armed, trusting no one, however innocent the natives may be {Page 21} in appearance, and with whatever kindness they may seem to receive you, being always ready to stand on the defensive, in order to prevent sudden traitorous surprises, the like of which, sad to say, have but too often been met with in similar cases. And if any natives should come hear your ships, you will likewise take due care that they suffer no molestation from our men.

When you get near the northern extremity and the east coast of the South-land, you will diligently inquire whether it yields anywhere sandal-wood, nutmegs, cloves or other spices; likewise whether it has any good harbours and fertile tracts, where it would be possible to establish settlements, which might be expected to yield satisfactory returns. In a word, you will suffer nothing to escape your notice, but carefully scrutinise whatever you find, and give us a full and proper report on your return, by doing which you will render good service to the United Netherlands and reap special honour for yourselves.

In places where you meet with natives, you will either by adroit management or by other means endeavour to get hold of a number of full-grown persons, or better still, of boys and girls, to the end that the latter may be brought up here and be turned to useful purpose in the said quarters when occasion shall serve.

The command of the two yachts has been entrusted to Jan Vos, who during the voyage will carry the flag, convene the council and take the chair in the same, in virtue of our special commission granted to the said Vos for the purpose.

Given in the Fortress of jacatra, this 29th of September, A.D. 1622 [*].

[* Unforeseen circumstances prevented the expedition from setting out (Letter of the G.-G. and Counc. to the Managers, 1 Febr. 1623).]

XIV. (1623)

[* He replaced Meliszoon after the latter's death in February.]



[* This took place on April 27.]


Letter of the G.-G. and Counc. to the Managers of the E.I.C, dated January 3, 1624.

...In the month of January 1623, Governor Van Speult dispatched from Amboina the yachts Arnhem and Pera, for the purpose of concluding treaties of friend ship with the natives of Quey, Aroe and Tenimber, and of further discovering and {Page 22} exploring the land of Nova Guinea; as Your Worships may gather from the enclosed document, the islanders aforesaid have of their own free will placed themselves under the obedience and dominion of their High Mightinesses the States-General of the United Netherlands, and have promised to come and trade with our fortresses in Banda and Amboyna. From there the yachts ran over to Nova Guinea and skirted the said coast as far as 17° 8' Southern Latitude our men landed in sundry places, but found nothing but wild coasts, barren land and extremely cruel, savage and barbarous natives, who surprised and murdered nine of our men, partly owing to their own negligence; according to the report we have received of the said coast, there would be nothing in particular to be got there; what winds, currents, shores, rivers, bights, capes, forelands and other features of the coast have been further met with, surveyed and explored, Your Worships may gather from the enclosed journal and minutes, to which we would beg leave to refer you for further particulars...


Journal kept by JAN CARSTENSZ [*] on his voyage to Nova Guinea...

[* CARSTENSZ got the Instructions originally drawn up for the ships Haringh and Hazewind. (See VAN DIJK, Carpentaria, pp. 9-10).]

A.D. 1623.

In the name of God Amen.


On Saturday the 21st we weighed anchor before Amboyna and set sail from there, together with the yacht Aernem...On Saturday the 28th...about 3 o'clock in the afternoon...we anchored off the east side of the island of Quey.

The following night...we made for Aro on an East-by-North and Eastern course.

On Saturday the 29th in the evening we dropped anchor near the northern island of Aro.


On the 6th...the wind being south-east by east, we set sail again for the island which in some charts [*] is called Ceram, and in others de Papues; course held north-east by north; in the evening N.N.E.; about midnight it fell a calm; sailed 6 miles.

[* Cf. Remarkable Maps II, 2, II, 3. Under date of March 31 the present journal once more refers to this mistake in the older charts.]

{Page 23}

In the morning of the 6th the wind was N.E. with a tolerable breeze, course held N.N.W., we saw high land ahead both on the lee and the weather bow--at noon latitude 4° 57', sailed three miles on the said course; for the rest of the day we had a calm, towards the evening the wind went round to S.E., course held N.E. by E., sailed 4 miles.

On Sunday the 8th the wind was S. by W., with rain; course held N.E. by E., at noon latitude 4° 27, sailed 4 miles on the said course. We then went on a N.E. course, with a variable wind, which at last fell to a calm; towards evening after sunset the wind turned to S. by E., we sailed with the fore- and mizen-sails only on an E. course, sailed three miles to E.S.O. [sic] In the night the two yachts ran foul of each other in tacking, but got no damage worth mentioning. The latter part of the night we drifted in a calm without sails until daybreak.

In the morning of the 9th we made sail again and with a weak N.E. wind held our course for the land: somewhat later in the day the wind turned to N.W., at noon we were in latitude 4° 17' and had the south-coast of the land east slightly north of us, course and wind as before; in the evening we were close inshore in 25 fathom clayey ground, but since there was no shelter there from sea-winds, we again turned off the land, and skirted along it in the night with small sail, seeing we had no knowledge of the land and the shallows thereabouts; variable wind with rain.


The same day the plenary council having been convened, it was determined and fixed by formal resolution to continue our present course along the coast, and if we should come upon any capes, bights, or roads, to come to anchor there for one or two days at the utmost for a landing, in which we shall run ashore in good order with two well-manned and armed pinnaces, to endeavour to come to parley with the inhabitants and generally inspect the state of affairs there; in leaving we shall, if at all practicable, seize one or two blacks to take along with us; the main reason which has led us to touch at the island aforesaid being, that certain reports and writings seem to imply that the land which we are now near to, is the Gouwen-eylandt [*], which it would be impossible to call at on our return-voyage in the eastern monsoon, if we are to obey our orders and instructions.

[* An allusion perhaps to the "provincia aurifera", as the so-called Beach was sometimes styled; VAN LINSCHOTEN, we know, had also surmised the presence of gold in the South-land.]

In the morning of the 10th, the wind being N.W. by north, being close inshore, we again held our course for the land; somewhat later in the day we had West wind with a hard gale, with which we sailed along the coast; about noon we cast anchor in 12 fathom clayey bottom without any shelter from the W.N.W. wind; when we were at anchor there, the pinnace of the Pera, in conformity with the above resolution was sent ashore well-manned and armed, under command of the sub-cargo, but the heavy rolling of the sea made it impossible to effect a landing. We accordingly made a man swim ashore through the surf, who deposited a few small pieces of iron on the beach, where he had observed numerous human footprints; but as nothing more could be done, the pinnace went back to the yacht, which we could not get round to eastward owing to the strong current; we were accordingly forced to weigh the anchor again, and drift with the current, and thus ran on along the coast till the first watch, when we cast anchor, it being a dead calm and we having no knowledge of the water.

In the morning of the 11th we took the sun's altitude, which we found to be 8°, we being in 14° 14', which makes a difference of 6° 14'. When we had sailed along the land for about a mile's distance we cast anchor in 9 fathom muddy bottom and sent the pinnace ashore in the same fashion as last time, but earnestly charged the subcargo to use great caution, and to treat with kindness any natives that he should meet {Page 24} with, trying if possible to lay hands on some of them, that through them, as soon as they have become somewhat conversant with the Malay tongue, our Lords and Masters may obtain reliable knowledge touching the productions of their land. At noon we were in Latitude 4° 20'; at night when our men returned with the pinnace, they informed us that the strong surf had prevented them from landing, and that they had accordingly, for fully two miles' distance, rowed up a fresh-water river which fell into the sea near the yacht, without, however, seeing or hearing any human beings, except that in returning they had seen numerous human footprints near the mouth of the river, and likewise two or three small huts made of dry grass, in which they saw banana-leaves and the sword of a sword-fish, all which they left intact in conformity with their orders; they also reported that the interior is very low-lying and submerged in many places, but that 5, 6, or 7 miles from the coast it becomes hilly, much resembling the island of Ceram near Banda.


(The skipper of the Arnem and nine persons along with him, slain by the savages, in consequence of their want of caution.)

This same day the skipper of the yacht Aernem, Direk Melisz(oon) without knowledge of myself, of the subcargo or steersman of the said yacht, unadvisedly went ashore to the open beach in the pinnace, taking with him 15 persons, both officers and along common sailors, and no more than four muskets, for the purpose of fishing with a seine-net; there was great disorder in landing, the men running off in different directions, until at last a number of black savages came running forth from the wood, who first seized and tore to pieces an assistant, named Jan Willemsz Van den Briel who happened to be unarmed, after which they slew with arrows, callaways (spears) and with the oars which they had snatched from the pinnace, no less than nine of our men, who were unable to defend themselves, at the same time wounding the remaining seven (among them the skipper, who was the first to take to his heels); these last seven men at last returned on board in very sorry plight with the pinnace and one oar, the skipper loudly lamenting his great want of prudence, and entreating pardon for the fault he had committed.

In the evening the wind West with a very stiff breeze, so that we did not sail in the night, considering our ignorance of these waters and our fear of cliffs and shallows that might lie off the coast, which in every case we had to keep near to, if we wanted to get further north.

On Sunday morning the 12th we set sail again with a stiff breeze from the west; we held our course E. by S. along the land, and sailed 14 miles that day; in the evening we altered our course to E.S.E., with a N.W. wind; in the night we had variable wind and weather, so that we kept drifting; in the day-watch the skipper of the Aernem, Direk Melisz., died of the wounds received the day before, having suffered grievous pains shortly before his death.

In the morning of the thirteenth the wind was N.E. with fair weather and little wind, so that we ran near the land again; at noon we were in Lat. 4° 25'; the wind West with a very stiff breeze, course held East by South, and by computation sailed 10 miles until the evening; in the night the wind was variable; towards daybreak it came on to rain; at 2½ miles' distance from the low-lying land we were in 28 fathom, black sandy bottom, the land bearing East and West.

In the morning of the 14th the wind was East with a faint breeze, which continued for the rest of the day; we kept tacking; in the evening the wind was N.E. by N. with a very strong current setting westward.

{Page 25}

On the 15th before daybreak the wind was N. by W. with a stiff breeze, course held East by South; in the morning we took the sun's altitude at sunrise, which we found to be 7 degrees; at night ditto 21° 30'; the difference being divided by two comes to 7° 15'; somewhat later in the day, the wind being N.E. by N., we were five miles or upwards from the land in 33 fathom, drifting rapidly to westward; at noon we were in Lat. 4° 51', the wind W. by N.; course held N.E. by E. towards the land; shortly after the wind became due North; from the morning to the evening we had sailed 6 miles, and in 36 hours had been driven back, i.e. westward, at least 11 miles.

This same day the plenary council having been convened, it has been deemed advisable to appoint another skipper in the Aernem in the room of the deceased, to which place has been appointed a young man, named Willem Joosten van Colster [*] second mate in the Pera, as being very fit for the post, while at the same time the second mate Jan Jansz has been named first mate in the said yacht.

[* Or Van Coolsteerdt, as the Summary (see infra) has at this date.]

(Mountains covered with snow.) <>In the morning of the 16th we took the sun's altitude at sunrise, which we found to be 5° 6'; the preceding evening ditto 20° 30'; the difference being divided by two Comes to 7° 42'. increasing North-easterly variation; the wind N. by E.; we were at about 1½ mile's distance from the low-lying land in 5 or 6 fathom, clayey bottom; at a distance of about 10 miles by estimation into the interior, we saw a very high mountain-range in many places white with snow, which we thought a very singular sight, being so near the line equinoctial. Towards the evening we held our course E. by S. along half-submerged land in 5, 4, 3 and 2 fathom, at which last point we dropped anchor; we lay there for five hours, during which time we found the water to have risen 4 or 5 feet; in the first watch, the wind being N.E., we ran into deeper water, and came to anchor in 10 fathom, where we remained for the night.

In the morning of the 17th the wind was N.E. with a faint breeze with which we set sail, course held S.E.; at noon we were in Lat. 5° 24', and by estimation 5 miles more to eastward than on the 15th last, seeing that a very strong current had driven us fully 11 miles to westward; in the evening we found ourselves at 3 miles' distance from the land, and dropped anchor in 15 fathom, having in the course of the day sailed three miles E. by S. and E.S.E.

In the morning of the 18th the wind was N.E. with a strong breeze and a strong current setting to the west; in the afternoon the wind went round to the S.W., so that we meant to set sail with it, but as it fell a dead calm we had to remain at anchor.

In the morning of the 19th the wind was N.E. by N., so that we made sail, keeping an E.S.E. course along the coast, with a strong current setting westward; at noon we were in Lat. 5° 27'; it then fell calm and we had continual counter-currents, so that we cast anchor in 14 fathom, having sailed 2½ miles; the land bearing from us E.S.E., slightly South; towards the evening the wind went round to S.S.W., so that we set sail again and ran on S.E. 1 mile; when it became dark we cast anchor in 6 fathom.

At noon on the 20th the wind was S. and shortly after S.W., with which we set sail, keeping our course E. by S. and S.O. along the land in 6 fathom; in the evening we cast anchor at about 3 miles' distance from the land, having sailed 5 miles this day.

{Page 26}

On the 21st the wind was N.E. by N. with a weak breeze and the current running south straight from the land, which is no doubt owing to the outflow of the rivers which take their source in the high mountains of the interior. The eastern part of the high land, which we could see, bore from us N.E. and N.E. by N; in the morning we set sail with a N.W. wind and fair weather course held S.E. by E. and S.E. for three miles, and then S.S.E. for five miles; in the evening we dropped anchor in 7 fathom about 3 miles from the land, the wind blowing hard from the west with violent rains.

In the morning of the 22nd the wind was N., a strong gale with rain and a strong current setting westward, so that we were compelled to remain at anchor; towards the evening the wind went round to W.S.W., with dirty weather, so that we got adrift by our anchor getting loose, upon which we dropped our large anchor to avoid stranding; in the afternoon the storm subsided and we had variable winds.

In the morning of the 23rd we set sail, course held S.E. with a S.W. wind and violent rains; when we had run a mile, the heavy swells forced us to drop anchor; in the afternoon we lifted anchor with great difficulty and peril owing to the violent rolling of the yacht, and set sail, but shortly after, the yacht Aernem making a sign with her flag that she could not manage to heave her anchor, we cast anchor again.

In the morning of the 24th the weather was unruly, with a W. wind and a very hollow sea; in the afternoon the weather getting slightly better, both the yachts set sail again with the wind as before, holding a S. by E. course; in the evening we dropped anchor in 14 fathom, having sailed 4 miles S.S.E., and found the land to extend E.S.E. ever since the 20th instant.

In the morning of the 25th we set sail with a N.N.W. wind, sailing 4 miles on an E.S.E. course, and then 5 miles on a S. by E. and S.S.E. course, after which the foretop-mast of the Aernem broke, so that we were both compelled to drop anchor in 10 fathom about 4 miles from the land.

In the morning of the 26th we set sail to get near the Aernem and speak to her crew, who were engaged in repairing the rigging and replacing the foremast; we both drifted with the current in the teeth of the wind, and thus ran 3 miles, when the Aernem cast anchor 1½ mile from us on the weather-side; in the evening there was a strong current from the W.S.W. with rain, which lasted the whole night.


(Here end the mountains of the western extremity of Nova Guinea.)

The high-lying interior of Ceram ends here, without showing any opening or passage (through which we might run north according to our plan), and passes into low-lying half-submerged land, bearing E.S.E. and S.E. by E., extending in all likelihood as far as Nova Guinea, a point which with God's help we mean to make sure of at any cost; on coming from Aru to the island of Ceram, the latter is found to have a low-lying foreland dangerous to touch at, since at 6, 8 and 9 miles' distance from the same, the lofty mountains of the interior become visible, the low foreland remaining invisible until one has got within 3 or 4 miles from the land; the high mountains are seen to extend fully thirty miles to eastward, when you are north of Aru; as seen from afar, the land seems to have numerous pleasant valleys and running fresh-water rivers; here and there it is overgrown with brushwood and in other places covered with high trees; but we are unable to give any information as to what fruits, metals and animals it contains, and as to the manner of its cultivation since the natives whom {Page 27} we found to be savages and man-eaters, refused to hold parley with us, and fell upon our men who suffered grievous damage; after the report, however, of some of the men of the yacht Aernem, who being wounded on the 11th aforementioned, succeeded in making their escape, the natives are tall black men with curly heads of hair and two large holes through their noses, stark naked, not covering even their privities; their arms are arrows, bows, assagays, callaways and the like. They have no vessels either large or small, nor has the coast any capes or bights that might afford shelter from west- and south-winds, the whole shore being clear and unencumbered, with a clayey bottom, forming a good anchoring-ground, the sea being not above 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 fathom in depth at 1,2 and more miles' distance from the land, the rise and fall of the water with the tides we found to be between 1½ and 2 fathom.

In the morning of the 27th the wind was W.N.W. with dirty weather and a very high sea, so that the Aernem was unable so heave her anchor in order to get near us, on which account we both of us remained at anchor the whole day; towards the evening the weather became much worse with pouring rains, so that we dropped another anchor; in the day-watch the cable of our large anchor broke without our perceiving it, and the other anchor getting loose, we drifted slowly to eastward; the land here extended E.S.E. and W.S.W.

In the morning of the 28th the Aernem was no longer in sight, so that we resolved to set sail in order to seek her; holding our course S.W., we ran on for three miles, after which we saw on our lee land bearing S.W. which we would not sail clear of; we therefore dropped anchor in 9 fathom, the weather still continuing dirty with rain and wind, and a strong ebb from the E.S.E. running flat against the wind; the water rising and falling fully two fathom at every tide.


On the first the wind was W. by N. with rain: we find that in these latitudes the southern and northern moon makes high water; at noon we weighed anchor and drifted with the current, which set strongly to westward.

On the second the wind was west with fair weather, with which we found it impossible to weather the land; in the evening we were in Lat. 6° 45'.

In the morning of the third the wind was W., with a strong gale and rain; at noon we had fair weather so that myself and the council determined to set sail on a Northern course in order to seek the yacht Aernem; when we had run on the said course for the space of 5 glasses, we saw the said yacht N.W. of us, but since the current ran very strong in our teeth, we dropped anchor in 10 fathom.

In the morning of the 4th the wind was north, with which we set sail in order to get near the Aernem; but when we had sailed for an hour, the headwind and counter-current forced us to drop anchor.

The yacht aforesaid, which was lying above the wind and the current, now weighed her anchor and dropped the same near the Pera, after which the skipper of the Aernern came on board of us in the pinnace, and informed me that they had very nearly lost the yacht in the storm before mentioned, since all the seas they had shipped had found their way into the hold, which got so full of water that the greater part of their rice, powder and matches had become wet through; this same day I sent the skipper and the steersman of the Pera on board the yacht Aernem in order to inquire into her condition, and ascertain whether she was so weak and disabled as had been reported to me; since the persons committed reported that the yacht was very weak and disabled above the waterline, it has been resolved that the main-topmast, which they had already taken down by way of precaution, should not be put up again provisionally.

{Page 28}

The same day we set sail again with the wind as before, course held S.W., and after running on for two miles, we cast anchor again in 11 fathom.

In the morning of the 5th we set sail again, with a W. wind; course held S.S.W. when we had run on for two miles we got change of weather with variable winds, in the evening we came to anchor in 13 fathom...

On the 6th we set sail again before daybreak, the wind being West; course held S.S.W., sailed three miles; about noon, the wind blowing straight for the coast, we cast anchor in 5½ fathom at a mile's distance from the coast, and, in conformity with the resolution, fetched a light anchor from the yacht Aernem.

(Keerweer, formerly mistaken for island.)

In the morning of the 7th we set sail again, the wind being N.E., course held W., in order to get a little farther off the land; when we had run a mile, we dropped anchor in 5½ fathom, and I went ashore myself with two well-manned and armed pinnaces, because on the 6th aforesaid we had seen 4 or 5 canoes making from the land for the yachts; when we got near the land we saw a small canoe with three blacks; when we rowed towards them, they went back to the land and put one of the three ashore, as we supposed, in order to give warning for the natives there to come in great numbers and seize and capture our pinnaces; for as soon as we made towards them, they tried to draw us on, slowly paddling on towards the land; at last the "jurebass"(?) swam to them, with some strings of beads, but they refused to admit him; so we made signs and called out to them, but they paid little or no attention, upon which we began to pull back to the yacht without having effected anything; the blacks or savages seeing this, slowly followed us, and when we showed them beads and iron objects, they cautiously came near one of our pinnaces; one of the sailors in the pinnace inadvertently touching the canoe with one of his oars, the blacks forthwith began to attack our men, and threw several callaways into the pinnace, without, however, doing any damage owing to the caution used by the men in her; in order to frighten them the corporal fired a musket, which hit them both, so that they died on the spot; we then rowed back to the yachts. To the place on the coast where the aforesaid incident took place, we have given the name of Keerweer (= Turn again) in the new chart, seeing that the land here trends to S.W. and West; its latitude being 7°.

On the 8th we had a strong gale from the S.S.W. the whole day, with rain and unsteady weather, so that we thought it best to remain at anchor.

In the morning of the 9th the weather was fair, and the wind west, so that we set sail on a N.N.W. course; when we had run one mile we saw two groups of canoes putting off from shore and making for us, one consisting of 7, and the other of 8 small canoes; as we were lying close to the wind and could not weather the land with it, we came to anchor in 3 fathom; one of the canoes aforesaid came so near us, that we could call out to her, but the second group aforesaid kept quiet, upon which the canoe which had been near us, paddled towards this second group; from their various gestures we saw and understood sufficiently that their intentions had from the first been anything but peaceable, but God's Providence prevented them from carrying their wicked plans into effect; in the evening we set sail again with the current, the wind being west and our course held N.N.W. in the first watch we turned our course S.W. and S.W. by W., on which we sailed the whole night, until about daybreak we found the water shallowing and dropped anchor in 2½ fathom, having sailed 5 miles.

[* Scil. by the men of the ship Duifken (see the extract below).--Princess Marianne Strait and Prince Frederik Hendrik island. (There is no reference in the text for this footnote--Ed.)]

{Page 29}

In the morning of the 10th we set sail again, the wind being W.N.W., on a S.W. course; at noon we were in Lat. 7° 35'; in the evening we came to anchor in 3 fathom muddy bottom, at about 1½ mile's distance from the land.


That it is impossible to land here with boats or pinnaces, owing to the clayey and muddy bottom into which a man will sink up to the waist, the depth of the water being no more than 3 or 4 fathom at 3 or 4 miles' distance from the land; the land is low-lying and half-submerged, being quite under water at high tide; it is covered with wild trees, those on the beach resembling the fir-trees of our country, and seemingly bearing no fruit; the natives are coal-black like the Caffres; they go about stark naked, carrying their privities in a small conch-shell, tied to the body with a bit of string; they have two holes in the midst of the nose, with fangs of hogs of swordfishes through them, protruding at least three fingers' breadths on either side, so that in appearance they are more like monsters than human beings; they seem to be evil-natured and malignant; their canoes are small and will not hold above 3 of 4 of them at most; they are made out of one piece of wood, and the natives stand up in them, paddling them on by means of long oars; their arms are arrows, bows, assagays and callaways, which they use with great dexterity and skill; broken iron, parangs and knives are in special demand with them. The lands which we have up to now skirted and touched at, not only are barren and inhabited by savages, but also the sea in these parts yields no other fish than sharks, sword-fishes and the like unnatural monsters, while the birds too are as as wild and shy as the men.

In the morning of the 11th, the wind being W.N.W. and the weather fair, we set sail on a S.S.W. course along the coast in 4, 3½ and 2½ fathom muddy bottom; towards the evening we saw no more land ahead of us, the farthest extremity falling off quite to eastward, and extending east by south; we accordingly ran S.S.E., but it was not long before we got into 2 fathom water and even less. We therefore went over to the north, and in the evening dropped anchor in' fathom, having this day sailed eight miles to S.S.W.

In the morning of the 12th the wind blew from the N.W.; in the forenoon I rowed to the land myself with the two pinnaces well-manned and armed, in order to see if there was anything worth note there; but when we had got within a musket-shot of the land, the water became so shallow that we could not get any farther, whereupon we all of us went through the mud up to our waists, and with extreme difficulty reached the beach, where we saw a number of fresh human foot-prints; on going a short distance into the wood, we also saw twenty or more small huts made of dry grass, the said huts being so small and cramped that a man could hardly get into them on all fours, from which we could sufficiently conclude that the natives here must be of small stature, poor and wretched; we afterwards tried to penetrate somewhat {Page 30} farther into the wood, in order to ascertain the nature and situation of the country, when on our coming upon a piece of brushwood, a number of blacks sprang out of it, and began to let fly their arrows at us with great fury and loud shouts, by which a carpenter was wounded in the belly and an assistant in the leg: we were all of us hard pressed, upon which we fired three or four muskets at them killing one of the blacks stone-dead, which utterly took away their courage; they dragged the dead man into the wood, and we, being so far from the pinnaces and having a very difficult path to go in order to get back to them, resolved to return and row back to the yachts.

