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It sailed under commander and senior merchant Francisco Pelsaert , with Ariaen Jacobsz serving as skipper. These two had previously encountered each other in Dutch Suratte. Some animosity had developed between them in Dutch Suratte after Jacobsz became drunk and insulted Pelsaert in front of other merchants, leading to a public dressing-down for Jacobsz by Pelsaert.
Mutiny[ edit ] During the voyage, Jacobsz and Cornelisz conceived a plan to take the ship, which would allow them to start a new life elsewhere, using the huge supply of trade gold and silver on board. Jacobsz and Cornelisz had already gathered a small group of men around them and arranged an incident from which the mutiny was to ensue.
This involved sexually assaulting a high-ranking young female passenger, Lucretia Jans , in order to provoke Pelsaert into disciplining the crew. They hoped to paint his discipline as unfair and recruit more members out of sympathy. However, the woman was able to identify her attackers. An initial survey of the islands found no fresh water and only limited food sea lions and birds. Pelsaert realised the dire situation and decided to search for water on the mainland. After an unsuccessful search for water on the mainland, they left the other survivors and headed north in a danger-fraught voyage to the city of Batavia, Dutch East Indies to seek rescue.
En route the crew made further forays onto the mainland in search of fresh water. The group spent the night on land. Pelsaert commented on the vast number of termite mounds in the vicinity and the plague of flies that afflicted them.
Pelsaert stated that they continued north with the intention of finding the "river of Jacob Remmessens", identified first in , but owing to the wind were unable to land. Drake-Brockman has suggested that this location is to be identified with Yardie Creek. After their arrival in Batavia, the boatswain , Jan Evertsz, was arrested and executed for negligence and "outrageous behavior" before the loss of the ship he was suspected to have been involved. Jacobsz was also arrested for negligence, although his position in the potential mutiny was not guessed by Pelsaert.
Pelsaert returned to the vicinity of ocean where the mishap occurred within a month, but it took another month of searching to locate the islands again. He finally arrived at the site only to discover that a bloody massacre had taken place among the survivors, reducing their numbers by at least a hundred. He was one of the few who survived the final break-up of the ship and made it to the island after floating for two days.
Cornelisz was elected to be in charge of the survivors due to his high rank. He made plans to hijack any rescue ship that might return and use the vessel to seek another safe haven. Cornelisz made far-fetched plans to start a new kingdom, using the gold and silver from the wreck. However, to carry out this plan, he first needed to eliminate possible opponents. He then moved a group of soldiers, led by Wiebbe Hayes , to nearby West Wallabi Island , under the false pretense of searching for water.
They were told to light signal fires when they found water and they would then be rescued. Cornelisz never committed any of the murders himself, although he tried and failed to poison a baby who was eventually strangled.
The mutineers had originally murdered to save themselves, but eventually they began to kill for pleasure or out of habit.
He also feared that many of the survivors remained loyal to the VOC. Initially, they were unaware of the barbarity taking place on the other islands and sent pre-arranged smoke signals announcing their finds. In response, the soldiers devised makeshift weapons from materials washed up from the wreck. They also set a watch so that they were ready for the mutineers, and built a small fort out of limestone and coral blocks. He went with his men to try to defeat the soldiers marooned on West Wallabi Island.
However, the trained soldiers were by now much better fed than the mutineers and easily defeated them in several battles, eventually taking Cornelisz hostage.
Hayes reached the ship first and was able to present his side of the story to Pelsaert. After a short battle, the combined force captured all of the mutineers.
After a brief trial, the worst offenders were taken to Seal Island and executed. Cornelisz and several of the major mutineers had both hands chopped off before being hanged.
This unwittingly made them the first Europeans to have permanently lived on the Australian continent. Five were hanged, while several others were flogged, keelhauled or dropped from the yardarm on the later voyage back home.
Jacobsz, despite being tortured, did not confess to his part in planning the mutiny and escaped execution due to lack of evidence. What finally became of him is unknown. It is suspected that he died in prison in Batavia. A board of inquiry decided that Pelsaert had exercised a lack of authority and was therefore partly responsible for what had happened. His financial assets were seized, and he died within a year. On the other hand, Hayes was hailed a hero. He was promoted to sergeant, which increased his salary, while those who had been under his command were promoted to the rank of corporal.
Of the twelve treasure chests that were originally on board, ten were recovered and taken aboard Sardam. The wreck was first sighted in by lobster fisherman David Johnson. Many artifacts were salvaged in the s, including port-side stern timbers, cannons and an anchor. Its design—and that of a stone arch, also recovered—was such that individual components could be easily removed. The wreck remains one of the premier diving sites on the Western Australian coast.
Each ship in the Batavia class carried an estimated , guilders in twelve wooden chests, each containing about 8, silver coins. The bulk of these coins were silver rijksdaalder produced by the individual Dutch states, with the remainder being mostly made up of similar coins produced by German cities such as Hamburg.
Pelsaert reported difficulties in pulling up heavy chests, e. On 9 November, he recorded sending four money chests to the Sardam, and three the next day but then abandoned further recovery work. By 13 November, Pelsaert recorded that ten money chests had been recovered—about 80, coins—leaving two lost since there had been twelve loaded originally.
One was jammed under a cannon, and one had been broken open by the mutineers. Its design was based on contemporary accounts, recovered wreckage, and other contemporary ships such as Vasa. After a number of commemorative voyages, the vessel is now moored as a museum ship in Lelystad , The Netherlands.
Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny
Nearly a dozen huge East Indiamen lay at anchor in the Moscovian Roads while the sea around them swarmed with small boats full of sailors and barges packed with ballast for the holds. A group of smaller vessels, fluyten and jachten, had anchored close inshore. The whole fleet was alive with preparations for the long voyage east. It was now late October Before they could depart, however, each vessel had to take on board not only a cargo and a crew, but all the supplies required to sustain her for up to a year at sea.
The Tavern of the Ocean
A gallows, in the seventeenth century, consisted of little more than two braced uprights, 10 to 15 feet high, joined by a thick horizontal beam from which men were strangled slowly at the end of a short rope. Two hundred years before the invention of the trapdoor and the drop, the only other piece of equipment that an executioner required was a ladder to prop against one of the uprights. The prisoner was driven up the ladder, arms tied, legs free, the noose already around his neck. The fortunate few died quickly of a broken neck, but in most cases the fall was not enough to guarantee an instant death and the man was strangled by the noose instead. This could be a lengthy process, lasting for up to 20 minutes, and most prisoners remained conscious for a good part of the time. The convulsive kicks and struggles of the dying man were reckoned good sport by the crowds who attended the public executions popular in Europe. Those lucky enough to secure a spot close to the scaffold could also witness the unpleasant aftermath of a slow hanging: uncontrolled voiding of bladder and bowels and, in some cases, involuntary erection at the moment of death.
“To Be Broken on the Wheel”
Non-fiction story of a shipwreck. A Dutch East India company ship carrying over people, chests of silver coins and the prefabricated gateway to the fort at Batavia Jakarta ran aground on a coral reef 50 miles west of Australia. Most of those onboard survived. Anyway if you can imagine the crew and passengers of Rites of Passage with their class distinctions, hierarchies, sexual tensions view spoiler [ but without an Anglican Priest parting his ceremonial robes to receive sexual services from a seaman hide spoiler ], habituation to casual violence, shipwrecked with little hope of rescue one might imagine that what Lord of the Flies teaches us above all is how sweet and innocent even schoolboys are compared to that more mixed group.