Olivier van Noort bigraphy, stories - Dutch privateer

Olivier van Noort : biography

1558 - 22 February 1627

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, one was lost in an engagement with the Spanish near the Manila Bay in the Philippines. The Spanish lost their flagship, the galleon San Diego, the wreck of which was found in 1992 and yielded a treasure in porcelain and gold pieces.

Van Noort returned to Rotterdam via 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.

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