(The Valsch Caep is 8 degrees 15 minutes south of the equator and 70 miles S.E. of Aru.)

The The same day at low tide we saw a large sandbank, S.E., S., and S.W. of us, where we had been with the yacht on the 11th last, the said sandbank extending fully 4 miles W., S.W. and W. by S. of the land or foreland; on which account we have in the new chart given to the same the name of de Valsch Caep [*]; it is in Lat. 8° 15' South, and about 70 miles east of Aru.

[* The South-west point of Prince Frederik Hendrik island.]


That the land which we have touched at as above mentioned, is low-lying and half-submerged to northward, so that a large part of it is under water at high tide; to the south it is somewhat higher and inhabited by certain natives who have built huts there; so far as we could ascertain the land is barren, covered with tall wild trees; the natives quite black and naked without any covering to hide their privy parts; their hair curly in the manner of the Papues: they wear certain fish-bones through the nose, and through their ears pieces of tree-bark, a span in length, so that they look more like monsters than like human beings: their weapons are arrows and bows which they use with great skill.

On the 13th the wind was N., the weather fair, and the current stronger to west than to northward; we set sail in the forenoon, holding our course W.N.W. in order to get into deeper water; when we had run some distance, we got into eight feet of water; upon which we turned back and towards evening came to anchor in 2 fathom.

On the 14th the weather was fair, the wind N. by W., the current running strongly to S.W., as before; at noon we sent out the two pinnaces to take soundings; they rowed as far as 2 miles W.N.W. of the yachts, and nowhere found more than 1½ and 2 fathom of water; the same day, seeing that the weather is now getting more constant every day, it was resolved to put up again the main-topmast in the yacht Aernem, which had been taken down before on account of bad weather.

On the 15th the wind was N.N.E. with good weather and the current as strong as before; we set sail at noon with the tide running from the N.W., hoping to get into deeper water, but having been tacking about till the evening, we were by counter-currents forced to come to anchor in three fathom.

On the 16th the weather was good, the wind being N.E. by N.; we set sail in the forenoon; in the course of the day we had a calm; towards the evening the wind went round to W.S.W., course held N.N.W. along the shallows in 2½ and 2 fathom; in the evening we came to anchor in 3 fathom; we find that in these parts the currents set very strongly to south-west, as before mentioned, and that the water rises and falls fully 1½ and 2 fathom at each tide.

{Page 31}

On the 17th the wind was East; we set sail, holding a W.N.W. and W. by N. course, and thus got into deeper water upwards of 5 fathom; at noon we were in Lat. 8° 4'; in the evening we cast anchor in 6 fathom, having sailed 4 miles W.S.W.

In the morning of the 18th the weather was good with a W. wind; in the afternoon we set sail with the rising tide running from the west; course held S.W. by S. in 6 fathom. when we got into deeper water than 7 and 8 fathom, we altered our course to S.E. by E. and E.S.E. in 10, 12, 14, 18, 20, 26 and 28 fathom; towards evening we went on an Eastward course, having sailed 5½ miles on the aforesaid course from the morning to the evening, and 9 miles to eastward from the evening till the morning.

On the 19th the wind was W., course held E., with the Valsch Caep N.N.E. of us at 5 miles' distance, the land extending N. by W.; the water being 24 fathom here, we went over to E.N.E. and sailed 4 miles, when we got into 6 fathom, where we cast anchor about 4 miles from the land.

On the 20th the wind was N.N.E., with good weather; we set sail, holding our course as before in 6 fathom. at night we dropped anchor in 5½ fathom, having sailed 7½ miles this day.

On the 21st we set sail again in the morning with a N.N.W. wind, keeping a N.E. course for 4 miles in 4 fathom; in the afternoon we went over to eastward sailing 8 miles; in the evening we came to anchor in 7 fathom, near an island situated a mile or upwards South and North of the mainland; a quarter of a mile N. by E. and S. by W. of the island there is a rock with two dry trees on it.

On the 22nd, the council having been convened, it has finally been resolved to land with two pinnaces properly manned and armed, seeing that the coast is covered with cocoa-inut trees here, and the land seems to be higher, better and more fertile than any we have seen before; and since we could not get ashore on account of the shallowness of the water, the muddy bottom and other inconveniencies, we rowed to the small island aforementioned; while we were making inspection of it, the yacht Aernem got adrift owing to the violent current and the strong gale, and ran foul of the bows of the Pera, causing grievous damage to both the ships; this accident detained our yachts for some days, and without God's special providence they would both them have run aground.

On the 23rd, the weather being good, and the council having once more been convened, I proposed to try every possible means to get the Aernem into sailing trim again, in the first place by constructing another rudder. This we found impossible since there were no new square rudders in either of the yachts; we were accordingly compelled to try some makeshift, and in order to be able to continue our voyage and avoid abandoning the yacht, it was finally resolved that with the available materials there should be constructed a rudder after the manner of the Chinese and Javanese; for this purpose the Pera will have to give up her main-top mast, the rest of the required wood to be cut on the land, and we shall tarry here until the rudder has been replaced.

On the 24th while our men were engaged on the rudder, the subcargo rowed to the small island aforesaid with the two pinnaces, in order to get fresh water for the Aernem, which was very poorly supplied with the same, and in the evening he returned on board again with four casks of water, which he had got filled with extreme difficulty.

{Page 32}

On the 25th, the yacht Aernem being in sailing trim again, for which God be thanked, we set sail again with good weather and a favourable wind, holding our course along the land in 5½, 6, and 6½ fathom; in the evening we cast anchor in 2½ fathom about 2 miles from the land, having sailed 10 miles this day.


(The Vleermuys-Eylandt is in 8 degrees 8 minutes Lat., 40 miles east of the Valsch Caep.)

That the island aforesaid is in 8° 8' Southern Latitude, about a mile south and north of the mainland as before mentioned; it is pretty high, having a great number of wild trees on the east-side, and being quite bare on the west-side. It is about a quarter of a mile in circumference, and is surrounded by numerous cliffs and rocks, overgrown with oysters and mussels, the soil is excellent and fit to be planted and sown with everything; by estimation it bears a hundred full-grown cocoanut-trees and a great many younger ones; we also observed some banana- and oubi-trees; we besides found fresh water here, which comes trickling through the clay in small rills, and has to be gathered in pits dug for the purpose; the island also contains large numbers of bats living in the trees, on which account we have given to it the name of Vleermuys-Eylant [Bats' Island] in the new chart. We have seen no huts or human beings in it, but found unmistakable signs that there had been men here at some previous time.

(Clappes Cust [Cocoanut Coast].)

On the 26th the weather was good, the wind N.N.W., course held S.E. by E. along the land in 5 fathom. In the forenoon 4 small canoes put off from the land and followed us; we waited for them to come alongside, and found they were manned with 25 blacks, who had nothing with them except their arms; they called out and made signs for us to come ashore; we then threw out to them some small pieces of iron and strings of beads, at which they showed great satisfaction; they paid little or no attention to the gold, silver, copper, nutmegs and cloves which we showed them, though they were quite ready to accept these articles as presents. Their canoes are very skilfully made out of one piece of wood, some of them being so large that they will hold 20 and even more blacks. Their paddles are long, and they use them standing or sitting; the men are black, tall and well-built, with coarse and strong limbs, and curly hair, like the Caffres, some of them wearing it tied to the neck in a knot, and others letting it fall loose down to the waist. They have hardly any beards; some of them have two, others three holes through the nose, in which they wear fangs or teeth of hogs or sword-fishes. They are stark-naked and have their privities enclosed in a conch shell, fastened to the waist with a bit of string; they wear no rings of gold, silver, copper, tin, or iron on their persons, but adorn themselves with rings made of tortoise shell or terturago (Spanish tortuga?), from which it may be inferred that their land yields no metals or wood of any value, but is all low-lying and half-submerged, as we have actually found it to be; there were also among them some not provided with paddles, but wearing two strings of human teeth round their necks, and excelling all the others in ugliness; these men carried on the left arm a hammer with a wooden handle and at one end a black conch-shell, the size of a man's fist, the other end by which they hold it, being fitted with a three-sided bone, not unlike a piece of stag's horn; in exchange for one of these hammers they were offered a rug, some strings of {Page 33} beads and bits of iron, which they refused, though they were willing to barter the same for one of the boys, whom they seemed to have a great mind to. Those who carry the hammers aforesaid would seem to be noblemen or valiant soldiers among them. The people are cunning and suspicious, and no stratagems on our part availed to draw them near enough to us to enable us to catch one or two with nooses which we had prepared for the purpose; their canoes also contained a number of human thigh-bones, which they repeatedly held up to us, but we were unable to make out what they meant by this. Finally they asked for a rope to tow the yacht to shore, but soon got tired of the work, and paddled back to the land in a great hurry.

In the evening we cast anchor in three fathom about 3 miles from the land, having sailed 13 miles this day.

In the morning of the 27th the wind was W.N.W. with a stiff breeze, course held S.E. by S. and S.E., on which we sailed 7 miles, and afterwards E.S.E. 5 miles, in 5½, 5 and 3 fathom; in the evening we came to anchor in 6½ fathom, 3½ miles from the land; a quarter of a mile farther to landward we saw a sandbank, on which the Aernem struck but got off again, for which God be praised.

On the 28th we set sail again, with a N.W. wind, on an eastern course towards the land, in various depths, such as 7, 9, 12, 4 and 5½ fathom; at noon we were in 9° 6' S. Lat., having sailed 5 miles; from noon till the evening we ran on an E. by S. course a distance Of 4 miles in 18, 12, 9, 7, 5 and 2 fathom, after which we cast anchor, and sent out the pinnace to take soundings; the water being found to become deeper nearer the coast, we again weighed anchor and sailed to the land, casting anchor finally in 4 fathom three miles from the coast.

In the morning of the 29th the wind was N.N.E. with fine weather; in the forenoon it was deemed advisable to send off the boat of the Pera with thirteen men and the steersman of the Aernem and victualled for four days, in order to take soundings and skirt the land, which extended E.N.E., for a distance of 7 or 8 miles.

On the 30th the wind was N. with good weather, so that we also sent out the pinnace of the Aernem in order to take soundings in various directions 2 or 3 miles from the yachts; at low water we saw various sandbanks and reefs lying dry, to wit E.S.E., S.S.W. and W.; in the afternoon the pinnace of the Aernem returned on board, having found shallows everywhere at 2 miles' distance. Towards the evening the boat of the Pera also returned, when we heard from the steersman that they had been E. by S. and E.S.E. of the yachts, at about 8 miles' distance, where they had found very shallow water, no more than 7, 8, 9 and 10 feet, which extended a mile or more, and was succeeded by depths Of 2, 2½, 3, 5 and 7 fathom; they had found the land to extend E. and E. by N., and to be very low-lying and muddy, and overgrown with low brushwood and wild trees.

On the 31st the wind was N.N.E. with rain. In the afternoon I rowed with the two pinnaces to one of the reefs in order to examine the state of things between the yachts and the land, which space had fallen dry at low tide; in the afternoon the skipper of the Pera also got orders to row to the land with the boat duly manned and armed, in order to ascertain whether anything could be done for the service of our Masters, and to attempt to get a parley with the inhabitants and to get hold of one or two of them, if practicable; very late in the evening the boat returned on board, and we were informed by the skipper that, although it was high water, they could not come nearer than to a pistol-shot's distance from the land owing to the shallow water and the soft mud; they also reported the land to be low-lying and half-submerged, overgrown with brushwood and wild trees.

{Page 34}


(The Drooge Bocht, where we were compelled to leave the western extremity of Nova Guinea is in 9 degrees 20 minutes S. Lat.)

After hearing the aforesaid reports touching the little depths sounded to eastward, we are sufficiently assured that it will prove impossible any longer to follow the coastline which we have so long skirted in an eastward direction, and that we shall, to our great regret, be compelled to return the same way we have come, seeing that we have been caught in the shallows as in a trap; for this purpose we shall have to tack about and take advantage of the ebb, and as soon as we get into deeper water, to run south to the sixteenth degree or even farther, if it shall be found advisable; then turn the ships' heads to the north along the coast of Nova Guinea, according to our previous resolution taken on the 6th of March last; as mentioned before, we were here in 9° 6' S. Lat., about 125 miles east of Aru, and according to the chart we had with us and the estimation of the skippers and steersmen, no more than 2 miles from Nova Guinea, so that the space between us and Nova Guinea seems to be a bight to which on account of its shallows we have given the name of drooge bocht [*] [shallow bight] in the new chart; to the land which we had run along up to now, we have by resolution given the name of 't Westeinde van Nova Guinea (Western extremity of N. G.), seeing that we have in reality found the land to be an unbroken coast, which in the chart is marked as islands, such as Ceram and the Papues, owing to misunderstanding and untrustworthy information.

[* Entrance of Torres Strait.]


On the first the wind was W. by S. with good weather; we weighed anchor and drifted with the ebb running from the N.E. when we had run 1½ mile with the tide to the S.W., we came to anchor again in 6 fathom.

On the second, the wind being W. by N., we tried to tack about to the W. with the ebb-tide in 4, 5 and 6 fathom; we had variable winds the whole day; towards the evening we cast anchor in 4 fathom three miles from the land, having this day progressed 4 miles to the W. and W. by N.

On the third we set sail again at daybreak, the wind being N., course kept W.N.W. in 7, 2, and 2½ fathom, the water in these parts being of greatly varying depths, so that we had to keep sounding continually; in the afternoon we dropped anchor in 4 fathom, having drifted 2½, miles with the ebb-tide.

On the 4th, the wind being N.E. by N., we set sail again with good weather: in the afternoon we ran on with the tide and cast anchor in 7 fathom, having lost sight of the land, and sailed 8 miles W. and W. by N.


Here we managed with extreme difficulty and great peril to get again out of the shallows aforesaid, into which we had sailed as into a trap, between them and the land, for which happy deliverance God be praised; the shallows extend South and North, from 4 to 9 miles from the mainland, and are 10 miles in length from East to West.

{Page 35}

On the fifth we set sail again at daybreak, the wind being E.N.E., on courses varying between S.W. and S., by which we got into deeper water, between 14 and 26 fathom, and sailed 18 miles in the last 24 hours.

On the sixth the wind was S.W. with rain, course held S.E.; at night we were in Lat. 9° 45', having sailed 11 miles to the E.S.E. in the last 24 hours.

On the 7th, the wind being S.S.E., we ran on an Eastern course in 15 or 16 fathom, and sailed 4 miles till the evening; at nightfall we went over to S.E., and cast anchor in 4 fathom, but as the yacht was veering round, we got into 2 fathom, having sailed three miles E.S.E. during the night.

In the morning of the 8th we clearly saw several stones lying on the sea-bottom, without perceiving any change in the water in which we had sounded 26 fathom; so that the land here, which we did not see, is highly dangerous to touch at, but through God's providence the yachts did not get aground here; at noon we set sail, being in 10° 15' S. Lat., the wind being W. by S. and afterwards variable; we sailed S.S.W. till the next morning, in 10 and 10½ fathom, and covered 6 miles.

On the 9th the wind was N. with rain, course held S.E.; at night the wind went round to S.E.; we therefore came to anchor in 11 fathom, having sailed 5 miles this day.

In the morning of the 10th the wind was E.N.E., course held S.E. in 9, 10, and 11 fathom; at night the wind blew from the S.E., upon which we cast anchor, having sailed 5 miles this day.

On the 11th the wind was E. by N. with a fair breeze, course kept S.S.E.; at noon we were in 11° 30'; the whole of this day and night we tried to get south with variable winds and on different courses, and sailed 22 miles in the last 24 hours; course kept S.E.

In the morning of the 12th the wind was S.E. with good weather; at sunrise we saw the land of Nova Guinea [*], showing itself as a low-lying coast without hills or mountains; we were then in 13½ fathom, clayey bottom; course held S.S.W.; at noon we were in Lat. 11° 45' South, having sailed 10 miles on a S.E. course in the last 24 hours.

[* York Peninsula.]

In the morning of the 13th the wind was S.E. by E. and we were in 24 fathom; we still saw the land aforementioned and found it to be of the same shape as before; course held S.W.; at noon we were in 12° 53'; for the rest of day and night we tried to get south with the winds aforesaid and on varying courses, having sailed 22 miles in the last 24 hours; course kept S.W.

On the 14th the wind was E. by S., course held S. by E. along the land in 11, 12, 13, and 14 fathom; at noon we were in Lat. 13° 47', the land being no longer in sight. The rest of the day and the whole night we tried to get the land alongside with divers winds and on varying courses in 7, 6, 6, 4, 3, and 2½ fathom; towards daybreak we were so near the land that one might have recognised persons on shore.

In the morning of the 15th the wind blew hard from the East; course held S. by E. in 3 and 2½ fathom along a sandbank, situated about one mile from the mainland; at noon we were in 14° 36. The land which we have hitherto seen and followed, extends S. and N.; it is low-lying and without variety, having a fine sandy beach in various places. In the afternoon we dropped anchor owing to the calm, having sailed {Page 36} 11 miles South. Great volumes of smoke becoming visible on the land, the subcargo [*] got orders to land with the two pinnaces, duly manned and armed, and was specially enjoined to use his utmost endeavours for the advantage of Our Masters; when the pinnaces returned at nightfall, the subcargo reported that the pinnaces could get no farther than a stone's throw from the land, owing to the muddy bottom into which the men sunk to their waists, but that they had in various places seen blacks emerging from the wood, while others lay hid in the coppice; they therefore sent a man ashore with some pieces of iron and strings of beads tied to a stick, in order to attract the blacks; but as nothing could be effected and the night was coming on, they had been forced to return to the yachts.

[* Pieter Lintiens. (Summary).]

In the morning of the 16th, being Easter-day, the wind was East; we set sail, holding our course S. by E.; at noon we were in 14° 56'; in the evening we came to anchor in 5 ½fathom, having sailed 10½ miles, course kept South.

In the morning of the 17th the wind was S. by W., with rain and the tide setting to the south; at noon the wind went round to East, so that we made sail, course held S. by W., along the land in 4½ fathom; towards the evening, it fell a calm, so that we dropped anchor with the ebb, after which I went ashore myself with the two pinnaces duly provided with men and arms; we went a considerable distance into the interior, which we found to be a flat, fine country with few trees, and a good soil for planting and sowing, but so far as we could observe utterly destitute of fresh water. Nor did we see any human beings or even signs of them; near the strand the coast was sandy with a fine beach and plenty of excellent fish.

In the morning of the 18th the wind was E.N.E., course held S. by W. along the land; about noon, as we saw persons on the beach, we cast anchor in 3½ fathom clayey bottom; the skipper of the Pera got orders to row to land with the two pinnaces, duly provided for defence; in the afternoon when the pinnaces returned, we were informed by the skipper that as soon as he had landed with his men, a large number of blacks, some of them armed and others unarmed, had made up to them; these blacks showed no fear and were so bold, as to touch the muskets of our men and to try to take the same off their shoulders, while they wanted to have whatever they could make use of; our men accordingly diverted their attention by showing them iron and beads, and espying vantage, seized one of the blacks by a string which he wore round his neck, and carried him off to the pinnace; the blacks who remained on the beach, set up dreadful howls and made violent gestures, but the others who kept concealed in the wood remained there. These natives are coal-black, with lean bodies and stark naked, having twisted baskets or nets round their heads; in hair and figure they are like the blacks of the Coromandel coast, but they seem to be less cunning, bold and evil-natured than the blacks at the western extremity of Nova Guinea; their weapons, of which we bring specimens along with us, are less deadly than those we have seen used by other blacks; the weapons in use with them are assagays, shields, clubs and sticks about half a fathom in length; as regards their customs and policy and the nature of the country, Your Worships will in time be able to get information from the black man we have got hold of, to whom I would beg leave to refer you...

On the 19th, the wind being S.E., we remained at anchor, and since the yachts were very poorly provided with firewood, the skipper of the Pera went ashore with the two pinnaces duly manned and armed; when the men were engaged in cutting wood, {Page 37} a large number of blacks upwards of 200 came upon them, and tried every means to surprise and overcome them, so that our men were compelled to fire two shots, upon which the blacks fled, one of their number having been hit and having fallen; our men then proceeded somewhat farther up the country, where they found several weapons, of which they took some along with them by way of curiosities. During their march they observed in various places great quantities of divers human bones, from which it may be safely concluded that the blacks along the coast of Nova Guinea are man-eaters who do not spare each other when driven by hunger.

On the 20th, the wind being S.E., we set sail on a S.S.W. course; at noon we came to anchor with the ebb-tide running from the South, in 3½ fathom clayey bottom, and ordered the skipper to go ashore with the two pinnaces, duly provided for defence, and diligently inquire into the state of things on shore, so far as time and place should allow; when he returned in the evening, he informed us that the surf had prevented them from getting near the strand, so that there could be not question of landing.

In the morning of the 21st, the wind being S.E., we set sail; course held S.S.W. along the land; at noon we were in 15° 38'; in the evening we came to anchor with the ebb in 3½ fathom.

In the morning of the 22nd the wind was E.N.E., course held South; at noon we were in 16° 4'; the wind being W. by N. we dropped anchor towards the evening in 2½ fathom, about one mile from the land.

On the 23rd the wind was N.N.E., with a stiff breeze, so that we set sail on a S.S.W. course along the land in 3½, 3, 2½ and 2 fathom, clayey bottom; at noon we were in 16° 32'; for the rest of the day we tried to get south with variable winds, and towards the evening came to anchor in 3 fathom close inshore.

On the 24th the wind was E. by S., course held S.S.W. along the land in 2½, 3½ and 4½ fathom, clayey bottom; at noon we were in 17° 8'. This same day the council having been convened, I submitted to them the question whether it would be advisable to run further south, and after various opinions had been expressed, it was agreed that this would involve divers difficulties, and that the idea had better be given up: we might get into a vast bay, and it is evident that in these regions in the east-monsoon north-winds prevail, just as north (?) of the equator south-winds prevail in the said monsoon: we should thus fall on a lee-shore; for all which reasons, and in order to act for the best advantage of the Lords Managers, it has been resolved and determined to turn back, and follow the coast of Nova Guinea so long to northward as shall be found practicable; to touch at divers places which shall be examined with the utmost care, and finally to turn our course from there to Aru and was furthermore proposed by me and ultimately approved of by the council, to give 10 pieces of eight to the boatmen for every black they shall get hold of on shore, and carry off to the yachts, to the end that the men may use greater care and diligence in this matter, and Our Masters may reap benefit from the capture of the blacks, which may afterwards redound to certain advantage.

On the 25th the skipper of the Pera got orders to go ashore with the two pinnaces well-manned and armed, in order to make special search for fresh water, with which we are very poorly provided by this time; about noon the skipper having returned, informed us that he had caused pits to be dug in various places on the coast, but had found no fresh water. Item that on the strand they had seen 7 small huts made of dry hay, and also 7 or 8 blacks, who refused to hold parley with them. In the afternoon I went up a salt river for the space of about half a mile with the two pinnaces; {Page 38} we then marched a considerable distance into the interior, which we found to be submerged in many places, thus somewhat resembling Waterland in Holland, from which it may be concluded that there must be large lakes farther inland; we also saw divers footprints of men and of large dogs, running from the south to the north; and since by resolution it has been determined to begin the return-voyage at this point, we have, in default of stone caused a wooden tablet to be nailed to a tree, the said tablet having the following words carved into it: "Anno 1623 den 24n April sijn hier aen gecomen twee jachten wegen de Hooge Mogende Heeren Staten Genl."

[A.D. 1623, on the 24th of April there arrived here two yachts dispatched by their High Mightinesses the States-General]. We have accordingly named the river aforesaid Staten revier in the new chart. (The Staten Revier is in 17 degrees 8 minutes.)

On the 26th, seeing that there was no fresh water here, of which we stood in great need, that we could hold no parley with the natives, and that nothing of importance could be effected, we set sail again, the wind being E.N.E., with a stiff breeze, course held N. along the land; at noon we were in Lat. 16° 44'; at night we came to anchor in 4 fathom close inshore.


That the yacht Aernem, owing to bad sailing, and to the small liking and desire which the skipper and the steersman have shown towards the voyage, has on various occasions and at different times been the cause of serious delay, seeing that the Pera (which had sprung a bad leak and had to be kept above water by more than 8000 strokes of the pump every 24 hours) was every day obliged to seek and follow the Aernem for one, two or even more miles to leeward.

(The yacht Aernem left the Pera.)

