The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 213 pages of information about The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765.

[* Though De Houtman knew of the discovery of Eendrachtsland (see infra), he still uses the name Beach; which clearly proves that in the early part of the seventeenth century the Netherlanders identified the discovered South-land with the mysterious land of Beach.]

From Jacatra, this seventh of October, A.D. 1619.


Your Excellency’s most devoted Servant



Letter of FREDERIK DE HOUTMAN to the Managers of the E.I.C., October 7, 1619.

Most Noble Wise Provident Very Discreet Gentlemn,

My last letter to Your Worships was dated May 20th from the Tafelbay...We next sailed from the Tafelbay with the ships Dordrecht and Amsterdam on June the 8th...

We ran on with a fair north-west wind as far as 36 deg. 30’, in which latitude we kept this steady breeze with us up to the 17th of July, when we estimated ourselves to have sailed straight to eastward the space of a thousand miles.  We observed 16 deg. decreasing north-westerly variation of the compass, and resolved to steer...on a north-east-by-north course, {Page 15} we then being in 35 deg. 25’ Southern Latitude.  After keeping the aforesaid course for about 60 miles, in the evening of the 19th we suddenly saw land, which we steered away from.  On the 20th we found it to be a mainland coast extending South and North.  We resolved to use our utmost endeavours to obtain some knowledge of this coast, which seemed to be a very good land, but could find no spot for conveniently landing owing to the surf and the heavy seas.  On the 23rd both the Amsterdam and our ship lost an anchor each, since our cables were broken by the strong gale.  We kept near the coast till the 28th of July, but owing to the violent storm could not effect a landing, so that we were forced to leave the land aforesaid, not without imminent danger of being thrown on it by the strong gale.

On the 28th we sighted a cape of the said coast, off which we sounded in from 45 to 70 fathom, but shortly after we got no bottom, and in the evening the land was out of sight.

On the 29th do. deeming ourselves to be in an open sea, we shaped our course north-by-east.  At noon we were in 29 deg. 32’ S. Lat.; at night about three hours before daybreak, we again unexpectedly came upon a low-lying coast, a level, broken country with reefs all round it.  We saw no high land or mainland, so that this shoal is to be carefully avoided as very dangerous to ships that wish to touch at this coast.  It is fully ten miles in length, lying in 28 deg. 46.

On the 2nd of August, the wind becoming contrary, we turned our course eastward at noon we again sighted a long stretch of land in Lat. 27 deg. 40’ South.  We are all assured that this is the land which the ship Eendracht discovered and made in the year [*], and noways doubt that all the land they saw in 22, 23, 25 degrees, and which we sighted down to 33 degrees, is one uninterrupted mainland coast.

Project Gutenberg
The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook