Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX II: Archival Documents Relating to De Jure Praedae Translated by Martine J. van Ittersum - Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty
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APPENDIX II: Archival Documents Relating to De Jure Praedae Translated by Martine J. van Ittersum - Hugo Grotius, Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty 
Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty, ed. and with an Introduction by Martine Julia van Ittersum (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2006).
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The Liberty Fund edition of De Jure Praedae reproduces her translation, which first appeared as part of the Classics of International Law series. In addition to Williams’s translation, we reissue appendix A of the Carnegie edition, along with the superb author and subject indexes by Walter H. Zeydel. With two exceptions we have left unchanged the editorial conventions that govern Williams’s translation of De Jure Praedae. These editorial conventions are explained in full in the Translator’s Note to the Carnegie edition1 but may be summarized as follows.
The manuscript’s folio numbers appear at the end of the relevant text line, which is a change from the Carnegie edition, where they appear in the margin. The position of the folio numbers in the text approximates that of the folios in the manuscript. They should not be considered the equivalent of modern page breaks, however. Williams was frequently obliged to reverse the Latin word order of the manuscript in order to produce a flowing English translation. A comparison with the collotype reproduction of the manuscript reveals that, in a few instances, she either forgot to include the manuscript’s folio divisions or made a mistake in doing so.2 Although Williams did make some mistakes, the sometimes erratic numbering also reflects the fact that Grotius revised the theoretical chapters numerous times.
Footnotes identified by arabic numerals have a threefold function in Williams’s translation: (1) to indicate gaps in the manuscript that may cause doubt regarding the original text, (2) to clear up questions that may arise from Grotius’s own correction of the manuscript, and (3) to comment on Grotius’s use of sources. Since Grotius’s quotations often are loose paraphrases of the originals, Williams translated these quotations on the basis of the manuscript text, not the text quoted. Any unavoidable departure from this rule is marked with a numbered footnote. If Grotius’s deviation from his source was “too striking to pass without comment,” Williams inserted a numbered footnote there as well.3 Page numbers listed in the footnotes of the Carnegie edition have been replaced with page numbers from the Liberty Fund edition. Oddly enough, Williams referred to the page numbers, instead of the folio numbers, of the collotype reproduction of the manuscript, which she consulted for her translation. This has been left unchanged.
Archival Documents Relating to De Jure Praedae Translated by Martine J. van Ittersum
Nicolas de Montalegre to André Furtado de Mendonça,1 Capitão-Mór and General of the South Sea and His Conquests June 20, 16022
Entrusted to Father Pablo de Mesquita, a Portuguese Monk Intercepted at Jortan on the island of Java between June 20 and 25, 1602, by Jan Pauwels, Vice-Admiral of the Fleet of Jacob van Heemskerck
Two ships from Holland reached Grissee on May 27 and unloaded a great quantity of trade goods. Many crew members disembarked as well.
They had tried to seize indigenous vessels in the port of Demak, but received their comeuppance. The Demak authorities arrested all Dutchmen who happened to be in town—there were over fifty of them—and confiscated the trade goods that had been brought ashore. The Demak authorities accepted ransom for the officers but killed the other prisoners, with the exception of twelve sailors, who are still kept in captivity.
I took father Pablo de Mesquita aboard one of the Dutch ships so that he might give you an eyewitness account of how well equipped they are in everything. The Dutch crew is particularly eager to learn whether your Armada has gun ports close to the waterline. They brag that a big fleet of warships will arrive here from their country before long and deplore the fact that they are mere merchants. Since Spanish harbors are closed to them, they have to come to the Indies in order to make money. May God Almighty provide for this and grant you many prosperous victories in defense of your holy Catholic faith.
Signed: Your Servant Nicolas de Montalegre
Dated: Grissee, June 20, 1602
We left the port of Grissee on the seventh of June and plotted our course north of the island of Madura in a second attempt to reach the island of Bali. Before our departure we had increased the value of our trade goods at Grissee to two or three thousand guilders, both in coin and commodities, which were left under the supervision of Adriaen Schaeck, Hans Roef, and Gerrit van Doornick, with instructions to barter these for cloves, nutmeg, and mace. After we had struggled against the monsoon winds for seventeen or eighteen days, without any prospect of attaining our goal, we turned back and arrived at the port of Jortan on June 25.
We found our Vice-Admiral there, whom, because of three leaks in the bow of his ship and for other reasons, we had sent to Jortan eight days earlier. There was a Portuguese frigate as well, which had followed the Armada to the island of Ambon with a cargo of victuals. It had received orders from Admiral André Furtado de Mendonça to go first to the island of Solor and then to the port of Malacca, carrying 6 or 8 bahars of cloves and 150 bahars of sandal wood, each bahar worth eighty or a hundred ryals of eight.5 The Vice-Admiral had seized the frigate with the permission of the Governess of Grissee and confiscated the cargo, giving the Portuguese a taste of their own medicine. Since they sat in the sloops and seemed to put up resistance, several of the frigate’s crew and passengers were shot and killed by our men, including two monks. The bodies of the other men, six or seven in total, were recovered as well.
In reading some of the letters found aboard the frigate, we concluded that the Portuguese had Ambon at their mercy and intended to conquer Ternate, Banda, and Solor next. All of this could have been prevented, with relatively little effort, by the five Dutch ships that arrived in the East Indies in good time, had they been equipped in such a fashion as some would have liked. Yet I pray God will send some Dutch ships that will stop the Armada in its tracks and thwart its intentions. Meanwhile, I hope that Your Honors or the Dutch commonwealth will take measures to remedy the situation so that we may not lose the best spice-producing regions.
Some other letters from the port of Macao revealed that two Dutch ships had arrived there in September 1601, I presume from the fleet commanded by Jacob van Neck. The Captain of Macao laid his hands on its sloop and longboat, including seventeen sailors, who were strung up in cold blood. I was so upset at the news that, if it had not been for the Dutch captives in the Sultanate of Demak and the trading post I wanted to establish at Grissee, I would have hanged our remaining prisoners from the bowsprit in full sight of the Portuguese ashore. I managed to restrain myself, however, for the reasons stated above.
On July 7, the Governess of Grissee informed us that three Portuguese ships had arrived at the port of Tuban. We raised anchor the same night and set course for Tuban in the hope of finding some means to revenge the Macao massacre. Since we lack Dutch warships to keep the enemy in check, we have to do it all ourselves. When we approached the three vessels, however, we discovered that their clove cargoes had become nutmeg loads, and that enemies had changed into friends. They informed me about the current state of the Banda Islands and Ambon, which, in their view, we may well lose if no Dutch ships go over there in the near future. I would give my life and soul for this cause, but I lack the authority and the means to do so. If fifty sailors of the fleet of Wolphert Harmenszoon had been willing to join my crew— the Admiral could easily have done without them—I would have set sail for the Spice Islands immediately in order to engage the Armada. Yet we abandoned our resolution because it did not seem feasible to enlist sailors from the fleet of Wolphert Harmenszoon against their will.
Jacob van Heemskerck and His Council of Naval Officers Resolve to Attack Portuguese Shipping Indiscriminately December 4, 16026
After anchoring at the island of Tiuman on December 3, Admiral Jacob van Heemskerck calls a meeting of the Council and points out the fine opportunity at hand to damage our public enemies within twenty or twenty-five days. Both the Japan carrack and the ship belonging to the Captain of Malacca, along with two other smaller vessels or junks, will come down together from Macao, situated in China, all very richly laden. We can do no greater harm or damage to our public enemy in the entire East Indies than to pull out this flight feather.
