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Batavia (ship)

Batavia (ship)

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Batavia was a ship of the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 (VOC). It was built in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 in 1628, and armed with 24 cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

s and a number of bronze guns. Batavia was shipwreck
A shipwreck is what remains of a ship that has wrecked, either sunk or beached. Whatever the cause, a sunken ship or a wrecked ship is a physical example of the event: this explains why the two concepts are often overlapping in English....

ed on her maiden voyage
Maiden voyage
The maiden voyage of a ship, aircraft or other craft is the first journey made by the craft after shakedown. A number of traditions and superstitions are associated with it....

, and was made famous by the subsequent mutiny
Mutiny is a conspiracy among members of a group of similarly situated individuals to openly oppose, change or overthrow an authority to which they are subject...

 and massacre that took place among the survivors. A twentieth century replica
Ship replica
A ship replica is a reconstruction of a no longer existing ship. Replicas can range from authentically reconstructed, fully seaworthy ships, to ships of modern construction that give an impression of an historic vessel...

 of the ship is also called the Batavia and can be visited in Lelystad
Lelystad is a municipality and a city in the centre of the Netherlands, and it is the capital of the province of Flevoland. The city, built on reclaimed land, was founded in 1967 and was named after Cornelis Lely, who engineered the Afsluitdijk, making the reclamation possible...

, Netherlands.


On 27 October 1628, the newly built Batavia, commissioned by the Dutch East India Company, sailed from Texel
Texel is a municipality and an island in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It is the biggest and most populated of the Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea, and also the westernmost of this archipelago, which extends to Denmark...

 for the Dutch East Indies, to obtain spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

s. It sailed under commandeur and opperkoopman (upper- or senior merchant) Francisco Pelsaert
Francisco Pelsaert
Francisco Pelsaert was a Dutch merchant who worked for the Dutch East India Company, who became most famous as the commander of the ship Batavia, which ran aground in the Houtman Abrolhos off the coast of Western Australia in June...

, with Ariaen Jacobsz serving as skipper. These two had previously encountered each other in Surat, India
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

. Although some animosity had developed between them there, it is not known whether Pelsaert even remembered Jacobsz when he boarded Batavia. Also on board was the onderkoopman (under- or junior merchant) Jeronimus Cornelisz
Jeronimus Cornelisz
Jeronimus Cornelisz was a Frisian apothecary and Dutch East India Company merchant...

, a bankrupt pharmacist from Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

 who was fleeing the Netherlands, in fear of arrest because of his heretical
Christian heresy
Christian heresy refers to non-orthodox practices and beliefs that were deemed to be heretical by one or more of the Christian churches. In Western Christianity, the term "heresy" most commonly refers to those beliefs which were declared to be anathema by the Catholic Church prior to the schism of...

 beliefs associated with the painter Johannes van der Beeck
Johannes van der Beeck
Johannes Symonsz van der Beeck was a Dutch painter also known by his alias Johannes Torrentius...

, also known as Torrentius.

Plot begins

During the voyage, Jacobsz and Cornelisz conceived a plan to take the ship, which would allow them to start a new life somewhere, using the huge supply of trade gold and silver then on board. After leaving Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

, where they had stopped for supplies, Jacobsz deliberately steered the ship off course, away from the rest of the fleet. 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 molesting a high-ranking young female passenger, Lucretia Jans
Lucretia Jans
Lucretia Jans, or Lucretia van der Miles , was a suspected Dutch mutiny leader at the Dutch East Indies 1629....

, 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. The mutineers were then forced to wait until Pelsaert made arrests, but he never acted.


Location of the wreck of the Batavia

On 4 June 1629 the ship struck a reef
In nautical terminology, a reef is a rock, sandbar, or other feature lying beneath the surface of the water ....

 near Beacon Island (28°29′25"S 113°47′36"E), part of the Houtman Abrolhos
Houtman Abrolhos
The Houtman Abrolhos is a chain of 122 islands, and associated coral reefs, in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia. Nominally located at , it lies about eighty kilometres west of Geraldton, Western Australia...

 off the Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

n coast. Of the 322 aboard, most of the passengers and crew managed to get ashore, although 40 people drowned. The survivors, including all the women and children, were then transferred to nearby islands in the ship's longboat
In the days of sailing ships, a vessel would carry several ship's boats for various uses. One would be a longboat, an open boat to be rowed by eight or ten oarsmen, two per thwart...

 and yawl
A yawl is a two-masted sailing craft similar to a sloop or cutter but with an additional mast located well aft of the main mast, often right on the transom, specifically aft of the rudder post. A yawl (from Dutch Jol) is a two-masted sailing craft similar to a sloop or cutter but with an...

