18th-Century Cargo Ship of the Dutch East India Company

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Cargo Ship

The Amsterdam was an 18th-century cargo ship of the Dutch East India Company.  She was on her maiden voyage from the Netherlands to Java with a cargo mainly of wine, cloth and a considerable amount of silver bullion.

The ship was commanded by the 33-year-old Captain Klump with over 300 crew and soldiers on board.  After setting sail the vessel ran into a severe gale in the English Channel which resulted in the loss of the rudder.

Fifty of the crew had already died of an unknown disease and many others became ill; very soon the crew mutinied.  The ship finally ran aground in the mud and sand at Bulverhythe on January 26, 1749.

In 1969 the Amsterdam was rediscovered, surveyed and partially excavated.  The shipwreck is protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1974 so diving on it or removing any artefacts is forbidden.

Even though the original structure is under the sea, the replica of Amsterdam, built by 400 volunteers between 1985 and 1990 using original tools from the 18th-century, moored outside the Het Scheepvaartmuseum.

Source: Netherlands Tourism

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