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Journal of Adriaen Matham, 1640-1642

Page history last edited by Liz Johnson 9 years, 11 months ago

Journal of Adriaen Matham 1640-1642


Translated by Cor Snabel and Elizabeth A. Johnson



In 1640/41 Adriaen Matham accompanied Ambassador de Liedekerke on his mission to Morocco. He wrote a journal during their journey and he made several paintings and drawings, of which only a few have been saved. His journal starts like a ship's log with wind directions and course indications, but soon he stops writing every day. Once arrived in Barbary his reports become more detailed and interesting.


On the 1st September 1640 the ship “Gelderlandt” sailed from Texel, Holland, on a diplomatic mission to Morocco. On board were the Dutch Ambassador Anthonie de Liedekerke, Lijsbeth Jans with her brother-in-law Jacob Arissen, and the painter Adriaen Matham.


We made this translation from: Hellwald, Ferdinand de. Voyage d'Adrien Matham au Maroc (1640-1641). 1866. Marinus Nijhoff: The Hague. We have tried to keep our translation as close as possible to the original text. Our remarks/comments are put in the text between [square brackets].



Ambassador Anthonie de Liedekerke

Anthonie Charles de Liedekercke (1587-1661), born in Antwerp, was a naval captain.

In 1627 he married Willemina van Braeckel (1604/05- after 1661) in Amsterdam. After their marriage they settled in Haarlem and in 1638 their son Samuel was born.


Lijsbeth Jans

Lijsbeth Jans was one of the daughters of the notorious renegade Jan Janszoon van Haerlem and his Dutch wife Soutgen Caves. Another daughter of Jansoon's was married to Jacob Arissen, who was also on board the “Gelderlandt”. Jan Janszoon (then living near Sallee, Morocco) also appears in this journal.


Adriaen Jacobsz. Matham (1599-1660) was a well-known engraver and painter from Haarlem, son of the even more famous engraver Jacob Matham (1571-1631). Adriaen was a close friend of the world-famous painter Frans Hals. In 1627 Frans Hals portrayed him as an Ensign on the “Banquet of the Officers of the Civic Guard of St Adrian (the Cluveniers)”. In 1634 he was sponsor at the baptism of Frans Hals's daughter Suzanna.



The Journal, Translated:


Journal of the Mission of the Honorable Anthonis de Liedekerke sent to the King of Morocco by the Honorable Lords of the State-General of the United Netherlands, which journal was kept on board of the ship “Gelderlandt” by Adriaen Matham, painter.


On the 1st September Anno 1640 in the afternoon around four o’clock we hoisted anchor at Texel. The wind was east with a hard breeze, and heavy rainfall, and in the evening with the dusk we were underway. But when the wind fell, we drifted in stillness southwest, and southwest by west.


On the 2nd ditto. The wind southeast and calm.


On the 3rd ditto. The wind was northeast and about one o’clock in the afternoon we were within sight of the Calis Cliff. [Cap Gris Nez, southwest of Calais]


On the 4th ditto. Having northeast winds we set course to southwest and southwest by west, after that we set our course to northwest by west; around midnight west by northwest and northwest by west.


On the 5th ditto. The wind as mentioned before and in the morning we had Orney [the island Alderney] in sight aside from us, and set our course west.


On the 6th ditto. The wind running early in the evening west; setting our course southwest by west.

On the 7th ditto. The wind as mentioned, our course northwest and northwest by west.


On the 8th ditto. In the morning we had Goudstert [probably Start Point] behind us and could with this course sail to Pleymuijen [Plymouth], the wind as mentioned with a fair breeze and rain.

On the 8th ditto. In the morning the wind from south, setting our course more east. [Matham mentioned the 8th September twice in his journal, this should probably be 9th]


On the 9th ditto. &


On the 10th ditto. The wind southwest, we had reached Doode mans hooft [Dodman Point, a few miles west of Plymouth], &


On the 11th ditto.

On the 12th ditto. &.


On the 13th ditto. The wind northwest setting our course southeast by south, we were around nine in the morning between Hermontiers [probably l’Herbaudiere on the island Ile de Noirmoutier] and Heys. And we had trouble with a slight breeze, after that the wind ran westerly, and we set our course to south by southwest. At the end of the afternoon we had Heys aside of us and were getting a nice breeze, around midnight we came to the harbor of St. Marten [St. Martin de Ré] and dropped our anchor.


On the 14th ditto. &.

On the 15th ditto. &.

On the 16th ditto. &.

On the 17th ditto. &.


On the 18th ditto. We have hoisted the anchor at St. Marten and sailed to Ripperdoe [Rivedoux, on the island Ile de Ré before the coast of La Rochelle].


On the 19th ditto. We are at Rochelle, having sailed along by the forest there.


On the 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25th ditto. We have been cleaning the ship and getting fresh supplies.


On the 26th ditto. We hoisted the anchor and came that same evening to the harbor of Ripperdoe.


On the 27th ditto. &.

On the 28th ditto. &.

On the 29th ditto. &.

On the 30th ditto. &.

On the 1st October &.

On the 2nd ditto. &.

On the 3rd ditto. &.

On the 4th ditto. &.

On the 5th ditto. & until the first of November.


On the 1st November. We were again sailing. At first we had two or three days of fair wind taking us further towards Barbary, but when we got to the curve near Cape Finis Terrae [Cape Finnisterre, the northwest tip of Spain] we got in such bad weather that we feared to lose our ship and our lives, principally because the ship appeared to be leaking at the stem and in other places. [See note 1. below]


On the 11th ditto. We arrived on St. Martensday [11th November, dedicated to St. Martin of Tours] at a good harbor at the island Belle Isle [Island before the coast of department Morbihan] in France, about twenty miles from the aforesaid isle St. Marten. [Dutch mile, equal to 5.5556 kilometers or 3 English miles]


On the 19th ditto. we have sailed from here and stopped at the tidal-flat along the island Hurck, one mile from St. Marten. This island is fully vegetated but unpopulated. There stands on the shore an old fallen-down cloister, wherein some years ago monks had lived.


On the 23rd ditto. We set sail again.


On the 26th ditto. With fair wind and good weather we passed by Cape Finis Terrae.


On the 27th ditto. We could see the mainland of Portugal.


On the 28th ditto. We sailed close to the coast in the morning. The Lord Ambassador has promised the sailors that the one who sees the first sail, and if that is an enemy-ship captured by us, will earn a reward of fifty guilders.


On the 29th ditto. In the morning we had the Barsez [Buarcos] in sight. These are five or six cliffs lying three miles from the mainland of Portugal. He who have never passed this point has to pay a ritual token to the sailors. [the Dutch text literally says: “doopgelt” = “baptism money”]


On the 30th ditto. We had northeast wind.


On the 1st December. We sailed forth with fine weather and came in sight of a very high mountain named the Vijgenbergh [possibly Foia mountain on the southwest tip of Portugal], which can be seen from at least thirty miles away. This mountain is situated in the mainland of Spain where the figs grow in plentiful amounts.


On the 2nd ditto. In the morning with the dawn we saw to lee a Turkish ship close-by. We prepared our cannons, set all our sails, and hunted him, and we came so close to him that we could reach each other with the muskets. But whatever we did we could not come close enough to be able to board it, which our crew had been eager to do. Around noon two more Turks joined them, but they kept to windward of us, far out of reach. In the afternoon three more appeared, so there were six in total. Still we could handle all six, but they did not pursue us and sailed away from us, so in the evening they were out of sight. The wind was east to south.


