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Amazing details, fine craftsmanship and meticulous painting highlight this scale model ship replica of Batavia, built in Amsterdam in 1628 for the transport of passengers and goods between Netherlands, Australia and Asia. This ship related to Australian Maritime history as she truck Morning Reef near Beacon Island, off the Western Australian coast which is the greatest historical importance to European landfall on Australian soil. This tall ship model of Batavia proudly displays her historic legacy through exquisitely-crafted features whether seated upon a desk, table or shelf.
Features of the wooden Batavia model:
On October 29, 1628, the newly built Batavia, commissioned by the Dutch East India Company, sailed from Texel for the Dutch East Indies to obtain spices. It sailed under Commandeur and "opperkoopman" (senior merchant) François Pelsaert, with skipper Adriaen Jacobsz. These two had previously encountered each other in Surat, India. Although some animosity had developed between them there, it is not known whether Pelsaert even remembered Jacobsz when he boarded Batavia. Also on board was the "onderkoopman" (under merchant) Jeronimus Cornelisz, a bankrupt pharmacist from Haarlem who was fleeing the Netherlands in fear of arrest because of his heretical beliefs.
During the voyage, Jacobsz and Cornelisz conceived a plan to hijack the ship, which would allow them to start a new life somewhere using the supply of trade gold and silver then on board. After leaving South Africa, where they had stopped for supplies, Jacobsz deliberately steered the ship off course away from the rest of the fleet. Jacobsz and Cornelisz had already gathered a group of men around them and arranged an incident from which the mutiny was to ensue. This involved attacking a young female passenger on board in order to provoke Pelsaert into disciplining the crew. They hoped to paint his discipline as unfair and recruit more members out of sympathy. However, Pelsaert made no arrests and the mutineers were forced to wait.
On June 4, 1629 the ship struck a reef near Beacon Island (28° 30' South, 113° 47' East), part of the group of islands and reefs termed the Houtman Abrolhos off the Western Australian coast. Of the 341 on board, 38 were passengers including women and children; most were transferred to nearby islands in the ship's longboat and yawl, but 40 drowned. An initial survey of the islands found no fresh water and limited food (sea lions and birds). Leaving 268 people behind, a group comprising the captain, senior officers, Francisco Pelsaert, a few crewmembers, and some passengers, left the wreck site in a thirty-foot longboat (a replica of which has also been made) in search of drinking water. After an unsuccessful search for water on the mainland, the group headed north to the city of Batavia, now Jakarta. This journey, which ranks as one of the greatest navigation feats of the day, took thirty-three days and all aboard survived. After their arrival in Batavia, Pelsaert was sent back to rescue the other survivors. He arrived at the site two months after leaving Batavia on the vessel Saardam, only to discover that a mutiny had taken place.
The lesser offenders were tried in Batavia where most were executed after being punished by flogging, keelhauling and being dropped from the yard arm. Cornelisz's second in command was broken on the wheel. Despite being tortured, Jakobsz did not confess to his part in planning the mutiny, and thereby escaped execution due to lack of evidence. What finally happened to him is not known, but it is suspected that he died in prison in Batavia. Pelsaert was held partly responsible for what happened because of lack of authority. Wiebbe Hayes was promoted. Of the original 341 on board Batavia, only 68 made it to port of Batavia, the final destination.