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United Netherlands 2 Stuivers minted in Zeeland in 1711

Date: 1711
Overall: 20 mm
Medium: Silver
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Transferred from Australian Netherlands Committee on Old Dutch Shipwrecks
Classification:Coins and medals
Object Name: Coin
Object No: 00053906
Place Manufactured:Frankfurt
Related Place:Houtman Abrolhos,

User Terms

    SignificanceAssociated with the oldest Dutch shipwreck discovered on the Australian coast this silver coin is representative of European presence near the Australian continent in the 17th century.
    HistoryThe BATAVIA was built in 1628 for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a cargo ship. In October 1628, BATAVIA set sail for her maiden voyage from Texel, the Netherlands, for Batavia, Dutch East Indies (present day Jakarta, Indonesia) to collect a cargo of spices. For the trip out, she was carrying trade goods and chests of coins and was in a fleet of about seven vessels. In command was Francis Pelsaert; Ariaen Jacobsz was skipper. These two men had a pre-existing acrimonious relationship, which deteriorated further as the voyage progressed. On board were approximately 332 crew, soldiers, and passengers. Jacobsz became friendly with a fellow crew member, Jeronimus Cornelisz, and the two plotted to take command of the ship by mutinying and turning to a life of piracy.

    After calling at the Cape of Good Hope, Jacobsz steered BATAVIA off course and away from the rest of the fleet. He and Cornelisz had gathered a small group of followers but just prior to carrying out their plan, on the 4th of June 1629, BATAVIA hit a reef at the Houtman Abrolhos islands off the Western Australia coast. The ship was unable to be re-floated and started breaking up. The crew and passengers were ferried to nearby islands using the ships two smaller boats, along with the water and food supplies. Some of the men drowned during this operation, but all the women and children reached land safely.

    The islands on which they landed did not have fresh water and Pelsaert organised a reconnaissance trip to the mainland to try to find a water supply. This proved unsuccessful and Pelsaert made the decision to try to reach Batavia in the long boat. Pelsaert, Jacobsz and 46 crew and some passengers reached Batavia on 7th July 1629, without loss of life. Jacobsz was promptly placed in prison due to his conduct on board BATAVIA.

    Back on the island, Cornelisz took charge of the remaining 268 survivors. After sending the soldiers to a neighbouring island to look for water, he set about killing anyone who might challenge his authority. Eventually, Cornelisz and his fellow mutineers murdered 125 men, women and children.

    The soldiers, under the leadership of Wiebbe Hayes, had found a source of water and food on their island. They sent up smoke signals, as arranged with Cornelisz, which were ignored, and some of the survivors fleeing from the other islands reached the soldiers and told them of the mutiny and massacres. In anticipation of a confrontation, Hayes started making weapons out of debris of the BATAVIA. He also built a stone barricade (still extant) and posted a watch. Cornelisz, realising his resources were diminishing quickly, decided to attack the soldiers and to take their supplies. Several battles ensued until eventually Hayes and his men were able to capture Cornelisz. The mutineers regrouped but at the crucial moment, their attack was turned by the arrival of Commander Pelsaert in the rescue ship SARDAM.

    Pelsaert conducted a short trial following which Cornelisz and the main ringleaders were executed.

    When SARDAM reached Batavia, Pelsaert was held responsible for the loss of the BATAVIA and his assets were seized. He died a year later. Jacobsz never admitted to plotting the mutiny and was therefore spared execution due to lack of evidence. It is unknown what happened to him.

    The remains of the BATAVIA were discovered in 1963 and the site is now protected under the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: ANCODS (Australian Netherlands Committee on Old Dutch Shipwrecks) collection

    Assigned title: United Netherlands 2 Stuivers minted in Zeeland in 1711

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