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Hollandia was a Dutch East Indiaman that sailed for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It was the sistership of the VOC ship Amsterdam, built in 1748. She was meant to sail between the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies, however, she wrecked on her maiden voyage. Hollandia left Texel, bound for Batavia, on 3 July 1743, carrying a cargo mostly of silver, valued at around 129,700 guilders. She also carried an unknown number of passengers, including the brother and family of the newly appointed Governor-General Van Imhoff.

On 13 July 1743, Hollandia ran aground on Gunner Rock, off the southwest side of the Isles of Scilly. She was sailing too close to shore, possibly due to foggy weather and poor visibility, and instead of sailing south after the English Channel, she sailed north, putting her on a collision course with the Isles of Scilly. With the bottom of the ship resting on Gunner Rock, the crew attempted to alert those on shore to the emergency through a salute of cannon fire, but Hollandia was too far out to sea for a rescue, and all those on board perished.

Type of coast near the Isles of Scilly (@ Rowan Legg).


Hollandia was a Dutch East Indiaman built in Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Chamber of the VOC.

Dutch East Indiaman similar to Hollandia.

MasterJan Kelder
People on board276
Length149.9 feet (45.7 m)
Tonnage1150 ton (575 last)


The site of the wreck of Hollandia was surveyed and excavated after the initial discovery in 1971 by Rex Cowan, a notorious treasure hunter. The first survey of the main site was done in the winter of 1971 and spring of 1972 by Roy Graham and Nowel Pearce. The site was not easy to excavate due to its depth of around 28 metres, as well as the exposure to swells and strong tidal currents. The wreck itself was in a very decayed condition, and none of the timber structures of the ship survived, and only those artifacts lying in sand and gullies of the seabed were in fairly good shape. Most items were found on the main site, although there were a lot of scattered artifacts on the northern and southern parts of the site. These artifacts were scattered after the wreck due to the swell and tidal currents. Because the wreck was not salvaged for her cargo, the site of Hollandia provided researchers with a very complete research site of a Dutch East Indiaman.


Among the artifacts found were anchors, iron and bronze cannons, bronze breech loading guns, bronze and copper fittings, lead ingots, and a mount containing 35,000 silver coins. Yellow bricks were also found at the site, which is often one of the first indications that a wreck was a VOC ship.

These bricks were often used for ballast on outgoing voyages and were traded for goods in the Indies, where they were used in construction. It is still possible in towns in the former Dutch East Indies to see buildings that were built with these bricks. The coins were auctioned in 1972 and other items were auctioned by Sotheby's in 1975.

Example of coins from Hollandia wreck

Example of coins from the Hollandia wreck.

Protected under the Protection of Wrecks act:

Hollandia (1742)

The location.


  • Dutch-Asiatic Shipping.
    Details of voyage 3275.1 from Texel.
    Huygens ING.
  • Gegevens VOC-schip Hollandia (1742).
    De VOCsite.
  • Rex Cowan piece on the wreck.
  • Cowan, R., Cowan, Z. and P. Marsden.
    International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 4.2.
  • NA-, [s.a]. Lijst van alle zoodanige Schepen in soorten als bij de Generale Oostindische Compagnie zijn gemaekt oft gekocht als gehuurt alsmede waer oft de zelfde zijn agter gebleven ofte verongelukt als genoomen en verbrand, vermist of.
  • RGP-GS166, 1979. Dutch-Asiatic Shipping in the 17th and 18th centuries, Volume II, Outward-bound voyages from the Netherlands to Asia and the Cape (1595-1794). - Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1979. - 765 p., [en] - ISBN 90-247-2270-5.

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