On the 27th, the wind being E. by S. with good weather, the skipper of the Pera rowed ashore with the two pinnaces duly provided for defence, in order to seek fresh water, but when he had caused several pits to be dug, no water was found; we therefore set sail forthwith, holding a S.E. by E. course along the land; at noon we were in Lat. 16° 30', and with a W. by N. wind made for the land, sailing with our foresail only fully two hours before sunset, in order to wait for the Aernem which was a howitzer's shot astern of us; in the evening, having come to anchor in 3½ fathom 1½ mile from the land, we hung out a lantern, that the Aernem might keep clear of us in dropping anchor, but this proved to be useless, for on purpose and with malice prepense she away from us against her instructions and our resolution, and seems to have set her course for Aru (to have a good time of it there), but we shall learn in time whether she has managed to reach it.

In the morning of the 28th the wind was E. by S. and the weather very fine; the skipper once more went ashore with the pinnace in order to seek water, but when several pits had been dug in the sand, they found none; we therefore set sail again on a N.E. by N. course along the land in 2, 3, 4 and 5 fathom, but when we had run a distance Of 2½ Miles, a violent landwind drove us off the land, so that we had to drop anchor in 3 fathom, the blacks on shore sending up such huge clouds of smoke from their fires that the land was hardly visible; at night in the first watch we set sail again and after running N.N.E. for 3½ miles, we came to anchor in 2 fathom.

In the morning of the 29th the wind was S.E., with good weather; course held N.E. by E. along the land in 2½ and 3 fathom; when we had run 1½ mile we came {Page 39} to anchor in 2 fathom, and landed here as before in order to seek freshwater; we had some pits dug a long way from the strand, but found no fresh water; the blacks showed themselves from afar, but refused to come to parley, nor did we succeed in luring any towards us by stratagem; at noon we were in 16° 10' near a river which in the chart is marked Nassauw revier: when we saw that we could do nothing profitable here, we set sail with an E. wind on a N.N.E. course along the land, and came to anchor in the evening in 2½ fathom. (The Nassauw revier is in 16 degrees 10 minutes Lat.)

In the morning of the 30th the wind was S.E. with steady weather; course held N.N.E. along the land in 3 fathom; at noon we were in 15° 39', and came to anchor in 2½ fathom; we landed also here as before with the pinnace in order to look for water, and to see if we could meet with any natives; after digging a number of pits we found no water, so that we set sail again and came to anchor in the evening in 2½ fathom.


In the morning of the 1st the wind was E.; the skipper once more rowed ashore with the pinnace, and having caused three pits to be dug he at last found fresh water forcing its way through the sand; we used our best endeavours to take in a stock of the same; about 400 paces north of the farthest of the pits that had been dug, they also found a small fresh-water lake, but the water that collected in the pits was found to be a good deal better.

In the morning of the 2nd the wind was E.N.E., and went round to S.W. later in the day; we continued taking in water.

On the 3rd we went on taking in water as before; the wind was N.E., and about noon turned to S.W.. I went ashore myself with 10 musketeers, and we advanced a long way into the wood without seeing any human beings; the land here is low-lying and without hills as before, in Lat. 15° 20' it is very dry and barren, for during all the time we have searched and examined this part of the coast to our best ability, we have not seen one fruit-bearing tree, nor anything that man could make use of; there are no mountains or even hills, so that it may be safely concluded that the land contains no metals, nor yields any precious woods, such as sandal-wood, aloes or columba; in our judgment this is the most arid and barren region that could be found anywhere on the earth; the inhabitants, too, are the most wretched and poorest creatures that I have ever seen in my age or time; as there are no large trees anywhere on this coast, they have no boats or canoes whether large or small; this is near the place which we touched at on the voyage out on Easter-day, April the 16th; in the new chart we gave given to this spot the name of Waterplaets [*]; at his place the beach is very fine, with excellent gravelly sand and plenty of delicious fish.(Waterplaats is in 15 degrees 13 minutes Lat.)

[* Mitchell River.]

(Vereenichde revier.)

In the morning of the 4th the wind was E.N.E. with good weather, course held N. in 7½ fathom. we could just see the land; at noon we were in 15° 12' Lat.; slightly to northward we saw a river to which we have given the name of Vereenichde revier: all through the night the wind was W., course held N.N.E. towards the land.

In the morning of the 5th the wind was E., course held N.; at noon we were in 14° 5' Lat.; shortly after the wind went over to W., upon which we made for the land {Page 40} and cast anchor in 2 fathom; I went ashore myself in the pinnace which was duly armed; the blacks here attacked us with their weapons, but afterwards took to flight; upon which we went landinward for some distance, and found divers of their weapons, such as assagays and callaways, leaning against the trees; we took care not to damage these weapons, but tied pieces of iron and strings of beads to some of them, in order to attract the blacks, who, however, seemed quite indifferent to these things, and repeatedly held up their shields with great boldness and threw them at the muskets; these men are, like all the others we have lately seen, of tall stature and very lean to look at, but malignant and evil-natured.

In the morning of the 6th, the wind being East, we set sail on a N. course along the land in 3 and 4 fathom; at noon when we were in 13° 29' Lat., the wind was W.; in the evening it went round to East, upon which we dropped anchor in 3 fathom.

In the morning of the 7th the wind was S.E. with fine weather; the skipper went ashore with the pinnace, with strict orders to treat the blacks kindly, and try to attract them with pieces of iron and strings of beads; if practicable, also to capture one or more; when at noon the men returned they reported that on their landing more than 100 blacks had collected on the beach with their weapons, and had with the strong arm tried to prevent them from coming ashore; in order to frighten them, a musket was accordingly fired, upon which the blacks fled and retreated into the wood, from where they tried every means in their power to surprise and attack our men; these natives resemble the others in shape and figure; they are quite black and stark naked, some of them having their faces painted red and others white, with feathers stuck through the lower part of the nose; at noon, the wind being E., we set sail on a N. course along the land, being then in 13° 26 Lat.; towards the evening the wind went round to W. and we dropped anchor in 3½ fathom.

(The River Coen is 13 degrees 7 minutes Lat.)

In the morning of the 8th, the wind being E.S.E. with good weather, I went ashore myself with 10 musketeers; we saw numerous footprints of men and dogs (running from south to north); we accordingly spent some time there, following the footprints aforesaid to a river, where we gathered excellent vegetables or pot-herbs; when we had got into the pinnace again, the blacks emerged with their arms from the wood at two different points; by showing them bits of iron and strings of beads we kept them on the beach, until we had come near them, upon which one of them who had lost his weapon, was by the skipper seized round the waist, while at the same time the quartermaster put a noose round his neck, by which he was dragged to the pinnace; the other blacks seeing this, tried to rescue their captured brother by furiously assailing us with their assagays; in defending ourselves we shot one of them, after which the others took to flight, upon which we returned on board without further delay; these natives resemble all the others in outward appearance; they are coal-black and stark naked with twisted nets round their heads; their weapons are assagays, callaways and shields; we cannot, however, give any account of their customs and ceremonies, nor did we learn anything about the thickness of the population, since we had few or no opportunities for inquiring into these matters; meanwhile I hope that with God's help Your Worships will in time get information touching these points from the black we have captured, to whose utterances I would beg leave to refer you; the river aforesaid is in 13° 7' Lat., and has in the new chart got name of Coen river, in the afternoon the wind being W., we set sail on a N. course along the land, and in the evening came to anchor in 3 fathom.

{Page 41}


That in all places where we landed, we have treated the blacks or savages with especial kindness, offering them pieces of iron, strings of beads and pieces of cloth, hoping by so doing to get their friendship and be allowed to penetrate to some considerable distance landinward, that we might be able to give a full account and description of the same; but in spite of all our kindness and our fair semblance [*] the blacks received us as enemies everywhere, so that in most places our landings were attended with great peril; on this account, and for various other reasons afterwards to be mentioned, we have not been able to learn anything about the population of Nova Guinea, and the nature of its inhabitants and its soil; nor did we get any information touching its towns and villages, about the division of the land, the religion of the natives, their policy, wars, rivers, vessels, or fisheries; what commodities they have, what manufactures, what minerals whether gold, silver, tin, iron, lead, copper or quicksilver. In the first place, in making further landings we should have been troubled by the rainy season, which might have seriously interfered with the use of our muskets, whereas it does no harm to the weapons of the savages; secondly, we should first have been obliged to seek practicable paths or roads of which we knew nothing; thirdly, we might easily have been surrounded by the crowds of blacks, and been cut off from the boats, which would entail serious peril to the sailors with whom we always effected the landings, and who are imperfectly versed in the use of muskets; if on the contrary we had had well-drilled and experienced soldiers (the men best fitted to undertake such expeditions), we might have done a good deal of useful work; still, in spite of all these difficulties and obstacles, we have shunned neither hard work, trouble, nor peril, to make a thorough examination of everything with the means at our disposal, and to do whatever our good name and our honour demanded; the result of our investigation being as follows:

[* A curiously subjective way of looking at things!]

The land between 13° and 17° 8' is a barren and arid tract, without any fruit-trees, and producing nothing fit for the use of man; it is low-lying and flat without hills or mountains; in many places overgrown with brushwood and stunted wild trees; it has not much fresh water, and what little there is, has to be collected in pits dug for the purpose; there is an utter absence of bays or inlets, with the exception of a few bights not sheltered from the sea-wind; it extends mainly N. by E. and S. by W., with shallows all along the coast, with a clayey and sandy bottom; it has numerous salt rivers extending into the interior, across which the natives drag their wives and children by means of dry sticks or boughs of trees. The natives are in general utter barbarians, all resembling each other in shape and features, coal-black, and with twisted nets wound round their heads and necks for keeping their food in; so far as we could make out, they chiefly live on certain ill-smelling roots which they dig out of the earth. We infer that during the eastern monsoon they live mainly on the beach, since we have there seen numerous small huts made of dry grass; we also saw great numbers of dogs, herons and curlews, and other wild fowl, together with plenty of excellent fish, easily caught with a seine-net; they are utterly unacquainted with gold, silver, tin, iron, lead and copper, nor do they know anything about nutmegs, cloves and pepper, all of which spices we repeatedly showed them without their evincing any signs of {Page 42} recognising or valuing the same; from all which together with the rest of our observations it may safely be concluded that they are poor and abject wretches, caring mainly for bits of iron and strings of beads. Their weapons are shields, assagays, and callaways of the length of 1½ fathom, made of light wood and cane, some with fish-bones and others with human bones fastened to their tops; they are very expert in throwing the said weapons by means of a piece of wood, half a fathom in length, with a small hook tied to it in front, which they place upon the top of the callaway or assagay.

(The Waterplaets is in 12 degrees 33 minutes Lat.)

In the morning of the 9th, the wind being E.S.E., with good weather, we set sail on a N.N.E. course along the land, and when we had run on for 2 miles, came to anchor in 9 fathom close inshore; I went ashore in person with ten musketeers, and found many footprints of men and of large dogs, going in a southerly direction., we also came upon fresh water flowing into the sea, and named the place de Waeterplaets. The land here is higher than what we have seen to southward, and there are numerous reefs close to the sandy beach; the place is in 12° 33'; in the afternoon the wind was S.W., course held as before; from the Waterplaets aforesaid to a high cape there is a large bay, extending N.E. by N. and S.W. by S. for 7 miles; in the evening we dropped anchor in 4½ fathom.

In the morning of the 10th the wind being E.S.E., with steady weather, we set sail on a W.N.W. course; at noon we were in 12° 5'. I went ashore myself with the skipper, and as before found many footprints of men and dogs, going to the south. The land here is high and hilly, with reefs near the sandy beach; as we were pulling back to the yacht, some armed savages showed themselves, upon which we landed again and threw out some pieces of iron to them, which they picked up, refusing, however, to come to parley with us; after which we took to the pinnace again.

In the morning of the 11th, the wind being E.S.E. with good weather, we set sail again on a N.N.E. course along the land; in the afternoon we sailed past a large river (which the men of the Duifken went up with a boat in 1606, and where one of them was killed by the arrows of the blacks); to this river, which is in 11° 48' Lat., we have given the name of revier de Carpentier in the new chart.

[* Rivier Batavia in DE LEEUW'S chart.]

In the morning of the 12th the wind was E.S.E., with pleasant weather; I went ashore myself with the skipper, and found upwards of 200 savages standing on the beach, making a violent noise, threatening to throw their arrows at us, and evidently full of suspicion; for, though we threw out to them pieces of iron and other things, they refused to come to parley, and used every possible means to wound one of our men and get him into their power; we were accordingly compelled to frighten them by firing one or two shots at them, by which one of the blacks was hit in the breast and carried to the pinnace by our men, upon which all the others retired to the hills or dunes; in their wretched huts on the beach we found nothing but a square-cut assagay, two or three small pebbles, and some human bones, which they use in constructing their weapons and scraping the same; we also found a quantity of black resin and a piece of metal, which the wounded man had in his net, and which he had most probably got from the men of the Duyfken; since there was nothing further to be done here, we rowed back to the yacht, the wounded man dying before we had reached her; at noon we set sail with a S.W. wind on a N.N.E. course along the land, and as it fell calm, came to anchor after having run on for 2 miles.

{Page 43}

In the morning of the 13th, the wind being S.E. with good weather, we set sail on a N.E. by N. course in upwards Of 7 fathom about 2 miles from the land; at noon we were in 11° 16' Lat., the wind being E.; in the evening we came to anchor in 2 fathom near a river, which we have named Revier van Spult in the chart.

(The Waterplaets in 10 degrees 50 minutes Lat.)

On the 14th we made sail again before daybreak, with a S.E. wind and steady weather; from the 9th of this month up to now we have found the land of Nova Guinea to extend N.N.E. and S.S.W., and from this point continuing N. and S. I went ashore here myself with the skipper and 10 musketeers and found a large number of footprints of men and dogs going south; we also came upon a very fine fresh-water river, flowing into the sea, whence fresh water can easily be obtained by means of boats or pinnaces; the river is in 10° 50', and is marked Waterplaets in the chart. The land here is high, hilly, and reefy near the sandy beach; seeing that nothing profitable could be effected here, we returned to the yacht, which was lying-by under small sail; towards the evening we were at about 1 mile's distance from three islets, of which the southernmost was the largest; five miles by estimation farther to northward we saw a mountainous country, but the shallows rendered (or render) it impossible for us to get near it; in almost every direction in which soundings were taken, we found very shallow water, so that we sailed for a long time in 5, 4, 3, 2½, 2, 1½ fathom and even less, so that at last we were forced to drop anchor in 1½ fathom, without knowing where to look for greater or less depths; after sunset we therefore sent out the pinnace to take soundings, which found deeper water a long way S.W. of the pinnace, viz. 2, 3, and 4½ fathom; we were very glad to sail thither with the yacht, and cast anchor in 8½ fathom, fervently thanking God Almighty for his inexpressible mercy and clemency, shown us in this emergency as in all others.

In the morning of the 15th, the wind being S.E. with good weather, we set sail on a W. course, which took us into shallower water of 2, 2½ and 3 fathom; we therefore went over to S.W., when we came into 3½, 4, 5, 6 fathom and upwards; we had lost sight of the land here, and found it impossible to touch at it or follow it any longer, owing to the shallows, reefs and sandbanks and also to the E. winds blowing here; on which account it was resolved and determined--in order to avoid such imminent perils as might ultimately arise if we continued to coast along the land any longer--to turn back and hold our course first for the Vleermuijs Eijlant; we therefore stood out to sea on a W. course in 9½ fathom and upwards, having sailed 17 miles in 24 hours, kept west, and finding no bottom in 27 fathom.

NOTE That in our landings between 13° and 11° we have but two times seen black men or savages, who received us much more hostilely than those more to southward; they are also acquainted with muskets, of which they would seem to have experienced the fatal effect when in 1606 the men of the Duyffken made a landing here.

In the morning of the 16th, the wind was E.S.E. with good weather, the Eastern monsoon having set in; course held N.N.W., at noon we were in 10° 27', having sailed 30 miles in 24 hours.

{Page 44}

In the morning of the 17th the weather was good with a strong wind; course held as before; at noon we were in 8° 43'; towards the evening, in 18 and 19 fathom, we saw from the main-topmast land N.E. of us, when we were in 8° 19'; towards daybreak we passed a shallow Of 4 and 4½ fathom, on which we changed our course to S.W., having sailed 30 miles in 24 hours.

In the morning of the 18th, sailing in 5½ fathom, we saw land, being the western extremity of Nova Guinea; course held W., with a strong wind; at noon latitude as before; during the night we sailed with small sail along the land on the course aforesaid, having run 27 miles in 24 hours.

On the 19th, the wind as before, course held N.; at noon we were in 7° 57' Lat.; we ran on the same course for the rest of the day and night.

In the morning of the 20th there was a strong wind; we were in 18 fathom and by estimation in 7° Lat., we therefore ran on a W. course towards the islands which are said to lie in this latitude; sailed 24 miles in 24 hours.

On the 21st the wind was as before, and since we saw no land or signs of land, which by the ships' reckoning and by estimation we ought to have seen, if there had been any here, we changed our course to northward, in order to run to the latitude of 5°, in which Aru is situated.

In the morning of the 22nd we were in 5° 38' Lat., with the wind as before, and since we estimated ourselves to be in the latitude of Aru, we turned our course westward; about noon we saw the island of Aru ahead of us...without seeing any signs of the yacht Aernem, which on the 17th of April last, in 17°, near the coast of Nova Guinea, had with malice prepense sailed away from the Pera, while the Aruese, who came forthwith alongside with their prows, also declared not to have seen the said yacht...


In the evening of the 8th we came to anchor before the castle of Amboyna, having therewith brought our voyage to a safe conclusion by the merciful protection of God Almighty, who may vouchsafe to grant prosperity and success in all their good undertakings to their High Mightinesses the States-General, to his Excellency the Prince of Orange etc., to the Lords Managers of the United East India Company and to the Worshipful Lord General and his Governors.

Continuing for ever
Their High Mightinesses' etc. obedient and affectionate servant

{Page 45}



[* In a great number of passages this abstract merely copies the authentic journal verbatim; I accordingly transcribe such parts only as would seem to have a certain supplementary value.]

A.D. 1623.

In the name of God Amen.


In the morning of Saturday the 21st we weighed anchor before Amboyna and set sail with the western monsoon together with the yacht Arnem...


On the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th we skirted the land with the wind and course aforesaid, and came to anchor at about a mile's distance from the land. I went ashore in person with the pinnaces duly manned and armed...[*]

[* What follows in the original is an almost verbatim transcript of the corresponding passages in the authentic journal.]

(Keerweer formerly mistaken for islands)

To this place or part of the land where the aforesaid happened, we have in the new chart given the name of Keer-Weer [Turn-again], seeing that the land here bends to S.W. and West, in 7° Latitude; the place, which has formerly been mistaken for a group of islands by the men of the yacht Duijfken in the year 1606 [*], lies about 50 miles S.E. by East of Aro...

[* The passage in the text furnishes interesting evidence respecting the voyage of the yacht Duifken in 1606; a fact that has so often been called in question, or even flatly denied.]

On the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st [of March] [*] with a W.N.W. wind in 2, 2½, 3 and 4 fathom, we got clear of the shallows which we had previously run into as into a trap; we managed to do so by tacking and taking advantage of the current, so that in the evening of the 21st aforesaid we came to anchor in 7 fathom near an islet situated one mile or upwards S. and N. of the mainland...

[* A comparison with the authentic journal at the dates given, will enable the reader to ascertain the points which the yachts had then reached.]

On the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th [of April] we tried on divers courses, such as S.E. and S.E. by E., to make the land of Nova Guinea, until on the 8th aforesaid in the night-time we ran in between certain reefs, where by God's providence the yachts were preserved from taking harm; after which on the 12th aforesaid we sighted the land of Nova Guinea in 11° 45', our yachts being in 13½ fathom, clayey bottom.

On the 18th [of April], after running southward between 5 and 6 miles, we saw a large number of blacks on the beach; we therefore dropped anchor and sent the skipper ashore with the two pinnaces; who, by offering them pieces of iron and strings of beads, caused some of the blacks to draw near, so that he could lay hold of one of them, whom with the help of his men (who met with little resistance) he carried on board...

On the 5th, 6th and 7th [of May] we skirted the coast as before on a northward course, and repeatedly endeavoured to effect a landing, but were in every case treated by the savages in hostile fashion, and forced to return to the yachts...

On the 11th [of May] we sailed close inshore past a large river (which in 1606 the men of the yacht Duijfken went up with the boat, on which occasion one of them was killed by the arrows of the natives), situated in 11° 48' Lat., to which river we have in the new map given the name of...[*]

Always continuing
Their High Mightinesses' etc. obedient and affectionate servant

[* Carpentier, erased in the original MS. Cf. my Life of Tasman, p. 100, note 4.]

{Page 46}



[* The original of this chart, of which a full-sized reproduction is given in Remarkable Maps, II, 5, is preserved in the State Archives at the Hague. There would seem to have been still more charts of this voyage: see VAN DIJK Carpentaria, p. 37, note 3.]

[Illustration: ]

No. 7. Kaart van den opperstuurman AREND MARTENSZ. DE LEEUW, der Zuidwestkust van Nieuw Guinea en der Oostkust van de Golf van Carpentaria (Chart, made by the upper steersman Arend Martensz. De Leeuw, of the Southwest coast of New-Guinea and the East-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria)

{Page 47}




Letter from the Governor of Banda to the Governor-General Pieter De Carpentier, May 16, 1623.

Noble, Worshipful, Wise, Valiant and very Discreet Sir,

The day before yesterday...we sighted...a ship. We forthwith presumed it to be Mr. Carstens, or perhaps one of the Yachts Pera or Arnehem...The ship turned out to be the Arnehem, which during the preceding night had lost her rudder...

(They) have not done much worth mentioning, for at the place where the chart [*] they had with them, led them to expect an open passage, they did not find any such, so that they could not get to the island they wished to reach...[**]

[* It is highly probable that this is another allusion to a chart of the voyage of Willem Janszoon with the Duifken in 1605-1606, because other documents concerning this expedition of the Arnhem and the Pera put it beyond a doubt that they had on board a chart of the voyage of the ship Duifken. In that case the passage in the text proves that Willem Janszoon already suspected the existence of Torres Strait, since the "open passage" can hardly refer to anything else.]

[** The remaining part of the letter refers to the time when the two ships were still together, and contains nothing new.]

Done in the Castle of Nassauw at Nera in the island of Banda, this 16th of May, A.D. 1623.
(signed) ISACK De BRUNE.


Letter from the Governor-General Antonio Van Diemen to "Commander" Gerrit Thomaszoon Pool, February 19, 1636.

Worshipful, Provident, very Discreet Sir,

With the present we also [*] send you a chart of the coasts made A.D. 1623 by the Yachts Pera and Arnhem, together with a small map of the South-land as surveyed by divers ships coming from the Netherlands, both of which may be of use to Your Worship [**]...

Done in the Castle of Batavia, February 19, A.D. 1636.


[* Vis. together with the Instructions of Febr. 19 for Pool's expedition to the Southland; see infra.]

[** To wit, with a view to the voyage just referred to.]


Instructions for Pool, Febr. 19, 1636.

...Failing ulterior instructions, we desire you to sail as quickly as possible from Banda to Arnhems and Speultsland, situated between 9 and 13 degrees Southern Latitude, discovered A.D., 1623, as you may further see from the annexed chart [*]...

[* This, then, is the chart of the "coasts made A.D. 1623 by the yachts Pera and Arnhem"; for the "small map" handed to Pool, in the second place referred to in the above letter of Febr. 19, 1636, refers to surveyings of the west-coast of Australia by ships going from the Netherlands to India, and can therefore have nothing to do with the expedition of 1623. Arnhems- and Van Speults Land were accordingly discovered on the voyage of the Pera and the Arnhem. Now the journal of the Pera shows that she did not discover them, so that we are led to the conclusion that Arnhems- and Van Speults Land were discovered by the ship Arnhem.]

{Page 48}


Letter from the Governor-General and Councillors to the Managers of the E.I.C., December 28, 1636.

...[The ships of Pool's expedition touched at] the native village of Taranga, situated at the south-western extremity of Arouw, and then sailed southward, hoping to be able to run on an easterly course in order to execute their orders; they, however, met with strong south-east winds and very high seas besides; in 11 degrees S.L. they discovered vast lands, to which they gave the names of Van Diemen's and Maria's Land, and which we suspect to be Arnhems or Speults's islands, though they extend in another direction than the latter [*].

[* Cf. as regards the situation of Arnhem's and Van Speult's Lands my Lite of Tasman, pp. 101 and 102, and the charts there referred to. Of the Nolpe-Dozy chart, of which there is question in note 4 on p. 102 of the book just mentioned, a reproduction will be found in Remarkable Maps, with a note by myself.]

The council of the said yachts, finding they could not run on an eastern course, after discovering and surveying Arnhem's Land twenty miles to westward, resolved to steer their course northward again past the islands of Timor and Tenember, and thus return to Banda, where they arrived on July 7...


Instructions for Tasman, 1644.

