Arnhem (ship)

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Flag of the Dutch East India Company.svgDutch Republic
OwnerDutch East India Company
BuilderDutch East India Company, Amsterdam
FateWrecked on Saint Brandon Rocks (off Mauritius) on 12 February 1662
General characteristics
Class and typeDutch East Indiaman
Tons burthen1,000 tons
Sail planThree masts

The Arnhem or Aernem[1] (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɑrnɛm]) was a Dutch East Indiaman sailing vessel that was shipwrecked 12 February 1662 off Mauritius on the Saint Brandon Rocks.


The Arnhem was built by the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC) chamber of Amsterdam at their wharf in 1654.[2] It was named after the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands.

The sailing ship was an East Indiaman or spiegelretourschip.[2] It had a capacity of 1,000 tons.[2]


Captained by Pieter Anthoniszoon, the Arnhem was one of seven VOC ships that left Batavia on 23 December 1661, homeward bound via the Cape of Good Hope. The other vessels were the Wapen van Holland, Prins Willem, Vogel Phoenix, Maarsseveen, Prinses Royal and Gekroonde Leeuw.

On 11 February 1662, the fleet was scattered by a violent storm. The Wapen van Holland (920 tons), Gekroonde Leeuw (1,200 tons) and Prins Willem (1,200 tons) disappeared without trace. The following day Arnhem ran aground on the Saint Brandon Rocks (also known as Cargados Carajos), a group of atolls and reefs some 200 kilometres north-east of Mauritius.[3] Volkert Evertsz and other survivors of the wreck survived by piloting a small boat to Mauritius, and are thought to have been the last humans to see live dodos.[4][5] They survived the three months until their rescue by hunting "goats, birds, tortoises and pigs".[6] Evertsz was rescued by the English ship Truroe in May 1662.[6][7] Seven of the survivors chose not to return with the first rescue ship.[8]


  1. ^ Jack, Robert. Northmost Australia: Three Centuries of Exploration, Discovery, and Adventure in and around the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, with a Study of the Narratives of All the Explorers by Sea and Land in the Light of Modern Charting, Many Original or Hitherto Unpublished Documents, Thirty-Nine Illustrations, and Sixteen Specially Prepared Maps, Vol. 1. 1921
  2. ^ a b c (in Dutch) Arnhem, 1654, De VOCsite. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Arnhem (+1662)". Wrecksite. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  4. ^ Roberts DL, Solow AR (November 2003). "Flightless birds: when did the dodo become extinct?". Nature. 426: 245. doi:10.1038/426245a. PMID 14628039.
  5. ^ Anthony Cheke; Julian P. Hume (30 June 2010). Lost Land of the Dodo: The Ecological History of Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-1-4081-3305-7.
  6. ^ a b Jolyon C. Parish (2013). The Dodo and the Solitaire: A Natural History. Indiana University Press. pp. 45–. ISBN 0-253-00099-8.
  7. ^ Rijks geschiedkundige publicatiën: Grote serie. Martinus Nijhoff. 1979. ISBN 978-90-247-2282-2.
  8. ^ Megan Vaughan (1 February 2005). Creating the Creole Island: Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Mauritius. Duke University Press. pp. 11–. ISBN 0-8223-3399-6.