Mauritius (1618 ship)
VOC ship Mauritius ca 1618 [?] Painting from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
|Namesake:||The island of Mauritius|
|Owner:||Dutch East India Company|
|Route:||Holland to Bantam, Indonesia|
|In service:||1618-1622 (Documented)|
|General characteristics VOC Ship Mauritius|
|Type:||Wooden-hulled sailing ship|
|Commanders:||Willem Janszoon and Lenaert Jacobszoon|
On the 1618 voyage, the ship was commanded by Supercargo Willem Janszoon and captained by Lenaert Jacobszoon, when they sighted North West Cape in Western Australia on 31 July 1618. On that occasion they had believed that the mainland peninsular west of the Exmouth Gulf, was an island. They went ashore there and it is written that they discovered human footprints, as follows.
Letter Of supercargo WILLEM JANSZ(OON) to the Managers of the Amsterdam Chamber, October 6, 1618.
Worshipful Wise Provident Discreet Gentlemen,
(Sailed 1000 miles to eastward in in 38 degrees with notable success.)
The present serves only to inform you that on the 8th of June last with the ship Mauritius we passed Cape de bon esperence, with strong westerly winds, so that we deemed it inadvisable to call at any land, after which we ran a thousand miles to eastward in 38 degrees Southern Latitude, though we should have wished to go still further east.
On the 31st of July we discovered an island and landed on the same, where we found the marks of human footsteps--on the west-side it extends N.N.E. and S.S.W.; it measures 15 miles in length, and its northern extremity is in 22° S. Lat. It bears Eendracht S.S.E. and N.N.W. from the south-point of Sunda at 240 miles' distance; from there (Eendrachtsland [*]) through God's grace we safely arrived before Bantam on the 22nd of August...
[* This marginal note was made by an official of the East India Company, when the letter had reached its destination.]
Done on board the ship 't Wapen van Amsterdam, October 6, 1618.
The Mauritius is mentioned on the Caert van't Landt van d'Eendracht ("Chart of the Land of Eendracht"), which is a 1627 chart by Hessel Gerritsz and is one of the earliest charts that shows Australia.
On the 1618 voyage, the crew visited and partly mapped a river which was named Willems River. Willems River was most likely named after the Commander of the ship Mauritius, Supercargo, Willem Janszoon.
The chart shows Willems revier, besocht by 't volck van 't Schip Mauritius in Iulius A° 1618 ("Willem's River, visited by the crew of the ship Mauritius in July 1618").
The Commander of the ship Mauritius, Supercargo, Willem Janszoon, was captain of the Duyfken in 1605-1606, when part of the Gulf of Carpentaria was mapped, during that earliest documented visit to Australia by a vessel from the Netherlands.
The 1618 named Willems River is believed to be the Ashburton River (Western Australia). The detail of the rivers position on the chart, backs up the claim that Willems River is the Ashburton River, which, being at 21 degrees 40 minutes south and 114 degrees 56 east, is almost exactly the latitude shown on the chart and discussed in other writing.
The chart was based on a number of voyages, beginning with the 1616 voyage of Dirk Hartog. On that voyage Hartog named Eendrachtsland after his ship, the Eendracht meaning "Concord" or "Unity". The name Eendrachtsland appeared on subsequent charts.
Mauritius is mentioned in September 1622, as follows.
But in the meantime, in the years 1616, 1618, 1619 and 1622, the west coast of this great unknown south land from 35° to 22° S. latitude was discovered by outward bound ships, and among them by the ship Endraght [Eendracht]; for the nearer discovery of which the governor-general, Jan Pietersz Coen (of worthy memory) in September, 1622, despatched the yachts De Haring and Harewind; but this voyage was rendered abortive by meeting the ship Mauritius, and searching after the ship Rotterdam.
- Heeres, Jan Ernst (1899). The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 (txt). London: Royal Dutch Geographical Society, Luzac & Co. Retrieved 28 Oct 2012.
- Tent, Jan (March 2006). "The importance of bygone placenames" (pdf). Placenames Australia - Newsletter of the Australian National Placenames Survey: 10–11. Retrieved 10 Feb 2014.
- Major, Richard Henry (ed) (1859). Early Voyages to Terra Australis, now called Australia. London: The Hakluyt Society. Retrieved 10 Feb 2014.