On the 3rd ditto. In the afternoon three of the above mentioned Turks came back, very close to us. We made ready and with full sails we set course towards them, when they recognized this they ran off again. The wind was east by southeast.


On the 4th ditto. We sailed with a nice breeze in the direction of the Canary Islands; today we have not seen any Turks or other ships. In the morning the wind was east, in the evening south.


On the 5th ditto. Our course continued towards the Canary Islands with a strong southeast wind, but in the afternoon we had another lull with a hard rain.


On the 6th ditto. Having variable winds, our course also varied, continuing our journey to Salee, the wind was west by northwest


On the 7th ditto. Our course continued, the wind was south.

On the 8th ditto. Wind west by southwest


On the 9th ditto. As we still had good weather with a southeast wind, towards the evening we had the Barbary coast in sight, but because night was at hand and the weather very dark, with a small sail we let her run out to the sea again.


On the 10th ditto. As the wind was southwest and we had good weather we set course for the coast, and in the afternoon we got in sight of the main land, and late in the afternoon we dropped our anchor in the harbor of Zalee. The Lord Ambassador ordered the crew to fire nine salutes, which were answered with four from the town and the castle. The next night we stayed there, not without some anxiety, because the wind was quite variable.


On the 11th ditto. In the morning the Lord Ambassador had a sail struck in hopes that the town would send some refreshments, but noticing that the wind started to turn to the southwest and with the terrible breakers along the coast, nobody came. In the afternoon we hoisted the anchor again, because we no longer dared to stay so close to the coast; because it is a dangerous port in which to lie at anchor.


On the 12th ditto. &

On the 13th ditto. &

On the 14th ditto. &.

On the 15th ditto. &.


On the 16th ditto. In the morning it got calm again, the wind east to south. In these areas we had a few days so warm, as we ordinarily have in Holland in the middle of summer.


On the 17 and 18th ditto. We still have good weather with a moderate breeze, but with the wind being south we could not manage to come close to the harbor of Saffia [Safi, harbor in Morocco on the Atlantic Ocean] or St Cruijs [Agadir].


On the 19th ditto. In the afternoon a strong southwest wind.

On the 20th ditto. The wind west to south in a big storm.

On the 21st ditto. A good wind north by northeast

On the 22nd ditto. The wind northeast.

On the 23rd ditto. The wind easterly.


On the 24th ditto. It was Christmas Eve. We reached the harbor of Saffia, where we fired fifteen salutes, but those were not answered by the town nor the castle.


That same day a boat came along and seven Moors came on board to trade with us, asking mainly for red caps, but for this first time they could not come to an agreement with the crew. Our Lord Ambassador gave them a letter for the Governor of Saffia asking permission to get water and fresh food from ashore, because the water had to be bought there. The above mentioned Moors promised to deliver us an answer to this letter in the morning. The appearance and clothing of these Moors is not very pleasant as one can clearly see in the drawings attached.

This day we had northerly wind with very fine weather. The crew began catching fish, but obtained nothing except sharks, and bream which tasted good.


On the 25th ditto. It was Christmas Day and very nice weather. In the afternoon the Moors along with some Jews came on board again, bringing with them two sheep, some hens, radishes, turnips and good bread, which was a gift from the Governor of the town in honor of the Lord Ambassador, along with his friendly greetings.


These fellows also had eggs and dates to sell or trade with us, but the prices were not acceptable to us, so they departed without doing business. But the Lord Ambassador gave them a tip for their effort. The same day our people sailed ashore with the small sloop in order to inquire whether there was a possibility of buying some fresh water, but they found it would be too troublesome to accomplish, because of the strong surf along the coast. Ordinarily the wind here comes from the sea during the day and from the land during the night.


At the same time a secretary, or a clerk of the Governor had come aboard, equipped with pens and paper to make a report about the amount of powder and cannon-balls we had on board, which the Lord Ambassador politely refused to him.


On the 26th ditto. The Lord Ambassador has sent the boat ashore with Sr. Vander Sterre [Sr. = Secretary] to bring greetings on his behalf to the Governor, but the sea was so wild and the breakers so strong that Sr. Vander Sterre for safety was obliged to stay that night in the town.


On the 28th ditto. Our small sloop went ashore and returned with our people who had stayed for two days in Saffia. Along with them came a barque with Moors, bringing many kinds of provisions, such as two fine calves, which they sold to the Lord Ambassador for 15 guilders each, some fat partridges, which are bigger than the Dutch partridges, are less than one Dutch stuijver each [one stuijver = 5 cents]. The bread looks as good as the best egg-bread in Holland and such a good bargain that one could make two meals from one bread of three cents. They also brought a fine little goat, which I want to draw because of its exotic appearance, also some hens of two stuijvers; the wine made of dates in a special way, is good to drink and of a color like the sheeps’s whey we have in Holland, and other baubles besides, too many to mention. And for the first time they made a good trade with our crew with mirrors and knives.


The skipper of the barque also brought two letters from Jan Janss. van Haerlem [see note 2. below] living in Muladie [Oualidia], six or seven miles from Saffia. One letter was written to the Lord Ambassador, the other to his daughter, who had come along with us on this journey to visit her father, whereof he was informed by special messenger from Saffia. He invited her very heartily to join him, sending along some refreshments as a gift.


But being informed of the dangers of travelling inland and particularly for females, she did not dare to do so. But it was agreed that her brother-in-law, who also had come along with us in our ship, would go to Muladie with the six or eight Moors whom his father-in-law had selected from his servants and sent from Muladie to Saffia as a convoy to escort them there. This occurred that same day.


Yesterday the barque of the Moors, on its way from our ship to the coast, was capsized by the heavy breakers and one of them drowned.


On the 29th ditto. When the Moors came on board again the Lord Ambassador negotiated with them about baking several hundred pieces of that good bread for the crew, which they had enjoyed so much.


On the 30th ditto. Jacob Ariss. came back on board with his father-in-law Jan Janss. van Haerlem (this Jan Janss. van Haerlem accompanied by 18 servants went part of the way from Maladie to meet his son-in-law) who sat comfortably in the barque on a rug and satin pillows, his servants around him. He was then led into the cabin of the Lord Ambassador, where his daughter was. When the father saw his daughter they both started to cry and after speaking with her for a while he took his leave of the Lord Ambassador, promising him that he would provide fresh water for us the next day, and that if the weather was good he and his daughter would visit us again on board. We had our doubts if this would happen, but only time will give that outcome.


While we were sailing along Portugal we put the statue of the Holy Ignatius on the transom of the ship, but now as we lie in the port of Saffia that is removed again.


Note: The Moors have in this time of year their fast, not eating before sundown.


On the 31st ditto. Our lieutenant went with both the steersmen and some deckhands and empty barrels in a boat to the shore to get some water. While the sloop stayed away from the breakers, the Moors got three of our men with the barrels ashore, but once filled the Moors did not want to let them go until Jan Janss. van Haerlem, who still was in Saffia with his daughter and the brother-in-law, had paid nineteen pieces of eight [19 coins of 8 reaal] on behalf of the Lord Ambassador.


And because it was getting late in the evening and the gates there were closed early, the barrels had to stay inside the town, from which one was stolen by the Moors and another one was dashed to pieces on the rocks.


