Concordia (1696 ship)

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Career (Netherlands)
Name: Concordia
Owner: Dutch East India Company, Delft
Builder: Dutch East India Company, Delfshaven
Launched: 1696
Fate: Lost at sea, 1708
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 900 tons
Length: 145 ft (44 m)
Complement: 200-225 people [1]

The Concordia was a Dutch VOC sailing ship that left Batavia on 15 January 1708 with two other vessels, Zuiderburg and Mercurius. Concordia had 130 people on board and was bound for the Cape of Good Hope, and then the Netherlands. She was last sighted by Mercurius in open seas to the south of Sunda Strait on 5 February 1708, in bad weather.

History[edit]

Built in 1696, Concordia was a large ship for her day, being approximately 900 tons. On 15 January 1708, under the command of Joris Vis, the Concordia set out from Batavia on a return trip to the Netherlands with two other VOC ships; Zuiderberg and Mercurius.[2] Of the 130 passengers and crew on board, there were several women returning home and some Balinese being deported from the Dutch East Indies to the Cape of Good Hope, due to bad conduct.[3]

Only the Mercurius reached the Cape of Good Hope. The Captain of Mercurius reported that Concordia and Zuiderburg had last been sighted together in open seas to the south of Sunda Strait on 5 February 1708, in bad weather. On 22 February, the crew of Mercurius found floating debris. They saw several goods in the water, some firewood, a chest of tea, a Chintz piece of cotton, a carpenters boor, white candles, and the staves for barrels.[3] The Concordia was officially listed as being lost somewhere near Mauritius in 1708.[4][5][6]

One known passenger aboard the Concordia was Mr Constantijn van Baerle, a VOC official.[3][7]

Mystery[edit]

In 1832, a covert English expedition to inland Australia commanded by a Lieutenant Nixon reportedly discovered a group of white Dutch people (80 men and 10 females) living in a desert oasis believed to be Palm Valley in the Northern Territory. The existence was first reported in February 1834, in an English newspaper called The Leeds Mercury.[8] There were other articles in a Dutch scientific journal, and the Perth Gazette of 1837.[3][4]

The Leeds Mercury story claimed that Lt. Nixon had spoken to the settlers in a broken form of old Dutch and the leader or chief of the group, was a descendant of an officer whose name was "van Baerle". The party remained with the group for eight days.

Nixon stated:

Despite extensive research, no trace or direct evidence of the settlers has ever been found. Historians now believe the original 1834 Leeds Mercury story was a hoax.[4][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "De VOC-site - Scheepsgegevens Concordia - 1696". 2002–2011. Retrieved August 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis (2008). Details of voyage 6183.3 from Batavia. Retrieved on 10 June 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ammerlaan, Tom (2004). Early Dutch emigrants to Australia: Chapter 8. Retrieved on 10 June 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Dutch Shipwrecks on the Western Australian Coastline (2008). Dutch Shipwrecks: Concordia. Retrieved on 10 June 2008.
  5. ^ Bruijn, J.R. et al. (1987). Dutch-Asiatic Shipping in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The Hague Nijhoff. OCLC 6166608 ISBN 90-247-2282-9.
  6. ^ VOC Shipwrecks (2008). 6183.3 Concordia. Retrieved on 10 June 2008.
  7. ^ Constantijn van Baerle (2008). Constantijn van Baerle. Retrieved on 10 June 2008.
  8. ^ a b VOC Historical Society (2008). What happened to the white settlers at Palm Valley? Retrieved online 12 June 2008
  9. ^ VOC Historical Society (2006). The White Tribe Story. Volume 6, Number 3, September 2006. Retrieved on 10 June 2008.