Hear Instruction and be Wise: The History of a Naval College on Java in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century

By F C van Oosten, published August 1969


The calibre of Dutch seamen, particularly qualified navigators, was in a parlous position with the erosion of trade by foreign competition following the peace of Utrecht in 1713. In 1740 Gustav von Imhoff , a prominent member of the Dutch East India Company, proposed a system of education and a re-arrangement of the Company’s ships hierarchy which included proposals for a nautical college for prospective cadets situated in Batavia (Java). Such cadets were under discipline and contracted to serve the company for a number of years after graduating. Information is given on the pay and conditions of the cadets, their time table and the various duties undertaken. Despite the grandiose objectives, the college failed through lack of direct financial support.   A private school established at Semarang in 1782 was more successful but was eventually closed in 1838 on the dissolution of the Dutch Colonial Navy.

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Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C) | Indian Ocean | East India Company
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Merchant Marines

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