One or two of our crew had to swim through the surf in the evening to get to the sloop and a Frenchman who could not manage in the water had to stay ashore.


Our men reported that they had noticed that Lijsbeth Jans has had her fill of people and the country and consequently had wished to be on board again, but she would leave the next day with her father to Maladia, because his business would not allow him to stay away much longer.


On the 1st January A° 1641. Our crew went ashore with the small and the large sloop to get the water that had been left there. This was done, and Jan Janss. van Haerlem had already left with his daughter for Maladia.


Note: While the sloops were on their way to get the water on board this afternoon, an anchor-cable broke under water and in such a way that we had to leave it on the bottom. But when the sloops and the water were back on board we set sail. This breaking of the cable has not been bad luck but our good luck, we noticed that same day that the wind came from the sea so strong, that if we had stayed there we would have been in great danger of losing the ship. There were also ashore one thousand breads already backed, which we also had to leave behind there.


Our crew had caught a shark on New Years Day and when cut open it had three young sharks inside attached to her body like eggs, where the young sharks would come from, and already being born with fleece still attached, so one could be certain that they would stay close to the mother, like ducklings are used to do behind the ducks. And as long as the above mentioned eggs are attached to the body and being chased by other fish as food, the young could immediately hide inside their mother’s body to be safe, which in my opinion is a remarkable thing. I have made drawings of one of those above mentioned young sharks in two different ways. [see drawing 19.1 and 19.2 in the original journal]


On the 2nd ditto. We had a big storm from the northwest. &.

On the 3rd ditto. Fairly good weather, the wind westerly.

On the 4th ditto. Variable weather and heavy rain with a southwest wind.

On the 5th ditto. We have northeast wind between Saffia and Magador [Mogador].


On the 6th ditto. The wind was northerly, and again we had land in sight, but in the afternoon there was such a strong wind that we had to set our course to sea again.


On the 7th ditto. In the morning we saw land again in fairly good weather, we had east by northeast wind and we saw many flying fish, as is shown in the drawings.


On the 8th ditto. We had the island Magador in sight, and set out our sloop to investigate a good harbor for us. We have found four fathoms of water and also on some places four fathoms and a half between the Duiven Eijlandt [pigeon island] and Magador island. In the afternoon we dropped our anchor and fired three salutes, which were answered from the castle with one shot.


On the 9th ditto. In the morning our sloop sailed with a northeast wind to the mainland to see if they could get some fresh water, and also if we could trade with the Moors of the castle, who welcomed our people very cordially. And they sent their interpreter, who was a Jew, to our ship, in whose place (according to their customs) one of our people had to stay ashore as hostage, until on both sides the one on our ship, as well as the one ashore, were released by others.


The castle is equipped with eleven or twelve iron pieces, and if you keep some distance it looks like a Dutch limekiln, but the Duiven-Eylandt is uninhabited, except for the wild pigeons, which nested there by the thousands on the cliffs, and are so tame that one can catch them by hand. There was a falcon on the ground in a little bush, which could have been caught by one of our people if he had seen it, because he almost stepped on its body with his foot, and only then the falcon flew up.


This Duiven-Eylandt is long about half an hour walking in length, and over than ten times the length of our ship and it is not wide, but very high and without fresh water, except between the cliffs some rainwater of small quantity.


Returning to Magador Island it happened that we managed to get fresh water there, the forenamed Jew delivered to us also fresh bread, almonds, raisins and olive-biscuits, which taste very good. The inhabitants here look comical in a habit, often going in long white sheets that they wrap in different ways around their body, sometimes they wear a small shirt underneath, in all, they are not very attractive in person or clothing. The before mentioned Jew explained to us the manner of their weddings &.


On the 12th ditto. Here it was the Moor’s feast day of Easter, which with great devotion they celebrate.


On this island they raise a large and unusual sort of geese, which poultry we have bought here at the castle for 2 stuijvers each, which were very good and fat.


Concerning the water – fetching it on board happened with great difficulty because of the seething of the sea. So that our small boat with the men in it to bring the water aboard was twice violently turned over, namely on the 15th and 16th of this month and the crew were barely but not without great danger rescued. And the Governor of the castle had to be paid about one Dutch daelder for every barrel of water [a daelder is one Dutch guilder and fifty cents].


Note: it is remarkable that here in every week we celebrate three Sundays; the Moors on Friday, the Jews on Saturday and we on Sunday.


On the 23rd ditto. We have been busy to make everything ready for the journey, with God’s help for St. Crux, if the wind will serve us, to sail away. And with a east by northeast wind we were pleased to depart from the port of Magador into the wide sea.


On the 24th, 25th and 26th ditto. In fine weather but with a contrary wind, which was east by northeast, our course was set toward Saffia to find our lost anchor, and to see if there was a response to the letter which the Lord Ambassador had written to the King of Morocco.


On the 27th ditto. We arrived at the harbor of Saffia, and we were informed that the King, knowing of our arrival, had given orders to arrange for a number of tents, pavilions, camels, horses, and to escort us from Saffia. Also that His Majesty had a good feeling about this Mission and intended to make a new alliance with the Honorable Lords.


On the 30th ditto. We have found our lost anchor again.

On the 31st ditto. &


On the 9th February. Our boat with our people went ashore and were informed there that the Lord Ambassador with his entourage was invited to come from his ship on the 11th; also that His Majesty of Morocco had charged the Governor of Saffia that he at time of our journey will provide for all of our needs.


On the 11th ditto. The Lord ambassador left the ship on a barque of the Moors with all his people and baggage, and was welcomed ashore according to the local customs with flutes, drums and a great number of musketeers, accompanied by the Governor of the town and by the forementioned Jan Janss. van Haerlem. There was a valuable horse led in for the Lord Ambassador.


It is to be noted here that after the Lord Ambassador had come ashore with the Moorish barque, I Adriaen Matham and secretary Sr. Vander Sterre were standing together on the beach waiting for the arrival of the Lord Ambassador, and I said: “it’s time, Vander Sterre, that we walk towards the sloop”. And when we went together, Vander Sterre was shot through his leg by one of the salutes fired by the Moors, so he fell to the ground. He was brought to the encampment, called the Duwaen [Douart, village of tents], and there he got fever and the next day, to the great sadness of us all, he passed out of this world.


The Governor made great inquiry in order to discover which Moore had used real bullets so he could punish him for this deed, but the man was hiding and could not be found. Mr Vander Sterre was buried in the night of the 13th to the 14th in the English warehouse by our encampment in den Duwaen, which was closed down that night.


Once from Saffia I made a three or four day trip to the castle of Maladia, the governor of which is Jan Janss, van Haerlem. By him I was entertained and welcomed very cordially. And for him I have drawn the castle with the entrance of the harbor, and the river, where the ships can lie at anchor.


After we had been in Saffia for almost three weeks we left on 7th March with the Lord Ambassador for Morocco [the city now called Marrakech], accompanied by about two hundred Moorish horsemen, who were commanded by a Frenchman called Monsieur Alkeijre Rammerdam [might be Hadji Ramadan (Aggi Romadan), a Venetian renegate]. His residence was in a castle one day away from Saffia.


On the shore of Mare Salines, a lake with salt water and a circumference of about one mile, we saw to our surprise that a lot of clean salt was gathered here, although this water was in the middle of the mountains, and situated nine miles from the sea. Yet about fifty paces from this water there were wells, where good sweet water was found.