It is indeed a matter of great urgency to preserve the East Indies trade and keep the public enemy in check, lest the latter continue with his Armada as he has begun, inciting all indigenous kings against us and putting a price on our heads. The Portuguese use all possible means, however evil or godless, for our utter destruction, as shown on various occasions. For example, seventeen men of Van Neck’s crew, who appeared before Macao in a sloop and barge, were captured by them and hanged in cold blood. Still not satisfied, they also seek to extirpate all native peoples who offer us trade and friendship. They would have reduced Bantam with their Armada if it had not been for the Almighty and our Dutch ships. From Bantam they sailed east to lay waste Ambon. They are determined to go to Ternate and Banda next, in order to subdue those places as well, which Heaven forbid, and deny us access to ports and trade all over the East Indies, using force against one indigenous king and threats and intimidation against another.
In view of the above, the Admiral and his Council consider it necessary and desirable to defy the enemy and show the natives that we do not fear Portuguese power. Since, as mentioned above, the Portuguese have tried to uproot us with all possible means, whether directly or indirectly, we will attack and harm them wherever we can or may. At this particular juncture we should indeed be able, God willing, to inflict the greatest damage with the least loss of time. Hence the Admiral and his Council have decided to remain anchored at the island of Tiuman for the whole month of December and await whatever victory the Almighty shall grant us against our public enemy.
Drawn up in the ship White Lion, lying at anchor near the aforesaid island, on December 4, 1602. Signed by Jacob van Heemskerck, Jan Pauwels, Hendrick Cornelis, and Pieter Stockmans.
Jacob van Heemskerck to the Directors of the United Amsterdam Company August 27, 16037
Honorable and Distinguished Sirs,
Please accept my hearty greetings and best wishes. This communication serves to update you on what has happened during our voyage. My previous letter was entrusted to Jacob van Neck, who left Patani with both his ships on August 22, 1602, sailing in the company of two Indiamen from Zeeland. After his departure, we arranged for merchant Daniel van Lecq to take over my excess trade goods as well as his, which seemed in the Company’s best interest. Broadly similar commodities were to be sold en masse and their proceeds shared between the two voyages. Disparate trade goods like our lead and sandalwood and Van Neck’s treasure were to be bartered for pepper first, then amalgamated with the proceeds of the aforesaid commodities and shipped home, unless Your Honors should provide for them differently.
We built a nice, big house in Patani and surrounded it with a big ditch in order to safely store our trade goods and protect them from fire. The ditch would not have been necessary if the house had been made of stone. Although preferable, this would have been difficult to achieve, however. The Portuguese sought to persuade the local authorities that our notion of a stone house was so comprehensive as to include a fortress. Yet the inhabitants of Patani did not believe them because we enjoyed greater credit and favor.
When we left Patani with both our ships and a yacht on November 16, 1602, our cargo consisted of one thousand bahars of pepper at thirty ryals per bahar, approximately eighty last of rice, textiles worth four thousand or five thousand ryals, some porcelain and copper, and ten thousand or eleven thousand ryals in cash.8 Our intention was to sail to Banda in order to load as much nutmeg and mace as possible. We already imagined shooting the proverbial popinjay in case of success, as seemed entirely probable. Yet we anchored with our ships and yacht near the island of Tiuman, where we discussed the opportunity at hand and how best to seize it. Since we could spare a month without endangering our voyage to the Banda Islands and since we ran no risks except for the danger posed to our persons and ships by our enemies, we decided to tarry there until January 1, 1603, in the expectation of divine blessing. We had every hope of encountering a richly laden carrack from Macao according to the information we received from the Patani authorities, the Prince of Siak, brother of the King of Johore,9 the Portuguese prisoners aboard our ships, and other people we met in Jortan and elsewhere. Every year the first of the aforesaid carracks calls on the island between December 20 and 31, and then sets course for the Strait of Singapore.
On December 18, 1602, a small Portuguese vessel, which had come from Cochin China, anchored to the windward of us near the aforesaid island. Believing it to have arrived from China proper, we did our utmost to capture the vessel in order to obtain reliable information about the Macao carrack. Since adverse winds made it impossible for us to approach it, we sent a letter demanding the vessel’s surrender, in exchange for a promise not to harm its crew. They were willing to accept the ultimatum, but desired better guarantees for their safety. To that purpose they deputed Mattys D’Olivera, a man from Hamburg who had lived in Asia for fifteen years. He conveyed to us a copy of the vessel’s bill of lading and a letter from its captain, requesting confirmation of our promises. After we had sent him back, we came alongside the Portuguese vessel in the evening. Since it was already dark, we decided to wait until the morning before proceeding any further. Thus it happened that, it being a dark, rainy night, almost the entire Portuguese crew gave us the slip and departed in a longboat, carrying along a jar of camphor and two or three thousand ryals of eight in both silver and gold. Their conscience must have told them that they were not worthy of our word of honor, as they had not kept faith with our men at Macao. Several hours after their departure, the blacks who had been left behind called out to our men in a sloop nearby, alerting them to the fact that the Portuguese had fled and beseeching them to take possession of the vessel, lest it be boarded by the inhabitants of Tiuman. We immediately complied with their request and spent the rest of the time unloading the vessel and refurbishing it. In addition, our men held watch day and night at a certain island suitable for that purpose. We were even so vain as to assure ourselves that the coveted bird would not fly the coop.
Although our resolution had expired, we received encouraging news from the inhabitants of Tiuman and the crews of the proas that arrived daily from the port of Pahang, some of whom had been in Malacca only the week before. They informed us that no ships from Macao had passed by and that the Captain of Malacca, who was aware of our intention to intercept the carracks, had already lost his nerve, saying that his ship no longer belonged to him but to the Hollanders. The Hamburg prisoner provided us with valuable information as well. He had traveled from Goa to Malacca in the Captain’s ship, which had been accompanied by a second, brand-new carrack. Both ships were expected to return soon, as it had never happened in the history of the Macao voyage that carracks bound for Goa had stayed the winter in China. Our resolution to intercept the Macao carrack was extended for another month, also because we decided against buying mace at Banda and planned to load pepper at Johore instead. Since our trading capital increased with ten thousand or twelve thousand ryals taken from the Cochin China vessel, we had ample means to obtain a cargo of pepper at Johore or Patani, where the vessel’s rice, treasure, textiles, and forty bahars of aloes would be in high demand.
Meanwhile, the young King of Johore had been informed about our intention to intercept the Macao carrack—some proa had spotted our ships near Tiuman. In spite of the adverse monsoon winds, he immediately dispatched one of his noblemen in a proa or foist, who delivered the King’s letter and offered me a golden dagger on his behalf. The King wrote that he had received my letters and presents sent from Jortan, along with my communications from Patani. He also acknowledged the great honors done to his brother, the Prince of Siak, when the latter paid a visit to our ships at Patani. He was disappointed that we had not called on his harbors yet, contrary to the intentions expressed in our letters, but put the blame on our pilot. He was pleased at the news that we were lying in wait for the Macao carrack near the island of Tiuman, and wished we had already captured it. Yet he argued that his river was the best place to await it, as all carracks must pass through the Strait of Singapore. Even if they should try to pass the Strait by night, which was impossible, they could never do so without being observed from the river. He added that open war had broken out between him and Malacca three months earlier due to some recent nuisance caused by the Portuguese, along with the many old and new injuries which the Portuguese had daily inflicted upon him and his subjects, regarding them as little more than dogs. When the Portuguese in Malacca became aware of our correspondence, they had positively ordered him not to befriend the Dutch, saying the Dutch were all thieves, intent upon conquering his kingdom under the pretext of friendship. If he contravened their orders, he would be considered an enemy. In reply, the King had denied ever hearing anything bad about the Dutch, who traded in the friendliest manner with the inhabitants of every place they visited. He had furthermore told the Portuguese not to meddle in the affairs of his kingdom, prescribing with whom he could or could not engage in trade. As a result, three Portuguese warships—one whereof was first captured and then released by the English—and four or five foists had been stationed near Johore Head, where they awaited the aforesaid ships from Macao in order to convoy them to Malacca. They had inflicted as much damage as they could and prevented others from navigating freely upon his river. The King assured me that I would not encounter just the Macao carracks, but vessels from every corner of the earth if I went there. In addition, I would earn myself a great reputation with the victory that he already ascribed to me, saying the Portuguese tremble at the mention of your name, while heaping many other praises on Maurice of Nassau, which would take too long to recount here.
