Page 67 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 category seems to have practically vanished in the second half of the eighteenth century. The smaller chambers then applied themselves more or less exclusively to building ships of the second category. Taken over the entire period of the Company's existence - and with due allowance for the incompleteness of records for the first decades of the seven- teenth century - it appears that the Amsterdam chamber built 728 ships, i.e. 49.8% of the total, the Zeeland chamber 306 (20.9%), the Rotterdam chamber 107 (7.3%), the Delft chamber 111 (7.6%), the Hoorn chamber 102 (7.0%) and the Enkhuizen chamber 108 (7.4%). Except for that of Amsterdam, the shares of the other chambers do not conform with the traditional distribution pattern of shares in Company activities. This was based not on numbers of ships but of lasts. The Zeeland accent on heavier ships in this way still produced a fair equalization.
Altogether for a total of 1,461 ships it has been ascertained at which Company shipyard they were built; another 120 were probably Company built as well. A further 87 ships were purchased and 95 hired, while of a further 6 it is not certain whether they were hired or purchased. The voorcompagnie├źn used 52 ships, three of which were taken over by the Company.
Names of ships
A wide variety of names was displayed by Company ships, some of which were occasionally repeated. Names were decided upon at meetings of the Heren Zeventien, not by the separate chambers.49 But as with appointments, the proposing of ships' names will have been done by rotation. There was often a link between chamber and ship indicated in the name. The names of the cities where the chambers were situated were used regularly. In the greater part of the seventeenth century names of districts and of other cities or buildings were often used. In this way the directors made sure that the cities represented on the Company board became known overseas as well! This custom was gradually replaced by another one: names of country seats and manor houses owned by directors began te adorn the ships, including such handsome ones as H O F NIET ALTIJD ZOMER (2380) and HOF NIET ALTIJD WINTER (2587). In this the Company does not differ from the Admiralties.5 0
Other kinds of names were used as well and here too changes can be observed. Animal names occurred quite frequently during the seventeenth century: mammals, including whales and sperm whales, birds and fishes. They were mostly used for smaller ships destined for service in Asia. In the discussion on hookers mention was made of a series of ships being given the names of a particular group of animals. This happened several times. With names of trees, plants and fruits the directors were less generous. Names of profes- sions were seldom used. The MATROOS (1708) and the SOLDAAT (1730) were two Amsterdam sisterships.
Biblical and classical names were not common. They occur from time to time. More frequent were Asiatic geographical names, and sometimes others. Banda, Bantam and Ceylon were from the start associated with ships and remained so well into the seventeenth century. A Zeeland ship in 1669 was given the name of POULERON (1143). They remai- ned in use in the eighteenth century, but mostly in the last quarter. With the exception of sun and moon, celestial bodies were not popular.
49 Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 63, 453.
50 Voorbeijtel Cannenburg and Kruseman, Scheepsnamen, 7-8; Elias, De vlootbouw, 187.

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