These above mentioned horsemen who escorted us, did much to the amusement of the Lord Ambassador and his people, lots of amusing manoeuvres, riding their horses so surely and with such speed that it was amazing to see; some of them had rifles and long lances. But this fun was diminished by the thirst we were suffering. But the Laerbussen (who are the people that make their dwelling in tents on the land in places here and there) have come to two or three places to bring us camel-milk. But in general we suffered a lot of inconvenience on our way, and after four days travelling we reached the Royal town Morocco where we were heartily welcomed by a convoy of many soldiers.


On the 11th ditto. We arrived in this town and on the fourth day after that his Majesty granted an audience to the Lord Ambassador, we too had the honor to see his Majesty with our own eyes. The Moorish Easter was about to begin, which was celebrated for several days, so our mission had to wait.


On Moorish Easter Day the King rides, escorted by many great Lords and many thousands on horses and on foot accompanied by flutes, drums, trumpets, copper cymbals and other exotic instruments, to a certain place one hour outside of town. Once there the King dismounts from his horse and two rams are brought to him, the throats of which the King himself slits and lets them bleed to death. If these rams would bleed to death immediately, it would mean a bad omen for this empire, but if for a quarter of an hour’s time they bleed while still alive it would mean a good omen, good luck, blessing and prosperity for the country.


But as it appeared that luck was on the King’s side, because the rams had remained alive for a long time, there was great cheerfulness, and the King was welcomed at his court with singing, playing and dancing by more than two thousand women, those he married as well as his concubines, and all day by the great and the commoners was spent in enjoyment.


With respect to the architecture, the palace of the King is beautifully built, decorated with marble pillars, large gardens, ponds, and is said to have been built a long time ago by the Christians. On the palace is a very high tower, which is made in such an ingenious way that one can ride to the top while sitting on a horse.


There is also another tower on the palace, decorated on top with three apples made of massive gold, which are said to weight together about seven hundred pounds. The Moors wanted us to believe that these three golden apples were under the spell of a sorcerer and that the devil would break the neck of those who dared to take them down; but we all laughingly rejoined that but half a dozen of our deckhands would be able to take these three apples down, believing that the Moorish devil would be more afraid of them than they would be of him.


Here within the walls of the palace is a large herd of camels which were brought outside during the day to graze, and in the evening come back home again.


The room in the palace where the Lord Ambassador had his audience with the King was beautiful. The second audience that the Lord Ambassador had was in the inner court with Basscha [Pasha] in the company of two other great Lords and with a secretary of the King. This Basscha is the first man in the country after the King and he is a polite, courageous and intelligent man.


The third and last audience of the Lord Ambassador was with the King, who treated him cordially, and with the Lord Ambassador discussed some proposals, after which the Lord Ambassador and we with due respect took our leave of the King. His Majesty honored the Lord Ambassador with a present of six horses, twelve falcons, two camels and one valuable saber, the blade on several places plated with fine gold.


I and another painter from Antwerp were requested in the name of the King to stay there for some time, with the promise of one ducat each day until retirement, but we had heard how other Christians had been misled with fine promises, we resolved that we would rather die than live our life among these godless barbarians.


Note: There is a palatial residence of the King's, situated a half hour outside the town Morocco, which was considered the most pleasant place in all of Africa. It is planted with fifteen thousand lemon trees with very high and graceful aqueducts that feed the fountains and the ponds rich in fish, all of which here is well worth seeing.


On the 8th May being Wednesday. Late in the afternoon we left the town Morocco, accompanied by some soldiers and English merchants, and made camp for the night at the other side of the river, two miles from Morocco; Along the way we saw the corn being mowed already in several places and being loaded on donkeys to bring it home, and on Friday we arrived in the afternoon at the castle of Alkeijr Rammerdam at the lake Salinas where we had our nightly rest; the next day we left again from there and we were escorted by the above mentioned Alkeijr Rammerdam as far as Saffia, where we arrived in the evening of 11th May.


On the 14th ditto, The Lord Ambassador returned aboard our ship again.

On the 22nd ditto. We hoisted our anchor for Saffia and after firing three salutes, with a northerly wind we set sail for St. Crux.

On the 23rd ditto. We still had good wind.


On the 24th ditto. We passed Capo de Geer [Cap Gihr, 120 kilometers north of Agadir] but then with such still wind we floated along the coast, which we had within sight for a long time, drifting off-course.


On the 25th ditto. We had an afternoon with a northerly wind which gave us some breeze, but later that afternoon it again became still, while we had the land of St. Crux in sight. Our crew made with the sloop to tow, but when the wind increased again, just after sundown, we came into the harbor of St. Crux, where we found and English and two French ships.


That same evening one Monsieur Lijbergen and some others came aboard the visit us an brought a letter from someone called Derwel, who was the broker of the imprisoned slaves.


Near St. Crux is a castle situated on a very high mountain, which seems to be hard to find.


On the 27th ditto. We received tiding from the castle of the brother of the Santon, [see note 3. below] that he had for hours been waiting; a Moor at the castle had fired a cannon which backfired and exploded onto him so that everything was hanging from his stomach such that all was lost, but he nevertheless stayed alive.


These days our crewmen caught a lot of fish [drawings 17, 18.1 and 18.2 in the original journal], and amongst them a strange looking sea-eel, it’s skin beautiful speckled (as shown in the following drawing), length about three feet and is called in the Moorish language a ‘Vrine’, as explained to us by Monsieur Lijbergen, who for a long time has lived in Salee. In the evening we have boiled these eels, which are tasty white and fat as a fish and good to be eaten with vinegar.


On the 28th and 29th ditto. The weather was still good, and we received word that the Santon himself was expected to come to St. Crux, which would relieve the Lord Ambassador of much effort, because Jliego [probably Illigh, southeast of Agadir] is a 24 miles ride from here and the road is extremely treacherous.


On the 30th ditto. Towards evening the brother of the Santon with a great retinue came to St. Crux, and those on the castle were bravely firing salutes and we on the ships did not less, for now we had good hope for the release of the imprisoned slaves.


On the 31 ditto. The brother of the Santon has sent to us on board the tribute of two oxes and twelve sheep. The Lord Ambassador sent three men from our ship to the castle. They spoke extensively about the imprisoned slaves for a long time, and with satisfaction returned on board. It was said that his brother the Santon had given him carte blanche to negotiate with the Lord Ambassador about the imprisoned slaves.


On the 1st June. The Lord Ambassador himself has sailed ashore well escorted by his retinue. From the ship eight salutes were fired with the cannon, and all the muskets were fired three times.


On the beach down at the foot of the mountain on which the castle lies, stood the brother of the Santon with the Governor of St. Crux waiting for the Lord Ambassador, who handed over the presents to the brother of the Santon. And after that [they] spoke about the release of the slaves. But that day the agreement was not yet reached, although they remained in negotiations nearly all day as they stayed near the others on the beach. And towards evening they departed from each other in good contentment, with promises that the meeting would be resumed the next day.


That same evening two messages were sent to the Santon, while his brother pretended that the gifts were too poor, and that in this case, without further clarification from the Santon, he dared not speak in his name.