The King’s letter, along with the presents received from his ambassador, gave us food for thought. Indeed, we hardly knew what to think of it. On the one hand, we considered how near Johore was to Malacca and how detrimental it must be to the Portuguese to be at war with Johore if ships from Holland should call there year round, like at Bantam. On this assumption, the Portuguese would never break the peace with the King of Johore, but rather do everything to keep it, promising him the moon, undoubtedly. We took into account that the King of Johore might feign friendship in order to take his revenge upon us for capturing one of his subjects’ junks in Japara harbor the previous year. There was also a possibility that it might all be a Portuguese plot to lure us from Tiuman to the foul ground off Johore. After our departure, the King of Pahang could easily be persuaded by Portuguese bribes to send his proas to Tiuman and instruct the Macao carracks to remain anchored there. On the other hand, we were inclined to give credence to the King of Johore because of the great grievances which the aforesaid Malay rulers nursed against the Portuguese, especially the King of Johore, not to mention the profits which he could reap from our trade and navigation. After deliberation, we decided not to turn down the ambassador’s invitation to come to Johore, but explain to him that we did not dare to leave Tiuman yet. If the Macao carracks anchored at the island after our departure, its inhabitants might inform the Portuguese about our new location at Johore, which would undoubtedly induce the latter to stay there. We asked the ambassador to give us another twenty days, to which he consented, seeing he could not persuade us otherwise.
We trusted the Johorese ambassador better after he had stayed with us for a few days. I proposed to send the foist back to Johore carrying my own envoy and my letters for the King, provided he would leave one man behind as a hostage, to which he agreed immediately. While he remained aboard my ship with five or six of his attendants, I dispatched Pieter Opmeer and a sailor to Johore in order to thank the King for his presents and friendship and assure him that I believed every word he had written to us. They were to explain, however, that I could not come to Johore until I was sure that the Macao carracks would not winter at Tiuman after my departure from thence. In addition, Pieter Opmeer received instructions to discreetly inquire about the King’s relations with the Portuguese, the price of rice at Johore, and the quantity of pepper marketed there. He was to send me his report promptly, borrowing a foist from the King if necessary, and include in it any information he might obtain about the Portuguese warships that blockaded Johore River.
The month of January passed without the occurrence of anything noteworthy, except for the daily reports from Malacca, arriving via Pahang, that no carracks from Macao had passed yet. This left us no choice but to extend our resolution first for ten days, then for six, and finally for four days at a time. Then, on February 18, an inhabitant of Tiuman came aboard the vice-admiral and alleged that he had seen a ship with sails made of tarpaulin, which passed the island to the seaward that morning, towing a longboat. Since the man’s story was not particularly convincing and since we trusted our own sentries, we did not give him any credence. When local leaders confirmed the news two days later, we still could not believe it and considered it a ruse to lure us away from the island before the carrack’s arrival. Then, on February 22, we received letters from Pieter Opmeer by means of the King’s foist and learned from its crew that the first Macao carrack had passed them on their way to Tiuman. Anticipating the second ship to give the island a wide berth as well and realizing that the time had come to make our voyage, we immediately weighed anchor and set sail for Johore, where we arrived at the river mouth on the evening of the twenty-fourth. Both the King and Pieter Opmeer informed us that the first Macao carrack had safely passed the Strait of Singapore five days earlier.
At the crack of dawn on February 25, we saw with our own eyes that waking up early, keeping a close watch, and running fast availed us nothing without the blessing of the Almighty. He heard our prayers while we were asleep in order that we might not pride ourselves on our own accomplishments. Right in front of us was the second Macao carrack, a brand-new ship of 800 last. After we had carefully prepared ourselves, we hauled anchor at approximately 8 a.m. and approached the carrack, which set sail as well. All day long we pounded the carrack with both our ships, though we tried to aim for the mainsails, lest we destroy our booty by means of our own cannonades. At about 6:30 p.m., when the sun was setting and its mainsails had been shot to rags, a white flag was hoisted on the carrack. I sent over a sloop and demanded its surrender, whereupon two Portuguese came aboard my ship to negotiate terms. They had quite a few demands, in fact, none of which I granted. Finally, since fire and underwater rocks imperiled the carrack, I promised life to its crew and passengers, along with two yachts to take them to Malacca, provided they accepted my offer within one hour. If not, I would resume the battle by the light of the moon. They could figure out themselves what the consequences might be. Should the carrack hit a submerged rock, it would undoubtedly go down with all hands on board. They returned before the passing of the deadline and brought a written statement from the carrack’s captain, who surrendered on the aforesaid terms.
On the morning of the 26th, six or seven Portuguese officers came aboard my ship, whereupon I approached the carrack again with both my ship and the vice-admiral. We transferred its passengers and crew to the two Portuguese yachts as best we could, making a real effort to prevent them from taking along any gold. Yet I fear that we may not have succeeded completely, since there were many people aboard the carrack, including one hundred women, who, for decency’s sake, could not be searched too closely. About seven hundred and fifty souls went aboard the two yachts. According to the carrack’s captain, there were seventy casualties among the passengers and crew. If half the shots that we fired at the mainsails had been aimed any lower, there would have been many more casualties, for the large number of passengers and crew made them an easy target. Indeed, the Portuguese were lucky to encounter us near the Strait and not on the open sea; otherwise we might have done an evil dance out of revenge for their misdeeds at Macao. The Portuguese used a flag of truce to lure the crew of Jacob van Neck ashore and hanged seventeen of them, while Marten Aap and one or two others were sent to Goa. Rumor has it that they are free men now. God grant that it be true. I imagine that if we pull out a flight feather, the Portuguese will change their tune and give us a better deal.
We intended to freight the carrack with pepper purchased in Johore and to unload its cargo of silk into our own ships. Since there was little pepper available in Johore, it being early in the season, and since the monsoon for Bantam was almost spent, we did our utmost to get away. Yet by the time we had freighted the carrack with 180 bahars of pepper, rewarded the King of Johore with a cargo of rice, and brought the prisoners back to Malacca—many of my men went along as guards lest the Malayans kill them—the month of March was gone.
I had agreed with Pieter Opmeer to leave behind the aloes found in the prize from Cochin China, along with thirty-five pieces of textile and several other goods. Seeing these commodities ashore, the King expressed his wish to send ambassadors to the Netherlands, which was granted him. In addition, he insisted that cape merchant Jacob Buys remain at Johore instead of Pieter Opmeer, which put me in a difficult position. I figured that Buys was wanted at Cambay in order to establish a factory there, which is essential for our trade with Southeast Asia. Since our commodities were already ashore and since I had consented to a Johorese embassy, I decided to humor the King on this point as well, also because of the kingdom’s geographical location and commercial potential. It is clearly the most suitable place in all of the East Indies to load pepper and sell textiles from Cambay and San Thomé. Yet I had to use all my persuasive powers in order to convince Jacob Buys, who preferred to go home and share in the booty of the Santa Catarina. He will receive . . . guilders10 for every month that he oversees the sale of the trade goods stored at Johore, to which I added more cash and commodities afterwards. Jacob Honing and the son of Jong, the burgomaster of Dordrecht, stayed with him at Johore as well, along with three sailors. If everything goes well, I expect them to collect nine hundred or a thousand bahars of pepper, weighing four picol each, not the Jambi kind, but the Andryghery, which is equal in quality to Aceh pepper.
