Page 138 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
P. 138

 abrupt end in 1740, when many of them were killed following a fatal culmination of social
tensions in Batavia (the socalled 'Chinese massacre').
The business in Batavia
The Director-General was responsible for everything to do with the Company's trade and
shipping in Batavia. H e had in his charge the warehouses for goods and provisions, th e
pay office and the cashier's office, the loading and unloading of vessels in the roadstead
and th e provisioning o f ships. H e was o f course assisted in these matters by numerous
subordinates. The two opperkooplieden
van het kasteel took care of the bookkeeping o f
the Batavia warehouses, in mutual cooperation and under obligation of reciprocal control.
Since 1664 the duties were divided in such a way that the more senior in rank administered
the goods arriving from the various Asiatic settlements, and the more junior one the goods
going there. The invoices o f ships from home and the freighting o f returning ships were
taken care o f and recorded by the bookkeeper-general.
Earlieron,mastershadtorenderaccounttothebookkeeper-general ontheuseof
provisions and ship's equipment during the voyage, by way of the so-called consumptie re-
keningen (catering accounts). After the appointment of the visitateur-generaal control was
transferred to this official. This control however did not add up to much: the accounts
were usually made to tally perfectly and therefore the oath the masters had to swear on
these accounts was abolished in 1718.
The actual visitation was the job o f the fiscal. After a division o f the post in 1664 the
water-fiscal was put in charge o f supervising the river beyond the boom, the roadstead
and the islands. H e had to visit the ships on arrival and departure. O n departing ships he
performed the muster and sometimes he stayed on board one of the yachts that accompa-
nied the homeward fleet into Sunda Strait, where a second muster took place. To coun-
teract smuggling and especially the hiding of stowaways he had, together with his substitute
andhis'kaffirs',tokeepwatchontheshipsfortendayspriortothedepartureofthe fleet.
But the central figure in the actual reception and send-off of ships was the
en equipagemeester. Everything connected with the equipment of ships, with loading and
unloading, carpentry and repairs, provisioning and manning, was done under his direction.
In 1644 a house had been built for him at the equipage yard - in the second half o f the
eighteenth century he had left this unhealthy place again and lived in one of the more
agreeable parts of town. In 1762 it was considered necessary to appoint over this opper-
equipagemeester, as was then his title, a hoofd van compagnies zeemacht (head of Company
fleets), with the rank of councillor extraordinary and the right to advise on naval matters in
the Council of the Indies. The post was filled by Nicolaas Houtingh,former vice-admiral
with the admiralty of the Noorderkwartier in Holland. For the opperequipagemeester the
establishment of this new post meant a considerable effect on his emoluments, but other-
22 On this problem see, apart from the sources on Batavia already mentioned, also Blussé, 'Batavia,
23 Van der Chijs, Plakaatboek II, 80-85,280-388 (instruction for the senior merchants of the Kasteel,
9.4.1644 and 25.11.1664); Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 87, 150-156.
24 Van der Chijs, Plakaatboek II, 571-572 (23.2.1674), IV, 115 (18.1.1718). Because consumption
had to be accounted for per man, the consumptierekeningen provide data on numbers and mor-
tality among the crew, see further on p. 203.
25 Van der Chijs, Plakaatboek II, 416-419 (20.12.1666), III, 376-378 (17.8.1694), IV, 28 (9.12.1711),
320 (24.1.1732); Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 87, 99-107. See also Hoffmann, Reise nach dem
Kaplande, 72 et seq.

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