Page 194 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
P. 194

 purchase of materials and the wages at the shipyard. Table 37 contains a record per decade of the total equipage costs of the Amsterdam chamber in the eighteenth century, and the share in them of the speciƫn voor Indie (currency for the Indies), the bills of exchange from Asia and the commodities. Not included in the table are expenditure items like wages, victuals ans ships' equipment. It remains obscure how many goods for internal use overseas are hidden among the last two entries. Table 37 represents about half of Company expenditure on equipage.3 The three categories of cargo from the Republic - only partially distinguishable in the accounts - are briefly described hereafter, first the goods for Com- pany use, then the trade goods and finally the currency. Detailed treatment is not called for since the Lists do not contain relevant data.
a. Goods for Company use
For this category of goods it is impossible to state exactly which commodities belonged to it and in what quantities they were shipped. It was a complete mixture, specifiable if at all by destination in the overseas business. Some insight into their variety is offered in Appendix II, in which specifications of the cargoes of any two ships are printed as examples. All these goods were stored in the holds and other rooms on board. Part of them was taken off at the Cape. Heavier parts like bricks, rooftiles and nails served simultaneously as ballast. Planks and masts sometimes caused problems in stowing: for their transport fluyts were preferred.
Among the Asian departments regularly requiring import of materials and tools were the shipyard on the island of Onrust and smaller shipyards elsewhere. They were the destinations of the planks and masts, but for the equipping of ships in the intra-Asiatic trade and the homeward voyage, the equipagemeester needed ropes, sails, yarn and for instance cooking utensils and candles. In the cooper's workshop sufficient adzes, hoops and staves had to be in store. For the armoury ammunition, fuses, cannonballs, muskets and such like were taken on board. The construction and maintenance of stone built fortifications, Company buildings and dwellings also made their demands. There was nothing unusual in the WAPEN VAN HOORN (2581) carrying 15,600 pounds of grauwe moppensteen (bricks). For some building materials the destination was carefully described in the Hoge Regering's demand, as in 1633, when a request was made for 'a stone built gateway of good blue arduyn (hard limestone) for the Batavia castle'. A previously dispat- ched specimen had ended up off the W estern Australian coast during the wrecking of the BATAVIA (0372) in 1629.4
Other goods were those for the apothecaries and for the victualling service. The dispen- sier (store master) in Batavia could with every transport count on fresh supplies of oil, butter, salt, brandy, wines and other products. European clothing was considered indispen- sable in the East, even the black hats; the same applied to household effects. Paper and writing materials were also brought from home by the outward ships, the ink being some- times of a quality causing the letters eventually to corrode the paper! Psalmbooks and bibles {testamenten) were included in the Company goods. In the eighteenth century overseas one could often expect three months' piles of newspapers from Haarlem, Leiden and Amsterdam.
3 De Korte, De jaarlijkse financiƫle verantwoording, 53-55.
4 ARA, VOC 1103, 54-62. Big sandstone blocks have been recovered by Westaustralian underwater
archaeologists, having all sorts of cut shapes. A tentative reconstruction has been made, showing a porticoaboutsixmetreshigh(SigmondandZuiderbaan,DutchdiscoveriesofAustralia, 142-143).

   192   193   194   195   196