Page 144 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 call the southern Comoro islands, in particular Anjouan, were recommended.46
In 1626 three ships were equipped for this route, but in the end the plan was not carried out. Because of setbacks the ships left Europe too late and added to this the directors had been warned about a strong Portuguese fleet in the Persian Gulf. For the time being
direct sailings from the Dutch ports were suspended.47
Homebound shipping was equally problematical. In 1625 the ships left far too late,
which made for a long voyage and arrival before Texel early in 1626. In the following years this was improved upon, but then there were complaints about poor packing of the silk, resulting in heavy losses. In addition a small fleet was vulnerable to privateers or to 'feigned friends', who held three ships chained up in the Isle of Wight for a whole year. In future the import goods were to be sent via Batavia as well.4 8
Yet direct sailings to the factories in the West kept occupying the directors' minds, the more so since they believed that the Hoge Regering in Batavia neglected the contingents for these offices. Now the whole business went through a repeat performance. In 1632 Batavia, with the directors' approval, sent home two ships via Persia and Surat and in 1633 the direct shipping link was restored. The Heren Zeventien decided to send two ships per year to Gamron and Surat, to be joined on the way back by a third ship, which was to sail from Batavia to Surat. The pepper on this ship would have to serve as merchandize for Surat, any remainder to be taken to Europe.4 9 This arrangement came about in a period when the Heren Zeventien considerably increased their orders for Persian silk. In 1635 they even supported their directeur in Gamron, Nicolaas Overschie, in his efforts to acquire a silk monopoly. This ambitious plan had to be abandoned a few years later.5 0
The direct sailings did not survive for long either: in 1634, under pressure from Batavia, a counter-decision followed. One of the main objections was, that in the months of June to August trade in Gamron used to come to a standstill due to the enormous heat, forcing the ships into useless waiting, the detriment of which had been experienced by the BANDA (0438) and the EGMOND (0439). In any case, if ships managed to arrive in Batavia in good time with goods and cash, no time need be wasted after all. The direct homeward voyage was maintained, but here too Batavia was proved right after all. Bad experience, for instance with the FREDERIK HENDRIK (5251) where a mutiny broke out, and with the AMBOINA (5252) which due to many setbacks arrived home detached from the fleet and much too late, induced the Heren Zeventien in 1636 to reinstate Batavia as the rendez- vous. This gave opportunity as well to take along more Asiatic products as barter for the silk, which was cheaper than carrying cash or borrowing money in Persia itself. It became rule that in the Republic a few ships were equipped especially with cargoes for the factories in the West as early as September, so as to make use of the favourable monsoon in sailing from Bataviato Surat.51
46 Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 83, 292-293, in vol. 87,494-503 a discussion on these direct sailings. Dunlop, Perzië, 128, 175; 762-764: Instructie om in de herfst uit het Nederland naar Perzië te zeilen.
47 The ships concerned were the DORDRECHT (0336), WEESP (0337) and BOMMEL (0338) with fl 900,000 in cash, V O C 7345, res. Heren 17, 3rd item of the August meeting; O ct. 1626, 2nd item; Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 87, 494; Dunlop, Perzië, 211.
48 See nos. 5184, 5185 and 5186. Dunlop, Perzië, 193, 235-236, 267.
49 ARA, VOC 7345, res. Heren 17,17.8.1629: Sep./Oct. 1632 meeting, item 6; Dunlop (ed.), Perzië,
378, 385-387.
50 Glamann, Dutch-Asiatic trade, 116-117. Steensgaard, The Asian trade revolution, 375-376.
51 A R A , V O C 101, res. Heren 17, Aug. 1634 meeting, item 4; V O C 101, Sep. 1636 meeting, item
4; Dunlop, Perzië, 456-457, 540, 618.

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