Page 152 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 of the necessary cash. In 1750 Amsterdam was directed, by way of experiment to equip a ship for Hooghly, and in spite of Batavia's predictably negative advice, during the following years one ship was always put onto this route.7 9
In this way direct sailings took place until the outbreak of the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War in1780.AlthoughtheEIChadasearlyas1757gainedtheascendency inBengal- which fact the VOC, after a halfhearted attempt at changing the balance in its favour by violent means, had to acknowledge - the volume of shipping had remained considerable. At the end of the war in 1784 however the Company could not continue its trade in Bengal on the same scale. In 1786 two ships were considered sufficient to ship home the Bengal goods, the SPAARNE (8213) being in 1788 the last ship to sail directly from Bengalto the Netherlands with a cargo of any significance.80
The discussion on direct sailing to Bengal also brought the link with Coromandel back into question. In both 1739 and 1742 the Hoge Regering raised many objections and the directors did not take it further. But finally in 1771 a change was decided upon and from then on one ship per year sailed early, around November, from the Coromandel Coast with goods consigned to the Zeeland and Amsterdam chambers. This link was maintained for ten years, to be suspended, like the Bengal link, at the outbreak of war with England, and afterwards not to be resumed.81
From 1728 VOC East Indiamen were sailing directly from the Republic to Canton and back. The origins of this direct shipping link and the changes later made in shipping between the Netherlands and China are clearly set forth in the literature. The main features have already been discussed.82
The commencement of this shipping in 1728 was linked to the explosive growth in the sale of tea on the European markets after 1700 and the increased competition after the arrival of those of Ostend in 1718. English, French and Ostend ships carried tea from Canton directly to Europe. The VOC in its trade with China relied on Chinese merchants who annually sent a number of junks to Batavia. The junks carried tea which was then shipped from Batavia to the Netherlands with the homeward fleet. But the dependence on this junk trade proved to be a handicap in the fierce competition on the European market. By dumping large quantities of tea in Europe the directors intended to push the Ostend Company, which had thrown itself energetically into the China trade, off the market. But for such a policy the import via Batavia was insufficient. On top of that the tea imported via Batavia was of inferior quality due to poor packing methods. When, to make matters worse, the junks stayed away from Batavia in 1718, the Heren Zeventien decided to ask the Hoge Regering to send its own ships to Canton. But in Batavia self-in- terest prevailed. To avoid damaging the junk trade, so important to the city and in fact resumed in 1719, the request was not complied with. Not until ten years later did the directors take action. Then it was decided to send two ships directly to the Chinese port, bypassing Batavia. The Amsterdam chamber was entrusted with the execution of this
79 A R A , V O C 170, res. Heren 17 of 11.3.1750; Realia 1,136 (6.6.1752). The first ship on this route was the DIEMEN (3513), which sailed via Ceylon however.
80 Realia 1,150(1.8.1786). In later years packetboats still sailed from Bengal to the home country.
81 O n this shipping link see A R A , V O C 166, res. Heren 17 of 5.7.1737; V O C 329, Heren 17 to
Batavia, 17.9.1737; Realia, I, 325 (13.11.1739), 328 (5.3 and 11.4.1772, 21.4.1780).
82 See p. 73-74, p. 80 and 99. Literature: Jörg, Porcelain, 20-45; De Hullu, 'Over den Chinaschen
handel', and 'Instelling commissie'.

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