Archive for ‘VOC’

June 8, 2011

Astonishing set of online resources from Huygens ING for Early Modern History

The thing with this digitizing business, you check in early, there’s nothing there. You forget about it for a year or two and then something prompts you to go back and woah.

INGhist, one of the major Dutch research institution/partnerships, have been busy, and they’ve been smart. They’re putting whole archives up, Old Bailey style, for page-by-page browsing, machine searching, because the whole thing is OCR’d, and pdf dowload (!) of massive scan files.

Of chief interest to me is Stapel’s 1932 edition of Pieter Van Dam’s 1700 magnum opus, Description of the Dutch East India Company (4 vols, but really 7: a state-of-the-company statement for the use of the directors when it was at the height of its power) and the General Missives from the governors-general in the Indies to the Ruling council of the VOC or 17 Gentlemen. But there’s loads more: 17th century Italian sources on the Netherlands, the collected papers of individual East India factories, Pieter Van Os’s “History of The Hague from Adam to 1523“, letters and diaries by folks like Hugo Grotius and this little titbit: the collected papers of two English ambassadors to the Hague at the time Charles II suddenly cozied up to France. Here, I’ll let the original editor explain –

On March 28, 1681, Charles II dissolved, at Oxford, his fifth and last Parliament. This event marked the end of his policy of opposition to France and of his attempts to secure supplies from Parliament. He now turned to the easier, if less honourable, method of securing from Louis XIV the money which was needed to meet the expenses of his government and concluded verbally with Barillon the secret treaty of 1 April 1681 n. s.

This secret change in England’s foreign policy made necessary certain substitutions in the diplomatic service and an alteration in the course of diplomatic negotiations 2). Great care was taken, however, that the secret should not be let out by too sudden a break with the old policy. One by one, during the following year, the English envoys, who in certain Courts of Europe had worked zealously to checkmate the designs of
Louis XIV, ware recalled. Their places were either held vacant or filled by men who, though not cognizant of the strict alliance between their master and the French king, would nevertheless work zealously for the personal interests of Charles II and the Duke of York and would, without question, do their bidding.

May 21, 2010

vital VOC links

The TANAP links page keeps getting better: check it every 6 months.

The first charter of the VOC in English translation.

The “Chain of Command” for VOC warfare in the 1650s and 1660s

an article on health care organisation in the VOC

Shipwrecks, an encyclopedia of the world’s worst disasters at sea.

General Portuguese and Dutch colonial history.

Virtual Batavia – not as exciting as it sounds, but also a useful linkdump for documents, such as:

Anna Abrahamsz: Journaal eener Oostindiesche Reis (an 1847 journey aboard the Urania)

Andries Stokram Korte beschryvinge van de ongeluckige weer-om-reys van het schip Aernhem (1661 wreck)

…and apropos of nothing and completely unrelated, Thomas Potter Cooke, Nautical Actor.

May 10, 2010

Simon Stevin

on the art of war (camp building) – from digital library full text of Stevin’s major works. Slow but searchable.

De Huysbou‘ A reconstruction of an unfinished treatise on architecture, town planning and civil engineering by Simon Stevin

May 10, 2010

ship paintings – partly sourced pictures of wooden ships in all European traditions. Links to big images – search by artist, genre. Peeters (linked) has several storm pictures.

NMM collections – exhibitions are worth going through, as well as “search by type.” See esp. van de Velde drawings,

May 6, 2010

Gevelsteen for the Nijenburg (-org)

Jacob Ketel’s house commemorated with a gevelsteen. And a website.

also: trompe l’oeil gevelsteen on a ladies’ guesthouse.

What’s a gevelsteen?

May 6, 2010

Bontekoe’s Journal as a Dutch Audiobook

right here. I hardly ever listen to Dutch, I mostly just read it. This could be mighty handy. Although maybe not best for keeping me awake on the road.

April 29, 2010

de zuipschuit: the demon drink and the second East Indies voyage

De terugkomst in Amsterdam van de tweede expeditie naar Oost-Indiƫ, 1599

de zuipschuit

Apropos of nothing: The apotheosis of V&D, Leiden.

April 24, 2010

stories lurking in DAS

So in 1794s VOC ships were being captured left and right by one or another player in the Napoleonic wars. Up to December 93 the record of arrivals at destination was almost perfect, but beginning with the Faam (a packet of 136 tons) Company communications with Batavia were badly crimped. Out of 22 ships sent out only 13 reached their destinations, and 4 of those were subsequently captured at the Cape or Ceylon by the English.

And yet Dutch ships still called at English ports. The packet Kraai and the 500 ton ship Resolutie sailed into Portsmouth on 9 September 94 and sailed out again 2 days later. The Nieuwland was not so lucky: it called at Plymouth on 10 January 1795, was embargoed and eventually confiscated, while the Oosthuizen, having called at the Scillies on the 28th of December, 1794, was confiscated in December 1795 (without ay indication of what it had been doing in the interim.

Strangest of all, though, is the Zorg, a 900 to pink and penultimate entry in DAS, sailing for the Zeeland chamber out of Texel, with a crew of 99 and 52 soldier-passengers. The Zorg put in at Plymouth on Boxing Day, 1794 and stayed over 10 months until 4 November, 1795. “Three days after the departure from Plymouth the ship ran aground off Boulone and was wrecked.” (DAS II, 765)

Now you might run aground off Boulogne if you were trying to get back to the Netherlands and didn’t know what you were doing: Boulogne’s pretty much at the mouth of the bit where the channel narrows to 22 miles or so between Dover and Calais, and is only 30 miles from its opposite point in the UK, Folkestone. But it’s not that likely. I wonder what that ship was up to. And who was sailing it. And where its original crew were.

April 22, 2010

Turmoil and Tranquility: site of an NMM show on Dutch maritime painting full of gems

“Gallery” site allows access to large number of images. Especially valuable: grisaille of the port of Surat, Dutch ships in a gale (that appears to support Goedde’s thesis that these are allegorical paintings of maintaining control in a stormy world), merchantman attacked by an English privateer off La Rochelle, a Battle of Gibraltar, 1607 by Van Wieringen, from 1619, a French ship attacked by Barbary pirates, 1615, and ships trading in the East, sometime during the 12 years’ truce, and 2 VOC ships coming to anchor. Best of all The wreck of the Amsterdam (prob. of 1597). Check for others.

March 23, 2010

Ship models from the national maritime museum, Paris

nice set of photos taken in Quebec, when the models were traveling there. Includes a xebec, a flemish galliot and a nice galley, alongside the usual 60, 74 and 100 gun warships.

Musee national de la Marine in the Palais de Chaillot, Paris. Must go there next time I’m in town…