Joris van Spilbergen

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Spilbergen meeting king Vimaladharmasuriya in 1602.

Joris van Spilbergen (Antwerp, 1568 – Bergen op Zoom, 1620) was a Dutch naval officer.

His first major expedition was in 1596, when he sailed to Africa.

He then left for Asia on 5 May 1601, commanding the fleet of the company of the Moucheron (a trading company before the esablishement of the VOC). His ships were the Ram, Schaap, and Lam. Spilbergen met the king of Kandy (Sri Lanka) Vimala Dharma Suriya in 1602, and discussed the possibility of trade in cinnamon.

In 1607, Spilbergen, onboard Aeolus, was with Jacob van Heemskerk at the Battle of Gibraltar.

In 1614, he sailed beyond the Strait of Magellan and raided the Spanish settlements of the coast of California.[citation needed] From 1578, El Quisco together with the neighbor Algarrobo and El Canelo were a hiding place of pirates such as the Englishmen Francis Drake, Thomas Cavendish, Richard Hawkins and the Dutchmen Olivier van Noort and Joris van Spilbergen. He had some fights with Sebastián Vizcaíno and Nicolás de Cardona. He circumnavigated the earth, and returned to the Dutch Republic in 1617.

He died a poor man in Bergen op Zoom in 1620.