...The third voyage was undertaken from Amboyna in the month of January 1623 with the Yachts Pera and Arnhem, commanded by Commander JAN CARSTENS, for the purpose of entering into friendly relations with the inhabitants of the islands of Key, Arou and Tenimber, and of exploring Nova Guinea and the South-lands, on which occasion alliances were made with the islands aforesaid and the south-coast of Nova Guinea was further discovered...but owing to untimely separation the Yacht Arnhem, after discovering the large islands of Arnhem and Speult, returned to Amboyna unsuccessfully enough, while the Yacht Pera, continuing her voyage, navigated along the south coast of Nova Guinea as far as a shallow bay in 10 degrees, and afterwards along the west coast of the same land as far as Cape Keer-Weer, whence she further explored the coast to southward as far as 17 degrees near the Staten river, where she saw the land stretching farther to westward, after which she returned again to Amboyna...

{Page 49}

XV. (1623)

Journal kept on board the ship Leyden from the Texel to Batavia, 1623.

Laus Deo. This 9th day of July, A.D. 1623 in the ship Leyden...

On the 15th do. Latitude 27° 15'; during the last twenty-four hours we sailed 16 miles East by North and East-north-east...At noon we saw a large dead fish floating near our ship, with a great many birds perched on its carcase.

On the 16th do. Latitude 26° 27'; sailed 16 miles in 24 hours North by east...

On the 17th do. Latitude 27° 23'; from last night sailed 16 miles East-south-east...

On the 18th do. Latitude 27° 25'; sailed 24 miles East-south-east, East by South and East-north-east, on the whole keeping an eastward course...

On the 19th do. Latitude 27' 20'. sailed due east 20 Miles in 24 hours...

On the 20th do. Latitude 27° 20' sailed 20 miles these 24 hours North-east, East-north-east and East, with a light breeze, fair weather, and a West-south-west wind; course held east.

On the 21st do. in the morning we sighted Eendrachtsland in Latitude 27° at about 6 miles' distance South-west by west; we sounded off it in 61 fathom fine gravel bottom, the land showing outwardly like Robben Island in the Taffel Bay; at noon in Latitude 26° 43' we shaped our course to northward, and afterwards drifted in a calm.

On the 22nd do. Latitude 26` 36, sailed and drifted about 4 miles, at about 8 miles' distance North~north-west from the land. We sighted everywhere a hilly coast with large bays, with low-lying land in between, the whole covered with dunes; we drifted in a calm, our course being North-west by West.

On the 23rd do. Latitude 26° 3'; during the last twenty-four hours we mostly drifted in a calm at about 3 or 4 miles' distance from the coast; here we sighted a large inlet, looking like a river or bay. We sounded in 80 fathom, good sandy bottom; in the afternoon there was a light breeze from the South-south-west, our course being North-west by West. In the evening we saw the farthest extremity of the land north by east at six miles' distance from us.

On the 26th do. Latitude 25° 48', we did our best to keep off the land, which extended North-north-west and East-south-east. The land looked like the west-coast of England with many reddish rocks; out at sea there were plenty of cliffs and sunken rocks; at noon the wind went round to South-west afterwards to the south; we held our course North-west by North. In the evening the endmost land lay North by east of us at about 7 miles' distance.

On the 27th do. WILLEMTGEN JANSZ., wedded wife Of WILLEM JANSZ. of Amsterdam, midshipman, was delivered of a son, who got the name of SEEBAER VAN NIEMELANT. At noon Latitude 24° 15', sailed northward both in a calm and with variable winds, generally on a North-by-west course...[*] miles, our course being north, and the wind south with a fine breeze.

[* Left blank.]

On the 29th do. Latitude 20° 56'.

On the 30th do. Latitude 18° 56'; the wind being east, we could not get higher than north. We saw a good deal of rock-weed floating about, and plenty of fish near the ship...

{Page 50}

XVI. (1624)


Daily Register [*] of what has happened here at Batavia from the first of January, A.D. 1627.

[* This Daily Register has been edited by me ('s Gravenhage, Nijhoff, 1896).]

...On the 21st [of June] there arrived here from the Netherlands the advice-yacht Tortelduiff...which had left the Texel...on the 16th of November, 1623...


Hessel Gerritsz Charts, 1627 [*] (Nos. 4 and 5.--VII, C, D).

[* The situation of Tortelduif island was accordingly known as early as 1677. The voyage Of 1623-1624 is the only one made to India by the ship of that name (see LEUPE, Zuidland, p. 48). If we take for granted that this ship gave its name to the island (rock), which is highly probable, then the name must have been conferred in 1624. The note of interrogation in the text is only meant to ward off the charge of over-hasty inference on my part.]

XVII. (1626)

Copy of the Journal kept by me DANIEL JANSSEN COCK, Captain and Skipper of the ship LEIJDEN, which set sail on the 17th of May 1625, of all that has occurred during the voyage.

Praise God. April 1626.

26 do. Latitude 29½ degrees, sailed 36 miles...

27 do. Latitude 27 2/3 degrees, sailed 28 miles; course held north-east; the wind being south and south-west, I had the top-gallants set. God grant what is best for us. Amen. Course kept North-north-east.

28 do. In the morning we took the sun's azimuth: between 7 and 8 degrees to northward, the rise being 16 degrees. We sighted land, being the Southland, at 10 miles' distance. We found a strong current here, with a depth Of 40 fathom. The current set to eastward or straight against the land. In the evening we shaped our course to North-west.

29 do. Latitude slightly under 26°. the weather was calm, so that we ran along the coast, North and at times North-north-west. In the evening I saw the endmost (?) land north-east of me; the wind blowing from the south.

30 do. In the morning I took the sun's azimuth: between 9 and 10 degrees to northward, the rise being 16½ degrees, remains 7½ degrees. At noon Latitude 24° 47'. Course held North by west, with a southerly wind; sailed 18 miles; in the evening it fell calm...

{Page 51}

XVIII. (1627)


Dail Register of what has happened here at Batavia from the first of January, 1627 [*].

[* On p. 307 of my edition of the Daily Register of 1624-1629.]

...On the 10th [of April] there arrived here from the Netherlands the ship t' Gulden Seepaart fitted out by the Zealand Chamber [*], having on board the Hon. Pieter Nuyts, extraordinary Councillor of India, having sailed from there on the 22nd of May, 1626...

[* The Register of outgoing vessels of the E.I.C. shows that the skipper's name was François Thijssen or Thijszoon.]


Hessel Gerritsz-Huydecoper Chart (No. 5.--VII D).

This chart has 't land van Pieter Nuijts (discovered January 26 [*], 1627) and the islands of Sint François and Sint Pieter.

[* Some of the charts have February, but most of them January. This month is also mentioned as the time of the discovery in the instructions for Pool (1636, see infra) and for Tasman (1644). Cf. my Life of Tasman, pp. 97f.]

XIX. (1627)


Letter of Jan Pieterszoon Coen to the Directors of the E.I.C.

Most Noble Wise Provident Very Discreet Gentlemen,

The present is a copy of our letter written from Illa de Mayo on the 15th of April last...On July the 22nd we sailed from the Tafelbay with the ships Galias, Utrecht and Texel. When coming out to sea we got the wind from the south, so that we could not sail higher than the Cape, and lost eight days during which we made no progress. Then getting a favourable wind we remained together in 37½ degrees Southern Latitude up to the 10th of August; the following night, however, the rudder of the Galias broke in a strong wind, so that the ship became ungovernable, and the sails were dashed to pieces, in consequence of which she got separated from the other two ships, who had failed to observe the accident of the Galias owing to the darkness; {Page 52} the next day, the rudder having been repaired, we continued our voyage with the Galias, and in the afternoon of the 5th of September in 28½ degrees S. Lat. came upon the land of d'Eendracht. We were at less than half a mile's distance from the breakers before perceiving the same, without being able to see land. If we had come upon this place in the night-time, we should have been in a thousand perils with our ship and crew. In the plane charts the reckonings of our steersmen were still between 300 and 350 miles from any land, so that there was not the slightest suspicion of our being near any, although the reckoning of the chart with increasing degrees showed only 120 miles, and the reckoning by the terrestrial globe only 50 miles distance from the land. But to this little attention had been paid. It seems certain now that the miscalculation involved in the plane chart from Cabo de bon' Esperança to the Southland in 35 degrees latitude gives an overplus of more than 270 miles of sea, a matter to which most steersmen pay little attention, and which has brought, and is still daily bringing, many vessels into great perils. It would be highly expedient if in the plane charts most in use, between Cabo de bon' Esperança and the South-land south of Java, so much space were added and passed over in drawing up the reckonings, as is deducible from the correct longitude according to the globosity of earth and sea. We would request Your Worships to direct attention to this point, and have such indications made in the plane chart as experts shall find to be advisable; a matter of the highest importance, which if not properly attended to involves grievous peril to ships and crews (which God in his mercy avert).

In this plane chart the South-land also lies fully 40 miles more to eastward than it should be, which should also be rectified.

On the 20th of September we struck the South-coast of Java about 50 or 60 miles eastward of its western extremity...

Your Worships' obedt. servant

At Batavia, October 30, 1627.

XX. (1627)

Letter Of Supercargo J. Van Roosenbergh to the Directors of the E.I.C., November 8, 1627.

Worshipful Wise Provident Very Discreet Gentlemen,

You have no doubt received my letter from Illa de Mayo...

On the 7th of September we resolved to run for the South-land, that we might be near Java before the middle of October. On the 17th do. we sighted the land of d'Eendracht near Dirck Hartochs reede [road-stead], at about 7 miles' distance from us; the land was of middle height, something like D'overen [Dover] in England; it is less low than has been asserted by some, and of a whitish hue, so that at night it cannot be seen before one is quite close to it. When by estimation we were at two miles' distance from the land, the coast seemed to have a foreshore consisting of small hills here and there. According to our observations the land lay quite differently from what the chart would have us believe, to wit, North by West and North-north-west, from a point three miles south of the aforesaid height to a point 8 or 9 miles north of it; which were the farthest points seen by us; this constituting a difference Of 3½ {Page 53} points with the chart, which makes it North-north-east and South-south-west. We cast the lead five miles off the shore in 75 fathom, muddy bottom mixed with small red pebbles, and five glasses afterwards, two miles off shore, in 55 fathom sandy bottom, for hardly anything was found sticking to the lead when heaved. We had seen no other signs of land beyond gulf-weed floating about in small quantities just as in the Sargasso Sea, and some land-birds flying high overhead. The many-coloured birds which we met near the islands of Tristan de Aconcha, left us two days before, just as they did when we got near Cabo de bone Esperança, so that they would seem to dislike the land. Instead of them, we saw a black bird with a white tail, having white streaks here and there under its wings; a bird, it seems, of rare occurrence. Three or four days before we also saw a number of sanderlings. Close inshore we also saw a quantity of cuttlebone, but the pieces were very small and scattered, so that they could hardly be seen in hollow water, except by paying very close attention to them and only 6 or 8 miles off shore, seeing that the steady west-wind prevents their getting out to sea, which they would certainly do, if now and then the wind blew from the east for a few days in succession. Careful estimations based on the globosity of the earth will give the best signs after all. By estimation we have got into...[*] Longitude, some of our steersmen having got one or two degrees more, some less, which in the plane charts makes a considerable difference, about 217 miles by calculation. I repeat that since I have seen the land a good deal earlier, it will be expedient in the plane chart to mark out a distance of about 200 miles, to westward of St. Paulo island and to eastward of Madagascar, the said distance to be passed over in drawing up reckonings, seeing that the plane chart involves serious drawbacks; the same might well be done to eastward of the Cape, in such fashion as Your Worships' cartographers and other experts, such as Master C. J. Lastman, shall find to be most expedient for the Company's service. Seeing that we had nothing to do near the coast, and there was a fair wind blowing for us to make use of, we deemed it advisable that night to run north-west, and the next morning, having got north into 20 degrees S. Lat., from there to hold a north by-west course for Java, whither God Almighty may in safety conduct ourselves and those who shall come after us.

[* Left blank.]

On the 27th do. in the evening, when it had got dark, the water suddenly turned as white as butter-milk, a thing that none of those on board of us had ever seen in their lives, and which greatly surprised us all, so that, concluding it to be caused by a shallow of the sea, we set the foresail and cast the lead, but since we got no bottom, and with the rising moon the water again resumed its usual colour, we made all sail and ran on full speed, satisfied that the strange colour had been caused by the sky, which was very pale at the time. On the 28th in the morning very early, the water became thick, and shortly after we sighted land, being two islands, each of them about 2 miles in length; at 4 miles' distance from the land we cast the lead in 65 fathom sandy bottom. At noon in Latitude 8°, three miles off shore, we found ourselves to have run too far to eastward, wherefore we held our course to westward up to the 2nd of October, when by God's grace we passed the Princen islands, and arrived off Bantham on the 9th do. By estimation the land of d'Eendracht is marked in the chart fifty miles too far to eastward, which should also be rectified...

Done in the ship 't Wapen van Hoorn, November 8, A.D. 1627, lying at anchor before Batavia.

Your Worships' obedt. Servant


{Page 54}

XXI. (1628)


Letter of the Governor-General and Councillors to the Managers of the E.I.C. November 3, 1628.

...[We] thought fit to give orders for the ship Vyanen [*] to sail to the strait of Balamboan. [She] sailed [from Batavia] thither on the 14th of January, and from there stood out to sea on the 25th do. She was by head-winds driven so far to south-ward that she came upon the South-land beyond Java where she ran aground, so that she was forced to throw overboard 8 or 10 lasts of pepper and a quantity of copper, upon which through God's mercy she got off again without further damage...

[* That commander Gerrit Frederikszoon De Witt, was on board this ship, is proved by an original letter of his, dated August 6, 1628 (Hague State Archives).]


See the Hessel Gerritsz--Huydecoper Chart (No 5.--VII D), which has G. F. De Witts-land.


Instructions for Tasman, 1644 [*].

[* The well-known chart of TASMAN, 1644 (see my Life of, Tasman, PP. 71-73) also has the name G. F. De Witt's Land.]

...Meanwhile in the year 1627 the ship t' Gulde Zeepaert,...discovered...the south coast of the great Southland, and in the following year 1628 the ship Viana, homeward bound from Batavia, equally unexpectedly discovered the coast of the same land on the north side in the Southern Latitude of 21 degrees, and sailed along it a distance of about 50 miles; none of these discoveries, however, resulting in the obtaining of any considerable information respecting the situation and condition of this vast land, it only having been found that it has barren and dangerous coasts, green, fertile fields and exceedingly savage, black, barbarian inhabitants...

XXII. (before 1629)

[* I do not know the date of this discovery. Since Pelsaert was acquainted with it, it must have taken place before 1629 or 1628. It cannot have been much earlier, as the name is not found in Hessel Gerritsz's charts. I must mention, however, that Leupe has found a steersman of the name of Jacob Remmetsz referred to in the archives of the E.I.C. about the year 1619.]


Daily annotations of Pelsaert, 1629 (See infra).

...This 16th [of June]...we were in Latitude 22 degrees 17 minutes. I intended to sail to Jacop Remmessens river.

{Page 55}


Keppler Map (No. 6.--VII E).

XXIII. (1629) [*].

[* In the year 1628 certain other Dutch vessels sighted or touched at the west-coast of Australia on their outward voyage to India (see LEUPE, Zuidland, p. 58; my edition of the Daily Register of Batavia, p. 341). What we know on this point is without interest. I merely mention the fact here, without entering into particulars.]

[** The fact and the particulars of this shipwreck have become sufficiently known, the narrative of it having been published repeatedly and in different languages (see TIELE, Mémoires bibliographiques, pp. 262-268; Id. Bibliographie Land- en Volkenkunde, pp. 172, 190-191, 258f.--Cf. e.g. also MAJOR, Early Voyages, pp. LXXXIX--XCII; 59-74). I accordingly print in the text only what is strictly necessary; but I give almost in extenso Pelsaert's journal of his exploratory voyage along the west-coast of Australia.]


Woeful diurnal annotations [of Commander PELSAERT] touching the loss of our ship Batavia, run aground on the Abrolhos, or rocks of Fredrick Houtman, situated in 28½ degrees S. Lat., at 9 miles' distance from the Southland.

On the fourth of June [1619], it being Whitmonday, with a light, clear full moon, about two hours before daybreak...I felt the ship's rudder strike the rocks with a violent horrible shock. Upon which the ship's course was forthwith checked by the rocks...I rushed on deck, and found all the sails atop; the wind south-west; our course during the night had been north-east by north, and we were now lying amidst thick foam. Still, at the moment, the breakers round the ship were not violent, but shortly after the sea was heard to run upon us with great vehemence on all sides...

[When] day broke, we found ourselves surrounded by cliffs and shoals...

I saw no land that I thought would remain above water at high tide, except an island, which by estimation was fully three miles from the ship. I therefore sent the skipper to two small islets or cliffs, in order to ascertain whether our men and part of our cargo could be landed there. About 9 o'clock the skipper returned, informing me that it was well-nigh impossible to get through the rocks and cliffs, the pinnace running aground in one place, and the water being several fathom deep in another. As far as he could judge, the islands would remain above water at high tide. Therefore, moved by the loud lamentations raised on board by women, children, sick people, and faint-hearted men, we thought it best first to land the greater part of our people...

[On June 5] at their earnest instances to move me, it was determined, as shown by the resolution, that we should try to find fresh water in the neighbouring islands, or on the mainland coast in order to save their lives and our own; and that, if no water should be found, we should in that case at the mercy of God with the pinnace continue our voyage to Batavia, there to make known our calamitous and unheard-of disasters...

{Page 56}

This day the 6th do...[we] set sail in the pinnace, and on this day touched at two separate islands, where we found at best some brackish water, which had collected in the cavities of the rocks on the beach after the rain, but it was largely mixed with seawater. On the 7th do. we remained here, in order to repair our pinnace with a plank, for we found that without this it would have been impossible to reach the mainland...

On the 8th do. in the morning we set sail from this island for the mainland...

At noon we were in 28° 13' Lat., and shortly after sighted the mainland, which we estimated to lie 6 miles north by west of our ship. The wind blew from the west, and we sounded 25 and 30 fathom about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. During the night we kept off the land, and after midnight shaped our course for it again.

In the morning of the 9th we were still about 3 miles from the land, the wind being mainly north-west with some rain; in the last 24 hours we covered 4 or 5 miles by estimation, course held north by west. The land here extends chiefly north by west and south by east. It is a barren, rocky coast without trees, about the height of Dover in England.

We here saw a small inlet, and some low land with dunes, which we meant to touch at, but on nearer approach we found a heavy sea and violent breakers on the shore, while at the same time the swell from the west suddenly began to run towards the land so strongly and so high, that we could hardly keep off it, the less so as the storm always rose in violence.

On the 10th do. we kept holding off and on for twenty-four hours owing to the strong wind, while the storm from the north-west, which stood on the boat we had taken with us, forced us to cut the same adrift and to throw overboard a part of the bread we had with us, together with other things that were in the way, since we could not keep the water out of our pinnace.

During the night we were in great peril of foundering owing to the violent gale and the hollow seas. We could not keep off the land, because we did not venture to carry sail, and so were wholly at the mercy of wind and waves, while it kept raining the whole night.

On the 1lth do. in the morning the weather began somewhat to abate, the wind turning to west-south-west, upon which we held our course to northward, but the sea was still very rough.

On the 12th do. at noon we were in Lat. 27°; we ran close along the land with a south-east wind, but could find no means to get near the land with the pinnace, owing to the violent surf; we found the coast falling off very steeply, without any foreland or inlets, such as other lands are found to have: in short it seemed to us a barren, accursed earth without leafage or grass.

On the 13th do. at noon we were in Lat. 25° 40'; we found ourselves drifting very rapidly northward, having rounded the point where the land extends mainly N.N.E. and S.S.W. During the last 24 hours our course was chiefly north. The coast was steep, consisting of red rock, without foreland, of the same height almost everywhere, and impossible to touch at owing to the breakers.

On the 14th do. in the morning there was a faint breeze, but during the day it fell a dead calm. At noon we were in Lat. 24°; course held N., with a S.E. wind; during the whole of the day the current carried us northward against our will, for we {Page 57} were running along the land with small sail. In the afternoon we saw smoke rising up from the land; we accordingly rowed to shore in order to land if possible, with our spirits somewhat raised, for I concluded that if there were men, there must be water too. Coming near the shore, I found it to be a steeply rising coast, full of rocks and stones, with the surf running violently; nevertheless 6 of our men swam ashore, and we remained at anchor with the pinnace in 25 fathom outside the surf. The men now searched for water everywhere until nightfall, without, however, finding any; they also saw four men coming up to them, creeping on all fours, but when our men all of a sudden emerged from a depression of the ground, and approached them, they sprang to their feet, and ran off in full career, all which we could distinctly see from the pinnace. They were black men, stark naked, without the least covering. In the evening our men swam on board again, all of them grievously wounded by the rocks on which they been dashed by the breakers. We therefore weighed anchor again to seek a better place for landing, and ran on during the night with small sail close along the shore, but out of the reach of the surf.

On the 15th do. in the morning we were near a point of the coast off which a large reef extended about a mile in length, we ran in between the land and this reef, which we estimated to be in 23° Lat., and thus sailed along the coast, along which there was another reef, inside which the water seemed to be very smooth and still; we did our best to get inside this second reef, but did not find an opening before noon, when we saw a passage where there was no surf, we ran into it, but found it to be full of stones, and sometimes no more than one or two feet deep.

This coast had a foreshore covered with dunes about a mile in width, before you come to the higher part. We therefore began to dig in divers places, but the water proved to be salt; some of us went to the higher land, where by good luck we found in a rock a number of cavities, in which a quantity of rain-water had collected. It also seemed that a short time before there had been natives there, for we found some crab-shells lying about and here and there fire-ashes. Here we somewhat quenched our cruel thirst, which almost prevented us from dragging ourselves along, for since the loss of our ship we had had no more than one or two mutchkins daily, without any wine or other drink. Besides quenching our own thirst, we here gathered about 80 cans of water, and remained there for the night.

On the 16th do. in the morning we continued our exploration in order to find out whether there were more water-pits in the mountains, but our search was fruitless, for it seemed not to have rained there for a long time past, and we found no traces of running water, the higher ground being again very barren and unpromising, without any trees, shrubs or grass, but with plenty of high ant-hills in all directions. These ant~hills consisted of earth thrown up, and from afar somewhat resembled huts for the abode of men.

We also found such multitudes of flies here, which perched on our mouths and crept into our eyes, that we could not keep them off our persons. We likewise saw 8 blacks here, each of them carrying a stick in his hand; they came within a musketshot's distance of us, but when we went up to them, they ran off, and we could not get them to stop, that we might come near them. Towards noon, when we found there was no more water to be had, we set sail again, and passed through another opening of the reef a little more to northward. We were here in 22° 17' Lat. I intended to run on to Jacop Remessens river, but the wind went round to North-east, so that we could not keep near the land, and seeing that we were now more than {Page 58} 100 miles from those we had left behind on the island-rocks, and that up to now we had not found water enough to assist them all, but only so much as would afford two mutchkins daily to ourselves, we were compelled to resolve to do our best in order with God's help to continue our voyage to Batavia as expeditiously as possible, that the Hon. Lord Governor-general might order measures to be taken for the succour of those we had left behind...

On the 7 th do. [of July] we arrived in the road-stead of Batavia at nightfall.

God be thanked and praised.


Diurnal anotations on my [PELSAERT'S] second voyage to the South-land, by order of the Hon. Lord Governor-general Jan Pietersen Coen, with the Yacht Sardam, for the purpose of rescuing and bringing hither the men belonging to our lost ship Batavia, together with the ready money and the goods that it shall be found possible to salve.

This day the 15th Of July We set sail in the morning with the land-wind...

This day the 1st of September at noon we were in 29° 16' Southern Latitude [*], with a variable wind, so that we found it impossible to get to eastward.

[* The ship had already sailed farther south than Houtman's Abrolhos.]

On the 2nd do. the wind went round to the north with a top-gallant gale; at noon we were in 30° 16' S.L. and found we had drifted a long way to southward; in the evening the wind turned to the north-west; course held N.E. by north.

On the 3rd do. in the morning the wind was blowing from the west; we saw a good deal of rock-weed floating about and also a number of cuttle-bones. We therefore turned our course to eastward, and at noon we saw the mainland of the South-land, extending N.N.W. and S.S.E.; we were at about 3 miles' distance from it and saw the land extending southward for 4 miles by estimation, where it was bounded by the horizon. We sounded here in 25 fathom, fine sandy bottom. It is a treeless, barren coast with a few sandy dunes, the same as to northward; we were in 29° 16' Southern Latitude, turned our course to north-west, the wind being W.S.W., but the hollow seas threw us close to the land, so that in the evening we had to drop anchor at one mile's distance from it; at two glasses in the first watch our anchor was broken in two, so that we had to bring out another in great haste.

