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stepping stones of maritime history


The East Indiaman Ridderschap van Holland departed from Wielingen on 11 July 1693 and sailed towards Batavia under command of skipper Dirk de Lange. The ship made a stop at the Cape of Good Hope on the 9th of January and departed from the Cape on the 5th of February 1694. Thereafter nothing was ever heard of the Ridderschap van Holland again. Before she went missing she had completed four succesful voyages between the Netherlands and Batavia, over the period of 1683 to 1692.

It was assumed that the ship stranded somewhere near the Houtman Abrolhos (Western Australia) or taken hostage near Madagascar. Rumors had reached the Cape that pirates had taken the ship, which led the governement to decide to send out the yacht Tamboer in May of 1699 to search for wreckage and survivors. None of the latter was found however.


The 164 feet long vessel was built in Amsterdam in 1681 and thereby part of the largest class of vessels of that time. The East Indiaman weighed 1,138 tons and was equipped with square sails and armed with 36 cannons and four so-called 'bassen' (smaller guns). The ship carried about 325 crew soldiers and passengers.


  • Dutch-Asiatic Shipping.
    Details of voyage 1671.5 from Wielingen.
    Huygens ING.
  • G. Henderson.
    Unfinished Voyages: Western Australian Shipwrecks 1622-1850 (University of Western Australia Press 1980), 41-44.
  • P. Van Den Boogaerde, Shipwrecks of Madagascar (Houston 2008), 75-76.
  • C. Halls, 'The loss of the Ridderschap van Holland', Annual Dog Watch 22 (1965), 3-8.

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