. An initial survey of the islands found no fresh water and only limited food (sea lion
Sea Lion
Sea lions are pinnipeds characterized by external ear-flaps, long fore-flippers, the ability to walk on all fours, and short thick hair. Together with the fur seal, they comprise the family Otariidae, or eared seals. There are six extant and one extinct species in five genera...

s and birds). Pelsaert realised the dire situation and decided to search for water on the mainland.

Going for help

A group comprising Captain Jacobsz, Francisco Pelsaert, senior officers, a few crewmembers, and some passengers left the wreck site in a 30-foot (9.1 m) longboat (a replica of which has also been made), in search of drinking water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

. After an unsuccessful search for water on the mainland, they abandoned the other survivors and headed north in a danger-fraught voyage to the city of Batavia, now known as Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

. This journey, which ranks as one of the greatest feats of navigation in open boats, took 33 days and, extraordinarily, all aboard survived.

After their arrival in Batavia, the boatswain
A boatswain , bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The boatswain supervises the other unlicensed members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews...

, a man named Jan Evertsz, was arrested and executed for negligence and "outrageous behaviour" 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.

Batavia's Governor General, Jan Coen, immediately gave Pelsaert command of the Sardam
The Sardam was a 17th century Dutch East India Company yacht . It was a small merchant vessel designed primarily for the inter-island trade in the East Indies....

 to rescue the other survivors, as well as to attempt to salvage riches from the Batavias wreck. He arrived at the islands two months after leaving Batavia, only to discover that a bloody mutiny had taken place amongst the survivors, reducing their numbers by at least a hundred.


Jeronimus Cornelisz, who had been left in charge of the survivors, was well aware that if that party ever reached the port of Batavia
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

, Pelsaert would report the impending mutiny, and his position in the planned mutiny might become apparent. Therefore, he made plans to hijack any rescue ship that might return and use the vessel to seek another safe haven. Cornelisz even made far-fetched plans to start a new kingdom, using the gold and silver from the wrecked Batavia. However, to carry out this plan, he first needed to eliminate possible opponents.

Cornelisz's first deliberate act was to have all weapons and food supplies commandeered and placed under his control. He then moved a group of soldiers, led by Wiebbe Hayes
Wiebbe Hayes
Wiebbe Hayes was a colonial soldier from Winschoten, Netherlands. Hayes became a national hero after he led a group of soldiers, sailors and other survivors of the shipwreck of the Batavia against the murderous mutineers led by Jeronimus Cornelisz at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands , off the Western...

, to nearby West Wallabi Island, under the false pretence of searching for water. They were told to light signal fires when they found water and they would then be rescued. Convinced that they would be unsuccessful, he then left them there to die.

Cornelisz then had complete control. The remaining survivors would face two months of unrelenting butchery and savagery.

With a dedicated band of murderous young men, Cornelisz began to systematically kill anyone he believed would be a problem to his reign of terror, or a burden on their limited resources. The mutineers became intoxicated with killing, and no one could stop them.
They needed only the smallest of excuses to drown, bash, strangle or stab to death any of their victims, including women and children.

Cornelisz never committed any of the murders himself, although he tried and failed to strangle a baby. Instead, he used his powers of persuasion to coerce others into doing it for him, firstly under the pretence that the victim had committed a crime such as theft. Eventually, the mutineers began to kill for pleasure, or simply because they were bored. He planned to reduce the island's population to around 45 so that their supplies would last as long as possible. Between them, his followers murdered at least 110 men, women, and children.

Help returns

Although Cornelisz had left the soldiers, led by Wiebbe Hayes, to die, they had in fact found good sources of water and food on their islands. Initially, they did not know of the barbarity taking place on the other islands and still sent pre-arranged smoke signals announcing their finds. However, they soon learned of the massacres from survivors fleeing Cornelisz' island. The soldiers put together 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.