On the 4th do. in the morning the wind was S.W. by S., still with a very hollow swell. During the day the wind went round to S.S.W., upon which we weighed anchor and got under sail before noon. We stood out to sea on a W.N.W. course in order to get off the lee-shore. At noon we were in 28° 50' S.L., where the land began to fall off one point, to wit North by west and South by east. In the afternoon the wind went round to the south, and we shaped our course westward. Towards evening we became aware of a shoal straight ahead or west of us, at only a musket-shot's distance, we being in 25 fathom fine sandy bottom. We turned the rudder and ran off it half a mile to E.S.E., where we came to anchor in 27 fathom fine bottom; from noon till the evening we had been sailing on a W.N.W. course, and we were now at 5 miles' distance from the mainland. In the night it fell a dead calm with fine weather and a south-by-east wind.

{Page 59}

On the 5th do. in the morning the wind being S.S.E. with lovely weather, we weighed anchor and sailed S.S.W. for an hour, at the end of which we observed more breakers, shallows and islets ahead of us and alongside our course; the wind then turned more to eastward, so that we could run to the south and S.S.E. This reef or shoal extended S.S.W. and N.N.E.; along it we sounded in 27, 28 and 29 fathom sandy bottom; at 11 o'clock in the forenoon we had lost sight of the mainland; at noon we were in 28° 59' S. Lat., the extremity of the reef lying W.S.W. of us, and we being in 50 or 60 fathom, foul steep bottom. In the afternoon the wind began to abate, but the current carried us to the west, while the rocks here fell off far to westward, we being at about 87 miles' distance from the mainland by estimation. We had a dead calm the whole night and drifted along the rock, on which we heard the waves break the whole time.

On the 6th do. in the morning we had lost sight of the rocks; about 10 o'clock the wind began to blow from the W.N.W., so that we ran nearly in the direction of the rocks. At noon we were in 28° 44' S. Lat.; it began to blow hard from the N.W., so that in the afternoon we kept tacking off and on, and found ourselves carried northward by the current. In the evening we stood out to sea away from the rocks again, and sounded in 40 fathom foul rocky bottom; this shallow here extends seaward S.E. and N.W. In the evening it began to blow very hard, so that we had to run on with shortened mainsails, the wind being variable.

On the 7th do. in the morning the wind abated, so that we made sail again; at noon we found our latitude to be 29° 30'; we went over to northward to get sight of the mainland again, but the wind suddenly turned sharply to W.N.W., so that we had to stand out to sea again.

On the 8th do. at noon we were in 29° 7' S. Lat., course held N.E. In the evening we saw the breakers again. We therefore stood out to sea on a west-south-west course the whole night with a north-west-wind; and it began to blow so hard that we had again to take in the topsails.

On the 9th do. in the morning we shaped our course to the land again; at noon we were in Lat. 29° and for the rest of the day we kept tacking off and on; towards the evening there blew a storm from the N.W., so that we could hardly keep our main-sails set.

On the 10th do. we made sail again in the morning; at noon we were in 29° 30' S. Lat., with a westerly wind and a top-gallant gale.

On the 11th do. it was calm in the morning, but with a very hollow sea, while the wind blew from the W.N.W., so that we could not get to the north, if we did not wish to come upon or near the rocks. At noon we were in 28° 48' S. Lat. The wind continued variable, so that in the night we had to drift with our foresail set until daybreak.

On the 12th do. we made sail again at daybreak, shaping our course to the east. We ran on till noon, when we found ourselves to be in in 28° 13' S. Lat. We therefore ran somewhat more to the south again, in order to reach the latitude Of 28° 20' exactly; the wind was south-west with a heavy swell of the sea. In the afternoon, two hours before sunset we again sighted the rocks, which we estimated to be still two miles from us. We cast the lead in 100 fathom fine sandy bottom, but when we had come to half a mile's distance, we sounded 30 fathom foul rocky bottom. In the night we shaped our course two points more to seaward, and in the daywatch made for the land again.

{Page 60}

On the 13th do., three hours after sunrise we again sighted breakers ahead, and having made up our reckoning, we found we had lost a mile north, since the wind had been S.S.E. This proved to be the northernmost extremity of the Abrolhos. Therefore, since I found we always came too high or too low, and it was very dangerous to touch at them from the outside owing to the high swells and foul bottom, I resolved to keep tacking off the outermost shoal. After this we went over again nearly to weatherward with a S.S.E. wind, keeping an eastern course. When we had got inside a small distance, we directly had a fine sandy bottom in from 30 to 35 fathom; at noon we were in 28° S. Lat., shortly after we again saw the mainland of the Southland. In the evening, as it began to blow hard, we came to anchor at about 2 miles' distance from the land in 30 fathom, fine bottom.

On the 14th do. there was a stiff gale from the S.S.E., so that we could not get in our anchor, and remained here all day.

On the 15th do. the wind was still equally strong, but towards noon it got somewhat calmer, so that we could get in our anchor. At noon we were in 27° 54' S. Lat. We kept tacking the whole day with a S.S.E. wind, in order to gain the south, and at night found we had gained two miles. When it got dark, we again came to anchor in 30 fathom fine bottom.

On the 16th do. at daybreak we again weighed anchor; the wind being W.S.W., we went over nearly to southward. At noon we were in Latitude...degrees...minutes [*]. The wind then turned first to the west and afterwards to the north, so that we could sail on a south-west course; towards the evening we saw the rocks on which our good ship Batavia had miscarried, and I was sure I saw the high Island, but our steersmen contended that it was other land. Two hours after sunset we again came to anchor in 26 fathom fine sandy bottom.

[* Left blank.]

On the 17th do. at daybreak we again weighed anchor with a northerly wind; we were now still about 2 miles from the high island and made for it. When at noon we had got near the island we saw smoke rising up from a long island, two miles to westward of the wreck, and also from another islet [*], close to the wreck, at which we were all of us greatly rejoiced, hoping to find the greater part [**] or almost all the people alive. Therefore, when we had come to anchor, I went in a boat to the highest island, which was quite close to us, taking with me a cask of water, a cask of bread, and a small keg of wine; when I had got there I did not see any one, at which we were greatly astonished. I sprang ashore...

[* This islet was named Batavia's Kerkhof [Churchyard] by the survivors; another of the rocks got the name of Robben-eiland [Seals' island].]

[* This proved actually to be the case. I have thought it needless to print those parts of the journal which tell the adventures of the castaways, since they have repeatedly been narrated in other works.]

On the 15th [of November, 1629] the wind was S.S.W., with seemingly fine weather. Therefore, in the name of God, we weighed anchor and set sail from these luckless Abrolhos for the mainland on an East-north-east course, for the purpose of seeking there the skipper and four other men, who on the 14th last were with their boat cut off from ship by a storm, after which we had resolved to continue our return-voyage to Batavia with the utmost expedition. The spot where the ship or wreck lies, is in 28° 36' or 40', and the place near the high Island where we have been at anchor with the Yacht, in 30 or 32 minutes, north-north-west of the wreck. But after the shipwreck the steersmen had in one of the islands taken the latitude Of 28 degrees 8 minutes, and 28 degrees 20 minutes, which mistake has caused no little loss of time and misunderstanding on our part in seeking out these places...

{Page 61}

The sea abounds in fish in these parts; they are mainly of three kinds, but very different in shape and taste from those caught on other coasts. All the islands about here are low-lying atolls or coral-islets and rocks, except two or three large islands, in one of which, a long time before we came here, they had found two pits filled with water, but during the time we were here, the water in these pits became very brackish or salt, so as to be unfit for human consumption. In the other island, near which the Yacht lay at anchor, after burning away the brushwood or thicket, we also came upon two pits filled with water, which were discovered quite by accident...since they had only a small hole at top, that would admit a man's arm, but below we found a large cistern or water-tank under the earth; after which with mattocks and sledge-hammers we widened the hole so as to be able to take out the water conveniently. Besides, we found in these islands large numbers of a species of cats, which are very strange creatures; they are about the size of a hare, their head resembling the head of a civet-cat; the forepaws are very short, about the length of a finger, on which the animal has five small nails or fingers, resembling those of a monkey's forepaw. Its two hind-legs, on the contrary, are upwards of half an ell in length, and it walks on these only, on the flat of the heavy part of the leg, so that it does not run fast. Its tail is very long, like that of a long-tailed monkey; if it eats, it sits on its hind-legs, and clutches its food with its forepaws, just like a squirrel or monkey. Their manner of generation or procreation is exceedingly strange and highly worth observing. Below the belly the female carries a pouch, into which you may put your hand; inside this pouch are her nipples, and we have found that the young ones grow up in this pouch with the nipples in their mouths. We have seen some young ones lying there, which were only the size of a bean, though at the same time perfectly proportioned, so that it seems certain that they grow there out of the nipples of the mammae, from which they draw their food, until they are grown up and are able to walk. Still, they keep creeping into the pouch even when they have become very large, and the dam runs off with them, when they are hunted.

In these two islands we also found a number of grey turtle-doves, but no other animals. Nor is there any vegetation beyond brushwood, and little or no grass. This and what has hereinbefore been related is all that we have experienced and met with about these Abrolhos.

We shall therefore now shape our course for the mainland of the Southland, to which we are navigating. About noon we were close inshore, running along the coast with small sail at about half a mile's distance from it, in order to see if we could not descry any men or signs of men, until the afternoon, when we saw a small column of smoke rise up from the higher land, but it soon vanished. Nevertheless we anchored there in 21 fathom fine sandy bottom, in order to look for the skipper with his men, but the smoke did not appear again, and no one showed on the beach, from which we concluded that the smoke had been made by the natives, who now did not venture to show themselves. As it blew very hard, we remained at anchor here for the night.

On the 16th do. in the morning we weighed anchor again with a S.S.E. wind and a top-gallant gale. We again ran close along the land with small sail at about a howitzer's shot's distance from the surf. Towards noon we sighted the inlet which we had meant to run into on the 8th of June last, when we were seeking water with the pinnace, and {Page 62} where we were befallen by a storm from the north-west, which would certainly have sent us to destruction, if God had not miraculously saved us. Here we saw divers smoke-clouds rising up, which gladdened us all with the hope that our men might be there. I therefore sent the pinnace ashore directly for the purpose of getting certain information regarding the place and the clouds of smoke we had seen; the men in her, after rounding a steep point, where we had suspected the presence of water, discovered a running streamlet, of which the water was brackish near the sea, but quite fresh higher up; they also found a great many human footprints and continuous footpaths leading to the mountains, and saw numerous clouds of smoke, but the blacks kept themselves in concealment, and no human being was seen.

Formerly, when we were sailing about here with the pinnace, we had also been close inshore, but did not then see any men or smoke-clouds at this place. Thinking this a fitting opportunity, I have here sent on shore the two condemned delinquents [*] Wouter Loos and Jan Pelgrom de By, of Bemmel, in a sampan provided with all necessaries. God grant that this punishment may ultimately redound to the service of the Company, and that the two delinquents may come off with their lives, so as to be able to give trustworthy information about these parts. This inlet is in 27° 51'. In the afternoon, seeing there was no hope or chance of finding the skipper, we made sail and shaped our course to north-west, two points off the land, because it began to blow hard, and in the evening we turned to west-north-west...[**].

[* They had been sentenced to being marooned.]

[* The ship returned to Batavia on the 5th of December.]

XXIV. (1635) [*].

[* In 1629 the west-coast of Australia in the neighbourhood of Dirk Hartogsz Roads was touched at by Dutch vessels, and in 1632 the Trialls were passed by Dutch ships on the outward voyage. What we know about these two points is of no interest as regards our subject.]


[* I know this journal only from what LEUPE extracts from it in his "Zuidland", pp. 62 ff. (the passages in question being given above), and from certain written notes from Leupe's hand. From the latter I have learned inter alia, the name of the skipper, the date of departure from the Texel (December 26, 1634), and the date of arrival at Batavia (June 24, 1635).]

...[May 25] Last night when two glasses of the first watch were out, we got a slight breeze from the N.W., which gradually stiffened, so that there was a fair breeze at the latter end of this watch, which kept blowing through the night till the following forenoon, when the wind turned to W. by N. and W.N.W. with a squall of rain, it blowing a strong top-gallant gale until the evening, course kept E. by N. until one hour after daybreak when we sighted the South-land.

We went over to port directly, keeping a N.E. and N.E. by E. course until noon, when we stood out to sea from the land, on a W. and W. by S. course with a top-gallant gale. We took the latitude, which we found to be 25° 16' South, but of {Page 63} this we are not quite sure; we were not able to take the sun's azimuth, either in the morning or in the evening; we sailed 20 miles until we saw the land, from which we were at 4 or 4½ miles' distance by estimation, on an E. by N. course, and on various courses during the day, course N.N.E. for 6 or 7 miles.

We had made this land in 4 months and 20 days. We saw a good deal of rock-weed floating past our ship, and also a small Saturn-gull, and not above 6 or 7 other gulls; the swell ran strongly from the south-west and afterwards more from the south; along the land the sea was tolerably smooth.

We adjusted our compasses at 4° north-westerly variation. In the morning of the same day about two hours after sunrise, when prayers were over, we saw the south-land straight ahead to the great joy of all of us; it was east of us, at about 3 or 5 miles' distance by estimation, when we got sight of it; it was a low-lying coast extending mainly N.N.E. and S.S.W. as given in the chart, so far as we could see. We immediately began to sail close-hauled to port on a N.E. and N.E. by E. course, sometimes a little higher and at other times a little lower, until three glasses in the afternoon had run out, when we got a squall of rain with the wind going over to W.N.W., upon which we ran north again, since at noon owing to the nearly contrary wind we had gone over to W. in order to keep off the land. We now shaped our course to north, at times to N. by W. nearly as high as we could sail and the wind would allow us.

The land which we saw, and from which at noon we were at no more than 1½ or two miles' distance by estimation, we judged to be the land of d'Eendracht, and the land which we were near to at noon Dirck Hartochsz-Roads, for we had before us a large bay or bight between two capes. In the bay we could see no land from the main-topmast, but so far as we could discern the surf ran through the whole bay from the one cape to the other.

The land shows various white plots near the seaside, and in many places rises very steeply so far as we could see.

The breakers on the coast were very strong, but there were no rocks or shallows near the coast on which we could see the surf break, except at the cape north of Dirck Hartochs Roads, off which there seemed to be a small shoal or rock on which the surf broke, but it may as well have been a landspit running southward out to sea from the cape.

As soon as we got sight of the land, we cast the lead, and took soundings in 90 fathom whitish sandy bottom with small shells, at about 4½ or 5 miles' distance from the land; in the middle of the forenoon we cast the lead again and touched the bottom in 75 fathom coarse and fine sand, mixed with small shells, at a little under 3 miles' distance from the land; we saw a good deal of rock-weed float alongside.

At noon we sounded in 55 fathom, at about two miles' distance from the shore, straight in front of Dirck Hartochsz Roads, greyish sand.

{Page 64}

About 2 o'clock in the afternoon we sounded in 50 fathom white, clean sand-bottom, with very small, thin shells, at about i½ mile's distance by estimation from the northern extremity of Dirck Hartochsz. Roads, and two miles from the southern extremity of the road-stead just mentioned.

Towards the evening after supper, we cast the lead and sounded in 50 fathom grayish sand-bottom, at about 2½ miles' distance by estimation from the land, and about 3 miles to northward of Dirck Hartochsz Roads.

At night when 4 glasses of the first watch were out, we cast the lead and sounded in 50 fathom grayish sand with small shells, estimating ourselves to be about 3 miles off the land, and about 7 miles to northward of Dirck Hartochsz. Roads.

At the latter end of the first watch when seven glasses were out, we cast the lead and touched the bottom in 48 fathom, but could not make out how far we were from the land (since it was night, and we could not see the coast), except from our course, by which we estimated the distance to be 4 miles.

In the second watch when three glasses had run out, we cast the lead again and sounded in 47 fathom sandy bottom as before; we kept sounding every two or three glasses during the whole night until sunrise and found 80 fathom sandy bottom; we saw no land, but from our course and rate of progress we deemed ourselves to be at 9½ miles' distance from the nearest land, estimating our latitude, from the observation we took on the 26th do. at noon, and from our rate of progress, to be 24° South. But we did not see any land again throughout the day, and left off sounding, since our skippers and steersmen, judging from their estimations and from the course we kept (being north, and two points off the land according to the trend of the coast), were of opinion that we could get no bottom, so that we thought it needless to go on sounding...

XXV. (1636).

[* Pool was killed on the South-west coast of New Guinea, April 28, 1636, and was succeeded in the command of the ships by Pieter Pieterszoon. Unlike my treatment of Carstensz's voyage in 1623, the present account will not embrace the further discovery of the South-west coast of New Guinea. I had to give the route followed along this coast in 1632 because it throws light on the expedition under Willem Jansz. in 1605/6.]


Instructions for Commander Gerrit Thomasz Pool and the Council of the Yachts Cleen Amsterdam and Wesel, destined for the discovery of the lands situated east of Banda, and furthermore of the South-land, thence extending to the South-west.

Inasmuch as for a long time past the "Heeren Majores" have been very instantly recommending to us the discovery of the South-land, and still continue to do so, and we have frequently discussed the matter with...even before his departure, therefore it has been resolved and determined in the Council of India that you shall be employed with the Yachts Cleen Amsterdam and Wesel in the said discovery of the lands east of Banda and of the South-land extending to westward.

You will set sail from Amboyna for Banda, in the name of God, With the said yachts Cleen Amsterdam and Wesel on the first of April next, and when you shall have arrived there, you will communicate these Orders and Instructions to the Lord Governor Acoley.

Whom by these presents we enjoin to hand you in writing all such ampler information as during his residence at Banda His Worship shall have collected touching the {Page 65} lands and islands situated east of Banda, at the same time letting you know where and in what islands His Worship thinks some profit to be obtainable for the Company, or how massoye bark and fitting men may be got, which order will in that case have to be first executed.

And in case you should obtain no additional information, we would have you set sail from Banda as speedily as possible for Arnhems- and Speults land, situated between 9 and 13 degrees Southern Latitude, discovered A.D. 1623, as you will more fully see from the appended chart; these are the large lands; you will endeavour to ascertain what may be obtained from there, whether these lands are peopled, and what the natives subsist on.

After touching at the said islands you will cross over in order to strike the land of Nova Guinea likewise discovered A.D. 1623, by the Yachts Pera and Arnhem as far as 17° 8' Southern Latitude, which we surmise to be the South-land extending to westward from the said latitude as far as 26 degrees or as far as the land of de Eendracht.

The men of the Yachts Pera and Arnhem have, as before mentioned, sailed along this coast from about 4 degrees to 17 degrees 8 minutes, and have landed at various places, where they found nothing but barren coasts and lands, and utterly barbarian, cruel, wild natives, who surprised nine of our men fishing, and assassinated the same. The various strands, rivers, bays, points and the trend of this coast you will gather from the chart aforesaid.

From the farthest point discovered, which as before mentioned, is in Lat. 17° 8' South, you will skirt the coast as far as Houtmans Abrolhos in 28 and 29 degrees, and farther still, if your provisions hold out, if the condition of your crews will allow of it, and if your Yachts are proof against the rough seas that prevail in the Southern Ocean in 33 and 34 degrees; after which you will return to Batavia through Sunda Strait, trying in passing to touch at the Trials, that further information about this rock and its situation may in this way be obtained.

In sailing along the coast you will have all bays and inlets you may meet with, diligently examined, and keep a sharp look-out for the discovery of channels or openings that might afford a passage into the South Sea, since we surmise that such passage must be looked for to northward rather than to southward, considering the breadth of the South-land between 28 and 32 or 33 degrees.

In case you should discover channels leading to the South Sea, or should find the South-land to consist of islands, you will endeavour to pass through or between the same, diligently observing the mouths and outlets, and then returning again through the same passage in order to proceed with your discovery along the north-side.

In landing with small craft you will use great circumspection, and your treatment of the natives that should allow you to come to parley, must and ought to be marked by great kindness, wary caution, and skilful judgment; slight misdemeanours on the part of such natives, such as petty thefts and the like, which they should commit against you, you will suffer to pass unnoticed, that by so doing you may draw them unto you, and not inspire them with aversion to our nation. Whoever endeavours to discover unknown lands and tribes, had need to be patient and long-suffering, noways quick to fly out, but always bent on ingratiating himself.

We have put on board your ships various kinds of merchandise and minerals, which you will show to the people whom you should come to parley with, partly that by so doing you may come to know whether any of these goods are produced by their country, partly in order to see what desire and inclination they evince to our mercantile commodities, and what goods they might be ready to offer in exchange for the same.

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Close attention should be paid to the disposition of the people, their character, condition and humours; to the religion they profess and to their manner of government; their wars, their arms and weapons; the food they eat and the clothes they wear, and what they mainly subsist on.

Careful observation should be made, and exact records kept, of the winds and currents, the rains and tides etc. which you shall meet with in this your intended voyage.

You will make due observation also of all lands, islands, strands, rivers, bays, points, rocks, reefs, cliffs, shallows and whatever else appertains to the same; of all which you will have accurate surveyings made, showing the true bearings, longitude and latitude, in accordance with the circumstances under which you shall get sight and knowledge of the same.

For this purpose availing yourselves of the services of Subcargo Pieter Pietersen...

You will not carry off with you any natives against their will, but if a small number of them should be found willing to come hither of their own accord, you will grant them passage...

Commander Francisco Pelsert, having A.D. 1629 put ashore there two Dutch delinquents, who had in due form of justice been sentenced to forfeit their lives [*], you will grant passage to the said persons, if they should be alive to show themselves, and should request you to be brought hither.

[* See ante, p. 62.]

It would be a thing highly desirable for ships bound from the Netherlands to India, if on the coast of the South-land between 26 and 28 degrees a fitting place for obtaining refreshments and fresh water could be discovered, seeing that mainly about that latitude scorbut and other disorders begin to show themselves, at times carrying off numbers of men even before they reach Batavia.

Finally, as hereinbefore mentioned, we shall expect you back here through Sunda Strait, if no obstacles come in your way to prevent this, and if the land is found to extend in one unbroken coast~line, as we surmise it to do, of which your experience will be our teacher.

It should furthermore be noted that we are convinced that the west-coast of Nova Guinea, or the land discovered as far as Lat. 17° 8' South by the Yachts Pera and Arnhem, forms one whole with the South-land, a point which in drawing up these Instructions we have taken for granted.

Therefore, if you should find the contrary to be the case, a matter of which we will by no means deny the possibility, and if the South-land should by you be found to be an island, you will sail southward along the coast of Nova Guinea, as far as the 32nd degree S.L., and thence on a westerly course touch at the eastern extremity of the South-land, which in January 1627 was discovered by the ship t'Zeepaart. When you shall have made the South-land on this course, you will run one degree more to southward near the islands of St. Pieter and François, that by so doing you may obtain full certainty that from that point the coast-line trends to westward. After which you will run northward again, skirting the Southland, past de Witsland, as far as Houtman's shoal and furthermore to 33 or 34 degrees, if wind and weather shall permit, returning thence to Batavia, as hereinbefore mentioned.

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In conclusion, we wish you all the blessin of the Lord, a prosperous voyage and safe return, hoping at the same time that this voyage may redound to the advantage of the Company, to the glory of our country, and to your especial honour. Amen.

Done in the Castle of Batavia, this 19th of February, A.D. 1636.


Daily Register of Batavia.

October 1636.

The 6th do.

This day in the afternoon there arrived here from Amboyna the Yacht Cleyn Wesel, having on board the subcargo Pieter Pietersen, who...after the lamentable assassination of Commander Gerrit Thomasz Pool on the coast of Nova Guinea, had succeeded to the latter's office, and with the Yachts Cleen Amsterdam and Wesel had returned to Amboyna by way of Banda, reporting in substance as follows, both by word of mouth and by the journal kept during the voyage and the Resolutions duly registered, touching what happened in the course of the expedition, to wit...

On the 6th of June [they came to anchor] before the native village of Taranga at the south-western extremity of Arouw, in provide themselves with certain necessaries...

On the 9th of June, being duly revictualled, he had set sail again from the said native village of Taranga, shaping his course to southward in order to endeavour to get to eastward by some means or other, so as to accomplish his ordained voyage; but when he had got to southward as far as the 11th degree of latitude, he had not only found and met with the east- and south-east-winds blowing constantly with great vehemence and hollow seas, but had also come upon a new land; in such fashion that, seeing no chance of getting to eastward for the accomplishment of his voyage, since such voyage will have to take place in the beginning of the western monsoon, he resolved with his council to give up further investigations to eastward, to explore and survey the situation of the newly discovered Van Diemensland, also called Arnhems or Speultsland, and, having gathered the required information, to run northward again for the purpose of obtaining perfect knowledge of the islands of Timor and Tenember; and all this having been duly effected, to return to Banda etc.