On April 3, we set course for Bantam with our three vessels. Both the Johorese ambassador and his retinue were on board, the ambassador being a fine young man from an eminent noble family. We battled against contrary monsoon winds on our way to Bantam, which were especially dangerous for the carrack. We experienced a serious setback when we had completed two-thirds of the journey. A sloop with a complement of eleven, including Sebastiaan Hogheveer, approached some proas that we believed to be from Bantam in order to hear the latest news and obtain information about the depth of the water. Because of a navigation failure, the sloop and its crew were captured before our eyes by the proas, which were local pirates. May the Almighty have mercy on the souls of these eleven men and grant them salvation. We safely arrived at Bantam, praise be to God, with both the carrack and our two ships on June 20. We encountered Admiral Wybrandt van Warwyck at Bantam, along with six of his ships. He has supplied us with many things that we needed for the carrack, especially ropes and cordage. With God’s help, we intend to tow the carrack and bring it home, drawing not more than twenty-three or twenty-four feet of water in order to navigate the ocean in a secure fashion. Since we plan to arrive in the United Provinces at the height of summer, around the month of June, we should appreciate it greatly if you could inform us where you want the carrack delivered. Here is one Van de Tissens, a pilot from the village of Huysduynen, who proposes to tow it into the Spanish Hole while drawing twenty-four feet of water. Hence it is imperative to have Your Honors’ opinion on this matter sooner rather than later.
According to the Portuguese, the carrack received a cargo at Macao consisting of 2,000 picol of silk, 400 or 500 chests of silk velour, 500 pounds of aloes, 500 pounds of white granulated sugar, 500 pounds of tutenagh (an ore from which the Chinese make copper coins), lots of pockwood and radish (enough to fill a ship of 30 or 40 last), 500 pounds of red and yellow copper (both processed and unprocessed), 100 picol of camphor, a big chest filled with 300 pounds of musk balls, and 4 grosses of fine China, along with a great quantity of gilded woodwork in the shape of coaches, tables, and other things. Yet there were many other goods on board of which we have not been told yet and of which we may never have any knowledge in our lifetime. We transferred from the carrack into our ship 1,834 bales of silk, including 250 bales of raw silk, 150 barrels of camphor, 540 packs of sugar, and 74 chests of silk velour and aloes. The tutenagh, serving as ballast, was stowed both underneath and upon the dunnage and properly trimmed with bags of pepper. We also have nine or ten packs of porcelain on board. The vice-admiral took in 1,150 bales of silk, 646 packs of sugar, weighing approximately 2 picol each, 226 chests of aloes and silk velour, and 4 barrels of camphor. What still remains in the carrack is Your Honors’ guess as well as mine. I laid my hands on 138 bars of gold, each weighing 0.75 pound, whereof I send Your Honors three samples, one in each ship, along with the other commodities, which are listed in the enclosed specification. I am keeping the other ingots in order to purchase pepper cargoes for our ships.
I also entrust to Captain Meerman a packet of letters and bills for Your Honors, which reveal just how important and profitable the China trade is for the Portuguese. It is imperative for us to enter this trade, in particular because the United Dutch East India Company has just been established and chartered for twenty years. It would be desirable if Your Honors sent the three best ships of the fleet of the spring of 1603 to China, carrying all the fleet’s bullion, and instructed the other vessels to fetch home any remaining merchandise. However much money is imported into China, it will always go to good use if spent on trade goods. A ship of four hundred last will not be sufficient for the large amounts of pepper that we expect to be bought on our account at Johore and Patani. Indeed, it will take a ship of five hundred last to collect the merchandise and bullion that the fleets of Jacob van Neck and the Zeeland Company left at Patani. Look at how much bullion and trade goods Van Warwyck’s fleet will leave behind for the purchase of pepper in Bantam and spices in the Moluccas and Banda Islands. According to the latest news from the Banda Islands, mace costs forty ryals of eight per bahar this year, and nutmeg four ryals per bahar. In sum, the twenty-year company would do better to invest its money in the China trade, lest we drown ourselves in pepper and spices.
In future, we should not use silver ryals to buy pepper, but textiles from Cambay and San Thomé, which will earn us at least one xeraphine in all the pepper marts and be much more profitable than payment in ryals.11 The natives do not wear ryals of eight around their necks, nor can they clothe themselves with silver coins, as both the Sabandar of Patani and various officials in other ports pointed out to me, saying “bring us textiles and we will declare war on the Portuguese.”
Your Honors should establish a rendezvous in these regions as well. Although Bantam is a suitable place geographically speaking, hefty tolls and the minority of its king make for a badly ordered government, creating many dangers when there are no Dutch ships anchored in its roadstead. Patani must be deemed the most secure of all the pepper marts. Silver is always at a premium in Patani, due to bullion exports to Siam and China. Siam also seems a good market for quite a few of our trade goods. We found the Patani magistrates to be much more sensible than their colleagues in other ports. In our estimation, the town’s only disadvantage is its remote location. Johore would be much more suitable than the other two, certainly with respect to the trade in Indian textiles and the pepper producing regions, which are right at its doorstep. The kingdom is happily situated in the middle of the southern countries that produce diamonds and lapus beser. Yet Malacca surpasses them all: the purse would be safe there from enemy assaults, raging fires, and other hazards, since the Portuguese elite already lives in stone houses and the town itself is ringed by a stone wall. Indeed, it is about time that we force the Portuguese out of Malacca and transfer them to Ceylon, for which we will have the wherewithal if, with God’s help, we arrive home with the carrack.
Since the Almighty has blessed our East Indies trade immeasurably, and let us become friends with so many different nations and kings in so short a time span, we should not pass up the present opportunity. Instead, we must do our utmost to settle our nation in the East Indies and establish both a spiritual and a political commonwealth, placing our hope in God, who will let it blossom and bloom. Truly, we see before our own eyes the great blessings bestowed on the East Indies trade and the progress made within just a few years, as manifested by the friendship of the natives and the astonishment of all our enemies. We are therefore obliged to contribute our mite in the place where the Lord has blessed us and continues to bless us. Oh, may God’s glory be exalted among so many different nations, peoples, and countries by means of the true Protestant religion. Perhaps the Lord will use a small, despised country and nation to work his mighty miracles.
There are two things necessary for the continuation and flourishing of this trade. Our ships should first call upon the ports of Gujarat and Cambay and then visit San Thomé and the Coromandel Coast in order to buy as many textiles as possible, either for money or trade goods. By these means we could not just corner the entire pepper trade, but also obtain many other commodities produced in the southern East Indies. And as far as Dutch settlements are concerned, if we cannot establish ourselves in Malacca, we should do so at Johore, its strategic location being comparable with Malacca’s. Once we control the textile trade at Johore, Malacca will be sufficiently besieged. Nor will the Portuguese dare to sail to China when our ships are stationed at the mouth of the Johore River, allowing us to take over the China and Japan trade. We should not just import the merchandise into the United Provinces, but also sell it along the coast of the northern East Indies, where the Portuguese do a brisk trade with Chinese commodities like spices and other products. Three or four big carracks, along with several small ships and junks, sail from Malacca to Goa every year. I assure Your Honors—indeed, I cannot in good conscience desist from emphasizing—that these two places are the nodal points of the entire East Indies trade: Gujarat and San Thomé to buy textiles, and Malacca or Johore to sell them and establish a rendezvous.
I left Jacob Buys there in order to make sure that Your Honors would receive further information about Johore’s trade and strategic location by means of the first Dutch ships that should call there after us. A solid foundation for Your Honors’ trade can best be laid in the initial stages. It is no mean feat that a United East India Company has been established in our country and that it enjoys a monopoly on the navigation between the East Indies and the Dutch Republic by the virtue of its charter. Yet the hunters who are currently locating the quarry in the East Indies do not deserve to be excluded from the trade as a reward for our hard labors. I hope, however, that you will make a special arrangement for us before the gate is closed entirely.
