direct to content


stepping stones of maritime history


The Zeelelie was a merchant vessel for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). She was on her return voyage to Holland coming from China when she was captured by the English. The ship was confiscated off St. Helena during her second voyage in June of 1795 and taken to Shannon, Ireland.

Later that year the ship was lost near the Scilly Isles due to the fault of the prize master. She was captured by the English East Indiaman General Goddard (built 1782) together with several other Dutch ships. According to the sources the cargo value of the Zeelelie was 716, 139 Dutch Guilders. Tea and china were also part of the cargo.

The picture below depicts the English sailing home with their prize ships. Holland at that time was called the Batavian Republic (Bataafse Republiek), modelled after the French Republic and de facto a client state of France.

Painting by Thomas Luny, 1796.


The Zeelelie was built in Middelburg and belonged to the Zeeland Chamber of the VOC.


Painting of an East Indiaman from c. 1759.

MasterKornelis Adriaanszoon
People on board100
Length149.9 feet (45.7 m)


The Zeelelie was discovered in 1986 by R. Larn on the most western rocks of the Isles of Scilly. A contract regarding the salvage of the Zeelelie was made with R. Larn and T.J. Hiron. The wreck appeared to be in bad condition. Almost nothing is known from the salvage operation. No official report has been released on the wreck and the research/salvage.


Down on 13 July

New in MaSS

Wrecks of Flevoland

Burgzand Noord

13 Provinces