Petrus Vuyst

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Petrus Vuyst
20th Governor of Ceylon
In office
16 September 1726 – 27 August 1729
Preceded by Jan Paulus Schagen
as acting governor
Succeeded by Stephanus Versluys
Personal details
Born Petrus Vuijst
Died 19 May 1732

Petrus Vuyst or Vuijst (1691, Batavia, Dutch East Indies - 19 May 1732, Batavia) was the 20th Governor of Ceylon during the Dutch colonial period.

Vuyst was born in Batavia as the son of Hendrik Vuyst of Alkmaar (1656-1705) and Maria de Nijs. He returned to the Netherlands for schooling, where he signed in as a student in Leiden in 1711.[1] In Haarlem, he married the local Barbara Wilhelmina Gerlings (1692-1746) in 1714.[2] The couple lived in Leiden where they had one surviving daughter, before leaving for the East Indies on 16 May 1716 on the ship De herstelde Leeuw.[3] He arrived in 1717 in Batavia where he was fiscal lawyer and in 1720 became Extraordinary Council of the Dutch East Indies. Between 1722 and 1724 he was Governor of Dutch Bengal and finally in 1726 was appointed governor of Ceylon.[1]

Vuyst's rule on Ceylon was notoriously inept and cruel. At his instigation a number of people, including Dutch settlers and officials, were sentenced to death on false or trumped up charges. He was dismissed from his position in 1729 and summoned to appear before the High Council in Batavia, which found him guilty of "judicial murders" and other serious crimes. He was executed on 19 May 1732.[4][5] His widow and daughter returned to Holland, where they arrived in Haarlem in June 1733.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Historische-Genealogische-Heraldieke aantekeningen over Ceylon in De Wapenheraut, D.G. van Epen, editor, Volume 1, The Hague, 1897, pp. 53-4
  2. ^ F.H. de Vos, Portraits of Dutch Governors of Ceylon , in The Journal of the Dutch Burgher Union of Ceylon, Volume V, Albion Press, Galle, 1912, pp. 14-18.
  3. ^ M. G. Wildeman, Familie-aantekeningen Gerlings (family notes Gerlings from the 18th century), in De Nederlandse Leeuw, 1897
  4. ^ R. G. Anthonisz, introduction to Memoir Left by Jacob Christiaan Pielat to His Successor: Diederik van Domburg, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, 1905
  5. ^ Rajpal Kumar de Silva and Willemina G.M. Beumer, Illustriations and Views of Dutch Ceylon, Serendib Publications, London, 1988, ISBN 978-90-04-08979-2, page 438
Government offices
Preceded by
Jan Paulus Schagen
as acting governor
Governor of Ceylon
Succeeded by
Stephanus Versluys