When I arrived in Bantam, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that our Vice Admiral Jean Grenier12 had joined the other ships of our fleet here and that they had all left for Holland on June 10, 1602, richly laden. May the Almighty preserve them and bring them home safely. The bullion and merchandise that they left behind were lost in a fire, with the exception of five hundred ryals of eight. By adding another five hundred ryals, the amount was sufficient to pay ransom for the five prisoners still held at Demak. They are now here with us—praise be to God for their release. It would be desirable if we could also get back the eleven men who were kidnapped only recently. Since their kidnappers have no other objective than to profit by their prisoners, taking them daily to an island under the jurisdiction of the King of Johore in order to sell them there, we trust that Jacob Buys will find a way to pay a ransom for them.
Two Johorese junks carried my letters for Adriaan Schaeck, our man in Grissee, authorizing him to close the factory there and join us at Bantam. When I arrived here, however, I could tell from the contents of his epistles that he had never received mine. I chartered a proa for one hundred ryals of eight and sent new letters to Jortan, ordering him to leave the place and return to Bantam aboard the flagship of Admiral Van Warwyck. In case the vessel was no longer at Jortan, he could freight one or two junks with his stock. We are still waiting for Schaeck, yet fear that he may not arrive any time soon, since we have no idea whether our last letter actually reached him, despite the one hundred ryals paid for its delivery. If the flagship of Admiral Van Warwyck had carried an express order from Your Honors to bring home as much merchandise and as many people as possible, I would have had all my men here already. For I had explicitly told Schaeck to book passage aboard the first Dutch ship that should call at Grissee and that could take home his stock as payload. Since things turned out otherwise, we will have to put up with it and bide our time. We could certainly use him and his staff aboard our ships, but, in their absence, we can only exercise patience. Schaeck’s merchandise was worth approximately forty thousand guilders, which he sold for cash. He may meanwhile have invested the money in a return cargo.
We have freighted our ships with 494,635 pounds of pepper (our weight), whereof we loaded 398,115 pounds at Patani. We used the ingots to purchase 96,520 pounds of pepper at Johore, the price being thirty-nine ryals of eight per bahar of four picol. It is our intention first to load four thousand sacks of pepper here and then to return to Holland, towing the lightly laden carrack. We will leave Bantam in September or the middle of October at the latest and sail in the company of the ships Mauritius and Cleyn Rotterdam. Your Honors can expect us in the month of June or thereabouts, God willing.
The two remaining ships of Jacob van Neck’s fleet were still in Cochin China last November, where a cargo of pepper was obtained for one of them. As a result of Portuguese intrigue, the local ruler assaulted them at their arrival ashore, killing twenty or twenty-two of our men and imprisoning both merchants. The latter were ransomed for one or two thousand ryals of eight and seven iron guns. Once we had reestablished amicable relations with the King, it took our men little time to discover that his friendship was feigned. Cornelis Claessen thereupon went ashore with two or three sloops and put fire to the place, killing several people. Yet we made a good peace with the King, who offered his apologies, saying that the Portuguese had fooled him into believing that the Hollanders were thieves intent upon conquering his kingdom, but that he knew better now. They managed to double the hulls of their ships there. Each vessel had a complement of about forty-five if we may believe the sailor from Hamburg, whom we found aboard the captured junk from Cochin China. The captain and merchants, including Groesberghen, Pieter Lourens, Christopher Williams, and Daen den Knecht, who sailed to China alongside Jacob van Neck, are all still alive. Just before we departed from Johore, we learnt that two Dutch ships had arrived at Patani. These must have been the two vessels from Cochin China. I hope that they will arrive home in the summer of 1604 as well.
Herewith honorable, discreet, and prudent Directors, I commend you into the grace and mercy of the Almighty. May the Lord bestow his blessing on the new company and preserve Your Honors, grant you a long and happy life, and, finally, a peaceful death. Written in the ship White Lion on August 27, 1603, by Your Honors’ servant Jacob Heemskerck.
[In a different hand]
Received on March 17, 1604
Letter from Jacob Heemskerck, dated August 27, 1603, in Bantam
To be put in drawer no. 11
At last, oh most learned of men, we send you the Indian Reports which you have been expecting for a long time. These reports were taken from the captains of the ships themselves, who had to confirm them under oath as well.15 You will clearly understand from them what the Portuguese have attempted against each of the voyages for the purpose of destroying our men. In addition, you will derive from them countless proofs of perfidy, tyranny, and hostility suitable to your apology. We trust that your apology, begun so felicitously, will be completed in a short while thanks to your attentiveness. The letters of Peter Plancius, the privateering commissions, and other documents if necessary will be delivered to you at the first opportunity, as will those that your affection should subsequently demand from us, you to whom we offer every service with the greatest pleasure.16
Your commentary on our country’s history pleased me wondrously and sparked a desire in me to read the first part as well. I beg you to grant my request, by virtue of your benevolent disposition toward me. Contact me, I beseech you, by means of your most welcome letters if you know something about the illness of our Wtenbogaard and the death of Dousa, the father of learning. Indicate as well whether you have received this book, and notify me if you hear something new from Baudius about France or England. We heard that he had given a most elaborate oration in England in defense of our country and that he was already on the way home.
My brother greets you, along with the other Amsterdam directors, who entrust to you the defense of this case, as I commend you to God Almighty. May He keep and preserve you for the sake of our fatherland and republic. Farewell, my most humane Grotius, and love your Grootenhuys as he loves you. I wrote this on October 15, 1604.
Addressee: The Honorable, Wise, and Very Prudent Hugo Grotius, lawyer accredited with the Provincial Court of Holland, boarding with Miss F. Flori on Spui street. Enclosures: one book.
Hugo Grotius noted on the reverse side of the letter:
the verdict of the Admiralty Court
the edict of the Estates of Holland
obtain from Plancius the titles of such books on Portuguese trade in the East Indies as may be purchased here
Jan ten Grootenhuys to Hugo Grotius October 20, 160417
We hope that you have received those documents pertaining to the Indies trade that I recently sent to you. For the present we enclose the edict of the Estates of Holland, and the sworn statement of Mr. Apius, along with the verdict of the Amsterdam Admiralty Court. The day after tomorrow, God willing, we will send you the rest, wherein I will write to you at length. Meanwhile, good-bye, written by him who is most devoted to you.
Grotius noted on the reverse side of the letter:
the placard of the Estates General edict
the instructions mentioned by them
. .. .. .. ..
. .. .. .. ..
map of the East Indies
the location of the carrack’s capture and a description of its seizure
placards and extracts from the instructions with regard to the prize
map of the East Indies
Petition of the United Dutch East India Company Drafted by Hugo Grotius Submitted to the Estates General on March 4, 160618
To the Right Honorable Members of the Estates General of the United Provinces
With all due respect, the directors of the United Dutch East India Company would like to remind Your Honors that you admonished them on several occasions to instruct the VOC fleets to do as much damage to the enemy as possible, including the persons, ships, and goods of his subjects. It was Your Honors’ argument that the petitioners might otherwise not maintain their trade with honor or even increase it, adding that this was the principal reason for Your Honors to establish the United Dutch East India Company and authorize its offensive war against the Portuguese. Your Honors undoubtedly realized that it would greatly benefit the common cause not just to protect a trade against enemy violence, which is of great importance for the welfare of the common people, but also to deny the King of Spain his revenues from the East Indies. After all, these revenues give him the wherewithal to ruin and destroy these provinces. In addition, any damage done to the enemy in the East Indies would give Your Honors occasion to undertake many more military and naval expeditions outside of these provinces, all to the detriment of the enemy.