Cornelisz seized on the news of water on the other island as his own supply was dwindling and the continued survival of the soldiers threatened his own success. He went with his men to try to defeat the soldiers marooned on West Wallabi Island
West Wallabi Island
West Wallabi Island is an island in the Wallabi Group of the Houtman Abrolhos, located in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of mainland Australia.-History:...

. However, the trained soldiers were by now much better fed than the mutineers and easily defeated them in several battles, eventually taking Cornelisz hostage. The mutineers who escaped regrouped under a man named Wouter Loos and tried again, this time employing musket
A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer....

s to besiege Hayes' fort and almost defeated the soldiers.

But Wiebbe Hayes' men prevailed again just as Pelsaert arrived. A race to the rescue ship ensued between Cornelisz's men and the soldiers. Wiebbe 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.


Pelsaert decided to conduct a trial on the islands, because the Saardam on the return voyage to Batavia would have been overcrowded with survivors and prisoners. After a brief trial, the worst offenders were taken to Seals' Island and executed
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

. Cornelisz and several of the major mutineers had both hands chopped off before being hanged
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

. Wouter Loos and a cabin boy, considered only minor offenders, were marooned
Marooning is the intentional leaving of someone in a remote area, such as an uninhabited island. The word appears in writing in approximately 1709, and is derived from the term maroon, a word for a fugitive slave, which could be a corruption of Spanish cimarrón, meaning a household animal who has...

 on mainland Australia, never to be heard of again. Reports of unusually light-skinned Aborigines
Australian Aborigines
Australian Aborigines , also called Aboriginal Australians, from the latin ab originem , are people who are indigenous to most of the Australian continentthat is, to mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania...

 in the area by later British settlers have been suggested as evidence that the two men might have been adopted into a local Aboriginal clan. Some amongst the Amangu people of the mainland have a blood group specific to Leyden, in Holland. However, numerous other European shipwreck survivors, such as those from the wreck of the Zuytdorp
The VOC Zuytdorp also Zuiddorp was a trading ship of the Dutch East India Company in the 18th century. On 1 August 1711 it was dispatched from the Netherlands to the trading port of Batavia bearing a load of freshly minted silver coins.Many trading ships of the time had started to use a "fast...

 in the same region in 1712, may also have had such contact with indigenous inhabitants.

The remaining mutineers were taken to Batavia for trial. Five were hanged, while several others were flogged. Cornelisz's second in command, Jacop Pietersz, was broken on the wheel
Breaking wheel
The breaking wheel, also known as the Catherine wheel or simply the wheel, was a torture device used for capital punishment in the Middle Ages and early modern times for public execution by bludgeoning to death...

, the most severe punishment available at the time.

Captain 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 a broken man within a year.

On the other hand, the common soldier Wiebbe Hayes was hailed as a hero. The Dutch East India Company promoted him to sergeant, and later to lieutenant, which increased his salary fivefold.

Of the original 341 people on board Batavia, only 68 made it to the port of Batavia.

The wreckage, discovery and recovery

During Admiralty
The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the Kingdom of England, and later in the United Kingdom, responsible for the command of the Royal Navy...

 surveys of the Abrolhos Islands on the north-west coast in April 1840, Captain Stokes
John Lort Stokes
Admiral John Lort Stokes, RN was an officer in the Royal Navy who travelled on HMS Beagle for close to eighteen years.Stokes grew up in Scotchwell near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. He joined the Navy on 20 September 1824...

 of HMS Beagle reported that:
On the south west point of an island the beams of a large vessel were discovered, and as the crew of the Zeewyk
The Zeewijk was an 18th century East Indiaman of the Dutch East India Company that was shipwrecked at the Houtman Abrolhos, off the coast of Western Australia, on 9 June 1727. The survivors built a second ship, the Sloepie, enabling 82 out of the initial crew of 208 to reach their initial...

, lost in 1728, reported having seen a wreck of a ship on this part, there is little doubt that the remains were those of the Batavia, Commodore Pelsart, lost in 1629. We in consequence named our temporary anchorage Batavia Road, and the whole group Pelsart Group
Pelsaert Group
The Pelsaert Group is the southernmost of the three groups of islands that make up the Houtman Abrolhos island chain. Nominally located at , it consists of a number of islands, the largest of which are Gun Island, Middle Island, and Pelsaert Island. The group is named after a Dutch "opperkoopman"...


