Sunday, December 25, 2005

Dutch Naval Officer: Joris van Spilbergen

Joris van Spilbergen lived from 1568 to 1620. He sailed to Africa in 1596. He commanded the fleet of the company of the Moucheron, one of the predecessor companies of the VOC. The fleet consisted of the ships the Ram, then Schaap, and the pinas Lam. The fleet left on 5 May 1601. He returned from India in 1604. The King of Kandy, Vimala Dharma Suriya, met van Spilbergen in 1602. In 1607, he was with Heemskerk at the Battle of Gibraltar, where Joris van Spilbergen was apparently on board the Aeolus, van Heemskerck’s flagship in the battle, with a position as commissioner-general. In 1614, he sailed on a voyage by the Straits of Magellan. He had circumnavigated the Earth from 1614 to 1615. He returned in 1617. He died in relative poverty at Bergen-op-Zoom in 1620. He was the first Dutchman to visit Ceylon and was investigating to see if a trade in cinnamon might be possible. Sources:
  1. Web page about Spilbergen meeting the King of Kandy.
  2. Web page listing about Joris van Spilbergen from
  3. page about Van Spilbergenstraat.

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