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stepping stones of maritime history


The Prinses Maria/ Prinsesse Maria was an East Indiaman sailing for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a merchant vessel. On her second voyage to the East Indies she wrecked of the rocky and treacherous coast of the Scilly Isles in the most Southwestern point of the United Kingdom.

Wrecksite of the Princess Maria. Source:

Archaeological description

The wreck of the DutchEast Indiaman was found in the summer of 1973 by treasure-hunter Rex Cowan. An earlier salvage attempt had been done during the years after the Princess Maria wrecked. However due to its location in deep layers of sand their attempt was not that successful.

Artifacts were auctioned in three separate auctions together with artifacts of some other Dutch ships (Curacao, Lastdrager, Hollandia). 29th April 1974 by Sotheby Mak Van Waay (catalogue 227).

Prinses Maria

28th of October 1975 by Sotheby Mak Van Waay BV (catalogue 252)

24th of November 1977 by W.H. Lane & Sons

Some items can be found at the Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre.


Name: Prinses Maria or Princesse Maria

Type: Dutch East Indiaman

Built: 1682

Yard: Middelburg

Chamber: Zeeland

Length: 160 ft

Width: 39 ft

Beam: 18.25 ft

Tonnage: 1140, 570 last

Complement: 250-275

Painting of a Dutch East Indiaman in a Gale.


Protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973)


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