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stepping stones of maritime history


The Gouden Leeuw (Golden Lion) made 4 return trips. 2 for the VOC Rotterdam chamber and 2 for the VOC Amsterdam chamber.

Second voyage
The Gouden Leeuw was sent to China from Batavia in early July 1622, together with the Samson. The VOC (under Commander Reyersen) was trying to obtain trade concessions from the Chinese government.

Pressure on the Chinese authorities was increased by attacks on the coastal towns. An fortress was built on Pehu, one of the Pescadores islands strategically situated. All of this was a thorn in the side of the Chinese government.*

On their way to the Pescadores, the Golden Lion and the Samson had stopped at Lamey Island, off the southwest coast of Taiwan (11 August 1622). Chief merchant Jacob Mathijssen was killed there during skirmishes with islanders.

The incident on Lamey prompted the VOC to start a punitive expedition against the islanders. A first short expedition took place in 1633. A second attack followed in the spring of 1636. Most of the island's population was killed or deported. (Dagregister Taiwan)

Third voyage
The third voyage of the Golden Lion led directly from Zeeland to India, Persia and Mocca, after which the ship returned to Europe without calling at Batavia. The ship was held by the English for a year before arriving back in the Netherlands in late 1628.

Fourth voyage
For the 4th and final voyage, the Gouden Leeuw departed from Texel in May 1629 and arrived in Batavia in November. The ship was now so bad that she could only be used for short distances to fetch pepper from Sumatra and for sailing to the Ambon and Banda.

The ship was wrecked on March 3, 1634 en route from Batavia to Makassar and Banda as part of a squadron led by Antonio van de Heuvel on a sandbank near Kallimantan (Borneo). 93 crew members were able to leave the ship. Only a few (clothes) of the cargo could be saved.

* Under military pressure from China, the VOC had to evacuate the Pescadores in 1624. As an alternative, the VOC then set up a trading post on the island of Formosa (Taiwan), which was not a part of China at the time.


Built: Rotterdam, 1615
Tonnage: 275 last
Gheen Huigen Schapenham (1616-1619)

MasterWillem Jans


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