Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

Resolution of the Governor-General and Councillors on Tasman's Return to Batavia

page 35

Resolution of the Governor-General and Councillors on Tasman's Return to Batavia.

Friday, June 19, A.D. 1643.

Inasmuch as on the 15th instant Commander Abel Janszoon Tasman has again come to anchor on this roadstead (for which God be praised) with the yacht “Heemskerck” and the flute “Zeehaen,” who on the 14th of August of last year had been dispatched from here by way of the Island of Mauritius with orders to navigate to and discover the unknown southern and eastern lands; as shown by the journals kept on board the said vessels and the reckonings recorded by them, in sailing on an eastern course they found the wind very strong and the seas so high that they did not think it advisable to run farther southward, but thought it better gradually to deviate more to northward of the said course, until they came to 44° lat. and 167° long., where on the 24th November last they sighted and discovered a certain great land surrounded by islands, which land they have christened Antonij van Diemen's land, without, however, being aware how far it extends to north-west or north-east, and without communicating with any of the inhabitants, the ships having only sailed along the south coast of it and onward as far as 189° long., where in the latitude of from 43 to 35 degrees, on December 13, they sighted and came upon another large land, to which they have given the name of Staten Landt, of which latter land they found the natives to be of a malignant and murderous nature, seeing that in a certain large bay these natives came upon them with a number of strongly manned prows, cut off one of our boats from the ships, and killed four of our men in her with wooden clubs, and wounded another who returned on board swimming; the said land was found to trend to southward in lat. 35° and long. 192°, and consequently a passage from the Indian Ocean into the South Sea had been found, it having been ascertained that in this parallel, where the westerly trade-wind is blowing, there is a convenient passage to the gold-bearing coast of Chili; from there running on a north-east course they next, in lat. 21° and long. 205°, came upon certain islands apparently well peopled by civilized and kindly disposed natives, who allowed them to land and take in fresh water, at the same time providing them with such refreshments as they stood in need of; thence they next turned their course to westward, passed a few more islands and shoals, which they strongly surmise to form part of the Insulis Salomonis, and then went on tacking about as far as between the 5th and 4th degree, where they got the coast of New Guinea alongside; they sailed on north of this coast, until they got page 36 between the western extremity of it and the Island of Gilolo, then ran south towards the north coast of Ceram, and farther on through Buton Strait, whence they arrived here as above stated:

And inasmuch as by the instructions handed to Commander Tasman aforesaid and his council we had assured and promised them that, in case in the course of this voyage any rich lands or islands profitable to the company's commerce should be discovered, or serviceable passages for navigation be found, we should on their return award a handsome recompense to the leaders of the undertaking and the common sailors for extraordinary pains taken and diligence shown by them:

Therefore, although in point of fact no treasures or matters of great profit have as yet been found, but only the lands aforesaid and the promising passage referred to been discovered, whose real situation and nature will have to be further ascertained by a subsequent investigation set on foot for the express purpose:

Yet we have unanimously resolved, for the reasons above cited, to award a recompense to the said discoverers on behalf of the honourable company, and in fulfilment of our promise aforesaid—to wit, to the commander, skippers, super and sub cargoes, steersmen, and inclusive of the book-keeper, two months' pay each; and to the common sailors and soldiers one month's pay each; for which they shall each of them be credited in running account to the debit of the company, and subsequently be debited again for the amount of the said recompenses, which shall be paid to them in cash.

* * * *

Done and resolved in the Castle of Batavia, date as above. (Signed)—

Antonio Van Diemen


Cornelis Van der Lijn


Joan Maetsuijcker


Justus Schouten


Salomon Sweers

, and

Pieter Mestdagh

, Secretary.