Letters Despatched 1696-17081

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Last Edited06/05/2014
LtrsDesp1695_1708 On 30 April 1698 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708 To Batavia. The ex Radja of Tambora sent hither in the “Lands Welvaren,” we shall, until further orders, treat in accordance with the instructions received at the same time.2 
LtrsDesp1695_1708*On 29 April 1699 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708 to an unknown place : No. 25, p. 239. To Batavia.] [29th April, 1699]
“Ships affairs. This vessel (“Tamboer”) having been thoroughly repaired, is, according to your orders, sent back, via Madagascar, to inquire after the “Ridderschap” and the pirates said to be there. As interpreter we have placed on board a Malagasy slave named Inserwole, baptized here with the name of Cornelis, after being already employed as such in the slave trade with that island. As we are badly off for slaves, we beg that he may be sent back as soon as possible.”
List of annexures
No. 4. Copy of a report of Jacques Colaan, made to the Indian Council, regarding the condition of Madagascar, as much as he knew of it, dated 18th June, 1699.
No. 10. Journal of the hooker “Poelsiiip” during a voyage to Mauritius and Madagascar in 1657.3
LtrsDesp1695_1708On 1 July 1699 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708 to Batavia: “Ships affairs. . . On the 23rd May this year the Mohammedan priest, Sheik Joseph, who had by your orders been sent hither in 1694 with 49 followers in the flute “Voetboog,” from Ceylon, departed this life. Until the end of August, 1698, they, and others of their kind, have cost this Government in pay and maintenance ƒ24,421:12:12, and, adding this running year, the sum will reach ƒ26,221:12:12 – a heavy burden indeed on our revenue.

Besides, these Mohammedans, by multiplying, are more and more increasing in numbers However, as Joseph is now dead, we beg you to find a proper method by which we may be released from his adherents and their heavy expense, and also that we may in future be exempted from such people…”.4
LtrsRecd1695_1708*On 23 November 1699 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708: No. 103, p. 519. From Batavia.] [1699]

23rd Nov. Ships affairs. “Received yours of 29th October last year, 6th and 24th February, 21st March, 18th and 22nd April, 23rd and 29th May, 4th, 17th, and 23rd June, 1st July, 6th and 26th August this year… It has been fortunate that the frigate “Tamboer” overtook the return fleet at the Cape, and so discharged into it its cargo of tea, &c. She returned on the 27th August via Madagascar, and we enclose copy of her report regarding the “Ridderschap,” and the pirates infesting the coast there. We send you back by the “Nigtevegt” the slave Ysserwolle or Cornelis, given by you to the “Tamboer” to serve as interpreter there. You will have to await the orders of the Directors regarding the condemned ship “Nieuwland.” It is well that you sent on 42 of her men.

From yours of 17th June we gathered the abominable conspiracy on board the “Swaag” to murder the skipper and officers, and all who defended themselves, and take possession of the vessel; but that the same had fortunately been discovered in time… We expect a good supply of ebony in the “Peter and Paul.”

We find that Commissioner Heyns, after having inspected False Bay, found it unserviceable for the safe custody of the fleet during the stormy season, full particulars being given in your resolution of 21st February. In his private letter to us of the 19th March, he suggests that strong and new cables should be served out to the costly return ships, to enable them to weather the storms. As you have suitable cables, it would not be unadvisable to carry out the Commissioner's suggestions until you hear from the Directors. . .

We do not approve of your taking coal out of the ships, you should make your requisition to Holland according to your wants.

We trust that your next year's harvest will enable you to supply the return ships, and also comply with our requisitions.

The 25 sailors and 40 men sent over to reduce the garrison at the Cape, arrived here safely; the two stowaways likewise; they were condemned to chains and forfeiture of all their pay.

We received the accounts of Willem Dirksz van Esens, sailor, and Andries Broeders of Krakebul, arquebusier… Received yours of 30th August, 1698, with statement of receipts and expenditure, showing that your expenditure was ƒ17,498?5?14 less than the year before; news that will please the Directors. This retrenchment should be your chief object, that the Company may be more and more relieved of the heavy burdens which it had to bear since the establishment of the Colony… We enclose the sentences of the five convicts sent over last year.