On the 2nd June. The Lord Ambassador again has sailed ashore, and with the brother of the Santon has so far negotiated that all the slaves of the first as well as [those of] the second stranded ship would be released, under the condition that the Lord Ambassador, beyond the presents already given, to the Santon would be paid the sum of two thousand ducats. And that the brother of the Santon within six or seven days in person would deliver here at St Crux all the slaves of both ships which were seventy-two in total. And this same brother, in order that no time would be lost, without further delay left to fulfil this contract at Jliego. Under this accord the Lord Ambassador has also freed an old Frenchman here who for [fully] forty years had been kept a slave.


While we waited with anticipation for the arrival of the slaves, our people had not been idle, but caught many fine fish for our daily food.


Note: The first captured ship was called "Erasmus van Rotterdam" [stranded near Agadir in May 1638], the crew had been about fifty strong, of which five had died, and one Oosterling had become Moorish [Oosterling = someone from east of the Netherlands, usually a German]. The second ship was called "de Maecht van Dordrecht" and had 28 men. Both ships had sailed forth in the service of the West-India Company.


On the 7th ditto. The Old Frenchman who for 40 years had been enslaved here has arrived with letters from the Santon for the Lord Ambassador, bringing very bad tidings, namely that the Lord Ambassador should pay five hundred ducats more than was agreed with his brother, and for that only the 45 slaves of the first stranded ship would be released leaving the other 28 slaves of the second ship to remain in their miserable slavery. For them little chance of an outcome of release could be hoped or expected; there will be no opportunity to free them during this mission.


These Godless people take little care in maintaining the contracts, promises and oaths they have made, because in the contract that the Lord Ambassador had made with the brother of the Santon, the slaves of the second ship were expressly included, as heretofore mentioned.


This old French slave stayed with us on the ship and told us about the miserable conditions of the forementioned slaves, namely bad provision of food and drink. And these men were also forced to perform heavy labor, so that one could imagine the sadness which these poor prisoners must have, to see their countrymen of the first ship leaving, while from this luck they were deprived, and forced to remain under the power of these unreasonable and merciless barbarians. The Lord Ambassador did not let that go by, but in all haste dispatched his response to the letters of the Santon by two horseback couriers.


On the 8th ditto. The Moorish captain Wallis has ridden out in order to fetch the 45 slaves.


On the 14th ditto. Around ten in the morning the 45 slaves who had come from St. Crux arrived, whereupon the Lord Ambassador had gone ashore and spoken to Captain Wallis and the other Moors and arranged that the slaves could come on board, who were so overwhelmed that they could hardly eat or drink. On their way they had been in convoy and in the custody of twenty horsemen, and not without great discomfort on the journey.


The Lord Ambassador had the flag containing the two thousand ducats brought ashore, in keeping with the agreement he had discussed with the brother of the Santon, but greatly complained that the agreement had not [nearly] been kept, noting that all the slaves of the two ships had therein been included. Nevertheless the Santon demanded for the remainder of the slaves another three thousand ducats, which was once again an unreasonable deal, however the Lord Ambassador was forced therefore, to make an offer of a thousand ducats, upon which a courier was dispatched to the Santon, seeking to obtain his approval.


The brother of the Santon was considered to be an intelligent, good and polite man. He had departed for a place called Mosse [Messa, abt. 50 miles south of St. Crux], located between St. Crux and Jliego, by which this place the slaves had to pass, and when he saw them there he said politely: “Friends, go with God, and I hope that God will guide all of you to your fatherland. I leave for Jliego to my brother and will arrange that the other slaves will also be given their freedom”.


Note: The Santon is a cruel and unmerciful man; when the slaves first arrived there, he said to them: "God has sent you all here, so that you could all together work for me, for I have not brought you all myself, and if it is God's will you may leave again." And now departing he said: "Go away, and come again in one or two years with a loaded ship to visit me, and to help me do my work again."


Following are the names of the slaves who had sailed with the ship "Erasmus van Rotterdam" on 17th April 1638 in the service of the West-India Company, and after having been stranded, under the Santon Sidali from Jliego in Barbary had fallen into slavery, and now by the Lord Ambassador are freed.


Chief merchant Jacob Adriaenss. Vander Wel, from Delft.

Common merchant Crijn Alderss. Coninck, from Delft.

Captain Ocker Willemss. Kruijfhooft, from Rotterdam.

Navigating officer Pieter Pieterss. Princelandt, near Den Briel.

Chief boatswain Leendert Francken Vander Horst, from Rotterdam.

Carpenter Cornelis Jacobss., from Rotterdam.

Assistant Hans Jeuriaen Bierboom, from Amsterdam.

Assistant Pieter Franss. Vander Wiel, from Delft.

Cook Cornelis Pieterss., from Santvoort [Zandvoort].

Quartermaster Philips Gerritss., from Delft.

Quartermaster Jan Barentse, from Rotterdam.

Quartermaster Simon Janss., from Rotterdam.

Boatswain Marten Hermanss, Vander Heij, from Rotterdam.

Soldier Jan Korts. Vander Neurs, from Leijden [Leiden].

Captain’s son Willem Ockerss. Kruijffhooft, from Rotterdam.

Barber Abraham Fort, from Baiona.

Soldier Simon Mulaert.

Boatswain’s hand Jacob Janss. from ‘s-Gravesande.

Sailor Jacob Leendertse, from Den Briel.

Dominee Pieter Havenss, from Rotterdam.

Sailor Jan Aelbertse, from Haerlem.

Sailor Cornelis Hermanss., from Rotterdam.

Cooper Job Janss., from Rotterdam.

Cooper’s hand Adriaen Tomass., from Rotterdam.

Provost Jan Janss., from Luijck [Liège, Flandres].

Sailor Dingheman Gijsbertss., from Brouwershaven.

Boatswain Leenaert Wouterss. Gaerpenning, from Rotterdam.

Hornblower Jan Frederickss., from Rotterdam.

Cabin-hand Floris Theemissen Beddeman, from Rotterdam.

Cabin-hand Paulus Janss., from Rotterdam.

Sailor Laurens Jsackse, from Santvoort [Zandvoort].

Sailor Engelbrecht Willemss., from ’s-Gravenhage.

Sailor Cornelis Claess., from Durkerdam. [Durgerdam]

Soldier Jacob Janss., from Rotterdam.

Soldaet Jan Janss., from Leijden [Leiden].

Soldier Jan Pieterss., from Santefoeij.

A boy Hendrick Jacobss., from Rotterdam.

A boy Hendrick Joriss., from Rotterdam.

A boy Dirck Lambertsen, from Rotterdam.

Soldier Jsack Jasperss., from Middelburg.

Sailor Dirck Dircksen, from Amsterdam.

Corporal of the rifle Huijber Pieterss., from Gorcum.

Sailor Jan Corneliss. Post, from Rotterdam.

Sailor Lambert Janss., from Leerdam.

Soldier Jacob Janss. Van de Velde, from Rotterdam.

The following men died in Jliego:

Sailmaker Jan Jan Pieterss. Peijesant, from Delft.

Soldier Pieter Janss., from Hoesum.

Boatswain Jacob Janss. Lerenbaert, from Gendt [Gand, Flandres].

Soldier Jan, from Bommel.

Boatswain Marten Dirckse, from Tessel.


Concerning the slaves of the other ship, there is no apparent sign that they would be set free, notwithstanding all the gravest efforts made by the Lord Ambassador, noting of the Godless Santon that his outrageous demands would not be reduced, such that they were forced to remain in this miserable slavery.


