New Light on the Survivors of the Vergulde Draak, a VOC Ship Wrecked on the Australian Coast (1656)

By Leigh T. I. Penman, published May 2022


This article introduces a document from the Amsterdam City Archive which sheds new light on the fate of the Vergulde Draak, or Gilt Dragon, a United Dutch East India Company (VOC) ship wrecked off Australia’s west coast in 1656. The document identifies one of the survivors of the wreck who made it on to the shores of the Southland, Hendrick Driessen of Ratingen, and supplies information concerning his background, vocation, and activities both before and after the incident. It reveals previously unknown details of the Vergulde Draak’s voyage and its aftermath, and highlights the value of searching non-VOC archives for documentary sources concerning Australia’s early modern history.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Pacific
Subjects include: Biography | Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration

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