The arrival of the French pirate at Saldanha Bay and his spoliation of 3 fishing boats, as mentioned in yours of 23rd May have made us very anxious about our ships which might call there unaware of any danger. The ships' rolls tell us that many foreign ships had called, among them 4 large English war ships; that both French and English were dissatisfied with their reception, and left without a salute. This is rather an impertinence, but it should not make you scrupulous in future, about refusing them any ship's necessaries. According to the Directors' orders of the 31st July, 1698 you did well by asking the Directors what you are to do in the case of foreign nations spending the nights on shore. How we made provision on this point in order to prevent all smuggling and intermixture of foreigners with our own people, our placcaat issued on the 14th of last month will show. Copy enclosed…

The burgher Francois Ketele and his family have received a passage hence to settle at the Cape.

The death of the Moorish priest Sheik Joseph, has relieved the Company of a great burden, both as regards the requests of our Mohamedan allies (to which we were continually exposed) that he might be ordered back, and the costs necessary for his maintenance, which including what has been spent for some years on the Macassar grandees have reached the big sum of ƒ26,221?12?12. How you are henceforth to act with this item, and others required for the said Macassars and other convicts, you will gather from the annexed memorandum of the general bookkeeper, dated 18th September last…

The return fleet this year will be under the command of the ordinary Councillor of India, Wouter Valckenier, who will likewise be Commissioner for the Cape. The Vice- Admiral will be the Councillor Extraordinary Wybrand Lycochton, and the Rear Admiral, Thomas van Son. At the request of his friends we have allowed the wives and daughters of the late Sheik Joseph to return hither, but the sons and so-called friends of the said priest are to remain there and be moderately entertained according to their numbers. Their slaves are to be appraised and taken over for the Company. The amount to be employed in reduction of the expenses incurred in their maintenance. Everything else must remain in accordance with our Resolution of 30th October, 1698…

We have allowed a passage to Greertruida Willemsz. and her son. She is the wife of the Cape burgher Willem Helmit.

Twenty-two convicts are sent over, distributed among the fleet. The last mentioned embarked on the “Voorschoten” is Ronso of Tambora, one who assisted in carrying out the crimes committed by the ex-king of Tambora now at the Cape. According to our resolution of 18th September, 1696, he is to serve in chains during the whole period of his life.