During the time we have stayed here, our people caught many fish, and the wind is ordinarily from the sea during the day and in the night from the land.


On the 6th of July towards the evening we set sail from St. Crux, setting our course toward Saffia, and providing the wind somehow will help us, we will return to that port and take on the horses and falcons which the King of Morocco had given to the Ambassador. This night with a northeast wind we ran into the sea awhile, however in the morning we still had Caep de Geer in sight.


Note: In St. Crux we received on board 43 [animals], bucks, goats as well as sheep, and fifty hens, and the three falcons sent to the Lord Ambassador as a gift.


Most of the trading our crew did with the Moors and the Jews, was in feathers, Indigo, yellow wax, arabic gum and dates, which grow in this country in great abundance. Pieter Moor and his son stayed on board with us, with the intention to convert to the Christian Religion in Holland.


On the 7th ditto. We had Caep de Geer still in sight.


On the 8 and 9th ditto. Having contrary winds we had to set a course toward the Canary Islands, because the northerly wind which we have had now for three days prevented us from sailing to Saffia.


On the 12th ditto. We had Madera in sight, hoping that same evening to have come into the port, but it had not been successful. The following night with a northeast wind and a good breeze we had reached as far as the Serters [Islas Desertas].


These Serters are sea-cliffs lying about three miles from Madera, uninhabited by people, but some folks believe that many goats and fowl are there.


The intention of the Lord Ambassador had not been to go to Madera, but the wind and the strong current had forced us to set our course to there. So towards the evening we came close to the island and the town Madera, when it became dead still, so that our crew was forced to row with all their might to come into the port.


The Lord Ambassador sent with a small boat a few people ashore with a letter to the Governor. Which people were heartily welcomed, and were politely entertained, and informed that what we had heard in Saffia and St. Crux, namely that the Portuguese had seceded from the King of Spain, and consequently also the Island and the town of Madera. And that an alliance and a union had been made with the Honorable Lords of the States General of the United Netherlands to declare war on the King of Spain.


The people with the small boat brought from the Governor a letter with a reply to the Lord Ambassador whereby the governor let the Lord Ambassador know that due to the union between his nation and ours, everything on the island would be at our service and that we would be very welcome, if the Ambassador would be so kind as to submit the Letters of Credence given to him by the honorable Lords and by his Highness my Lord the Prince of Orange, which credentials were showed without delay to the Governor of Madera.


Then he himself sent three esteemed men on board to us, in order to welcome the Lord Ambassador, and to invite him to dine with the Governor. Shortly thereafter yet another three came on board (as soon as the first had left) among them someone from Delft, named Sonneman, and they all expressed to us how pleasant our arrival there was.


Two hours later a Portuguese came on board again, with some refreshments the Governor had sent to the Ambassador as a gift; among these was a large barrel of excellent wine, fine conserves, fine pears, cherries, plums, grapes etc. two hams, turkeys and hens, in total a wonderful supply of refreshments.


--There were a few salutes fired from the ship, the big flag was hoisted and the trumpets were blown, so it was a day of joy. Towards the afternoon the Lord Ambassador with two Portuguese and the Delftenaar Sonneman, with some of his retinue went ashore with both the sloops. We fired seven salutes, and the musketeers also fired three salvos; those of the town have on the four castle that are there have each answered with three salutes.


When the Ambassador came ashore, there were a lot of people gathered and some companies, soldiers with muskets and flying flags welcomed the Ambassador. In the meantime we on the ship were very happy that we had again come into a Christian land and to hear the bells ringing, which for such a long time in Barbary we did not hear, because they had no bells there.


Furthermore we found here in the harbour eleven ships, English as well as Hamburgers, and today another three had arrived, namely one Englishman and two Portuguese caravels.


Madera is as beautiful an island as can ever be found, very nice to see, suitable for growing all kinds of fine fruits, as well as sugar cane, corn and so forth. The high mountains themselves are well planted with fruit-trees, the birds are there in abundance; in all it could be rightfully called an earthly paradise.


On the 14th ditto. Those of our people, who wanted to, were given consent to go ashore, where they enjoyed very much the delicious Madera wine, effects of which for a long time they had not been accustomed, so of about hundred and fifty who went ashore, all of them came back again quite insensible.


On the 17th ditto. The Ambassador has returned on board again from the town, where the Governor and the other Lords had given him all honor and friendship.


I have drawn the entire island very precisely [here the drawings 29,30,31 and 32 of Matham are inserted in the original journal] and have found that on the island are three good harbors for the ships. Furthermore I found that the big church, a beautiful building, is a work of art, and nearly from bottom to top is gilded. In it are eleven altars, three chapels and two organs. The town is moreover supplied with an abundance of clergymen.


On the 26th ditto. The Ambassador on shore had said goodbye to the Governor, and to the Bishop, and has come on board again, while those from the castles and from our ship fired some salutes.


On the 27th ditto. Our large and our small sloop were sent ashore to get those of our people, to bring on board the people who had stayed there, leaving Cornelis van Haerlem sitting in prison in Fonciael [Funchal, capital of Madera].


That same evening we sailed forth.


On the 28th ditto. We have set our course to Saffia, in order to collect the horses and the falcons which we had left there. But due to a strong and contrary wind, we could not in eight day's time sail to Saffia but had fallen below there. So because our first sight of the Barbary coast was somewhat higher than Mogodor, we feared that for lack of victuals, we might have to set our course to the Fatherland without the horses or the falcons.

It is notable that while we were drifting not far from Madera in a lull, a shark for a long time had circled around the ship, accompanied by many fish which are called Pilots. Our crew threw out hooks, and one of those even became fastened to this shark, but by the weight and the great power and the force he used while being hauled in, he escaped again, and by estimation he may well have been twenty feet long.


On the 7th August toward noon we had such variable wind, that within the time of one glass [an hourglass of 30 minutes] we had to change directions four times.


On the 8th ditto. Due to the foggy and humid weather we could not see the land, and our ship has become so leaky that the crew had to pump eighteen hundred heaves in eight glasses.


On the 9th ditto. In the morning we were beginning to see the land again, but when we came closer we found that we were far below the south hook of Saffia.


On the 12th ditto. Toward afternoon (praise God) we have dropped our anchor before Saffia.


On the 13th ditto. Our people has caught many of fish at Saffia, bream as well as others.


A part of the earlier mentioned ten thousand pounds of bread which the Lord Ambassador had ordered to be baked in Saffia, was brought on board.


On the 14th ditto. Five beautiful falcons were brought on board.


On the 22nd ditto. One of our people of the officers-quarters, caught a shark as we lay off the coast of Saffia, in whose stomach, to our great surprise, a chameleon was found. [see drawing 21.1 in the original journal].


That same day Jacob Arissen has come aboard again from Maladia, leaving Lijsbeth Jans to stay with her father.


On the 27th ditto. We hoisted our anchor again, and come closer to the north-corner of Saffia and somewhat further from the land, we let the anchor fall to the bottom again.


On the 29, 30, 31st ditto. We have taken a load of fine wheat on board.


On the 1st and 2nd September we took on board a load of yellow wax.


On the 3rd ditto. Again we received on board two horses and seven falcons.


On the 4th ditto. Towards the evening from Saffia we began sailing with a northeast wind, setting our course toward the Vlaemss Eijlanden [Flemish islands = Azors]; we fired three salutes.


