Olivier van Noort

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Olivier van Noort
File:Olivier van Noort.png
Born 1558
Utrecht, Netherlands
Died 22 February 1627
Known for First Dutchman to circumnavigate the world.

Olivier van Noort (1558 – 22 February 1627) was the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the world.

Olivier van Noort was born in 1558 in Utrecht. He left Rotterdam on 2 July 1598 with four ships and a plan to attack Spanish possessions in the Pacific and to trade with China and the Spice Islands. His ships were poorly equipped, especially in the way of armament and the crews were unruly.

Nonetheless, Van Noort sailed through the Magellan Strait, and captured a number of ships (Spanish and otherwise) in the Pacific. He lost two ships on the way due to a storm. In November and December 1600, he established a berth for his two remaining sailboats, Mauritius and Eendracht, in the surroundings of Corregidor Island at Manila Bay in the Philippines. From there he engaged in what were perceived by the Spanish as pirate activities, targeting the sailing route to and from Manila. This situation was ended after the naval combat of Fortune Island on December 14, 1600. The Spanish lost their flagship, the galleon San Antonio (its wreck would be found in 1992 and yield a treasure in porcelain and gold pieces) but the Spanish captured the Dutch Eendracht, making van Noort's position intenable and forcing him to retire from the Philippines.

Van Noort returned to Rotterdam via what would become the Dutch East Indies and the Cape of Good Hope on 26 August 1601 with his last ship, the Mauritius, and 45 of originally 248 men. The venture barely broke even, but was the inspiration for more such expeditions. The united Dutch East India Company was formed a few months later.

Van Noort's voyage is also told in the book, The Golden Keys[1] (Doubleday 1956, 1970) by Hans Koning, a fictionalized retelling of the voyage of van Noort, and a previous well known voyage of Gerrit de Veer.


Further reading

  • Gerhard, Peter. Pirates of the Pacific 1575-1742. Glendale, Ca: A.H. Clark Co., 1990. ISBN 0-8032-7030-5
  • Gerhard, Peter. Pirates of New Spain, 1575-1742. Mineola, Ny: Courier Dover Publications, 2003. ISBN 0-486-42611-4
  • Lane, Kris E. Pillaging the Empire: Piracy in the Americas, 1500-1750. Armunk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1998. ISBN 0-7656-0257-1
  • Schmidt, Benjamin. Innocence Abroad: The Dutch Imagination and the New World, 1570-1670. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-521-80408-6
  • Silverberg, Robert. The Longest Voyage: Circumnavigation in the Age Of Discovery (1972) 1997 Ohio University Press, ISBN 0-8214-1192-6

External links