Page 143 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 area came again under discussion and were coupled with shipping to Ceylon and Bengal. At the end of the eighteenth century direct sailings, albeit for homeward ships only, were te be re-introduced.42
Surat and Persia
Between 1622 and 1636 ships sailed with some regularity between ports in the Republic and Surat and Gamron in Persia. At Surat the Company had from 1616 a definite settlement. The most desirable products supplied by Guseratte, the economically flourishing hinter- land of Surat, were cotton textiles and indigo. The first commodity was destined primarily for the Asiatic market, the indigo was exported to Europe. Slightly north of Surat lay the 'Kom van Suhaly' (the roadstead of Suvali) where large ships found good anchorage.
From Surat the factory at Gamron on the Persian Gulf was established from where in 1623 the silk trade commenced. The VOC's arrival there fitted into the framework of cooperation with the English Company, which had helped the Persians drive the Portugue- se from Hormuz and now tried together with the Dutch to move the silk trade to the route round the Cape of Good Hope. U p to 1626 the office in Persia remained under the management of Surat. The importance to the Company of these westerly factories is indicated by the large dispatches of money and the value of imported goods.43
In 1622 for the first time two ships were sent directly to Surat, the NAARDEN and the SCHOONHOVEN (0294 and 0295), with a sum of more than fl 200,000 in gold and silver. The SCHOONHOVEN, which after the NAARDEN's stranding had taken over her capital sum, was on Coen's orders supplied at the Cape with another four chests with realen from the other outward bound ships.44 It had been the intention for one of these two ships to return with a cargo of indigo and saltpetre; the first ship however to sail home from Surat was the HEUSDEN (5163). In 1624 and 1625 more ships from home followed, in 1625 even with fl 200,000 for Surat and fl. 400,000 for Persia, which induced the Batavia government to suspend its own money dispatches to these offices.45
Meanwhile the discussion on the way in which this direct shipping link was to be orga- nized was not over yet. Although the southwest monsoon from April to early October in the northern part of the Indian Ocean brought a favourable wind for sailing to Surat, it made lying in the roads there dangerous through rains and storms, making it more advisable to appear outside Surat in late September at the earliest and to depart again in February. The advice of the senior merchant in Persia, Hubert Visnich, was therefore to make the ships call at Gamron first. These ships could sail with those for Masulipatam as one fleet until passing the longitude of Socotra in the Indian Ocean, from where in May, June or July they could safely sail along the Arabian coast into the Persian Gulf. In August the ships could then be sent from there to Surat. Masters sailing this route should count on delays due to unfavourable winds and currents between Madagascar and the coast of Africa; as port of
42 ARA, VOC 166, res. Heren 17, 5.9.1737; VOC 349, Letter from Heren 17 to G . G . en R., 17.9.1737; Realia I, 323, res. G . G . en R . 13.11.1739. See below for relations with Ceylon and Bengal.
43 On the first years of the V O C in Surat and Persia see Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 83; Dunlop (ed.), Bronnen tot de geschiedenis der Oost Indische Compagnie in Perziƫ; Meilink-Roelofsz, 'The earliest relations between Persia and the Netherlands'; Terpstra, De opkomst; Van Santen, De VOC in Gujarat en Hindustan.
44 ARA,VOC314, Letters from Heren 17 to G. G. en R.,23.10.1622 and 3.1.1623; Terpstra, De opkomst, 96-97'.
45 A R A , VOC 7345, res. Heren 17, item 10 of the meeting of 9/10.1624. Dunlop (ed.), Perziƫ, 122, 124, 130 and 135.

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