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Title: Mutiny, Murder, and Mayhem on (and off) the Batavia

Eras: Burgundian and Hapsburg Period

Date: 1529

Summary: Mutiny is brewing aboard the Dutch East Indiaman, Batavia. 211 days into their journey across the world, passengers and crew alike are at their breaking point when the 16th century vessel crashes into a hidden reef at full speed. Most survive the impact. But the aftermath will prove deadly. In the end, the shipwreck is the least of their problems.

Words to know:

  • Mutiny - an open rebellion against the proper authorities, especially by soldiers or sailors against their officers.

  • Batavia - Dutch East India Company ship, named for its first destination - Capital of the Dutch East Indes, present-day Jakarta

  • VOC - Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Dutch), Dutch East India Company; most powerful company on Earth at the time

  • Upper-Merchant - a commercial agent of the VOC, responsible for the profitability of the voyage; in practice almost always chose to protect the valuable cargo over the replaceable crew.

  • Antinomianism - doctrine according to which Christians are freed by grace from the necessity of obeying the Mosaic Law. The antinomians rejected the very notion of obedience as legalistic; to them the good life flowed from the inner working of the Holy Spirit.

  • Predikant - minister of the Dutch Reformed Church

  • Java - capital of Indonesia; important trading port for Dutch East India Company

  • Heretic - a person believing in or practicing religious heresy


  • Dash, Mike. Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny Crown Publishers, 2001.

  • Drake-Brockman, H. (2006). Voyage to Disaster. Perth: UWA Press.

  • Edwards, H. (2000). Island of Angry Ghosts: The Story of the Batavia. New York: HarperCollins.

  • Godard, Philippe (1993). The First and Last Voyage of the Batavia. Perth: Abrolhos Publishing.

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