From the 4th up to the 12th ditto. With very good weather we have sailed up to the latitude of 37 degrees, mostly going northwest by north, or north by northwest.


On the 13 and 14th ditto. We have had some better wind, although variable and calm weather etc.


Between the 18 and 19th ditto. In the night, with a lively breeze, while sailing before the wind, suddenly and unexpectedly a storm came up, so that the topsails were torn to pieces, before we could take them in.


And the wind became sharper and the storm increased, the mainsail , the mizzen sail and all that was out was shredded to pieces.


So all that night and the following day not one sail in the world could we use.


We drifted on God's mercy in a heavy tempest and in great danger of losing ship and life, until in the night between the 19th and 20th September the weather calmed somewhat, although with a headwind.


In the foregoing storm while drifting without sails, three full waves struck into the ship, whereby the galleon was smashed to pieces and the pieces were drifting in the sea. And everything on the whole ship creaked.


Sixty hens drowned, and from the cold and the wetness four falcons died, but all of our crew (thank God) remained undamaged and unhurt. Around this time we were at the latitude of forty-two degrees and thirty-five minutes, not far from Caep Finis Terrae.


On the 21st ditto. Again we got lovely weather, but the wind remained north-northeast. Our people dried their kit-bags and clothing.


On the 22nd ditto. In the night we had a good southwest wind, and with full sails made good progress.


On the 23rd ditto. The wind South. We set our course toward the Channel.


On the 25th ditto. Great dismay has arisen among our people, because due to the foggy weather we strayed in the wrong channel, having assumed that on the one side we had Garnzeij and Ornaij [Guernsey and Alderney], and on the other side the Island Wicht [Isle of Wight], but we discovered to our great sorrow that we had strayed into the wrong channel about the island Sondi [Lundy, in the Bristol Channel, along the coast of Devon].


The wind was southwest with a hard rain, such that one could hardly see beyond two ship-lengths. We were then in so much trouble, that according to human judgement it would be impossible to escape death, but only by the sake of God's merciful will we were released from this trouble.


Because in the worst case if the weather had not improved and the wind had not decreased, then we would have grounded on one of the two sandbanks, stranding in the middle of the wrong channel [Bristol Channel] , whereof one was called Werwickx [Helwick Sands], the other Nealsandt [Nash Sands].


And our ship could have been struck into a thousand pieces, without the smallest chance of saving our lives, or that anyone would have knowledge of where the shipwreck had been.


After this great setback our people again came to grips; after much turning and wending, in the dark of the evening we came into the harbor before the town of Tinbij [Tenby] in Wales England. Being a very treacherous harbor, all our anchors, save only the bow-anchor, were lost here. In this sorrowful night every wave spilled over our ship, so we thought the ship was sinking, and we said our last prayer seeing no other outcome than death.


Our large sloop was wrecked into pieces and drifted into the sea. At the main mast two men stood ready to cut it, holding back with the intention that as soon as the daylight would come, in order to save our lives the ship would be run aground onto the most suitable place.


But God Almighty has forstalled it by turning the wind, which changed to the west in the morning, so that we (praise God) with the ship got out of this miserable harbor, leaving behind two anchors, and we came into the harbor of Wilfortshaven [Milfordhaven, Wales].


On the 19th October. We set sail from Wilfordtshaven, setting our course for Sorles [Isles of Scilly] or Engelandts Endt [Lands End, the most south-westerly point of England], and so after many difficulties, sailed into the correct channel, the wind being northwest.


On the 20th ditto. In the morning we had the island Londij [Lundy] aside of us; the weather was good and favorable; the wind still northwest. That same day on the ship our crew caught a good and fat woodcock and also 3 or 4 sparrowhawks, which were tired of flying, and had come to rest in the masts and other places on the ship.


On the 21 ditto. We have had easterly winds, and northeast, with calm weather, and in three consecutive nights with bright moonlight we passed between the Sorles [Isles of Scilly] and Engelandts Endt. Towards the morning we reached, praise God, the correct Channel.


On the 22 and 23rd ditto we have had calm weather, with reasonably good wind from the south, and south to southwest, and in the Channel we had many ships around us.


On the 27th ditto. We had the Island Wicht [Isle of Wight] in sight; the wind was northeast.


On the 28th ditto. The wind was northeast.


On the 29th ditto. We have had a strong wind from the east, so we could not sail into Wicht.


On the 30th ditto. The wind had come from the northeast, and had changed into a storm, so we could not sail on the main sails, which forced us in the afternoon to set our course toward Pleijmuijen [Plymouth], which also happened, and the next night we had to let her run with a mainsail and with the mizzen sail, but in the night during the midwatch the strong wind and the hard rain completely let up and the wind became southeast. In the morning the wind was again east, and fair weather, and we had Goudtstart [Start Point] within sight.


On the 31st ditto. In the evening we came to the port of Pleijmuijen, but it was so late that we could not come into the harbor. That night we had hard rain and in the morning the wind was west to northwest with calm and pleasant weather.


On the 1st November we hoisted our anchor in the afternoon and sailed a bit further into the harbor, but due to a lull we had to drop our anchor again and do that in a dangerous place between some cliffs. But, praise God, it stayed calm, and in the early night with the rising tide we again hoisted our anchor, and with a breeze from the east we came to a suitable place. We sailed thereby along one of the castles, so we fired three salutes, which were answered from the castle with one shot.


On the 3,4,5,6 and 7th ditto. Due to contrary winds we stayed at Pleymuijen. But on the 8th ditto in the morning we had a good west wind, and with calm weather we hoisted our anchor, along with all the other ships which had lain in the harbor of Pleijmuijen. Toward the evening the wind somewhat increased.


On the 9th ditto. With hail, thunder and lightning, a great storm came up, so we lost our main sail[.] --The wind was north, and also north to northeast, so that we, along with many of the ships sailing with us, had to drift without sails. But towards the evening the weather was somewhat calmer and then we had the wind west-northwest.


On the 10th ditto. We had Doveren [Dover] and Calais in sight, and we sailed close to the English coast, to stay nearer the upper coastline. Once past the heads, those ships which had to be in Zeeland or into the Maes [river Maas], separated from us after each firing a salute, answered by us.


The wind was west to northwest. The next night we had a hard wind again, but from the southwest with a steady breeze, and so we continued our journey.


On the 12th ditto. With the wind still southwest, in a great rainstorm, by God's mercy through many troubles we safely reached Tessel [island Texel], but the wind was so violent that we dared not come in to anchor at the Schilt [De Schild, harbor-town on Texel], but instead had to endure as far as Vlieter, below the island Wieringen.





Note 1. (see 1st November 1640)

Here they probably turned back to France for the necessary repairs. That would explain the gaps in Matham’s journal between 1st and 11th November, when they arrived at the island Bell Isle. The second gap between 11th and 19th November was probably needed for the repairs.


The Dutch Republic was still at war with Spain (the eighty-years-war ended in 1648), so the ship Gelderlandt would not be welcome in any Spanish port. And the diplomatic mission of Ambassador Liedekerke was on it’s way to Morocco, another enemy of the Spanish King.



