Hugo was born in Delft. In 1639 he joined the Dutch East India Company. Around 1641 he arrived in Batavia and soon he was appointed in Dutch Suratte. There he was stationed twelve years. In 1654 he returned to the Dutch Republic as a vice-admiral.
In 1661 he sailed on the Black Eagle to Le Havre and hired forty sailors. Via Torbay, and Madagascar he arrived at Mocha in the Red Sea and succeeded to capture four Arab ships. In 1662 on his way to France, he paid a visit to Mauritius. There 34 Dutch sailors from the sunk ship Arnhem joined him. He promised to drop them on Saint Helena, but the sailors decided not to leave and Hugo sailed to the West-Indies. In 1665 he seems to have been back in the Red Sea.
In 1671 he wrote a letter to the Lords XVII, the managers of the VOC, and proposed to organize slave trade on India and Africa from Mauritius. They accepted his proposal within a few days, because Wreede, who was drinking too much, had to be replaced. Hugo insisted on becoming independent from the commander on Cape of Good Hope.
Hugo left the Republic in December 1671 with his wife Marie, five children and fifty soldiers. In February 1673 he arrived on Mauritius, unsuccessful in buying slaves on Madagascar. Hugo noticed the vegetable garden was in a deplorable state. On the first night he hardly slept because of all the rats walking around in the attic. He organized agriculture quickly and a road was built in order to remove the ebony trees. In February 1674 the island was hit by a heavy storm and all the buildings were destroyed.
In September 1677 Isaac Johannes Lamotius arrived on Mauritius. Hugo left the island disappointed and sailed to Batavia and asked the Company to pay his salary to his mother-in-law.
- It is not clear why he did not join the French East India Company.
- Stapel, F.W. (1930) Hubert Hugo (Een zeerover in dienst van de Oostindische Compagnie).
- Allister Macmillan, Mauritius illustrated: historical and descriptive, commercial and industrial facts, figures, and resources., London : W.H. & L. Collingridge, 1914
George Frederik Wreeden
|Governor of Mauritius
Isaac Johannes Lamotius
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