In conformity with this resolution the said Pieter Pietersen has surveyed the newly discovered land for the space Of 20 miles from East to West; he has seen many fires and frequent clouds of smoke, but no natives, houses, prows or fruit-trees, although he has paddled close along the shore with an orangbay, and gone ashore in sundry places, finding the land wild and barren; wherefore, not having been able to come to parley with any of the inhabitants, on the 20th of June, as previously resolved upon, he ran to the north from a certain Red point jutting out into the sea to northward, where the land falls off abruptly to the west, for the purpose of making the islands of Timor and Tenember...

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Journal of the voyage to Nova Guinea, 1636.

...In the early morning of Friday [June 6]...we arrived before the native village of Taranga...

On Monday the 9th do. At daybreak the wind was S.E...we set sail from Taranga...shaping our course to the S.S.W.

We could take no latitude at noon...

In the first watch we sailed S.S.W. the space of about 3 glasses; the wind was S.E. with a fair breeze, and afterwards E.S.E.; we sailed to southward for the time of 12 glasses; at the beginning of the day-watch the wind was E.N.E. with a fresh breeze; we sailed S.E. for about eight glasses...

On Tuesday the 10th do. In the morning about breakfast-time the wind blew from the E.N.E. as before...

We estimated ourselves to have sailed 9½ miles on a generally Southern course from last night to the present night.

On Wednesday the 11th do. Course held S.S.E...We had sailed on a Southern and S. by E. course about 11 miles by estimation during the last 24 hours...

On Thursday the 12th do. The wind E.S.E. as before...At noon we were in Lat. 10° 2', so that I find we are farther to southward as would accord with our estimation and our courses kept, on which account I believe the current must have driven us a good deal to S.S.E.. In the afternoon the sky was overcast, the wind E.S.E. and S.E. by E. with a light breeze; we sailed to S. by W. with our mainsails set. Towards the evening the water became all of a sudden very smooth and of a pale colour; after sunset we cast the lead in 40 fathom good anchoring ground, fine sand, but could see no land: we took in our foresail and sailed in the night with the mainsail only to avoid press of sail. We estimated ourselves to have sailed about 12 miles on a general S.W. by S. course during the last 24 hours. In the night the wind was E. by S., E.S.E. and S.E. by E. with fine, lovely, clear weather and a top-gallant gale; throughout the night our average course was S., we cast the lead now and then in 42, 39, 38, 36 and 25 fathom good anchoring-ground.

On Friday the 13th do., the wind was nearly S.E., with a top-gallant gale and smooth water; course S.S.W. and S. by W.; the water was very pale in colour, but we could see no land; the weather was lovely and clear; at noon we found ourselves to be in 10° 50' S.L.

Shortly after noon we cast the lead in 32 fathom good anchoring-ground; at four glasses in the afternoon we saw the land S.E. by S. of us, at about 6 miles' distance from us it was a low-lying coast with small hills; about 6 miles farther to westward we also saw land, not connected with the first land, but upwards of three miles distant from the same.

Towards the evening it fell a calm; at sunset there was a faint breeze from the S.S.E.; we made out the extremity of the land to be at about 3 miles' distance S.E. by S. of us; we were still in 32 fathom good anchoring-ground; we accordingly went over to eastward, but when shortly before the setting of the watch, the wind went down still more and began to turn to the N.W., we dropped anchor in 29 fathom good anchoring-ground.

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On Saturday the 14th do. the current began to set to the S.E. in the morning, and the wind to blow hard from the E.S.E., so that we could not carry mainsails then; we weighed anchor and set sail on a South and South-by-east course. The water gradually shallowed, and seeing that we could not make the easternmost land, we ran to the westernmost, where we came to anchor at about a musket-shot's distance from the land in 10 fathom good anchoring-ground. Close along the shore the land is somewhat rock and reefy here; this land extends here about 3 miles S.E. by S. and N.W. by N., both slightly more to South and North. In the afternoon we sent out our small boat to take soundings close inshore; on returning the men reported that until they came to the reefs they had found no less than 3½ fathom good anchoring-ground. Off the point near which we lay at anchor, a river ran landinward; we hoisted the white flag, and caused the little boat to paddle close along the shore. We saw smoke, indeed, in many parts of the inland, but no natives, houses or vessels. This land is not high, chiefly level, thickly covered with trees, and with a sandy beach at the seaside. We had taken no latitude at noon; the tide seems to run from the N.W. here; in the night at the latter end of the first watch we could take the latitude by the stars and found it to be 12° 8' South.

On Sunday the 15th do. at daybreak the wind blew hard from the E.S.E.; it was mainsail weather; we convened the Plenary Council and resolved with the same further to explore this land to the north-west and to use all possible diligence to get knowledge touching the island of Timor, as will be found more amply set forth in this day's Resolution.

As we were weighing our anchor, a lanyard and a pulley got broken; we shaped our course to N.W. by N. and N.N.W. Having sailed the space of about 2 miles, we came to a point, between which point and another point, a distance of about 4 miles, the land extends W.N.W. and E.S.E. with hardly any curve, and with rocks and reefs along the shore. Off this point the surf and the breakers ran very strongly, as if there were a shoal there, seeing that the wind and the current were opposed to each other. We therefore sailed along the coast at less than a mile's distance from the same in 12, 11 and 10 fathom good anchoring-ground. In many places we saw great clouds of smoke landinward, but no fruit-trees, houses, vessels or natives; the land seems to be quite wild. Towards the evening we cast anchor in 9 fathom good anchoring-ground at about half a cannonshot's distance from the land; the aforesaid point was E. by N. of us at upwards of half a mile's distance; during the night we had violent squalls from the E.S.E. with a thick, foggy sky; landinward we observed a number of fires.

On Monday the 16th do. in the early morning the wind blew from the E.S.E. as before with sudden violent squalls. As we were weighing our anchor, the lanyard-pulley broke, and shortly after our anchor-cable snapped off at about three fathom's distance from the anchor, so that we lost the latter. As we were setting our foresail, a musket-shot was fired from the Yacht Wesel, upon which we dropped our other anchor again; when towards the evening the weather had somewhat improved, we sent our orangbay to the Wesel, to learn the meaning of the musket-shot; when the men returned, they informed us that the Wesel had also lost an anchor, but that the buoyrope had remained entire, so that we remained here till the following day in order to recover the same.

On Tuesday the 17th do. towards noon we were informed that the buoy-rope of the Wesel had broken of its own accord close to the anchor, so that they had also lost their anchor, upon which forthwith weighing the anchors of both the Yachts, we found that the cables had also been damaged through rubbing against hidden stones and rocks.

{Page 70}

As beforementioned, the coast here extends W.S.W. for the space of about 4 miles, with hardly any curve; at 3/8 of a mile's distance from the land there is already 8 and 7 fathom, good clayey bottom; the wind still blew from the S.E. and E.S.E. with a steady stiff gale; towards the evening we came to anchor in 7 fathom good anchoring-ground, at about half a mile's distance from the land, having the point E.S.E. of us at less than a mile's distance.

Up to now we have seen no men, vessels or houses; we should certainly have landed with the boats here and there, but that they were both of them stove in, and had first to be thoroughly overhauled before they could be used. During the night the weather was lovely and calm.

On Wednesday the 18th do., the wind blowing from the E.S.E., the weather was calmer, fairer and steadier than before. We gave a coat of tar to both our yachts, and remained at anchor the whole of this day, chiefly in order to see if we could not get sight of natives here or there and come to parley with the same, but we waited in vain for them. During the night the weather was bright, fair and clear, the wind blowing from the S.S.E., S.E., and E.S.E.

On Thursday the 19th do. at daybreak, the wind being E.S.E. with fair weather and a weak breeze, we weighed anchor and shaped our course to W.S.W., slightly more to westward. (The land here extends with a great curve and river as far as the Witte Hoeck [White point], known by the white sand-hill near the strand when you come from the east).

At 4 glasses after breakfast we came near a stony, rocky reef, which we kept outside or to seaward of in 8 and 9 fathom. The eastern extremity of it is less than a mile to the S.W., slightly more southerly, of the Witte Hoeck, and the western extremity upwards of mile to the S.W. by S., slightly more southerly, of the same; the reef extends S.E. by S. and N.W. by N.; it is not very long or broad, and there were violent breakers upon it.

When we had weathered the reef, we again ran W.S.W. at less than a mile's distance from the land, in 8, 9, 7 and 5 fathom good anchoring-ground. From the Witte Hoeck the land trends nearly to W.S.W. with a slight curve, as far as one can see; close to the sea the beach is chiefly sandy, with small, low sand-hills here and there.

The whole day we saw a good deal of smoke landinward; at noon we were in exactly 11° S.L. From this Witte Hoeck the land trends to W.S.W., slightly westerly, with a slight curve for the space of upwards of 3 miles; from there to W.N.W. with a strong curve the space of upwards of two miles, as far as a point, off which point, at less than half a mile's distance to N.E. by E., there is a small island on all sides surrounded by shoals and reefs; beyond this island the land falls off to the S.W., making a curve of 2 miles at least but afterwards it trends to the N.W. again. This island bears from the land about N.W. and S.E.; the beach is sandy with reefs here, and there.

At sunset it fell a calm, and we came to anchor in 8 fathom good anchoring-ground at about a mile's distance from the land, having the island S.S.E. of us at upwards of a mile's distance. Shortly after we saw two fires on the beach beyond the island. We estimated ourselves to have sailed about 8 miles this day; during the night the wind blew from the S. and S.S.W. with lovely weather. We found little or no current running here.

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On Friday the 20th do. we set sail at daybreak with a weak breeze from the S.; we kept mainly at a mile's distance from the land in 7 and 7½ fathom good anchoring-ground. In the course of the day the wind went over to N.E., after which we ran N.W.; at noon we got near the Roode Hoeck [red point], situated N.W. of the island aforesaid at about 5 miles' distance; upwards of half a mile's distance from here the land falls off to W. by W.; from this point a large reef was seen running out to sea the length of upwards of 1½ mile, which reef being unable to weather because we sailed so close to the wind, we came to anchor in 7½ fathom good anchoring-ground, at half a mile's distance from the land; the Roode Hoeck was S.W. and S.W. by S. of us at upwards of half a mile's distance; we saw smoke rising in various places.

On Saturday the 21st do. we set sail with a S.S.E. and S.E. by S. wind, a weak breeze and lovely weather. Here, from the point, the land extended to S. by W. and S.S.W. as far as one could see, with a slight curve only. The reef above referred to runs out to sea in a northward direction from the Roode Hoeck upwards of two miles, and from there very far to westward, upwards of 1½ mile from the land. It consists of sandy shoals, having a small hill or rock above water; alongside it the depth was 7, 6, 5 and 4 fathom, uneven bottom. And since the wind blew from the S.E. by S. as before, so that we could not make the land again, we resolved to run N.E. We accordingly shaped our course to the N.N.E. for the purpose of touching at Timor with the help of Almighty God, and take surveyings of the same.

In or near this land, which in our chart [*] we have named Van Diemensland, we have seen no men, houses, fruit-trees or prows, although we ventured to inspect it paddling with our orangbay close along the shore; the boats of both the yachts being unfit for use, stove in, and under repair. About 2 glasses after noon, the wind was N.E., N.N.E., and N.E. by N. with calm and steady weather. At sunset we estimated ourselves to have the Roode Hoeck S.S.E. of us at 6 miles' distance; during the night there was a weak breeze from the E.S.E., N.E. by E. and also N.E.; course held N.N.W., N. by W. and also N., with bright, lovely and clear weather.

[* This chart is wanting.]

On Sunday the 22nd do. in the morning the wind was E.S.E. with a lovely breeze and top-gallant weather; course held N.E. At noon we took the latitude and found it to be 10° 10' South...[*]

[* The further progress of the voyage has no interest connected with our present subject.]

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XXVI. (1642-1643).

See Frederik Muller and Co's Tasman Folio.

XXVII. (1644).


See Frederik Muller and Co's Tasman Folio.


Letter of the Governor-General and Councillors to the Governor of Banda, November 29, 1644.

...We shall not recount here how...Tasman had coasted along the land of Nova Guinea and the South-land without finding any channel or opening up to Willems River, from where he has returned hither through Sunda Strait, but would refer Your Worship to the annexed extract from their journals, which we request you to peruse with attention, and to order...Dortsman [*] or any other person whom you shall charge with the voyage to Timorlaut, in case their plans touching these islands should succeed speedily and prosperously, and they should still have time at their disposal, to make for the great river which our men have christened Waterplaets, in 12 degrees Southern Latitude and 160¼ degrees Longitude, to sail up the same river landinward, in which there is the less difficulty, since the river, being deep and wide, can be sailed up by the yacht, which can conveniently turn, veer and tack in it...

[* Adriaan Dortsman had been ordered on a voyage of discovery east and south of Banda. This voyage took place in 1645 and 1646, but Australia was not visited on that occasion.]

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XXVIII. (1648).



Instructions for the officers of the Yacht den Leeuwerik...June 27, 1648.

Having learned by the ships last arrived here from Banda, what poor rice-crops they had in those quarters last year, so that, had not they received some timely supplies of this grain from Amboyna, they would have been put to exceeding inconvenience; and having besides seen from the letter of Governor Cornelis Willemse van Outhoorn that also this year they are under serious apprehensions of the like scarcity, in case supplies from Batavia should be long in coming.

Therefore we have lately resolved in our Council to make an express shipment thither at this time of year...chiefly and principally that, if this voyage should have the expected success, which may the Almighty grant in His mercy, we may in future be sure that such voyage could be made every year after the arrival of the first ships from there, and the said important Government be by us duly regards rice and other necessaries.

This Yacht, which we consider to be of strong build and a good sailer, having by us been assigned for this will weigh anchor in the name of God early to-morrow, set sail, and use your utmost endeavours to get clear of Sunda Strait as soon as possible, and thus gain the open...

As soon as you shall have got clear of the Prince will from there shape your course directly to the south, straight across the sea, thus sailing by the wind without looking right or left, until you shall have come to 32 or 33 degrees S.L., where with the help of God you will meet with the westerly trade-winds; and when you are quite sure of having got the same, without the least doubt on your part, you will direct your course to the South-land, trying to make it and get it alongside in 25 or 26 degrees Southern Latitude, where the coast is generally of easy access, the land being of moderate height and somewhat resembling the coast of England.

Having reached the South-land in such fashion as we have just indicated, you will keep the coast alongside, and not leave the same, but use your best endeavours to skirt it, not parting with it until you have weathered the Vuylen hoecq (Foul Point); after which you may leave the coast, and cross over from there, next using the easterly and south-easterly winds which you will meet with in those waters, for running in sight of the islands of Arou, Tenember and Damme or any of these, and then making straight for Banda with the utmost expedition, which port you will with God's help conveniently reach in the manner hereinbefore described.

As we have already said, the accomplishment of this voyage at this season of the year (in which only strong headwinds are blowing along the ordinary route to Banda and other quarters nearer home) is of very great importance to the Honourable Company...

We herewith hand you a new chart of the South-land, which you may avail yourselves of in due time, and we noways doubt you will find the same of great use to {Page 74} you, of which we hope afterwards to receive your report. Seeing that the waters you are going to navigate are for the greater part little known as yet, and that accordingly many noteworthy things are not unlikely to occur in your voyage, we hereby likewise earnestly enjoin you, not only to keep a complete and elaborate journal of this voyage, but also to make due observation of the direction of the winds, the trend of the coasts, the situation of bays, inlets and capes, and properly to note and make drawings of the same, that on your return you may be able to hand us a full and perfect report of the whole undertaking, thus furnishing fresh material for the correction of the charts now in use, and perhaps also of the courses to be kept...

Given in the Castle of Batavia, June 27, A.D. 1648.



Letter of the G.-G. and Councillors to the Managers of the E.I.C., January 18, 1649.

...[We have dispatched to Banda] the yacht den Leeuwerck on the 28th of June of last year...through Sunda Strait, in order, if possible, to make the voyage to Banda along this route north of the South-land. Which undertaking has succeeded to our complete satisfaction but especially to the great joy of our Banda people, for which the Almighty be praised...since this success is undoubtedly of great advantage to the General Company, and makes it quite sure that in cases of shipwreck or other accidents we shall always be able to send succour and supplies to Banda and the quarters on this side of it along this newly discovered route...which, on receipt of the first advices in May next, may be done by the route abovementioned along the South-land. How this voyage was undertaken and successfully accomplished as far as Banda in the space of two months and 23 days, your Worships may be pleased to gather from the annexed daily journal and Chart [*] of Skipper Jan Jansz Zeeuw.

[* Journal and chart are both of them wanting.]

Written in Your Worships' Castle of Batavia, this 18th of January, A.D. 1649.

Your Worships' faithful servants the Governor-General and Councillors of India:


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XXIX. (1656-1658).


Letter of the G.-G. and Counc. to the Managers of the E.I.C, December 4, 1656.

...On the 7th June there arrived here...from the South-land the cock-boat of the yacht den Vergulden Draeck with 7 men, to our great regret reporting that the said yacht had run aground on the said South-land in 30 2/3 degrees, on April the 28th, that besides the loss of her cargo, of which nothing was saved, 118 men of her crew had perished, and that 69 men who had succeeded in getting ashore, were still left there. For the purpose of rescuing these men, and of attempting to get back by divers or other means any part of the money or the merchandises that might still be recoverable, we dispatched thither on the said errand on the 8th of the said month of June [*], the flute de Witte Valeq, together with the yacht de Goede Hoop, which after staying away for some time were by violent storms forced to return without having effected anything, and without having seen any men or any signs of the wreck, although the said Goede Hoop has been on the very spot where the ship was said to have miscarried...[**]

[* The day following that on which the report regarding the Vergulde Draak had reached Batavia.]

[** Some of the men of the Goede Hoop had gone ashore, but had not returned.--The Witte Valk had touched at the Southland, but by "bad weather and the hollow sea" had been compelled to return without having effected anything.]

In the Castle of Batavia, December 4, A.D. 1656.
Your Worships' Obedt. Servts. the Governor-General and Councillors of India


Daily Register of Batavia, 1657.

[July] the 8th. Late in the evening there arrived in the road-stead here, and came to anchor, the small flute de Vinck of the Zealand Chamber, which had sailed [from the Netherlands] on December 24, 1656...she came hither via the Cape of Good Hope and the South-land...

The skipper further reports that, according to the order and instructions handed him by Commander [*] Riebeeck, he had touched at the South-land, but it being the bad monsoon on the said coast, they had found it impossible to sail along the coast so far {Page 76} as to look after the wreck and the men of the lost ship den Draeck; for in the night of June 8 (having the previous day seen all signs of land, and the weather being very favourable) they had come to anchor in 29° 7' S.L., and the estimated Longitude of 130° 43', in 25 fathom coarse sandy bottom mixed with coral; the following morning at daybreak they saw the breakers on the reef at the end of which they were lying at anchor, and on one side ahead of them, the South-land, which there showed as a low-lying coast with dunes; upon which they weighed anchor and continued sailing along the coast in order to keep near the land, which was still in sight the day following; but the weather began to become so much worse and the breakers on the coast were so violent, that it was a fearful sight to behold, upon which they shaped their course a little more to seaward. On the 10th and 11th they kept sailing along the coast in 40 or 50 fathom, but seeing their chances of touching at the coast this time get less and less, and the weather continuing very unruly with violent storms of thunder and lightning, they resolved to keep off the coast, and drifted on without sail. On the 12th they made small sail, the wind continuing to blow from the S. and S.S.W., and also from the S.S.E., and shaped their course for Batavia...

[* Of the Cape of Good Hope.]


Letter of the G.-G. and Counc. to the Managers of the E. I. C., December 14, 1658.

...By our previous letters we informed Your Worships that on the first of January last we dispatched from here to the...Southland the galiots De Waeckende Boeij and Emeloort, for the purpose of making search for the crew of the lost ship de Vergulden Draecq, and of ascertaining whether they were still alive. The said ships returned to this place on the 19th of April following, after exploring the coast about the place of the disaster each of them for herself, since they had got separated; having in different places sent manned boats ashore, and fired many cannon shots time after time both by day and night, without, however, discovering any Netherlanders or any traces of the wreck, excepting a few planks [etc.]...which must undoubtedly be looked upon as remnants of the said ship...We herewith hand you the journals of the galiots [*] aforesaid...together with the small charts of the coast drawn up on board each of them[**]...

[* See D and H infra]

[* See E, F and I infra.]

Written in Your Worships' Castle of Batavia, December 14, 1658.


{Page 77}


Daily Journal kept by skipper SAMUEL VOLKERSENN on board the flute de Waeckende Boeij, sailing in the same from Battavia to the Southland. A.D. 1658 [*].

[* On December 21, 1657 the G.-G. and Counc. resolved to dispatch to the South-land the ships de Wakende Boei and Emeloord, for the purpose of making another attempt at rescuing what might still be rescued of the men, the cargo, etc. of the Vergulde Draak; "and also to get perfect knowledge, once for all, of the situation and trend of the said coast, with its shoals, reefs and shallows." The journals of the skippers of both vessels are preserved in the Hague State Archives. After mature consideration I have deemed it needless to print the said journals here, seeing that MAJOR, Terra Australis, refers to them on pp. 77-90, and gives the substance of the information contained in them (LEUPE, Zuidland, pp. 105 ff. has printed certain parts of the two journals). But above all, the charts made on this expedition, which are here carefully reproduced, give a more convenient survey of the results of it than could be done by the journals themselves, which for the rest contain little that is of interest for our present purpose.]


Chart of Eendrachisland, 1658, on a small scale.

[Illustration: ]

No. 8. Kaart van (Chart of) Eendrachtsland, 1658

{Page 78}


Chart of Eendrachisland, 1658, on a larger scale.

[Illustration: ]

No. 9. Kaart van (Chart of) Eendrachtsland, 1658

{Page 79}


A brief account of the west-coast of the South-land.

The South-land has sandy dunes forming many points on the sea-side; the dunes all consist of loose sand overgrown with grass into which a man will sink up to his ankles, and leave deep footprints on withdrawing his feet.

About a mile more or less off shore, there is as a rule a rocky reef, on which the breakers may be seen to dash violently in many places, the depth above the reef being in several places, 1, 1½ and even 2 fathom, so that pinnaces and boats may get over it for the purpose of landing, there being deeper water close inshore, but all of it with a rocky, sharp coral-bottom, so that it is difficult to land there, and much harder still to keep a pinnace at anchor with a drag; except in a place about 9 miles north of the island, where there are three rocks close to the shore, which are connected by a rocky reef, behind which you may conveniently lie at anchor and effect a landing with pinnaces or boats; but the bottom is foul and rocky everywhere.

Inward, the land is pretty high, with hills of even height, but barren and wild to look at, except near the island where a great many trees are seen.

In slightly under 32° S. Lat. there is a large island, at about 3 miles' distance from the mainland of the South-land; this island has high mountains, with a good deal of brushwood and many thornbushes, so that it is hard to go over; here certain animals are found, since we saw many excrements, and besides two seals and a wild cat, resembling a civet-cat, but with browner hair. This island is dangerous to touch at, owing to the rocky reefs which are level with the water and below the surface, almost along the whole length of the shore; between it and the mainland there are also numerous rocks and reefs, and slightly more to southward there is another small island.

This large island to which we have been unwilling to give a name, leaving this matter to the Honourable Lord Governor-General's pleasure, may be seen at 7 or 8 miles' distance out at sea in fine weather. I surmise that brackish or fresh water might be obtainable there, and likewise good firewood, but not without great trouble.

Two good and certain landmarks of the West-coast of the Southland:

Firstly: If in these regions you observe about 11 degrees variation of the compass, you may be sure of not being at more than 18 or 20 miles' distance from the land.

Secondly: If you see rock-weed floating about, you may be assured that you will sound the bottom in 70, 60, 50, 40, 30 fathom or less.

At foot:

Your obedient Servant


Daily Journal kept by Skipper AUCKE PIETERS JONCK, skipper of the galiot Emeloordt, on her voyage from Battavia to the South-land, A.D. 1658 [*]

[* See preceding note.]

{Page 80}


Chart of Eendrachisland, 1658

[Illustration: ]

No. 10. Kaart van (Chart of) Eendrachtsland, 1658

{Page 81}

XXX. (1658).

[* The ship Elburg arrived at Batavia on July 16, 1658.]

Letter of the G.-G. and Counc. to the Managers of the E.I.C., December 14, 1658.