Since they cared deeply for the fatherland and Your Honors’ government, the petitioners took this serious admonition to heart and equipped their ships for warfare, which is not customary for merchants and cost the Company a great deal of money. The officers of the VOC fleets were commanded to do all possible damage to Philip III and his subjects. When Steven van der Haghen sailed in December 1603 with his fleet of twelve ships, he carried with him secret instructions suggesting ways to inflict great harm on the common enemy, both at sea and on land, all for the benefit and honor of these provinces. The secret instructions were communicated to some representatives of Your Honors, who, we trust, read them with great satisfaction. Indeed, the secret instructions have already borne fruit in the waters around Mozambique and Goa, where Steven van der Haghen has made himself master of the sea and pushed back the Portuguese with superior ability. It impresses upon the natives that the Dutch have sufficient prowess and courage not just to protect themselves and their allies from Spanish violence, but also to attack the Portuguese in their own strongholds. Cornelis Matelief, who sailed last year in command of eleven ships, received the same instructions, which, we hope, will result in similar or greater successes.
Yet it is becoming more difficult and expensive for the Company to implement this policy. The petitioners have learned the hard way that it is nearly impossible for private merchants to wage war against such a powerful public enemy without government subsidies. Hence they will abort their offensive unless they receive special assistance from Your Honors. They consider this demand neither unreasonable nor unfair because the war in the East Indies strengthens the Republic’s reputation abroad, disadvantages its enemies, and benefits the federal government by means of taxes levied on booty and imported and exported goods. Several petitions were submitted to Your Honors to this purpose, along with various other requests. Your Honors admonished the petitioners on February 26, 1605, to manfully pursue their praiseworthy policy, and to protect the East Indies trade from Iberian intimidation and harassment, while doing the King of Spain and his subjects all possible damage. Due to the departure of some provincial deputies, as well as for other reasons, Your Honors deemed it inadvisable to entertain the requests that had been submitted along with the petition. Yet Your Honors also decided that, for the purpose of implementing and furthering the aforesaid praiseworthy policy, the petitioners should enjoy the benefit of a previous resolution of the Estates General, which assigned them two ships, along with their sails, anchors, cordage, and cannons. In addition, the petitioners received assurances that the Estates General would continue to support the VOC offensive in the East Indies and show them all favor, goodwill, and accommodation. Yet the petitioners never enjoyed the full benefit of the promised assistance, au contraire. Instead of receiving two fully armed warships, they were fobbed off with an unrigged vessel.
There is another problem as well. Because of their large equipages, the previous voyages have cost the Company nearly all its capital. After the departure of the eight ships commanded by Pauwels van Caerden, which are fitted out right now, there will be only five hundred thousand guilders left in the Company’s war chest, barely enough to outfit two ships and a yacht for next year.19 As for the return cargoes that we expect in the near future, nearly all of them belong to the fleet of fourteen ships commanded by Wybrandt van Warwyck, little remaining for the ten-year Company. In any case, we probably will not be able to use the proceeds of the return cargoes in the way we did before. For the VOC directors may well decide that the fleets of Van der Haghen and Matelief, along with the third one currently under preparation, carry greater complements and more ammunition and provisions than are strictly necessary for commercial purposes. Instead of these warships, they could have fitted out ten merchantmen for next year, for example.
In consideration of these excessive costs and the great service done to the Republic, Your Honors have not bestowed any extraordinary favors on the petitioners, but been very precise in levying taxes on booty captured at no cost to the country.20 Nor are these tax revenues earmarked for the upkeep and increase of VOC privateering, even though they could hardly be spent on anything more appropriate. This must be disconcerting to the Company’s many shareholders, who consented to the VOC offensive in the East Indies in the expectation of Your Honors’ support. They undoubtedly realize that, provoked by our hostile procedures, the King of Spain will not spare any costs to shore up his position in the East Indies, and that the VOC cannot hope to be victorious without some material support from Your Honors, instead of admonishments and empty promises. Failing Your Honors’ assistance, the VOC shareholders may well waver in their resolution and demand easy and immediate profits, eschewing great costs and dangers by means of a strictly defensive strategy. This could mean the demise of the East Indian navigation, wherein consists the welfare, indeed, the life of so many people, which all serves to invigorate the enemy.
Since Van Caerden’s fleet is ready for departure and in need of instructions, which should include something about federal assistance, the petitioners have considered it necessary to remind Your Honors of their many previous requests. They entreat Your Honors not to mishandle this important affair, but to finally decide on the most suitable means for giving effect to your earlier promises. The most convenient solution would be to assign them the resources that are crucial for waging the war in the East Indies, but do not burden Your Honors financially.
With Your Honors’ permission, and provided His Excellency21 gives his approval as well, we will bring together in an aerarium militare22 all the ships, commodities, ammunition, prisoners’ ransoms, and other kinds of booty captured at the VOC’s expense in the East Indies. We will keep separate accounts for the aerarium militare, and make no disbursements to anyone, nor pay import taxes on East Indian goods. The aerarium militare will be used exclusively for waging war in the East Indies, ransoming Dutch prisoners, and safeguarding the places seized by the Company. If approved by Your Honors, an aerarium militare should result in memorable conquests and put courage into your subjects, who would save no trouble to attack even the most impregnable of fortresses, such as are of great importance to the enemy and will be even more so to Your Honors. These feats will be testimony to the fact that federal funds can nowhere be spent better for the honor, reputation, and benefit of the Republic and the enemy’s evident ruination than in the East Indies. The petitioners trust that Your Honors will easily see the merits of this proposal, which will be of greater benefit to the common cause than to the petitioners themselves. While Your Honors would relinquish the fifth share of all booty taken in the East Indies, and His Excellency the thirtieth part, the petitioners should be content to contribute their four-fifths share to the war against Spain, which they could otherwise have invested in trade, yielding immediate and predictable profits. There would be one condition, however. The hostilities should serve the purpose of protecting this notable navigation and trade. The petitioners are perfectly willing to give Your Honors and His Excellency the opportunity to inspect the accounts of the aerarium militare once in a while. In addition, the petitioners would be happy to keep Your Honors and His Excellency informed about East Indian affairs. If the capture of several richly laden prizes should allow for some disbursements, after subtraction of the costs involved and the contribution to the aerarium militare, the petitioners will immediately provide Your Honors and His Excellency with the fifth and thirtieth shares of the booty, respectively.
May it please Your Honors to respond favorably to their petition or otherwise to depute a few members to first ascertain the importance of the issue and then report back to the Estates General, so that the case may finally be disposed of for the good of the country.
Petition or request submitted in March 1606 to the Estates General by the Directors of the East Indian Company.
The little treatise on Indian affairs is complete: but I do not know whether it should be published as it was written or only those parts which pertain to the universal law of war and booty. Many indeed have dealt with this subject both old and new. But I believe that new light can be thrown on the matter with a fixed order of teaching, the right proportion of divine and human law mixed together with the dictates of philosophy.
