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stepping stones of maritime history

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Historical description

The Naarstigheid was a Dutch East Indiaman (spiegelretourschip) sailing for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). She was on her way from Bengal in the East, sailing homebound when she was demasted in a hurricane. During the six weeks that followed, they attempted to reach the Cape but failed. The ship was in very poor condition and they had to steer for Mozambique.

The ship reached the bay of Delagoa in very poor condition. She was put into the bay dismasted ans so leaky that it was difficult to keep her afloat. Anchor was cast in front of the ruins of the abandoned Dutch fort in the Bay of Delgoa, fort Lijdsaamheijd.

On the 1st of July 1757 she was set on fire after company gave up on her due to the condition she was in. The crew remained on the location for two years before they were relieved by the ship Scholtenburg. Its cargo was transported to the cape and patria by the ships Hector and Scholtenburg.

Painting of a Dutch East Indiaman.

Archaeological description

Archaeologically we have no information regarding the wreck of the Naarstigheid. We only learn from the sources that they set her on fire in the bay of Delagoa due to the poor condition she was in. No artifacts have been found.

The only information of the wreck that we have is from the in 1761 written story:

Rampspoedige reize van het O.I. schip de Naarstigheid in de terugreize enz., waarvan de schepelingen zijn thuisgekomen den 13en Juni 1760 met 't schip Scholtenburg.

This story was written by Jacob de Bucquoy, one of the people on board of the ship.


Name: Naarstigheid.

Type: East Indiaman (Spiegelretourschip).

Built: 1746.

Yard: Delftshaven.

Chamber: Delft.

Length: 136 foot.

Tonnage: 850, 425.

Complement: 250-295.

Replica of a Dutch East Indiaman ("Batavia").

East Indiaman

Roman structures