Page 142 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 be possible. After the yacht DELFT, a ship of Steven van der Haghen's fleet (0083), had made th e first contacts in this area in 1605, th e directors sometimes sent o u t ships with money and goods to this coast. By 1610 the Company's position was such that an indepen- dent factory could be formed.38
The headquarters of this new management were set up in 'Paleacatte' (Pulicat) in sou- thern Coromandel. In this area, ruled by the once powerful great king of Vellore (he was in fact a descendant of the rulers of the mighty Hindu empire of Vijayanagar) the VOC had a second factory in 'Tierepopelier' (Tirupapuliyur) near Tegeneputam. In North Coromandel, part of the kingdom of Golconda, the Company also had two settlements, one at Masulipatam and one at Petapuli. As defence against the Portuguese the headquar- ters were strengthened by a fort bearing the name 'Geldria'.
Meanwhile it had become apparent that the Coast could provide products not only for Asia but for Europe as well. The products in question were indigo, cotton yarn and the 'Guinees lijnwaad' (Guinea cloth) that derived its name from the Guinea coast where it was used as barter in the slave trade. Added to that the diamond mines of Golconda exercised a great attraction on the directors. T o utilize all trading opportunities the direc- teur Wemmer van Berchem in 1614 considered an annual consignment of 300,000 realen necessary. In view of the growing trading interests Coen, from Asia, advised th e Heren Zeventien to dispatch a yacht to Pulicat each year, since the headquarters in Bantam were not able to allocate such large sums for this purpose. The directors followed this advice and from 1617 sent one or two ships per year to Coromandel; when sufficient imports were on offer one ship had to return straight home. These ships however were not always furnished with cash as plentifully as the servants in Batavia would wish. 'Voorwaar, tisser mede gespot' ('In truth, this is a mockery') Coen wrote indignantly to his frugal lords and masters, when in 1619 they had dispatched with the DORDRECHT and the NAARDEN (0267 and 0266) no more than 52,000 realen for Coromandel. Apart from precious metals, among which gold yielded higher profits than silver, the ships from Europe carried a great variety of articles, like red cloth, lead, mercury and vermillion.39
However, the direct sailings did not prove as time saving as the directors hoped for. The original, optimistic plan for the ships arriving in Coromandel in August or September to be ready to return again by October, proved to be untenable in practice. The cargo was not ready by then: it took up to February before the indigo could be made ready for shipping. Departing in March or later however the ships ran the risk offindingthemselves in the autumn and winter gales round the Cape, like the LEEUWIN (5173), or of being hindered by the rising southwest monsoon, as the directeur Hans de Haze on the homeward bound ZWAR- TE BEER (5123) found to his cost. Then there was no longer any question of saving time.4 0
Whereas the advantages ofdirect shippingto Coromandelwere somewhat slight, the results on the Surat route were even more disappointing, and on the basis of all this experience the directors decided in 1628 to suspend direct sailings and have all ships and goods travel once more via Batavia.4 1 In later years though, direct consignments to this
38OntheVOC'sactivitiesontheCoromandelCoastupto1610seeTerpstra,DeVestigingvande Nederlanders aan de kust van Koromandel. Ships to Coromandel: the ZON (0102, the ship first came to Atjeh in 1605;Terpstra, Vestiging, 51), the GROENE LEEUW (0153) and the STAR (0157) in 1611; the ZWARTE BEER (0190) in 1614.
39 Colenbrander, Jan Pietersz. Coen I, 59,186, 236, 283; IV, 378 and VII, 240. Coolhaas, Generale MissivenI,158(27.1.1625).
40 Colenbrander, JanPietersz. Coen I,498,516;VII,371. 41 Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 87, 500.

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