Page 170 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 In table 29 the recruitment of soldiers is given in figures next to that of sailors, and here too the sharp rise in the proportion of foreigners in the eighteenth century is striking. Whereas the number of Dutchmen recruited remained high in absolute figures also in later decades after 1680, even rising above 40,000 in the decade 1715/25, the increased demand for labour in the eighteenth century was evidently met by attracting more and more foreigners, especially in the recruitment of soldiers.
Further research has established that in the course of the eighteenth century the numbers from Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein declined, whereas from 1740 there was a sharp increase of Germans in relation to other foreign employees, largely from the German interior.26 Though all this should not be dramatized, at least not on the basis of these data, yet it is plausible that qualitatively the crews on VOC ships in the eighteenth century deteriorated in two respects: men let themselves be won as sailors and soldiers who had little or no experience of sailing and shipping, and signed on from personal need, poverty and unemployment. This inexperience explains perhaps in part the VOC's need for more manpower on the ships than beforehand: to work a ship probably more inexperienced labourers were needed than used to be the case with experienced sailors, although much depends of course on the authority and ability of the supervising ship's officers. More important perhaps was the state of health of the sailors and soldiers boarding the ship. Beggarliness and poverty produce malnutrition and inadequate clothing and these in turn on a long voyage foster sickness and death on the way. Most likely this is an added explanation of the high mortality among the voyagers, on board and ashore soon after, in the course of the eighteenth century. In fact through these problems the VOC found itself in a vicious circle: by enlisting qualitatively poorer personnel, inadequately dressed and with little physical resistance against the hardships of the voyage, the directors were forced to recruit ever more men, as if anticipating the losses. The data on mortality on board and in Asia explain at least in part the VOC's more intensive recruitment policy in the Republic. However, that lack of sea experience and poor physical condition of some among the crews did not exclusively cause the high mortality on board, or subsequent- ly ashore, will be discussed hereafter.
On board
The composition of a crew sailing from the Republic on a VOC ship can perhaps be illustrated by one particular example. On board the AMSTERDAM(3437), which in 1749 was stranded on the beach at Hastings, were 191 seafarers (including ship's officers and junior officers), 127 soldiers (including the small cadre), 10 craftsmen and 5 passengers. Three quarters of the officers came from the Republic, for sailors and craftsmen the proportion of foreigners to Dutchmen was about half, and of the soldiers as much as 87% came from abroad, largely from Germany.2 7
It was to be expected that on such a ship tensions developed between those on board, especially when the voyage lasted months. These tensions could develop along very diffi- rent lines and divide very different parties. Thus there were tensions between nationalities - the Dutch against the Germans and more often against the French - or between occupa-
26 Bruijn, 'Personeelsbehoefte', 245-246.
27 Marsden, Thewreck oftheAmsterdam, 226-241;containscompletesurveyofvoyagerswithname,
rank, place of origin (based on pay-roll) 261-275. Examples of composition on other ships in Appendix I.

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