Friday, August 27, 2004

French captain in the Dutch service: Job Forant

Job Forant commanded the Rotterdam ship Dolphijn (32 guns) in Witte de With's squadron in the expedition to Brazil in 1647-1649. He departed after the others, leaving on 4 February 1648. The others had left on 26 December 1647. By April 1649, the crews had grown mutinous. Job Forant's ship, the Dolphijn, part of the crew mutinied, and set sail for home. Job Forant was judged to have not resisted well enough, and had at first lied about the circumstances of their leaving Brazil.
The cases of Witte de With and his captains became involved with Dutch politics, as Prins Willem II was ready to have them executed. Witte de With was a known Republican, and this fact caused him trouble with the Orangists during the First Anglo-Dutch War. Fortunately, for Job Forant and Witte de With in particular, Willem II's death from Smallpox put an end to their jeopardy. A fair trial was held and Job Forant was banished from the country because of his complicity with the mutiny. Witte de With received a good deal of sympathy from
the members of the courtmartial board, and was sentenced to loss of wages for the voyage and
had to pay for the cost of the courtmartial.
This information is partly extracted and paraphrased from the English summary in Hoboken's book.

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