...The flute Elburgh, Jacob Pietersz. Peereboom master, in coming hither struck the South-land in 31½ degrees S.L., and the estimated longitude of 117°, where, at about 2½ miles' distance from the land, she was by the strong wind and the hollow sea forced to come to anchor in 22 fathom, not without great peril of being lost; but after 12 days' hard trying they at length got off again and into the open, for which God's name be praised. Meanwhile, in 33° 14' S.L., round a projecting point, they have found a good anchoring-place, where they have been at anchor in 20 fathom, and where the skipper, together with one of the steersmen, the sergeant and 6 soldiers landed round Leeuwinnen cape, finding there three black men, hung with skins like those at Cape de Bonne Esperance, with whom, however, they could not come to parley.

On the spot where the blacks had been sitting, our men found a burning fire, near which there lay a number of assagays, together with three small hammers, consisting of a wooden handle to one end of which a hard pebble was fastened by means of a kind of wax or gum, the whole strong and heavy enough to knock out a man's brains.

A little farther inward they came upon a number of huts, without any persons in them, and in various spots they found rills of fresh water, and here and there large quantities of the wax or gum aforesaid, of which we beg leave to hand you a small sample herewith, together with one of the said hammers, the wax or gum being of a red colour, and emitting an agreeable smell after being rubbed for some time...

XXXI. (1678).

[* The ship sailed from Ternate in December, 1677, and arrived at Batavia "by way of Timor and thus along Nova Guinea, without passing through Sunda Strait" (Letter of the G.-G. and Counc. to the Managers of the E.I.C. May 8, 1678).]

Chart of "the north side of the Southland and surveyed with the flute de Vliegende Zwaan in the month of February, by Jan Van Der Wall," A.D. 1678 [*].

[* This chart is the only evidence of this voyage known to me. LEUPE, Zuidland, also, has not found anything else concerning it.]

{Page 82}

[Illustration: ]

No. 11. Kaart van de Noordzijde van 't Zuidland (Chart of the North side of the Southland), 1678

{Page 83}

XXXII. (1696-1697).

[* In November and December 1695 the Managers of the E.I. Company (Resolutions of the Heeren XVII of November 10, December 8 and 10, 1695) resolved to dispatch a flotilla to the South-land or the land of d'Eendracht, this time starting from the Cape of Good Hope. Willem De Vlamingh was appointed commander-in-chief of the expedition. He was also instructed to inquire into the fate of the ship de Ridderschap van Holland, which had miscarried on her voyage from the Cape to Batavia in 1694.]


Letter of the Governor-General and Councillors to the Managers of the E.I.C. at the Amsterdam Chamber, November 30, 1697.

...As regards the results of the voyage of the three...vessels aforesaid [de Geelvink, de Nijptang and het Wezeltje], which, pursuant to the letters of the "Heeren XVII" of November 10, 1695, and March 16, 1696, and in accordance with Your Worships' Instructions of April 23 of the same year, have successfully accomplished their voyage by way of the Tristan de Cunha Islands and the Cape of Good Hope, furthermore via the islands of Amsterdam and St. Paulo, and along the land of d'Eendragt or the South-land, and have arrived here in good condition as regards ships and crews, we shall in the main beg leave to refer you to the journals kept on board the said ships, and to their annotations, together with the charts and a number of drawings of the said places, all which will be handed to Your Worships by the bearer of the same, Almoner Victor Victorszoon, who is now homeward bound in the ship Slants Welvaren. The drawings are packed in a case to the number of 11, to wit:

7 of divers places in the South-land,
1 of the island of Tristan de Cunha,
1 of the island of Amsterdam,
1 of the island of St. Paulo, and 1 of the island of Mony [*].

[* I have not found these drawings.--In the seventeenth-century charts Mony is South-west of Java.]

{Page 84}

We besides beg to forward to you a number of larger and smaller disks of wood, brought over from the said South-land by skipper Willem de Vlamingh, concerning which wood he had noted in his journal at the dates December 30 and 31, 1696, and January 2, 1697, that it was odoriferous, a point which we have not been able to verify here, although we have directly ordered a small portion of it to be distilled, and beg to hand you with the rest a small bottle of the oil thus gained for Your Worships' examination...together with a box containing shells collected on the beach, fruits, plants, etc., the whole, however, of little value and decidedly inferior to what elsewhere in India may be found of the same description; so that in general in this part of the South-land, which in conformity with their instructions they have diligently skirted, surveyed and observed, they have found little beyond an arid, barren and wild land, both near the shore and so far as they have been inland, without meeting with any human beings, though now and then they have seen fires from afar, some of the men fancying that two or three times they have seen a number of naked blacks, whom however they have never been able to come near to, or to come to parley with; nor have they found there any peculiar animals or birds, excepting that especially in the Swaene-revier [*] they have seen a species of black swans, three of which they have brought to Batavia alive, which we should have been glad to send over to Your Worships, but that shortly after their arrival here they all of them died one after another. Nor, so far as we know, have they met with any vestiges of the lost ship de Ridderschap van Hollant or of any other bottoms, either in those parts or near the islands of Amsterdam and St. Paulo, so that in sum nothing of any importance has been discovered in this exploratory voyage. Only, we must not omit to mention that in an island situated in 25° S.L. near or before the South-land, they have found fastened to a pole, which though half-rotten stood still erect, a common pewter dish of medium size, which had been flattened and nailed to the pole aforesaid, where they found it still hanging; the said dish bearing the following words engraved on it, still distinctly legible:

[* Opposite to the Rottenest island.]

"A.D. 1616, on the 25th of October there arrived here the ship den Eendragt, of Amsterdam; supercargo Gillis Miebais, of Liege; skipper Dirck Hartog, of Amsterdam; she set sail again for Bantam, on the 27th do.; subcargo Jan Steyn, upper-steersman Pieter Ledocker van Bil."

This old dish which skipper Willem de Vlaming brought us, has now likewise been handed to the Commander [*] in order to be delivered to Your Worships, who with us will no doubt stand amazed that the same has for so long a series of years been preserved in spite of its being exposed to the influence of sky, rain and sun [**].

[* Viz. of the fleet with which this letter was sent to the Netherlands.]

[* The dish would seem to be no longer extant.]

In the same spot they have again erected a new pole with a flattened pewter dish nailed to it in commemoration of their visit, having first had the following inscription engraved on the dish, as is more amply set forth in the Journals:

"A.D. 1697, on the 4th of Febr. there arrived here the ship de Geelvinck, skipper Willem de Vlaming, of Vlieland; assistant Joannes van Bremen, of Copenhaguen; upper-steersman Michiel Blom, of Bremen; the hooker de Nijptang, skipper Gerrit Collart, of Amsterdam; assistant Theodorus Heermans, of do.; upper-steersman Gerrit Gerrits, of Bremen; the galiot 't Weseltje, master Cornelis de Vlaming, of Vlieland; steersman Coert Gerrits, of Bremen; the whole of our flotilla sailed from here on the 12th do., in order to explore the South-land with destination for Batavia" [*]

[* This dish was afterwards brought to Paris by the French expedition, with the ships l'Uranie and la Physicienne (1817-1820), (see L. DE FREYCINET, Voyage autour du monde, sur les corvettus l'Uranie et la Physicienne, Historique, Paris, 1825. pp. 449, 482-486) and would seem to be no longer extant there. An evidently inaccurate copy of the inscription engraved on the dish, is here reproduced on a reduced scale from Planche 14 of the Atlas Historique accompanying De Freycinet's work.]

[Illustration: ]

No. 12. Opschrift op den schotel, door Willem De Vlamingh op het Zuidland achtergelaten (Inscription on the dish, left by Willem De Vlamingh at the Southland), 1697.

{Page 85}

And since it is our intention, in order to let Your Worships have the more information and satisfaction touching this voyage, to dispatch to the Netherlands again in the last return-ships sailing from here, the ex-leader of the expedition, Skipper Willem de Vlaming Senior, together with his upper-steersman Michiel Blom, they having not yet returned from Bengal with their ships Geelvinck and Nijptang, but being expected every day, therefore we shall not trouble Your Worships with further particulars, but would beg leave to refer you to their verbal reports for ampler information touching their experiences in the said expedition...

In the Castle of Batavia, on the last day of November, 1697.


Journal kept by Skipper WILLEM DE VLAMINGH on his voyage with the ships de Geelvinck, Nijptang and T'Weseltje via Trestan da Cunha, the Cape, the islands of Peter and Paul, and the South-land to Batavia, begun on May 3, 1696, and ended March 20, 1697. [*]

[* This is the only journal of this voyage that I have found in the Old Colonial Archives at the Hague. I have not printed it here--so far as the South-land is concerned, it wil be found printed in LEUPE, Zuidland, pp. 153-184--for two reasons: 1st because it differs only slightly from a journal of the voyage printed in 1701, of which MAJOR, Terra Australis, pp 120-133 gives a translation; and 2nd, because the two charts immediately following in the text (Nos. 13 and 14) give an excellent survey of the results of this voyage of discovery.]

{Page 86}


Chart of the South-land, made and surveyed by Willem De Vlamingh in 1696-1697. [*]

[* This chart was not made on the voyage, but is the work of ISAAC DE GRAAFF, cartographer to the E.I.C. from 1690 to 1714.]

[Illustration: ]

No. 13. Kaart van het Zuidland, bezeild door Willem De Vlamingh. in 1696-1697 door ISAAC DE GRAAFF (Chart of the South-land, made and surveyed by Willem De Vlamingh in 1696-1697)

{Page 87}


Chart of the Malay Archipelago, the north- and west-coasts of Australia, etc. [*]

[* This chart is likewise the work of ISAAC DE GRAAFF (1690-1714). It gives a survey of the results of De Vlamingh's voyage, and may also do duty as a general record of the Dutch discoveries on the north- and west-coast of Australia in the 17th century. The dotted (uncertain) line on the N.W. coast is supplemented by the chart of Van der Wall's discovery in 1678 (No. 11).]

(See folding Chart, marked No. 14.)

[Illustration: ]

No. 14. Uitslaande kaart van den Maleischen Archipel, de Noord- en West-kusten van Australië door ISAAC DE GRAAFF (Folding chart of the Malay Archipelago, the North- and West-coast of Australia) 1690-1714

XXXIII. (1705).


Instructions (by the G.-G. and Counc., dated January 20, 1705) for the officers of the Frigate de Geelvink, along with the Pinnace de Kraanvogel and the Patchiallang Nova Guinea, destined to set out for the outside coast of the said Nova Guinea; as also for the Flute Vossenbos, together with the Pinnace de Doradus [*] and the Patchiallang Nieuw Holland, having destination for the bay of Hollandia Nova.

[* Afterwards replaced by the pinnace de Waijer.]

[Various] considerations have determined us to dispatch you from here on a cruise, in such fashion that the frigate Geelvinck together with the pinnace Craanvogel and the patchiallang Nova Guinea, mentioned in the heading of the present, will first run from here directly for Banda...and from Banda continue their voyage to the coast of Nova Guinea.

In the same manner we annex sailing instructions for the officers of the ship Vossenbosch, which together with the pinnace de Doratus and the patchiallang Nieuw Holland, likewise above mentioned, will first run for our Castle of Concordia in Timor, and then continue her voyage to Hollandia Nova, in such fashion as you will for your guidance find further amplified below...

You will in the first place have diligently to observe, whether there is anywhere a passage from the outside to the inside, and this not only as regards Nova Guinea, but also as concerns Hollandia Nova, so that these orders...will have to be acted up to not only by the officers of the Geelvinck, but also by those of the Vossenbosch; and you should take special care, in case you should find such real or seeming passage, not to run too far into it, lest you should be carried away by currents in the same, and run the risk of accidents; on which account the examination of such passages should nowise be undertaken by the frigate or by the flute, but only by a pinnace or patchiallang; never to any farther distance than the experienced sailors in the same shall deem advisable to enable a safe return out of the said passages, and in no case so far as to get out of anchoring depth...

{Page 88}

And furthermore, as sailing instructions for the officers of the flute [Vossenbosch], over and above that which should be applicable to them in the instructions given up to now, it has been resolved to enjoin them that having reached Timor...they will thence set sail from the north-eastern extremity of the said island, and shape their course south-eastward as far as 11° S. Lat. and 148½° Longitude, whence on an eastward course they will run in sight of Van Diemensland in Hollandia Nova, which point is said to consist altogether of islands, a matter that will thus be cleared up. From there this coast will have to be further followed to eastward as far as Aarnemsland and the Drooge eyland, which will have to be skirted and surveyed both on the inside and outside; next, the coast aforesaid will have to be followed as far as Van der Lijns eiland, which you will examine in the same way as you have done the Drooge eyland. You will then continue your voyage as far as Lemmens bogt and Abel Tasmans baay and Waterplaats, and from there run for Cape Van Diemen, which having rounded you will follow the coast of Carpentaria in a northward direction along Sweeris, Van der Ljns, Van Diemens and Staten rivers, until you have passed the Nassauw river, which according to the chart has its mouth beset with numerous sand-banks and shallows. Next, running past Cape Keerweer, the Carpentier river, the Hooge eyland and the Groote vuyle imbocht, together with the Oranjen river, and having rounded the great projecting point of the Meeuen river, you will run along the bay of Keerweer then following, always along the coast in a westerly direction, past the Doodslagers revier, de Waterplaets, until you have got beyond Goening Apy, Moordenaers revier and the Wesels eyland, and also beyond Speelmans river and Rijkloffs bays, after which you will make the point of Ony, whence you will cross over along Keffing in Banda, as has already been noted in passing...

The commander of the flute Vossenbosch aforesaid, in case the whole bight of Nova Hollandia, owing to adverse weather or defects of the ship, cannot be made according to these our instructions so as to enable her to be back in Banda at the end of September, will be empowered with the advice of the ship's council, from the Drooge eylant aforesaid to cross over to the Meeuen river, situated nearly N.W. and S.E. of each other, and thereby to shorten the voyage to that extent, always provided that no other means can be found...

If in...Nova Hollandia you should happen to come upon unknown Indians, of whom you might without violence or risk, and of their own free will, bring two or three with you hither, such men might possibly prove of great use in subsequent voyages, but this point we leave to your own judgment and discretion, as you shall find circumstances to shape themselves.

Victuals and provisions for all your ships for the space of 10 months have been ordered on board here...

In the Castle of Batavia, January 20, 1705.

{Page 89}


A Report and account [dated October 6, 1705] of what has been discovered and found noteworthy in the voyage of the flute Fossenbosch, the pinnace d'Waijer and the patsjallang Nova Hollandia, dispatched from Batavia to Hollandia Nova aforesaid by way of Timor, by the Supreme Government of India, A.D. 1705; as collected and digested from the written journals [*] and verbal narratives of the officers returned, by the Councillors-Extraordinary HENRICK SWAARDECROOM and CORNELIS CHASTELIJN, commissioned for this purpose; the whole to serve as a report to be delivered to His Worship Governor-General JOAN VAN HOORN and the Lords Councillors of India. [**]

[* I have not found these journals.]

[* I have not printed this Report, 1st because it has been edited by LEUPE in Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde van Nederlandsck-Indie, Nieuwe Volgreeks, I, pp. 193-201; 2nd because an English translation of it is given in MAJOR, Terra Australis, pp. 165-173; 3rd because chart No. 15 excellently represents the results of this voyage. The reproduction being on a reduced scale, some names of places are not so clearly legible as could be wished, but they will be found referred to in my Introduction.]


Chart of Hollandia Nova, further discovered A.D. 1705 by the ships Vossenbosch, de Wajer and Nova Hollandia, which left Timor on March 2 [*].

[* On July 12 the ships discontinued their voyage of discovery, and returned to Banda, where they arrived about a fortnight later.]

{Page 90}

[Illustration: ]

No. 15. Kaart van (Chart of) Hollandia Nova, nader ontdekt anno 1705 door (more exactly discovered by) de Vossenbosch, de Waijer en de Nova Hollandia

XXXIV. (1721-1722).

Although the history of this voyage, begun from the Texel on August 1, 1721, does not form part of the subject here treated, I mention it in passing merely to note that among other places the ships touched at Paasch-eiland, and at the Paumatos and Samoa island-groups, and reached Java along the north-coast of New Guinea. The journal of this voyage is preserved in the Hague State Archives and has been edited by the Zealand Genootschap der Wetenschappen. (Middelburg, 1838).

{Page 91}

XXXV. (1727).


Letter of the G.-G. and Counc. to the Managers of the E.I.C., October 31, 1728.

...On the 26th of April there arrived here quite unexpectedly with the patchiallang de Veerman a note from the ex-skipper and the subcargo of the Zealand ship Zeewijk, Jan Steijns and Jan Nebbens, written from Sunda Strait...informing us that the said ship, after sailing from the Cape of Good Hope [*] on April 21 [1727], had on June 9 following run aground on the reef situated before the islands called Fredrik Houtmans Abriolhos near the South-land in 29° S.L., also known as the Tortelduijf islands; that favoured by good weather the men had saved from the wreck all kinds of necessaries, and with the loosened woodwork had constructed a kind of vessel, with which they had set out from there on the 26th of March, and arrived in the aforesaid strait on the 21st of April last...

[* The ship had sailed from the Netherlands, November 7, 1726.]

[We] have found...not only that the ex-skipper Jan Steijns has, against his positive instructions and against the protests of the steersmen, too recklessly sailed near the South-land, and thereby been the cause of this disaster, but also that he has attempted to impose upon his superiors by falsified journals, hoping thereby, if possible, to conceal his grievous mistake...

The situation of the islands on whose outermost reef the ship Zeewijk has run aground, is shown by the annexed small chart [*]. They lie out of sight of the South-land, and are partly overgrown with brushwood, edible vegetables, have been discovered not only a number of wells dug by human hands, but also certain vestiges of a Dutch ship, presumably also lost on the reef aforesaid...

[* To the Netherlands were sent "two charts of the situation of the Reef, and of the islands aforementioned" (charts 16 and 17 below).]

[Illustration: ]

No. 16. Kaarte betreffende de schipbreuk der Zeewijk (Chart, concerning the shipwreck of the Zeewijk) 1727.

[Illustration: ]

No. 17. Kaarte betreffende de schipbreuk der Zeewijk (Chart, concerning the shipwreck of the Zeewijk) 1727.


Journal or daily register, kept [by the second steersman Adriaan (Van) de Graeff] on board the sho Zeewijk; after the miscarriage of the same, on the wreck stuck fast on a rocky reef near the unknown Southland; and a few days after, in the island [*].

[* This journal is of no interest for our purpose, and I mention it pro memoria only. The charts sufficiently record the results.]


Chart drawn by JAN STEIJNS. (No. 16).


Chart drawn by ADRIAAN (VAN) DE GRAAF [*]. (No. 17.)

[* Later in the XVIII century (inter alia in 1755 and 1765) the West-coast of Australia was again visited by Dutch ships, but what we know about this point is of no significance.]

{Page 92}

XXXVI. (1756).

Report of the "Master Cartographer" at Batavia, GERRIT DE HAAN, to the G.-G., and Counc. September 30, 1756.

Pursuant to Your Honourable Worships' highly honoured orders, the undersigned has the honour to submit to Your Honourable Worships a report concerning the voyage made by the small bark-ships de Rijder and de Buijs to the South-land, so far as the same has been touched at by them, as Your Honourable Worships may be pleased further to gather from the annexed charts [*].

[* I have not found either these charts or any journals of this expedition.]

On the 8th of February, 1756 the two ships set sail together from this roadstead...

On March 26 they were overtaken by a violent storm off the Banda islands, so that they got separated, and the ship Buijs, finding it impossible to stand out to sea, entered the port of Banda on March 28; the ship Rijder held out with fore- and mizen-sails struck until the weather got better, and not knowing that the ship Buys had returned to port, continued her voyage. On April 4 those on board the ship Rijder sighted Cape Falso in Lat. 7° 54' S., in 5 and 4½ fathom; they then shaped their course to the S.E. and afterwards to the S.S.E., until on April 10 they saw the high land of Carpentaria, known by the name of hoog Eijland, near which they found an island not known to the chart, to which island they gave the name of Rijders Eijland. From the hooge Eyland a reef runs out to sea a distance of nearly three miles coming close to the Rijders Eyland...They then shaped their course along the land in order to get into the bay, in depths Of 8, 7, 7½, 6½ fathom sandy bottom, at which last depth they came to anchor on April the 16th, where they estimated themselves to be about two miles off shore. On the 17th do. they went ashore with the boat for the first time in order to ascertain the nature of the coast. On landing they found a number of cabins constructed of the bark of trees; they also saw a man who fled into the wood at their approach, and a small prow or species of vessel also made of bark, together with some fishing-tackle and a kind of assagays made of branches of trees, from 4 to 9 feet long, tipped at one end with a small piece of bone ground to a sharp point. The fishing-lines seemed to be twisted out of fibrous bark, and, instead of hooks, had pointed claws of beasts fastened to them. The land was overgrown with tall grass, and they saw a number of fine dells or valleys, through which flowed various small rills of fresh water; the trees were very tall and straight, of regular growth and of different kinds, some of which would, as they presumed, furnish excellent timber for ships' masts, yards, etc. The soil was very rich, and on the whole the country looked very promising. They remained there, making various landings, and taking in firewood and water, till the 26th of April, when they put to sea again...shaping their course E.N.E. close to the wind in depths Of 5, 6 or 7 fathom, following the trend of the coast till they had got into 10° 30' S. Lat., where they cast anchor on April 28, in order to explore the land also in this latitude. They found nothing worth mentioning, however, {Page 93} except a few more cabins or huts of the kind before described, the inmates of which took to the wood as soon as our men appeared. They dragged the boat on the {Page 94} beach here, and repaired the same, remaining there till the 13th of May, waiting for the ship de Buys. On that day they resolved to continue their voyage, shaping their course along the land as high as they could in order to keep the same alongside; but they lost sight of the land all the same, and became aware that the said land lay at least one degree more to southward than the chart had led them to believe. On the 24th of May they again sighted the land in 12° 18' S. Lat.; it showed as a very low-lying coast, whose trend they followed close inshore. In Lat. 12° 26' South they cast anchor in 10 fathom good anchoring-ground. As they were lying at anchor at about 1 or 1½ mile's distance from the shore, they saw two of the prows above described paddle up to the ship, each of them containing two men, who, when they had got near the ship, by signs and cries began to signify to our men that they wished them to come ashore. The following day, being the 26th of May, our men went ashore at daybreak, and on landing found several persons there, who, however, all took to flight directly. They also saw two dogs, not unlike so-called Bengal jackals. The persons who had fled, shortly after returned to them, when they found them armed with the assagays above described. They were accompanied by a number of females who had their privities covered with a kind of small mats. The natives then all of them sat down on the beach near our men, who made signs to them that they were seeking fresh water; upon which the natives got up and signified to our men their willingness to show them the places where water was obtainable. Nor were our men deceived, for after walking on along the beach for some time, they were conducted to a pleasant valley with fine trees such as those above described. This seemed to be the dwelling-place of the natives, for our men saw here more women and children and also a number of primitive dwellings, merely consisting of sheltered places under the trees partly covered in with bark. The water which they found here, welled up out of the earth in pits dug by human hands. After having inspected the whole place, they went back to the beach, where they found the two prows in which the natives had previously approached the ship. As our men were seated on the beach, nineteen natives came up to them, all of them with bodies daubed over with red; when the said natives were by our men treated to some arrack with sugar, they began to make merry and even struck up a kind of chant, at the conclusion of which they retired to the wood again.

In the morning of the 27th our men went ashore again for the purpose of attempting to get hold of one or two natives, but did not succeed in doing so that day, because they landed too late to lure the natives to the beach. Early in the morning of the 28th they again landed in order to execute their plan; on their arrival the natives came up to them dancing and singing, sat down close to them, laid aside their so-called assagays or weapons, and again enjoyed the liquor with which our men plied them. While they were thus making merry, our men seized hold of two of them [*], upon which the others jumped to their feet, snatched up their assagays and began to throw them at our people without, however, wounding any one; except that the ship's clerk, who in flying tried to seize one of the natives round the body, was in the scuffle slightly wounded in the hand; upon this, our men fired a volley, wounding one of the natives, who thereupon all of them fled into the bush. Our people then tried to drag to the boat the two men they had got hold of, but as they were tying their {Page 95} arms and legs together, one of them by frantic biting and tearing contrived to get loose and effect his escape. Shortly after upwards of fifty natives again made their appearance, throwing assagays, but they also took to their heels, when our people let off another volley of musketry, after which our men succeeded in carrying off their one prisoner to the boat.

[* A sorry return for kindness received!]

{Page 96}

On the 29th of May, the wind being S.E. and S.E. by E. with a top-gallant gale, they put to sea again, running S.S.W. close by the wind in from 10 to 11 fathom good anchoring-ground. At noon they found their latitude to be 12° 31' South, and dropped anchor in 10 fathom good anchoring-ground, at about 1 or 1½ mile's distance from the land, their compasses showing 3° 49' north-easterly variation.

