The Unfortunate Voyage of the Batavia – Episode 1: A “Scents” of the Past

The Unfortunate Voyage of the Batavia – Episode 1: A “Scents” of the Past thumbnail

In October, 1628, a merchant ship called Batavia set sail from the Dutch republic bound for an island on the other side of the world called Java. She was the flagship of a fleet of vessels being sent by the richest corporation to ever exist and, along with extremely precious cargo, carried 341 men and women, including captain, sailors, soldiers, passengers, merchants, a minister and his family. Her voyage would end, however, on a jagged reef near a tiny set of islands off the Western Australian coast, and in the weeks that followed 110 men, women and children would be brutally murdered by a gang of bloodthirsty mutineers led by a psychopath who believed he could do no wrong since God himself inspired all his actions. In this first episode we take a look at the situation in the Netherlands and Amsterdam in the 1500s and early 1600s. With a focus on the sensory elements that are so often forgotten in the telling of history, we explore the world in which the rebellion on the Batavia took place; and discover what conditions existed that would foster such an unfathomable story as this one.