The Directors of the United Dutch East India Company to the Sultan of Tidore25 Drafted by Hugo Grotius Winter of 1606–726
It is not unknown to Your Majesty that the inhabitants of our Provinces [who are more inclined to commerce than all other peoples] have applied themselves to the East Indian trade for the past couple of years, initially laboring under the aegis of several regional companies. Yet we considered it appropriate to combine these regional companies into a general one [while expressly forbidding our subjects to trade in the East Indies unless employed by the aforesaid united company]. There were good reasons for pooling the resources of the inhabitants of these Provinces, which are so evidently full of ships and people (God be praised). Our purpose was not just to protect ourselves against the Spanish and Portuguese [who have unjustly sought to proscribe free trade throughout the world], but also to be most diligent in liberating East Indian princes and nations from Iberian tyranny. The enemy tyrannized them for many years, in accordance with his nature and habit [which is to incorporate into his empire all earthly power and authority]. Our people have shown great zeal and courage in pursuing this aim. Their efforts have been blessed by the Almighty, who abhors all pride and injustice; witness the various feats set before the eyes of Your Majesty and neighboring nations. For example, they captured the fortress which the Portuguese were [forcibly] occupying in Your Majesty’s country, [which contributed not a little to the safety and security of Your Majesty] [which was the only way to liberate Your Majesty] and your subjects. We are determined to fight on to the bitter end and not to desist before we have the desired result. [To this purpose, we stationed twenty-five warships off the coast of [new] Spain [in order to prevent enemy ships from sailing to the East Indies] in order to prevent the enemy from sending ships to the East Indies and force him to unload the vessels which were ready for departure.] [We have already prepared a [new] similar fleet, which will again be stationed off the enemy’s coast in the coming year.]27
We kindly request that Your Majesty, whose first priority must be the expulsion of our common enemies, be equally steadfast in your resolution. We trust Your Majesty’s wisdom and experience, it being sufficiently known that strife and discord among East Indian princes has always served to strengthen the position of the [Spanish and] Portuguese. But if divided we fall, united we stand. It can hardly be doubted that [the issues] the differences that have arisen between Your Majesty and the King of Ternate and that still continue until this day—to our regret and the enemy’s glee—will hamper the execution of our plans. Since our enemies are still very strong and not very far away, they may well take advantage of the situation. In order to guard against this and prevent private quarrels from endangering public liberty, we really must seriously admonish you, as we did the King of Ternate, to settle the dispute between you and become good allies. We offer Your Majesty all possible assistance and support to this purpose.
There is something else we would like to bring to your attention, Serene Highness. We receive daily reports that several of our neighbors want to try their hand at the East Indies trade, without having the will [or power] to do any harm to the Spanish and Portuguese, with whom they are at peace. The United Company of these Provinces, burdened by the costs of warfare, may suffer great damage as a result of their trade, which, in turn, would allow the enemy to remain lodged in the East Indies, unless some preventive measures are taken. We entreat Your Majesty to attend to this with your customary benevolence and prefer the aforesaid United Company to all others in matters of trade. A fast friendship and military alliance deserve favors from you that are greater than mere unpredictable profits.28 While we expect these favors from you, we will not fail to [show our appreciation] reciprocate and confer similar or greater benefactions on you at every possible occasion. Meanwhile, we wish Your Majesty a long life and prosperous reign.
The Zeeland Directors of the United Dutch East India Company to Hugo Grotius November 4, 160829
Honorable, Wise, Prudent, and Very Distinguished Sir and Friend,
We have always considered it appropriate for the United Company to have the right of navigation—which is competent to the Dutch nation over the whole wide world—thoroughly examined and adduced with rational as well as legal arguments. It would serve to assure the inhabitants of these provinces of the worthiness of the cause, in case some still doubt it, and, more importantly, encourage neighboring princes and monarchs to help defend the nation’s rights. What we deemed opportune in the past currently seems well nigh a necessity because of the peace and truce negotiations.30 Regardless of whether the issue be peace or truce, the talks will have to give due consideration to our trade in the East Indies, along with our conquests and alliances there, which the King of Spain seeks to destroy with all his might. It is imperative to thwart his plans and persuade both our government and neighboring princes to staunchly defend our, as well as the nation’s, rights. Although we were of this opinion already, we received further encouragement from the speech that Jan Boreel, J.D., delivered at our recent meeting.31 He also suggested to us the best means for realizing our intentions, saying that you had already prepared all the material on this topic, which gave us great pleasure.
Since we do not doubt Your Honor’s concern for the welfare of the United Company, we request that Your Honor assist the Company with your labors. Indeed, we trust that Your Honor has already received a similar request from the Amsterdam VOC directors. We ask that you be prompt in order that we may enjoy the benefit during the negotiations and bask in the favor of those who preside over the talks.32
We, along with the directors of the other VOC Chamber in Holland, are extremely obliged to Your Honor for your services.33 Herewith, etc. Dated Middelburg, November 4, 1608.
Honorable, Wise, and Prudent Mr. Hugo de Groot, J.D.
Advocate-Fiscal of Holland, Zeeland, and West Friesland
BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING
Armitage, David. “The Fifty Years’ Rift: Intellectual History and International Relations.” Modern Intellectual History 1 (2004): 97–109.
———. The Ideological Origins of the British Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Brett, Annabel S. “Natural Right and Civil Community: The Civil Philosophy of Hugo Grotius.” Historical Journal 45 (2002): 31–51.
Gelderen, Martin van. “The Challenge of Colonialism: Grotius and Vitoria on Natural Law and International Relations.” Grotiana, n.s., 14–15 (1993–94): 3–37.
Grotius, Hugo. The Free Sea, with William Welwod’s Critique and Grotius’s Reply. Translated by Richard Hakluyt. Edited by David Armitage. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004.
———. The Rights of War and Peace. Edited by Richard Tuck. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005.
Haakonssen, Knud. “Hugo Grotius and the History of Political Thought.” Political Theory 13 (1985): 239–65.
Hugo Grotius and International Relations. Edited by Hedley Bull, Benedict Kingsbury, and Adam Roberts. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990.
Keene, Edward. Beyond the Anarchical Society: Grotius, Colonialism and Order in World Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Pagden, Anthony. “Human Rights, Natural Rights, and Europe’s Imperial Legacy.” Political Theory 31 (2003): 171–99.
Seed, Patricia. Ceremonies of Possession in Europe’s Conquest of the New World, 1492–1640. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Tully, James. A Discourse on Property: John Locke and His Adversaries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980.
This book is set in Adobe Garamond, a modern adaptation by Robert Slimbach of the typeface originally cut around 1540 by the French typographer and printer Claude Garamond. The Garamond face, with its small lowercase height and restrained contrast between thick and thin strokes, is a classic “old-style” face and has long been one of the most influential and widely used typefaces.
Printed on paper that is acid-free and meets the requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, z39.48-1992. (archival)
Book design by Louise O Farrell
Typography by Apex Publishing, LLC
Printed and bound by Worzalla Publishing Company
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
[1. ]Hugo Grotius, Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty (De Jure Praedae Commentarius), eds. Gwladys L. Williams and W. H. Zeydel (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950), vol. 1: A Translation of the Original Manuscript of 1604 by Gwladys L. Williams, with the collaboration of Walter H. Zeydel, xxvii–xxx.
[2. ]Grotius, Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty, 1:258, 389.
[3. ]Ibid., 1:xxix.
[1. ]The Portuguese nobleman André Furtado de Mendonça (1558–1610) served the Estado da India with great distinction. In March 1600, he captured Mahomet Kunhali Marakkar, a notorious pirate who had attacked Portuguese shipping all along India’s west coast. Out of gratitude, the Portuguese Viceroy at Goa gave him a commission as Admiral of the Fleet of the South (1601–3), charged with ousting the Dutch interlopers from the Malay Archipelago. He became Governor of Malacca in 1603 and interim viceroy of India in May 1609.
[2. ]This is an English translation of the second half of Montalegre’s letter. The Portuguese original and Dutch translation are still extant at the Dutch National Archives. Both were published by P. A. Leupen in the appendix of his article “Kaartje van de Banda-eilanden vervaardigd door Emanoel Godinho De Eredia in 1601,” Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-, en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië, 3rd ser., 11 (1876): 386–91.
[3. ]Jacob van Heemskerck (1567–1607) participated in two of three Dutch attempts to find the Northeast Passage and served as a vice-admiral on the second Dutch voyage to the East Indies (1598–1600), in which capacity he became the first Dutch commander to visit the Banda Islands. Returning to the Malay Archipelago in February 1602, he commanded a fleet of eight ships from the United Amsterdam Company. He first sailed along the northern coast of Java and then crossed over to the Malay Peninsula, where he called at the ports of Patani and Johore. He captured the Portuguese carrack Santa Catarina in the Strait of Singapore in February 1603, which made him famous and rich.
[4. ]The original letter is available in Dutch: De Opkomst van het Nederlandsch Gezag in Oost-Indië (1595–1610), ed. J. K. J. de Jonge (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1864), 2:515–17.
