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VOC ship Mauritius ca 1618 [?] Painting from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Image source

The ‘Mauritius’ was one of the sea vessels, sent from the Netherlands, to find a trade route to India in 1592. It was captained by Cornelius de Houtman. The journal of their sea journey was kept by; Paulus van Caerden, in his native language of Dutch!

On the 6th of August 1595 an agreement was signed between the Dutch sailors aboard the ‘Mauritius’ and the Khoikhoi locals of South Africa near Mossel Bay…

The sailors require fresh meat and vegetables, to stop the onset of scurvy and the Khoikhoi locals wanted protection from all these unknown sea vessels trying to find a route to India! They exchanged oxen and grazing land for 1mile of land, for protection against these ‘Fryten’ or unwanted intruders! The land they exchanged was a hilltop, which had the advantage of better observation of the sea because of its height and then made warding off attacking fleets easier! This hill was 12km South of Albertinia and 26km West of Visbaai This hill became known as Akoordskop, which means ‘Agreement Hill’.

By the end of August, the Dutch sailors had were making friends with the various Portuguese navigators who had landed in Aguada de Sanbras, later known as Mossel Bay!


• New Dictionary of South African Place Names by Peter E. Raper The Original Journal of the Ships Journey; 'Mauritius' from 6 March 1595 to the 8 August 1597. Contained at the National Archives, Cape Town, Roeland street. Reference # VC 94
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Last updated : 20-Feb-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 19-Sep-2016

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