However, Stokes appears to have confused the wreck of the Zeewyk for that of the Batavia.. In the 1950s historian Henrietta Drake-Brockman, who had learnt of the story due to her association with the children of the Abrolhos Islands guano merchant F. C. Broadhurst, son of Charles Edward Broadhurst
Charles Edward Broadhurst
Charles Edward Broadhurst was a pioneer pastoralist and pearler in colonial Western Australia. He was a member of the Western Australian Legislative Council in 1874 and 1875...

 argued from extensive archival research and translations by E. D. Drok, that the wreck must lie in the Wallabi Group of islands. Surveyor Bruce Melrose and diving journalist Hugh Edwards agreed with the theory. In association with Drake-Brockman, Edwards organised a number of search expeditions near Beacon Island in the early 1960s and narrowly missed locating the site. After Edwards provided his research to them, and after being led to the place by Abrolhos rock lobster-fisherman Dave Johnson (who had seen an anchor from his boat while setting lobster pots), on June 4, 1963 Max and Graham Cramer with Greg Allen became the first to dive on the site. Its location, together with that of the VOC ship Vergulde Draeck
Vergulde Draeck
The Vergulde Draeck was a Dutch East India Company ship of the seventeenth century. She sailed from Texel bound for Batavia , under Pieter Albertsz and was carrying trade goods and eight chests of silver worth 78,6000 guilders...

 (Gilt Dragon) and the English East India Company Triall (Tryal), in the early 1960s led to the formation of the Departments of Maritime Archaeology and Materials Conservation and Restoration at the Western Australian Museum
Western Australian Museum
The Western Australian Museum is the state museum for Western Australia.The Western Australian Museum has seven main sites: two in Perth within the Perth Cultural Centre, two in Fremantle , and one each in Albany, Geraldton, and Kalgoorlie-Boulder...


In the period 1970 through to 1974, under the leadership of maritime archaeologist Jeremy Green of the Western Australian Museum, some of the cannon from the Batavia wreck, an anchor and many artifacts were salvaged, including timbers from the port side of the stern
The stern is the rear or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship. Originally, the term only referred to the aft port section...

 of the ship. These were then conserved by the Museum's conservation laboratories under the leadership of Colin Pearson and his successors Neil North and Ian MacLeod. Monitoring and treatment of the timbers, is ongoing and is under the leadership of Ian Godfrey and Vicki Richards.

In order to facilitate the monitoring and any future treatment the hull timbers were erected on a steel frame designed and erected by Geoff Kimpton, a member of Green's staff. The design, and that of a stone arch, or portico, which was also raised from the seabed, is such that individual components can be removed for treatment without affecting those adjacent, or the exhibit as a whole.

In 1972 the Netherlands transferred all rights to Dutch shipwrecks on the Australian coasts to Australia. Some of the items, including human remains, which were excavated, are now on display in the Western Australian Museum – Shipwreck Galleries in Fremantle
Freemantle is a suburb of Southampton in England.Fremantle or Freemantle may also refer to:- Places :* Fremantle, the port city to the capital Perth, Western Australia...

, Australia. Others are held by the Western Australian Museum, Geraldton. These two museums presently share the remains: a replica stone arch is held in The Western Australian Museum – Shipwreck Galleries, which was intended to serve as a stone welcome arch for the city of Batavia
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

 and the actual stone arch is held in the Western Australian Museum, Geraldton; the original timbers from the ship's hull are held at the Western Australian Museum – Shipwreck Galleries. While a great deal of materials has been recovered from the wreck-site, the majority of the cannons and anchors have been left in-situ. As a result the wreck remains one of the premier dive sites on the West Australian coast and is part of the Museum's wreck trail, or underwater museum-without-walls concept.