We have requested the Directors to provide you with teak wood, this would be a much cheaper arrangement.” Inserwole van Madagascar (an unknown value.)5
LtrsDesp1695_1708On 26 March 1700 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708 to Batavia: (To Governor-General W. v. Outhoorn and Council.) 
…The deceased Moorish priest Sheikh Joseph's family have been informed of your orders. His wives thereupon most humbly requested us, as they were all intermarried, and in order not to be separated, that they might be allowed to remain here, if not allowed to leave all together. For that purpose they present you with the annexed petition, humbly praying that they may all be allowed to return to their country, and remain here until your orders have been ascertained. This was allowed, with the approval of the Commissioner (Valckenier) , and we trust that he has mentioned this subject in his private letters …
No. 9. Petition of Karakonto, widow of the deceased Maccassarian priest, named Tuanse or Sheik Joseph, addressed to your Honours.6
LtrsDesp1695_1708On 29 May 1701 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708 to Batavia: 29th May 1701 Your orders of 28th January, 1701. in answer to our despatch of 22nd March, regarding the widows and daughters of the deceased Sheik Joseph, have been communicated to them, but they have humbly requested us to be allowed for the present to live here. According to your wishes we have allowed them a moderate income according to their numbers.7
LtrsDesp1695_1708On 14 June 1701 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708 to Batavia: Sheik Joseph. As regards the widow of the Moorish priest Sleg (Sheik) Joseph, whom in request of the Maccassarian King Radja Goa, we shall give her and her children passage accordingly. We shall also allow it to pass, by shutting our eyes, and doing as if we did not see it, should they be willing to take under their care and carry away with them the bones of that same priest. To out satisfaction this whole company will be sent over with the first fleet ship that has room. We shall also take care that no other Easterner under the pretense of belonging to that family, but who are in banishment here, get mixed up in the number, and so escape from banishment. We shall detain them all, and grant them no passage until further orders. Whether they have dug up, or will havte dug up the bones of the said priest we cannot tell. But should they be inclined to do so, they will be allowed to do so without any remark…... Arrival of the English man-of-war "Burlington" to convoy the re'urn fleet from St. llelena to England. We send you some medicinal drugs, seeds, marmalade, wheat and rye, and train oil ; we also send you in cash f15,000.8
LtrsDesp1695_1708 On 18 May 1703 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708 To Batavia: "From your despatch of 30th November, 1702, it further appears that you have declined the request of the Sultan Nissa Nudum Abdul Rassa and Cara Conte van Macassar ex-king of Tambora, to be allowed to return to Batavia; and likewise that of Caro Conte, widow of the late Macassarian Priest Sheik Joseph, provided that we might allow the latter to go, should she change her mind, and she or any of her sex desire to leave on the conditions contained in your despatch of 23rd November, 1699. But as she has since not addressed us again, or communicated her intentions, we are opinion that, according to her original intention, she will prefer to remain in this colony among her relatives."9 
LtrsDesp1695_1708On 2 October 1704 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708 to Batavia: ...With the “Liefde” and “Spiegel” we have, at the request made to you by the Macassar King, Radja Goa, sent to you the widow, children, and family of the deceased Moorish priest, Sheik Joseph, as the annexed list will show.
As one of the women [Sitina Sara Marouff, wife of the Radja of Tambora] of that family, and two of her children, because they are married, have earnestly begged to remain here for the present, we have, considering that your orders do not say that those who were unwilling to go, should be made to go, left the matter in abeyance for your decision...10
LtrsDesp1695_1708On 6 April 1705 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708 to Batavia: From your letter of the 18th December we gathered with joy that the "Spiegel" had safely arrived on the 10th December with a portion of the people of the deceased Sheik Joseph, but that the "Liefde" had not yet arrived with the rest. We hope that she has arrived by this time, and that the whole lot, for your peace and quiet, have been sent on to Macassar.11
LtrsDesp1695_1708 On 10 March 1708 in Letters Despatched 1696-1708: To Batavia: We will take good care of the exiled Radja of Tambora that he has no communication with the passing ships, especially foreign ones, in order so to cut off all communication between him and his countrymen. He seldom has a chance, however, as he lives permanently at the Company's garden, “Rustenburg,” or at the stables, where the Macassarian exiles of courtly rank are located. Should he, however, wish to write, it will be difficult to prevent him, unless he is closely confined and watched.12 


  1. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Despatched 1696-1708, H.C.V. Leibrandt; CD-ROM (Cape Town, South Africa: W.A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1896). Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope.
  2. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Despatched: Page 77, Vol I
    No. 123, p. 1087.
  3. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, p.111.
  4. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, p.125. No. 56, p. 473. To Batavia.] 1699, 1st July 1699.
  5. [S721] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Received 1695-1708, H.C.V. Leibrandt; CD-ROM (Cape Town, South Africa: W.A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1896), pp.220-222. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope.
  6. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, p.149. [p.149.]
    No. 23, p. 827. To Batavia, (To Governor-General W. v. Outhoorn and Council.)]
    26th March 1700.
  7. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, p.182. No. 42, p. 287. To Batavia.]
  8. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, p.245-246. 14th June 1701 To Batavia]
  9. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Despatched: Page 225
    No. 89, p. 960.
  10. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, To Batavia.] 2nd October 1704 - "List of annexures. No. 7. List of the names of the family of Sheik Joseph sent back to Batavia." - annexure not published.
  11. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, p.263-264. 6th April 1705. To Batavia.
  12. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Despatched. p.343
    Long Letter no number.

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