[5. ]Ryals of eight were Spanish silver coins used for commercial transactions in both the East and West Indies. The bahar was a unit of weight common throughout the Malay Archipelago. See footnote 37 in appendix I above.
[6. ]Notarized copy, dated May 24, 1605, Archives of the Estates General at the Dutch National Archives, Staten Gen. 12551.21 (Loketkas processen nr. 21), unfoliated. See p. 429 of the present volume.
[7. ]Received by the Amsterdam VOC directors on May 17, 1604, Archives of the Dutch Estates General at the Dutch National Archives, Staten Gen. 12551.21 (Loketkas Processen nr. 21), unfoliated.
[8. ]The last was a unit of weight common in the Dutch Republic, but lacked a uniform standard. The United Amsterdam Company equated one last with 3,000 Amsterdam pounds, approximately 1,482 kilos. In terms of a ship’s tonnage, one last was a little less than 2 tons.
[9. ]The “King of Johore” was ‘Ala′ud-din Ri′ayat Shah III of Johore (d. 1615). His younger brother, Raja Bongsu, was the leader of a pro-Dutch faction at the Johorese court. Both in this letter and in chapter 11, Raja Bongsu is confused with Rage Syack, alias the Prince of Siak, leader of the pro-Portuguese faction and governor of Johore’s territories on the east coast of Sumatra.
[10. ]The amount is unspecified in the original text, where the space is left blank.
[11. ]The xeraphine was a Portuguese currency minted at Goa and commonly used in the Malay Archipelago. One xeraphine was equivalent to one-half ryal of eight or approximately one and one-quarter Dutch guilders.
[12. ]See appendix I, note 27, above.
[13. ]Jan ten Grootenhuys (1573–1646) served as a liaison between Grotius and the Amsterdam directors of the VOC in the autumn of 1604. He was the younger brother of VOC director Arent ten Grootenhuys (1570–1615), as well as a merchant and VOC shareholder in his own right. He had been Grotius’s roommate in The Hague at some point between 1598 and 1602, when Grotius boarded with the Reformed minister Johannes Wtenbogaert (1557–1644). Like Grotius, Jan ten Grootenhuys was a jurist by training. He clearly shared his friend’s enthusiasm for the studia humanitatis, however.
[14. ]The original letter is printed in Latin in Briefwisseling van Hugo Grotius, ed. P. C. Molhuysen, B. L. Meulenbroek, and H. J. M. Nellen, vol. 1 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1928), 44–45.
[15. ]The Amsterdam VOC directors took sworn statements from admirals, merchants, and sailors who had participated in the early Dutch voyages to the East Indies. The Amsterdam notary Jan Franszoon Bruyningh countersigned eight attestations between September 11 and October 4, 1604. Grotius received a set of notarized copies from Grootenhuys, entitled “book treating of the cruel, treasonous and hostile procedures of the Portuguese in the East Indies.” See Coolhaas, “Een bron van het historische gedeelte van Hugo de Groot’s De Jure Praedae, ” 415–540.
[16. ]Grootenhuys sent Grotius more materials five days later, including the placard of the Estates General of April 2, 1599, and the verdict of the Amsterdam Admiralty Court of September 9, 1604. Both documents are printed in appendix I.
[17. ]The original letter is printed in Latin in Briefwisseling van Hugo Grotius, 1:45. The safe return home of Martin Aap (here, Mr. Apius), one of the few survivors of the Macao massacre, is heralded in both De Jure Paedae and other documents in this appendix.
[18. ]The Dutch original may be found in the Grotius Papers at the Dutch National Archives, Supplement I, fol. 374–79. It is a scribal copy with marginalia in Grotius’s hand and contains a separate sheet with his reading notes.
[19. ]Modern historians estimate the VOC’s military expenditures at ƒ420,000 (£42,000) per annum in the first two decades of its existence, which did indeed make it very difficult for the company to achieve a net surplus. Compare Hans den Haan, Moedernegotie en grote vaart: een studie over de expansie van het Hollandse handelskapitaal in de 16e en 17e eeuw (Amsterdam: SUA, 1977), 114–15, 119–20, 122.
[20. ]A federal organization supervised by the Estates General, the Admiralty Board collected taxes on booty as well as import and export duties in order to finance the Dutch navy. All this was of little use to the VOC, however, as the Dutch navy limited its operations to European waters and never seemed particularly enthusiastic about lending the company its warships and cannons.
[21. ]As Lord High Admiral, Maurice of Nassau was entitled to a thirtieth share of the booty captured by the VOC.
[22. ]A humanist flourish typical for Grotius: the Roman emperor Augustus had established a pension fund for his discharged soldiers in 6 called aerarium militare.
[23. ]Grotius was introduced to George Michael Lingelsheim in late May 1603, when the latter visited The Hague as an envoy of the Elector Palatine. Grotius corresponded with the Heidelberg town councilor for the remainder of his life.
[24. ]There are only a few sentences that deal with De Jure Praedae in Grotius’s letter to Lingelsheim. The entire letter, written in Latin, is printed in Briefwisseling van Hugo Grotius, 1:72.
[25. ]Grotius Papers at the Dutch National Archives, Supplement I, fol. 344–66. Draft letters in Grotius’s hand, addressed to various Asian rulers, including the “Queen” of Patani, the Samorin of Malabar, the “Seigneuries” of Banda and Ambon, and the “Kings” of Johore, Siau, Bantam, Ternate, and Tidore. The letter to the Sultan of Tidore covers folios 365–66.
[26. ]Note on the Translation: The deletions and insertions found in Grotius’s draft letter are included in this translation. They are separated from the main text by square brackets. Italic type stands for deleted text, roman type for inserted text.
[27. ]A Dutch navy squadron under the command of Willem de Soete had blockaded Lisbon in April and May 1606, preventing the departure of the annual fleet of the Carreira da India. At the request of the Estates General, the VOC directors had subsidized this expedition to the tune of 125,000 guilders. The directors again put 125,000 guilders at the disposal of the Dutch navy in the spring of 1607, in the expectation that a naval blockade of Lisbon would do great damage to its Portuguese rival.
[28. ]The English East India Company was the VOC’s biggest competitor in the northern European spice markets. Sir Henry Middleton, the commander of its second voyage, had reached the Moluccas in late March 1605. At his arrival, he sought and was denied permission to trade there by the sultans of Ternate and Tidore, who were under heavy pressure from the Dutch commander Cornelis Bastiaanszoon. After the latter’s victory over the Portuguese at Tidore, the VOC obtained the right of preemption in Ternate and Tidore, along with their subject territories. The sultans agreed to reserve the entire clove harvest for the VOC out of gratitude for their “liberation” from the Portuguese and in repayment of the military expenses that the VOC had incurred on their behalf.
[29. ] The Dutch original may be found in Briefwisseling van Hugo Grotius, 1: 128–29.
[30. ]The negotiations that resulted in the Twelve Years’ Truce between Spain and the Netherlands (1609–21).
[31. ]Johan Boreel was the eldest son of Zeeland VOC director Jacob Boreel and a close friend of Grotius. He was one of the few people to whom Grotius showed all or part of the manuscript of De Jure Praedae. A newly discovered letter of Johan Boreel reveals that it was at his instigation that the Zeeland VOC directors requested the publication of Mare Liberum. His letter of November 6, 1608, explicitly mentions the directors’ commissioning of Mare Liberum —“the VOC wrote to you on the subject familiar to you”—and his own efforts to bring this about—“I exhorted these tardy men to attend to their own affairs, and wrote letters as well.” Compare Briefwisseling van Hugo Grotius, vol. 17 (2001), 41–42.
[32. ]The special envoys of Henry IV of France and James I of England.
[33. ]The United Dutch East India Company consisted of several “chambers,” the remnants of the Holland and Zeeland trading companies that preceded the VOC.