The replica

A replica
Ship replica
A ship replica is a reconstruction of a no longer existing ship. Replicas can range from authentically reconstructed, fully seaworthy ships, to ships of modern construction that give an impression of an historic vessel...

 of the Batavia was built at the Bataviawerf (Batavia Wharf) in Lelystad
Lelystad is a municipality and a city in the centre of the Netherlands, and it is the capital of the province of Flevoland. The city, built on reclaimed land, was founded in 1967 and was named after Cornelis Lely, who engineered the Afsluitdijk, making the reclamation possible...

 in the Netherlands. The project lasted from 1985 to 7 April 1995, and was conducted as an employment project for young people under master-shipbuilder
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

 Willem Vos. The shipyard is currently reconstructing another 17th century ship. In contrast to the merchant ship Batavia, Michiel de Ruyter
Michiel de Ruyter
Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter is the most famous and one of the most skilled admirals in Dutch history. De Ruyter is most famous for his role in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century. He fought the English and French and scored several major victories against them, the best known probably...

s' flagship
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag...

, the Zeven Provinciën
Dutch ship De Zeven Provinciën (1665)
De Zeven Provinciën was a Dutch ship of the line, originally armed with 80 guns. The name of the ship was also written as De 7 Provinciën. The literal translation is "The Seven Provinces", the name referring to the fact that the Dutch Republic in the 17th century was a confederation of seven...

, is a ship of the line
Ship of the line
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through the mid-19th century to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear...


The Batavia replica was built with traditional materials, such as oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 and hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

, and using the tools and methods of the time of the original ship's construction. For the design, good use was made of the remains of the original ship in Fremantle (and of the Vasa in Stockholm), as well as historical sources, such as 17th century building descriptions (actual building plans weren't made at the time), and prints and paintings by artists (who, at the time, generally painted fairly true to nature), of similar ships.

On 25 September 1999, the new Batavia was transported to Australia by barge
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed by tugboats or pushed by towboats...

, and moored at the National Maritime Museum
Australian National Maritime Museum
The Australian National Maritime Museum is a federally-operated maritime museum located in Darling Harbour, Sydney. After consideration of the idea to establish a maritime museum, the Federal government announced that a national maritime museum would be constructed at Darling Harbour, tied into...

 in Sydney. In 2000, Batavia was the flagship for the Dutch Olympic Team during the 2000 Olympic Games
2000 Summer Olympics
The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games or the Millennium Games/Games of the New Millennium, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

. During its stay in Australia, the ship was towed to the ocean once, where it sailed on its own. On 12 June 2001, the ship returned to the Bataviawerf in Lelystad, where it remains on display to visitors. On the evening of October 13, 2008, a fire ripped through the wharf. The museum’s workshops, rigging loft, block shop, offices, part of a restaurant and the entire hand-sewn suit of sails of the ship were lost to the blaze, however the replica of "De Zeven Provinciën
Dutch ship De Zeven Provinciën (1665)
De Zeven Provinciën was a Dutch ship of the line, originally armed with 80 guns. The name of the ship was also written as De 7 Provinciën. The literal translation is "The Seven Provinces", the name referring to the fact that the Dutch Republic in the 17th century was a confederation of seven...

" nearby was undamaged. The moored Batavia was never in danger.

Publications and other media

The following list is selective – the fascination with the wreck of Batavia has created an industry – with many other books and articles written, besides the items shown below.
  • 1647 – Commander Pelsaert died the year after the event, leaving behind his journal of the events. This journal, together with the pamphlet Ongeluckige voyagie van 't schip Batavia (The Unlucky Voyage of the Vessel Batavia), published in 1647, made it possible to rediscover the wreck.
  • 1897 – Willem Siebenhaar
    Willem Siebenhaar
    Willem Siebenhaar was a social activist and writer in Western Australia from the 1890s until he left Australia in 1924. His literary contributions and opposition to policies such as conscription were his most notable contributions to the history of the state.-Biography:Siebenhaar was born in The...

    's The Abrolhos tragedy
    The Abrolhos tragedy
    The Abrolhos tragedy is the only English translation of Isaac Commelin's 1647 Ongeluckige voyagie, van't schip Batavia, which was the first published account of the 1629 shipwreck of the Batavia in the Houtman Abrolhos, and the subsequent mutiny and massacre that occurred amongst the survivors.The...

    , a translation of Ongeluckige voyagie. Purchased and funded by the guano merchant Florance Broadhurst (see entry on Charles Edward Broadhurst
    Charles Edward Broadhurst
    Charles Edward Broadhurst was a pioneer pastoralist and pearler in colonial Western Australia. He was a member of the Western Australian Legislative Council in 1874 and 1875...

     and his family) the translation was subsequently published in the Western Mail
    Western Mail (Western Australia)
    The Western Mail, or Western Mail, was the name of two weekly newspapers published in Perth, Western Australia.-West Australian newspapers:...

