Vianen (ship)

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Vianen, sometimes spelled Vyanen or Viane, was a 17th-century VOC sailing ship, used to transport cargo between Europe and the Indies. It was shipwrecked but refloated on its first voyage, and shipwrecked and sunk on its second. Built at Amsterdam in 1626, it had a gross tonnage of 400.

First voyage

It departed Texel bound for Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia) on 19 March 1627, and arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on 16 July. Departing the Cape on 7 August, it arrived at Batavia on 8 October.

On 6 January it departed Batavia as part of a fleet of seven ships bound for Europe under the command of the outgoing Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies Pieter de Carpentier. Just as the fleet was leaving, however, a valuable cargo arrived at Batavia from China, so Vianen was held back to be loaded. It was then sent to catch up with the main fleet, but it had been loaded too hastily, and had to return to port to have its load balanced by the addition of 5000 ingots of copper.

When the Vianen finally departed Batavia again on 20 January, the monsoon had set in, preventing Vianen from taking the usual route through the Sunda Strait. Instead the captain, Gerrit Frederikszoon de Witt, was ordered to set a course through the Strait of Balamboan. Strong head winds then drove the Vianen so far south that it ran aground in the vicinity of Barrow Island on the northwest coast of Australia. The crew were "forced to throw overboard 8 to 10 lasts of pepper and a quantity of copper, upon which through God's mercy, she got off again without further damage."

On returning north, de Witt charted the northwest coast about as far as the present-day location of Port Hedland. This part of the coast would later appear on maps as "G.F. de Wits Landt" or "de Wits Landt" ("de Witt's Land"). The crew also sighted Indigenous Australians in the vicinity of present-day Roebourne; this is believed to be the first European sighting of Indigenous Australians in Western Australia.

The Vianen arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on 24 May. It departed on 1 June, and arrived at its destination, Goeree, Zeeland, on 8 November.

Second voyage

It departed Texel for Batavia on 7 May 1629. It arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on 27 August, staying there until 12 September. On 14 November, it was shipwrecked and sunk in the Sunda Strait.


East Indiaman.jpg 17th century shipwrecks in Australia East Indiaman.jpg
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