On the 30th of May, as they were lying at anchor, two small prows came to within half a mile of the ship and then paddled back to shore.

On the 31st of May, the wind being East and E.S.E., with a top-gallant gale, they set sail close to the wind on a southerly course. At noon they took the latitude of 12° 44' South, having passed depths of 10 and 10½ fathom. At sunset the countercurrent forced them to drop anchor before the Mosselbaaij.

On the 1st of June, the wind being E.S.E. and S.E. by E. with a weak top-gallant gale, they set sail over depths of 10½, 11, 12 and latterly 10½ fathom again, good anchoring ground, upon which they dropped anchor in the forenoon. At noon it fell a calm, and they took the latitude of 12° 51' South, the compasses showing 3° 3' north-easterly variation.

In the morning of June 2 the wind varied between East, E.S.E., and S.E., and then went round to S.W. by S.; they sent the boat ashore in search of fresh water, since in the latitude they had now reached the chart showed a fresh-water river. When the boat returned alongside, they were informed that there was an excellent watering-place close by, where the water came rushing down the rocks, and also a fine inland lake, near which the men had seen a great number of birds of various kinds, together with certain foot-prints of large animals. In the drawing or chart this spot has been named Rijders waterplaats situated in 12° 57' S. Lat.

On the 3rd of June, the wind blowing from the East to E.S.E. with a fresh breeze, they set sail for the watering-place aforesaid in 11, 10, 11½, 9½, 9 and 8 fathom, good anchoring ground and muddy sand, in which they dropped anchor at two glasses in the afternoon.

From the 4th to the 12th of June they overhauled the ship, took in water and firewood, and repaired the boat. During this time no natives were seen by them.

On the 13th of June, the wind being E.S.E. and S.E. by E. with a weak top-gallant gale, they put to sea again, following the trend of the coast on a course between W.S.W. and S. by E...over depths of 8, 8½, 9, and 10 fathom, good anchoring-ground with pebbles and small shells. At noon they took the latitude of 12° 2' South, and in the afternoon the head-current forced them to come to anchor.

On the 14th of June, the wind varying between S.E. by E. and South, they set sail running close by the wind on a southerly and S. by E. course in 9, 9½, 10 and 11 fathom sandy bottom. At noon their estimated course and distance performed since sunrise were S.S.W. half a point westerly, and 2½ miles, the latitude taken being 13° 8' South. In the afternoon the wind was S.S.W. by W. with a weak breeze and occasional calms; they sounded from 11 to 8 fathom sandy bottom with black spots and pebbles; at the depth last mentioned they came to anchor at the first glass of the dog-watch, slightly to southward of de Rijdershoek, about 1 or 1¼ mile off shore, the compasses showing 3° 45' north-easterly variation.

{Page 97}

On the 15th of June the wind blew from the S.E. to the E.S.E. in the morning and during the day, with a moderate and fresh breeze. At sunrise they went ashore with the boat in search of whatever might be worth noting. At noon they took the latitude of 13° South. Towards sunset the boat returned alongside, reporting that, as they were pulling ashore, and were at about a quarter of a mile's distance from the land, a canoe in shape like those before described came paddling up to them, containing two men who made signs for them to come ashore; and when with great difficulty they had got ashore through the surf, the two natives of the canoe had already fled into the bush; shortly after, however, eleven men and five females again came running up to them, armed with the assagays hereinbefore described, who directly tried to take our men's hats off their heads, and on being prevented from doing so, forthwith prepared to throw their weapons; but when our men fired a shot, they all fled except a youth, whom our people carried on board along with the canoe aforesaid, this man being the younger of the two natives brought hither. Our men had also come upon a large pond containing fresh water, which, however, was difficult to get to the ship. On the whole the country looked promising enough, and when cultivated would probably prove very fertile. The natives mainly subsist on the roots of trees and wild fruits such as batatas or oubis, together with small quantities of fish which they catch in their canoes. They also seemed to have some knowledge of gold, when lumps of the same were shown them. Round by the south the natives are somewhat more tractable than those farther to northward. Between the 11th and 12th degrees the trend of the coast is S.W. by S. and N.E. by N., next S.S.W. and N.N.E. down to the 13th degree; then running on due south as far as the eye reaches. The coast is mainly level without any reefs, and may be approached sounding.

On the 16th of June...they resolved to depart from there, since the season was passing, and they could only with great difficulty make any headway or run higher, while, besides, they had only two anchors and cables left. They then shaped their course to westward for Aarnems land. At noon they took the latitude of 13° 3' South course held as before.

On the 17th of June in the forenoon the wind was E. by S. and E.S.E. with a moderate and fresh top-gallant gale, stiffening to a reefed topsail gale. At noon their estimated course and distance performed in the last 24 hours were W. by N. 25½ miles; estimated Latitude 12° 44' South; Latitude taken 12° 36' South; course held as before; no land in sight.

From the 18th to the 23rd their course was mainly westerly, with variable winds and good weather.

On the 24th of June the wind was S.E. by S., E.S.E. and S.E. by E. in the morning and forenoon, with a stiff reefed topsail-gale. Shortly after noon they sighted the mainland of Nova Hollandia, S.S.W. of them, showing as a very low-lying coast; they passed over depths of 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, and 8½ fathom, good anchoring ground and muddy sand, keeping a N.W. by W. course, since the shallows prevented them from running nearer to the land than where they could just sight it from the ship's deck; they next got into 9, 10 and 11 fathom again as before, and dropped anchor at sunset.

On the 25th of June the wind was S.S.E. to S.E. in the morning and forenoon with a moderate top-gallant gale, a brightening sky and good weather. At daybreak, as they were weighing anchor, the cable snapped off, and the buoy having disappeared, they thus lost their third anchor, so that they had only one left. They therefore resolved to call at the island of Timor, and shaped their course to N.W. by W. over {Page 98} depths of 11, 10, 10½ and 8 fathom; they next steered higher in order to get into deeper water, and thus passed over 12, 7, 8, 15, 9, 10, 12, 14, 13, 7, 5, 3½, 4, 5, 6, afterwards running up to 20 fathom, muddy bottom. At noon their estimated course and distance performed were N.W. by W. slightly Northerly, 5½ Miles; their estimated latitude 11° 30' South; Latitude taken 11° 37' South; estimated distance from the land 9 or 9½ miles.

They next shaped their course to north-west in these known waters, and on the 3rd of July following sighted the island of Rottie to westward of them...

The ship de Buys, having, as hereinbefore mentioned, put into the port of Banda on the 28th of March, and having there again been provided with all necessaries, set sail from there again on April 1, shaping her course to eastward. On April 23 she sighted the land of Carpentaria, and the so-called Cape Keerweer, when she was in the observed latitude Of 12° 58' South, so that the land was found to be at least 12 miles more to eastward than it was believed to be. They had sounded depths of 20, 18, 15, 13, 12, and 11½ fathom, sandy bottom, at which last depth they came to anchor shortly after sunset.

On the 24th of April the wind was E.S.E. by S. in the morning and forenoon with a weak top-gallant gale and fine weather; at daybreak they got their boat ready and made her sail ahead of them in order to take soundings; they then weighed anchor and set sail, keeping an E.N.E. and N.E. course close to the wind in 11½, 12, 13, 12, and 11½ fathom, sharp sandy bottom with small pebbles. At noon their estimated latitude was 12° 54' South, and their estimated distance from the land 4 or 4½ miles. At sunset they observed Cape Keerweer E. ¼ point N. of them, and the interior point looking to the river E.N.E. They had sounded depths of 11½, 10½, 11, and 12 fathom sandy bottom, at which last depth they came to anchor just after sunset. In the course of the day they had seen a good deal of smoke ascend from the land.

On April the 25th the wind was E., E.N.E., and N.N.E. in the morning and forenoon, with a weak breeze and fine weather. They weighed anchor at daybreak and set sail on a northern course close by the wind over depths of 12, 14, 15 and 17 fathom sandy bottom. At noon their estimated latitude was 12° 42' South; the wind continued variable with occasional calms; the land here showed level with a red and white beach; the interior seemed to be covered with straight, tall trees as far as the eye reached. At sunset they came to anchor and during the night had a moderate top-gallant gale with good weather.

On the 26th of April the wind was E. and E. by S. in the morning and forenoon, with a fresh breeze and fine weather. At daybreak they weighed anchor and set sail, shaping their course between N.N.W. and N.N.E.; in the forenoon they observed a pretty high hill N.E. by N. ¼ point N. and a red point N.N.E. ½ point E. of them. They also came upon a deep bay or bight named Vliegenbaay, in which the trees on shore were hardly visible from the top-mast. The N. corner of the said bay is here known by the name of Aschens hoek. At noon their estimated latitude was 12° 16' South. They also saw columns of smoke rising up, and thought they could discern men and cabins. At sunset they came to anchor in 12½ fathom. During the night the wind was variable.

On the 27 th of April the wind was E. by S.E. in the morning and forenoon with a fresh topsail breeze, a covered sky and dry weather. At daybreak they weighed anchor and set sail on a N.N.E. course over depths between 12½ and 14 fathom good anchoring-ground. The land here begins to fall off to eastward. They here saw a {Page 99} river with an island lying off its mouth, the river being known as Batavia River, and the island as Buys Eijland. At noon they took the approximate latitude of 11° 38' South. They repeatedly saw columns of smoke rising up from the land; in the afternoon they came to anchor in 11 fathom coarse sand, about 4 miles Off the shore.

On the 28th of April the wind was E. and E.S.E. in the morning and forenoon; they weighed anchor and set sail on a N.E. course. At noon they took the latitude of 11° 29' South, being then 3½ miles off shore, and having passed depths of 11 and 10 fathom, coarse sand and good anchoring-ground. In the afternoon the wind blew from the E.S.E., S.E., S., S.S.W., with a moderate top-gallant gale and fine weather; course held N.E. by E. and N.E.½% point N.; they still kept sailing along low-lying land only.

On the 29th of April the wind was S.S.E. and S.E. in the morning and forenoon, with a fresh topsail breeze; at daybreak they weighed anchor and set sail on courses between N.N.E. and N.N.W. over depths of 10, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 7, 8, 9 fathom, hard foul bottom; they estimated themselves to be at 3 miles' distance off the land. At noon their estimated latitude was 11° 3' South; in the afternoon the wind blew from the S.E. with a fresh topsail breeze. At 2 o'clock they came to anchor, since they estimated themselves to be close to Van Spults river; at 3 miles' distance from the land they were in 8 fathom.

On the 30th of April the wind was S.E. by E. and S.E. in the morning and forenoon, with a fresh breeze. They got the boat ready for the purpose of taking soundings ahead. At noon their estimated latitude was 10° 56'; at 4 o'clock they had nearly lost sight of the boat, and fired a gun charged with ball in order to recall the same, but the boat not returning, they kept a light burning at the top-mast, and during the night fired a gun now and then. In this way they waited for the boat until the 12th of May, when they finally resolved to depart from there, since their stock of water and firewood would not allow of their waiting longer. On board the missing boat were two steersmen, to wit, Hendrick Snijders and Pieter van der Meulen, one quartermaster and five common sailors.

On the 12th of May the wind was E.S.E. and S.E. in the morning and forenoon, with a moderate top-gallant gale and good weather. At daybreak they weighed anchor and set sail on a western course from the shallows, passing over depths of 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 fathom fine grey sand. At noon their estimated latitude was 10° 55' South. In the afternoon and during the night they had good weather with occasional showers of rain; next running W.N.W., they sighted the island of Timoor Laudt on the 20th of May.

...From the above Your Honourable Worships will gather that Lieutenant Jean Etienne Gonzal, in command of the small bark de Rijder, has executed Your Honourable Worships' honoured orders, so far as the shores of the Land of Carpentaria are concerned; but that no exploration of the interior has been undertaken as enjoined by Your Honourable Worships' instructions [*] and no landing has been effected on the coast of Nova Hollandia, because they had only one anchor left, so that such landing was judged too hazardous to be undertaken. Of the part borne in this expedition by the first mate Lavienne Lodewijk Aschens who was in command of the small bark de Buys, the undersigned can make Your Honourable Worships no report worth any serious consideration, since his statements and annotations are so misleading that it is evident {Page 100} at first sight that he can never have had any first-hand knowledge or ocular view of the matters referred to by him, seeing that he has hardly ever been nearer to the land than 3 miles off it, at which distance, however, he pretends to have seen a river with a small island before its mouth, together with natives, cabins, etc.; all which seems impossible to the undersigned on a level coast such as this, nor has he made any landing on the said coast, although, contrary to Your Honourable Worships' orders, he has sailed along it from the south to the north a distance Of 40 miles, before the mishap of the loss of the boat came to pass, as Your Honourable Worships may further gather from the annexed rough sketch of a chart [**] of the coast sent in by him...

[* I have not printed these instructions, as they are not of sufficient interest for our purpose.]

[* I have not found this chart.]

[At foot:]
Your Honourable Worships' Obedient Servant
[in margine:] Batavia, September 30, 1756.

[Illustration: ]

No. 5. Uitslaande Kaart van het Zuidland door HESSEL GERRITSZ (Folding chart of the Southland).

{Page 101}

Index of Persons.

Asschens, (Lavienne Lodewijk Van)
Bewindhebbers der Nederlandsche Oost-Indische Compagnie, (Heeren Majores)
Blom, (Michiel)
Bounian, (Cornelis)
Bremen, (Joannes Van)
Brouwer, (Hendrik)
Buysero, (Cornelis)

Carstensz (oon), Jan
Chastelijn, (Cornelis)
Claeszoon van Hillegom, (Haevick)
Cock, (Daniel Janssen)
Coen, (Jan Pieterszoon)
Collaert, (Gerrit)
Cook, (James)
Coolsteerdt of Colster, (Willem Joosten Van)
Corneliszoon, (Maarten)

Dampier, (William)
Dedel, (Cornelis)
Dedel, (Jacob)
Delft, (Maarten Van)
Diemen, (Antonio Van)
Dircksz, (Pieter)
Dirkszoon, (Pieter)
Dortsman, (Adriaan)

Eckebrecht, (Philippus)

Gerrits, (Coert)
Gerrits, (Gerrit)
Gerritsz, (Hessel)
Gonzal (Jean Etienne)
Gouverneur-Generaal en Raden (Hooge Regeering) te Batavia
Graaff, (Isaac De)
Graeff, (Adriaan Van de)

Haan, (W. Gerrit De)
Haen, (Dirk Corneliszoon)
Haghen, (Steven Van der)
Hartogs(zoon), (Dirk)
Heermans, (Theodorus)
Hendrikszoon, (Pieter)
Hermansz(oon), Klaes
Holman, (Yde Tjerkszoon)
Hoorn, (Joan Van)
Houtman, (Frederik De)

Jacobsz(oon), Lenaert
Jansz., (Jan)
Jansz(oon), Gerrit
Janszoon van Buiksloot, (Reyer)
Jansz(oon), Willem, Koopman
Jansz(oon), Willem, schipper
Jansz., (Willemtje)
Jonck, (Aucke Pieterszoon)
Jongh, (Wollebrand Geleynszoon De)

Keppler, (Joannes)
Koos, (Jasper Janszoon),
Koster, (Jan)

Lastman, (C. I.)
Ledoecker van Bil(?), (Pieter)
Leeuw (Arend Martensz. De)
Le Maire, (Jacques)
Linschoten, (Jan Huygen van)
Lintiens (Pieter)
Lijn, (Cornelis Van der)

Maetsuyker, (Joan)
Melisz(oon), Dirk
Meulen, (Pieter Van der)
Miebaise, (Gilles)

Nebbens, (Jan)
Nuijts, (Pieter)

Peereboom, (Jacob Pieterszoon)
Pelsaert, (François)
Pieterszoon, (Pieter)
Pool, (Gerrit Thomaszoon)
Purry, (J. P.)

Reael, (Laurens)
Roggeveen, (Jacob)
Rooseboom, (Andries)
Roosenbergh, (J. Van)
Roosendaal, (Roelof)
Rosingeyn, (Jan Lodewijkszoon)
Rumphius, (G. E.)

Schouten, (Willem Corneliszoon)
Seebaer van Nieuwelant
Snijders, (Hendrik)
Speult, (Herman Van)
Staten-Generaal der Vereenigde Nederlanden
Steyn, (Jan)
Steyns, (Jan)
Swaardecroon, (Hendrik)

Tasman, (Abel Janszoon)
Thijssen of Thijszoon, (François,)
Torres, (Luis Vaez de)

Verschoor, (Jan Willemsen)
Victorszoon, (Victor)
Visscher, (Frans Jacobszoon)
Vlamingh, (Cornelis De)
Vlamingh, (Willem De)
Volckertsz(oon) (Samuel)
Voss, (Jan)

Wall, (Jan Van der)
West-Indische Compagnie
Willemsz. van den Briel, (Jan)
Witsen, (Nicolaas Corneliszoon)
Witt, (Gerrit Frederikszoon De)
Wytfliet, (Cornelis)

Zeeuw, (Jan Janszoon), 73-74.

{Page 103}

Index of Ships.

Afrikaansche Galei, (De)
Amsterdam, (De)
Arend, (De)
Arnhem, (De)

Batavia, (De)
Bracq, (De)
Buys, (De)

Doradus, (De)
Dordrecht, (De)
Duifken (Het)

Eendracht, (De), onder Dirk Hartogs
Eendracht, (De), onder Le Maire en Schouten
Elburg, (De)
Emeloord, (De)

Galias, (De)
Geelvink, (De)
Goede Hoop, (De)
Gulden of Vergulden Draak, (De)
Gulden Zeepaard (Het)

Haring, (De)
Hazewind, (De)
Heemskerk, (De)
Hoorn, (De)

Klein-Amsterdam, (De)

Leeuwerik, (De)
Leeuwin, (De)
Leiden, (De)
Limmen, (De)

Mauritius, (De)

Nova-Hollandia, (De)
Nijptang, (De)

Pera, (De)

Ridderschap van Holland
Rijder, (De)

Texel (De)
Tienhoven, (De)

Utrecht (De)

Vianen, (Viane, Viana), De
Vink, (De)
Vliegende Zwaan, (De)
Vossenbosch, (De)

Wakende Boei, (De)
Wapen van Amsterdam, (Het)
Wapen van Hoorn, (Het)
Waijer, (De)
Wezel, (De)
Wezeltje, (Het)
Witte Valk, (De)

Zeehaen, (De)
Zeemeeuw, (De)
Zeewolf, ( De)
Zeewijk, (De)

{Page 104}

Index of localities.

Abel Tasmans baai
Abel Tasman's passagie
Alhier liggen, bergen

Batavia's kerkhof
Batavia (Rivier)
Boscawen, zie Tafahi

Caap Falso, zie Valsche Kaap
Carpentaria (Golf van)
Carpentaria ('t Land van)
Carpentier, (Rivier De)
Ceram of de Papues (onzeker, uncertain)
Clappes Cust, zie Klapperkust
Coen (Rivier)

De Witt's land
Dirk Hartogseiland
Dirk Hartogsreede
Drie Bergen's bocht
Drooge bocht
Drooge eiland
Droge Hoek

Exmouth Gulf

Frederik Houtman (Klippen van), zie Houtmans Abrolhos

Geographe Bay
Groote eiland (Het)
Groote vuile inbocht

Hoek van Calmoerie
Hoek van Canthier
Hoek van Goede Hoop
Hoek van Onier
Hooge eiland (Het), aan Australië's Westkust. (High-island)
Hooge land van Carpentaria of Hoog eiland
Hoop (de Goede), zie Nino-fa.
Hoornsche eilanden, zie Fotuna en Alofi.
Houtmans Abrolhos (Houtman's Rocks)

I. d'Edels landt, zie Dedelsland.

Jacob Remessens (Remens- of Rommerrivier)
Jan Melcher's Hoek
Java (Mayor of Groot-)
Java (Zuidkust van)

Kaap Van Diemen
Keerweer (Kaap) aan de Golf van Carpentaria
Keerweer (aan de Zuidwestkust van Nieuw-Guinea,)
Keppel, zie Niutabutabu.
Kokoseiland; zie Tafahi.

Land van de Eendracht, zie Eendrachtsland.
Land van de Leeuwin
't Land van Nova-Guinea
Land van Pieter Nuijts; zie Nuijtsland.
Leeuwin (Kaap)
Leeminnenhoek, zie Kaap Leeuwin.

Maarten Van Delft's baai
Maria's Hoek
Maria's Land
Mitchell River
Monte Bello-eilanden

Nassau (Rivier)
Nieuw-Guinea (Noordkust van)
Nieuw-Guinea of Nova Guinea (Zuidwestkust van)
Noordcust van Australië
Noordwestkust van Australië
Northwest Cape
Nova Hollandia

Oostkust van Australië

Pieter Frederik's Hoek
Pieter Frederik's rivier
Prinses Marianne-straat
Prins Frederik Hendrik-eiland
Prins Wales-eiland

Roode Hoek
Rottenest (Eiland)
Rijders Waterplaats

Scherpe Hoek
Schrale Hoek
Sharks Bay
Sint François (Eiland)
Sint Pieter (Eiland)
Sneeuwbergen, (Mountains covered with snow)
Southland (see Zuidland).
Sp(e)ult, (Rivier Van)
Speultsland or -eiland (Van)
Statenland, zie Nieuw-Zeeland.

Terra Australis
Terra incognita
Tortelduif-eiland (Turtle Dove island)
Triall (De)

Valsche Bocht
Valsche Kaap
Valsche Westhoek
Van der Lijns-eiland, zie Groote eiland.
Van der Lijn's rivier
Van Diemens-golf
Van Diemensland
Van Diemens-land, zie Tasmanië
Van Diemen's rivier
Vereenigde rivier
Verraders-eiland, zie Niutabutabu.
Vlakke hoek
Vleermuis-eiland, (Het)
Vossenbos' ruige hoek
Vuile Bocht
Vuil eiland, viii.
Vuile Hoek (Foul point)

Waterplaats bij Van Diemensland, (Noordkust van Australië)
Waterplaats (10° 50')
Waterplaats (12° Z.B. en 160 1/3° O.L.)
Waterplaats (12° 33')
Waterplaats (15° 30')
Westeinde van Nova Guinea
Westkust van Australië
Witte Hoek
W. Sweers'hoek

York, (Schiereiland, Peninsula)

Zuidland, (Het)
Zuidwestkust van Australië
Zuidzee, (De)


17th Century Dutch Surnames
Peter Reynders,
September 2004.

Surnames, in the meaning of family names, were relatively uncommon in the United Provinces (Holland) in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Most people identified themselves using patronymics--a reference to the first name of their father--as a second name. They were registered as such at birth. Willem Janszoon would have been the son of Jan (i.e. Jan's zoon). If Willem J. had a son called Thomas he would have been registered as Thomas Willemszoon. Because it was unwieldy to spell the full patronymic, it was common practice to abbreviate written names by omitting the 'oon' and adding an abbreviation point, Jansz., or by using the so called internal abbreviation Janszn without such point. The name was however always pronounced in full and generally still is in the Netherlands where this bit of common knowledge is taught at school.

Therefore when writing for readers in the English speaking world where this kind of abbreviation is not recognized as such, we should always write the name in full, Janszoon, Jacobszoon, Bastiaenszoon, etc., when referring to people of that period. If we do not, we cause the person to be known by another name one syllable shorter in the English speaking world. We inadvertently mislead.

Jansz, Jansen, Janssen, Janzen etc are known as petrified (or frozen) patronymics and were derived from Janszoon when it became more common (and under Napoleon legally compulsory) to have a family name. These are the surnames that still exist today; Janszoon is not in use any more, but for one family. The shorter unabbreviated name Jansz therefore is typically NOT a name from the early 17th century.

Historians in Australia, unaware of this bit of linguistic inside information, have faithfully copied abbreviated names from 17th century documents and subsequent publications, often without the abbreviation point and as a result the family names such as Jansz, Jansen, Jantsen, etc. were widely used to indicate Australia's first recorded European mariner. There seems to be an effort being made today by those in the know, including by people of the State Library of NSW, the Duyfken Replica Foundation, the VOC Historical Society, Australia on the Map 1606-2006, etc., to call the gentleman in question (Willem) Janszoon with two syllables including in writing. And it is catching on as it is not hard to understand how this 'Jansz error' crept into Australian history.

Some publishers of English historical literature when correctly presented by authors with text containing these patronymics with the abbreviation point added, have simply removed the points arguing that this 'full stop' in the middle of sentences is confusing for the English reader, thereby wrongly embedding the abbreviated name as the real one in the readers' minds. This happened for example with the text of "Batavia's Graveyard" according the Cambridge educated historian Mike Dash, its author. This is the more reason to write the full name in the first place.

The message therefore is simple: do not use abbreviated patronymics when writing, in English, about 16th and 17th century Dutchmen and nobody will be confused.