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Flag of the Dutch East India Company.svgDutch Republic
Name: Bredenhof
Owner: Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie
Operator: East Indiaman
Port of registry:  Netherlands
Ordered: Kamer van Hoorn
Completed: 1746
In service: 1746
Out of service: 1753
Fate: Ran aground (wrecked)
Status: Not recovered
General characteristics
Displacement: 850 long tons[1]
Length: 136 ft (41 m)[1]
Propulsion: Sailing
Crew: 221-250[2]

Bredenhof, VOC Bredenhof, was a Dutch East Indiaman transport ship that foundered on a reef 120 miles south of Mozambique and only 13 miles off the African coast, near the Cape of Good Hope, on 6 June 1753. The loss of the Bredenhof on her third voyage to the East Indies was meticulously recorded in the Dutch archives.


With a crew composed of about 250 men, the Bredenhof left Rammekens, Zeeland on the morning of 31 December 1752, heading for Ceylon in the Indian Ocean. But due to the weather conditions and the problems on the journey, by the time they arrived at the Cape 6 men were dead and 9 very sick. Two weeks after setting sail from the Cape to Ceylon they ran into treacherous waters and the Bredenhof was wrecked on a reef. Capt. Jan Nielsen's orders were to throw all the silver bars overboard so that it could not be plundered by any member of the crew, although part of the gold was taken ashore.


Built in Amsterdam in 1746, the Bredenhof measured 41.45 m (136 ft) and had a storage capacity of 850 tons. The cargo consisted of 14 barrels containing a large amount of copper coins, 29 chests of silver ingots and 1 chest with 5.000 golden ducates including silver bars that were to be set aside and minted into silver rupees in Bengal.

About 200 men formed three separate groups and tried to reach the land in rafts, but only half of them made it. Some got back to the Netherlands in the following year by way of Brazil and Lisbon, but the captain of the ship died on 6 January 1754.[3]


Despite the attempt to recover the silver bars and copper coins in the 1750s, modern divers found the shipwreck off the Silva Shoal in the Mozambique Channel in 1986 and a salvaging company was called in by the South African Government to recover all the gold and silver ingots from the sea bed and transport them to Mozambique, operation which was started on 17 October 2003.[4] Some of the relevant items salvaged are 15 iron cannons, 5 anchors, lead rolls and ingots, and some iron bars.[5] A third part of the treasure was sent to South Africa after a long judicial battle which took more than four years and the part which corresponded to the salvaging company was sold at an auction at Christie's Amsterdam in that same year.[4]


Voyages undertaken by the Bredenhof:

  • First Voyage:
    • Kamer van Hoorn -
      • Departure: Texel.
      • Date: 6 May 1748.
      • Capt. Frederik Jansz. van Winsum
      • Destination: Cape Good Hope from 30 September 1748 until 20 October 1748.
      • Arrival: Batavia.
      • Date: 24 February 1749.
    • Kamer van Enkhuizen -
      • Departure: Batavia.
      • Date: 23 April 1749.
      • Capt. Frederik Jansz. van Winsum
      • Arrival: Texel.
      • Date: 1 April 1750.
  • Second Voyage:
    • Kamer van Enkhuizen -
      • Departure: Texel.
      • Date: 6 October 1750.
      • Capt. Simon Rood
      • Destination: Cape Good Hope from 31 January 1751 until 16 February 1751.
      • Arrival: Batavia.
      • Date: 26 June 1751.
    • Kamer van Zeeland -
      • Departure: Batavia.
      • Date: 11 October 1751.
      • Capt. Jacob van Wies
      • Destination: Cape Good Hope from 15 January 1752 until 22 April 1752.
      • Arrival: Rammekens.
      • Date: 23 July 1752.
  • Third Voyage:
    • Kamer van Zeeland -
      • Departure: Rammekens.
      • Date: 31 December 1752.
      • Capt. Jan Nielson
      • Destination: Cape Good Hope from 11 April 1753 until 26 April 1753.
      • Arrival: Sank
      • Date: 6 June 1753.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bredenhof (+1753)". Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Bredenhof 1746". De VOC Site. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Maurice Boucher (1985), The Cape of Good Hope and foreign contacts - 1735-1755, University of South Africa, p. 105, ISBN 0-86981-305-6
  4. ^ a b "Bredenhof, sunk in 1753 off Mozambique". Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Wreck Track Record" (PDF). Arq-publications. Retrieved 4 April 2011.