    . The events also formed the basis of a novel called Marooned on Australia (?1896), by the explorer Ernest Favenc
    Ernest Favenc
    Ernest Favenc was an explorer of Australia, a journalist and historian.-Personal life:Favenc was born in Walworth, Surrey, England. Of Huguenot descent, he was the son of Abraham George Favenc, merchant, and his wife Emma, née Jones...

    . The events were to feature in Malcolm Uren
    Malcolm Uren
    Malcolm John Leggoe Uren was an Australian journalist who edited the Western Mail in Western Australia.-Early life:Uren was born on 7 January 1900 in West Hindmarsh, an inner-city suburb in Adelaide, South Australia to Malcolm Francis Uren and Millicent Jane Leggoe. The Uren family then moved to...

    's work Sailorman's ghosts (1940), and Douglas Stewart's radio play Shipwrecked, in 1947.
  • 1963 – Renowned Australian author Henrietta Drake-Brockman
    Henrietta Drake-Brockman
    -Early life:Henrietta Frances York Drake-Brockman was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1901. She was educated in Scotland, the land of her mother, and at Frensham School]Frensham school for girls in Mittagong. She studied literature at the University of Western Australia and art in Henri Van...

    's comprehensive, non-fiction account Voyage to Disaster took her ten years to write. She also wrote a fictional story based on the Batavia, The Wicked and the Fair in 1957. It was Drake-Brockman's own research aided by journalist Hugh Edwards (including calculating the differences between Dutch nautical miles from the early 17th century, and English nautical miles) that led divers to the location of the wreck.
  • 1966 – Journalist Hugh Edwards
    Hugh Edwards (journalist)
    Hugh Edwards born 1932 is a Western Australian author and marine photographer who has written numerous books on maritime, local and natural history and diving.-Shipwrecks:...

     published an account of the shipwreck and its rediscovery by Dave Johnson, Max and Graham Cramer, and Greg Allen, under the name Island of Angry Ghosts: Murder, Mayhem and Mutiny (1966).
  • 1970s and 80s – The tale was retold by a number of writers, including Lee Knowles "Batavia incident" in Cool Summers, Hal Colebatch
    Hal Gibson Pateshall Colebatch
    Hal Gibson Pateshall Colebatch , also known as Hal G. P. Colebatch and Hal Colebatch is an Australian author, poet, lecturer, journalist, editor, and lawyer.-Personal history:...

    's "Batavia Suite", Mark O'Connor's poem sequence The Batavia and in Nicholas Hasluck
    Nicholas Hasluck
    The Honourable Justice Nicholas Paul Hasluck AM is an Australian novelist, poet and short story writer, and judge. He lives in Perth, Western Australia with his wife, Sally-Anne, and has two children.-Early life:...

    's, The Bellarmine Jug.
  • Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the Western Australia Museum publishes reports on its excavation and research. These are based on Jeremy Green's archaeological report Green, J.N., (1989) The AVOC retourschip Batavia, wrecked Western Australia 1629. An excavation report and catalogue of artefacts. British Archaeological Reports International Series No. 489.
  • 1990 – Deborah Lisson's book The Devil's Own, which is aimed at young adults, is also based on the events of Batavia mutiny and massacre. This book won the Western Australian Premier's Award in 1991.
  • 1991 – A sub-plot in Gary Crew
    Gary Crew
    -Life:Gary Crew was born in Brisbane, Queensland on 23 September 1947. An illness during childhood kept him home from school but enabled him to develop an interest in reading adventure stories....

