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stepping stones of maritime history


The Buytensorg was a Dutch East Indiaman (spiegelretourschip) sailing for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a merchant vessel between Patria and the East Indies. In sources, she is also referred to as Buitensorg or Buitenzorg.

The Buytensorg was lost after her return voyage from the East. She arrived at Texel and her cargo of items such as peppercorns, sugar and tea was offloaded. When it began to freeze to extreme temperatures in December, the Buytensorg was one of the ships that got into trouble and became stuck in ice.

An attempt was done to save the ship and take her to the port in Den Helder. Unfortunately, the ship got stuck on her way, was cracked open by the ice and sank in January 1760 at the Javaruggen. The loss was reported in the Opregte Haarlemsche Courant on 7 February 1760.


The Buytensorg was a Dutch East Indiaman (spiegelretourschip) built in Amsterdam. She belonged to the Amsterdam Chamber of the VOC. She had a crew of 181-268.

Gerrit Groenewegen, VOC ship, 18th century.

MasterCoenraad Dirk Wolk
Length140 feet (42.7 m)
Tonnage880 ton (440 last)


Since the ship had arrived at its destination the cargo had been taken off the ship prior to the loss. Therefore no salvage attempt was done after the loss of the ship. At present, there have been four periods of research: 1958, 1964, 1985 and 1986.

The wreck was discovered by A.C. Slooten in 1958 after some archival research on a wreck lying at the Javaruggen near Texel. Part of the keel of the Buytensorg was lifted from the wreck site and is on display in Lelystad.


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