Amsterdam (VOC ship)

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The Amsterdam was a 18th century cargo ship of the Dutch East India Company. The ship started its maiden voyage from Texel to Batavia on 8 January 1749, but was wrecked in a storm on the English Channel on 26 January 1749. The shipwreck was discovered in 1969 in the bay of Bulverhythe, United Kingdom, and is sometimes visible during low tides. The wreck site is protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act since 1974. Some of the findings from the site are in the Shipwreck and Coastal Heritage Centre in Hastings. A replica of the ship is on display in Amsterdam.

Contents

Ship

The Amsterdam was an East Indiaman or "mirror return ship" (Dutch: spiegelretourschip) built for transport between the Dutch Republic and the settlements and strongholds of the Dutch East India Company in the East Indies. On an outward voyage these ships carried guns and bricks for the settlements and strongholds, and silver and golden coins to purchase Asian goods. On a return journey the ships carried the goods that were purchased, such as spices, fabrics, and china. In both directions the ships carried victuals, clothes, and tools for the sailors and soldiers on the ship. On an outward voyage of eight months, the ships were populated by around 240 men, and on a return journey by around 70.[1]

The Amsterdam was built in the shipyard for the Amsterdam chamber of the Dutch East India Company in Amsterdam.[2] The ship was made of the wood of oaks.[1]

Maiden voyage

The maiden voyage of the Amsterdam was planned from the Dutch island Texel to the settlement Batavia in the East Indies. The ship, commanded by the 33-year-old captain Willem Klump, had 203 crew, 127 soldiers, and 5 passengers.[2] The Amsterdam was laden with textiles, wine, stone ballast, cannon, paper, pens, pipes, domestic goods and 27 chests of silver guilder coins. The whole cargo would be worth several million euros in modern money.[citation needed]

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