    's novel Strange Objects
    Strange Objects
    Strange Objects is a 1990 novel by Australian author Gary Crew.Strange Objects is set in Western Australia, based on the shipwreck of the Dutch vessel the Batavia. Using the framing device of a collection of papers made by a missing boy, Steven Messenger, it is a mystery story that explores the...

     included two men who sailed Batavia, Wouter Loos, and Jan Pelgrom.
  • 1993 – Philippe Godard's book The First and Last Voyage of the Batavia provides a wealth of illustrations, along with details of Batavia's construction, objectives and, of course, the traumatic events on the islands off the West Australian coast. At the end of the book is an English translation of Pelsaert's pamphlet regarding the events on Batavia. The construction of Batavia's second incarnation is also covered, with a number of detailed photographs of the new ship.
  • 1995 – Prospero Productions made a 52 minute documentary entitled Batavia Wreck, mutiny and murder, filmed on location.
  • 2000 – Arabella Edge's novel The Company is also based on the events of 1629, as is Kathryn Heyman
    Kathryn Heyman
    Kathryn Heyman is an Australian writer, born in Lismore, New South Wales.Heyman is the author of four novels: The Breaking , Keep Your Hands on the Wheel , The Accomplice and Captain Starlight's Apprentice . She is also a playwright for theatre and radio and has held a number of creative writing...

    's novel The Accomplice (2003). Whereas Edge tells the story from the perspective of Cornelisz, the chief mutineer, Heyman's The Accomplice is based on the predicament of Judith Bastiaansz, the Predikant's daughter.
  • 2000 – The story was also told in a one-hour radio drama, Southland, written by D. J. Britton and broadcast in September 2000 on BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

  • 2001 – The story was retold in the form of an acclaimed opera
    Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

    , simply titled Batavia
    Batavia (opera)
    Batavia is an opera in three acts and a prologue by Richard Mills to a libretto by Peter Goldsworthy,commissioned by Opera Australia. The plot is based on the historical events surrounding the Dutchsailing ship Batavia....

    , composed by Richard Mills
    Richard Mills
    Richard John Mills AM, DMus BA Qld, is an Australian conductor and composer. He currently works as Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera and Artistic Consultant with Orchestra Victoria...

     and first performed by Opera Australia
    Opera Australia
    Opera Australia is the principal opera company in Australia. Based in Sydney, its performance season at the Sydney Opera House runs for approximately eight months of the year, with the remainder of its time spent in the The Arts Centre in Melbourne...

  • 2002 – Architect Frits van Dongen
    Frits van Dongen
    Frits van Dongen is an architect from the Netherlands. He designed a canal-side municipal theatre for the city of Leeuwarden with his firm De Architecten Cie...

    , graphic designer Kees Nieuwenhuijzen, and poet Gerrit Kouwenaar built an apartment complex in Amsterdam named Batavia, with a poem referencing the ship imprinted into a wall of the building.
  • 2002 – Historian Mike Dash
    Mike Dash
    Mike Dash is a Welsh writer, historian and researcher. He is best known for his books and articles looking at unusual historical events, anomalous phenomena, and strange beliefs.-Biography:...

    's book, Batavia's Graveyard
    Batavia's Graveyard
    Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny is a book by Welsh author Mike Dash about the Dutch ship Batavia, shipwrecked in 1629 on a small island in the Houtman Abrolhos atoll off the western shore of Australia.The book retells the story of one of...

    : The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny, told the whole story in more detail than ever before, making extensive use of Dutch archival sources to explore the early life of Cornelisz, and a number of the Batavia's other passengers and crew.
  • 2006 – Writer Simon Leys published The Wreck of the Batavia: A True Story, relating the fate of the Batavia and her crew. The French version of this book, Les Naufragés du Batavia (2003), won the Guizot Prize
    Guizot Prize
    The Prix Guizot is a prize of the Académie française. It has been awarded in the field of history since 1994.-Laureates:*1995 : Jean-Pierre Valognes, Vie et mort des chrétiens d'Orient, des origines à nos jours...

  • 2010 – Writer Greta van der Rol published Die a Dry Death, a historical novel based on the true events of the wreck of the Batavia. It makes an argument for the innocence of the captain of the ship, Adriaen Jacobsz. (2010)
  • 2010 – The Blue-eyed Aborigine by Rosemary Hayes is a historical novel for young adults portraying a wreck survivor's story.
  • 2011 – Batavia by Peter FitzSimons
    Peter FitzSimons
    Peter John FitzSimons AM is an Australian journalist and author, based in Sydney. He is a former radio presenter and national representative rugby union player.-Early life:...

    is a non-fiction account of the Batavia.
  • 2011 - The Shackles of Batavia, a short film by Jaginder Singh.

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