Note 2. (see 28th December 1640)

Simon de Vries in “Handelingen en geschiedenissen voorgevallen tusschen den Staet der Vereenichde Nederlanden en dien van de zee-roovers in Barbarijen” [page 57]:


In the slaughter-month [November] of the year 1623 a terrific storm developed at sea, which caused great damage to ships and goods. Because of this terrible turbulence two Turkish robbers were forced into the canal and so on along the moles into ter Veer [Veere] in Zeeland. Here their severely damaged ship had to be repaired, and also provisions taken on as their own were all gone.


The one leader was a Renegado, or renounced Christian, from Haerlem. He also had some Dutch sailors on board. The wife and children of this notorious leader came to beg him earnestly and constantly to leave this ship and to stay with her. Daily the parents of the other Dutch crewmembers did the same; but they could not persuade them in any way. On one hand they were too embittered at the Spaniards, on the other hand too keen on the prizes.


The above mentioned Jan Jansz. van Haerlem had joined the Turks under the Veenboer, and had in time climbed up from the lowest to the highest position. It was not enough for him, that he, to gain imaginary temporary happiness, had forsaken the Lord Christ, had murdered his soul, had rejected his salvation, but he also encouraged other Christians, by showing them his captured treasures, to leave Christianity, and let them be circumcised; which was actually done by some godless ones. This Admiral Jan Jansz. van Haerlem has even turned Salee within a few years into a notorious robber’s nest, like Duynkercken [Dunkirk] used to be. Now it has begun to get rich, where it used to be an unimportant place.



Note 3. (see 27th May 1641)

David Pietersz. de Vries reports in his journal [Vol II, page 72] about the name Santon, which played an important role in Morocco. “These Santons descend from the Alarbes; and are in Mauritania divided in two different groups. The first lives in the mountains and are the Nobility of the country, from excellent families. They are trained for war at young age, and persevere in it until the end of their life. They raid caravans or traveling groups, beat the people dead and often obtain large prizes. Sometimes they plunder complete cities or settlements. They are the wildest and most uncivilized of this country; no laws, justice or manners. That's why they are treated in the same way, if defeated by others. The other group are the Nobility of the plains, living in tents on the fields. They are ruled by a headman, named Zeck; who judges over crimes, and is in command over every aspect. His subjects sew wheat, rye and other fruits of the field. Both groups stick together. Each group can sometimes supply five thousand horses, each with his own man, to go to war. They often move to another place, all together breaking down their tents and building them up elsewhere. More information about their habits are given by us in the third part of our: Curieuze Aenmerckingen der bysonderste Oost- en West-Indische verwonderenswaardige dingen, page 105".



Note 4.

The original manuscript is illustrated with many drawings made by the author, an artist himself.



    1. Caption: “Nieuw Sale” – quill

    2. View of Safi and surroundings - on two sheets - ink

3. Portrait of Ambassador Liedekerke - pencil

4. Caption: “Ds Rychardus Theodori Verhaer, prolector in nave Geldriacensi” - pencil

5. A crew member – on parchment - brush

6. Same crew member – on parchment - brush

7. Same crew member – on parchment - brush

8. Caption: “Achmet Bousnack” - pencil, brush , living colors.

9. Caption: “Agor Bayma, musikant van den Kayser van Marocco” [Agor Bayma, musician of the Emperor of Morocco] – on parchment - brush

10. Two drawings: 1. Moor sleeping on the ground. - 2. Caption: “Elias Plet, hovenier van Kayser van Marocco” [Elias Plet, gardner of the Emperor of Morocco] - brush

11. Two drawings: 1. a kind of Hammock – quill 2. Three sailors playing cards. - quill and brush

12. Caption: “En Moorse Koken” [Moorish kitchen] - brush

13. Two drawings: 1. Caption: “Een Moor van Magador, op syn Sondaechs geclaet” [Moor from Magador, dressed in his Sunday clothes] - quill 2. Caption: “Der Mooren drinck Kroeg van leer gemaekt [Moor drinking from a leather mug] - pencil and ink

14. Caption: “Mooren naar het leven getekent door Adrian Matham” [Moors drawn from life by Adrian Matham], four persons - ink

15. Same caption: seven Moors - ink

16. Two drawings: 1. A fish, caption: “gevangen aent Eylandt Mogador, den 19 januaer 1641” [caught at Mogador Island, on 19th January 1641] - pencil 2. Same subject. - quill

17. Caption: “Een Cruys Heij gevangen te S. Cruz den 27 mey 1641” [A (Cruys?) shark caught at St. Cruz on 27th May 1641] - pencil

18. Two drawings: 1. Caption: “Een Vis genaemt Murena, lanch tuijm 3 voeten, gevangen by St. Cruz den 27 mey 1641” [A fish called Murena, length well over 3 feet, caught at St. Cruz on 27th May 1641] - brush 2. A fish - pencil and brush

19. Two drawings: 1. A Fish. - ink and brush 2. Same subject, caption: “gevangen voor de Stadt Saffia, lang ruijm 3 voeten” [caught before the town Saffia, length well over 3 feet] - pencil and brush

20. Caption: “Een onbekende vis langh 2 voeten en een half, gevangen voor Zaffia” [an unknown fish length 2 feet and a half, caught before Zaffia] - ink

21. Two drawings: 1. caption: “Een Camelioen naar ‘t Leven”. [A chameleon drawn for life] – ink 2. A fish. - brush

22. Caption: “Een Heede Heij oft mensch Eeter, gevangen byt Eylant Mogodor den 16 january 1641 [A Heede [?] shark or man-eater, caught near Magador Island, 16th January 1741] - pencil

23. A large fish. - pencil, quill and brush

24. Caption: “Het casteel van ‘t Eylant Magadoor” [The castle of Magadoor Island] - pencil and brush

25. Caption: ““t Eylant van Magadoor, alias duijven Eijlant”. Extra caption: “T Eijlandt van Magadoor genaemt het duyven Eijlandt leijt op de Polus Hoochte 31 graden en 8 minuten” [The island of Magadoor aka Pigeon Island is situated at 31 degrees and 8 minutes “ - on two sheets - pencil and brush

26. Caption: “Serters” [a group of cliffs near Madera] - ink and brush

27. Caption: “De stadt Marocco, 2de gedeelte” [the town of Morocco, second part] - ink and brush

28. Caption: “Marocco, 3de gedeelte” [Morocco, third part] - ink and brush

29. Caption: “Madera” “ on 4 sheets - quill and brush

30. Caption: “Vervolch ofte het tweede gedeelte van “t Eijlandt Madera” [continuation or the second part of the island Madera] - on 3 sheets - quill and brush

31. Caption: “Madera, aen d”andere zijde. Eerste deel” [Madera, on the other side. First part] - on 4 sheets

32. Some sketches - on 3 sheets



Note 5.


Four rich merchants from Amsterdam, Samuel Sautyn, Pieter Trip, Celia Marcellis and his brother Gabriel Marcellis, sponsored this mission. In several documents from the States General's archives (which are kept in the National Archives in The Hague) we can see that Ambassador Liedekerke had a hard time defending his expenses, because according to the four merchants he went way over budget. A committee of government representatives finally decided on the 20th of June 1642 that the four merchants had to pay these extra costs from the profits they had made on this voyage.



© 2012 Cor Snabel and Elizabeth Johnson. Free use can be made of the above for personal research, but commercial or for-profit use is strictly prohibited. Contact the authors for further informatiuon.



About the transcribers/translators:

Cor Snabel can be contacted at: cor.snabel@gmail.com

Elizabeth Johnson can be contacted at: iris.gates@gmail.com

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