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[The following takes place during the Batavia mutiny. A bit of context: In 1628, the Dutch Republic merchant vessel Batavia was shipwrecked on her maiden voyage, on a small group of barren and uninhabited Abrolhos Islands. Jeronimus Cornelisz, the ship’s under-merchant, had been planning a bloody mutiny during the voyage and, after the shipwreck and subsequent departure of much of the ship’s leadership to seek rescue, he set about following through with his mutiny. He planned to gather a large enough following amongst the nearly 200 survivors to overwhelm any rescue vessel, to commandeer said vessel, and to take the Batavia’s treasure, turning to a short life of piracy in the Indies before retiring to a life of luxury. Here, Cornelisz hard ordered so many murders on the islands, that both he and his men had started showing signs of becoming almost literally addicted to murdering.]

Jeronimus’s actions in the latter half of July 1629 suggest a man driven to commit ever more perverse atrocities by a burning need for novelty and stimulation. The under-merchant apparently felt jaded by the endless murders he had ordered, and – like some Roman tyrant – sought out fresh diversions to assuage his boredom.

[…]

The under-merchant was, perhaps, intrigued by the changes that came over his followers once he had turned them into murderers; he seems to have found the conflicting emotions of guilt and exultation a fascinating study. And though he had always distanced himself from the violence that had engulfed the archipelago, he now seems to have become obsessed with the idea of experiencing the same sensation for himself.

[…]

For several nights Cornelisz and his companions had had their sleep disturbed by the endless wailings of a baby, the child of a girl from the lower deck named Mayken Cardoes. Mayken had saved her infant from the wreck and nursed it devotedly, even breast-feeding when the water on the island had run out and she herself was close to dying of thirst. But for all her frantic efforts the infant proved impossible to quiet, and she was unable to prevent it from awakening the merchant and his friends.

For Jeronimus, the crying baby seemed the perfect subject for his planned experiment, and he resolved to murder it. It was typical of Cornelisz that he chose to kill with poison – an apothecary’s weapon, and something he, alone of the all the people in the Abrolhos, was able to prepare – and equally telling that he preferred to proceed by stealth. Mayken was brought before him and asked for details of the baby’s illness. One can readily imagine her accepting the under-merchant’s offer to concoct a medicine to soothe it.

The poison that Jeronimus produced, using materials that had been salvaged from the wreck, was calomel – mercurous chloride – a well-known purge that could be deadly in large doses. Cornelisz administered it on 20 July and watched with interest to observe its effect. He must have been disappointed to discover that though the potion quickly silenced the child’s crying, it failed to kill it altogether, merely inducing a sort of coma “so that it could neither live nor die.”

This failure left the under-merchant in a difficult position. It would, of course, have been easy enough for Jeronimus to have finished the helpless infant off, but for some reason he retained his old aversion to killing with his bare hands. He chose, instead, to blood another of the minor mutineers who had thus far evaded his responsibilities.

Cornelisz’s chosen instrument on this occasion was another of the island’s weaklings: Pelaert’s trusted clerk, Salomon Deschamps of Amsterdam. Deschamps, who was the most senior VOC officer in the Abrolhos after Jeronimus himself, was a coward who had done nothing to prevent the under-merchant from seizing control of the islands, “permitting the evil to take its course without saying anything against it, shutting his eyes and dissimulating in order to prolong his own life.” Indeed, as soon as Cornelisz had seemed securely established, he had transferred his allegiance to the mutineers. Now the clerk was made to pay for his betrayal.

”On 20 July, he was fetched out of his tent by Jacop Pietersz, who took him into Mayken Cardoes’ tent, where David Zevanck, Jan Hendricxsz and Cornelisz Pietersz of Utrecht were, who said to him that they were not certain of his faithfulness [and] therefore took a Young Suckling child from the lap of the foresaid mother, Mayken Cardoes, and said to him, ‘Deschamps, here is a Half dead child. You are not a fighting Man, here is a little noose, go over there and fix it so that we here on the Island do not hear so much wailing.’ Then he, Deschamps, without protest, has taken the child outside the tent and has strangled it, an act of very evil Consequence.”


Source:

Dash, Mike. “The Tiger.” Batavia's Graveyard. Three Rivers Press, 2003. 180-82. Print.


Further Reading:

Jeronimus Cornelisz

Batavia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batavia_(ship)


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[**The following takes place during the Batavia mutiny. A bit of context: In 1628, the Dutch Republic merchant vessel Batavia was shipwrecked on her maiden voyage, on a small group of barren and uninhabited Abrolhos Islands. Jeronimus Cornelisz, the ship’s under-merchant, had been planning a bloody mutiny during the voyage and, after the shipwreck and subsequent departure of much of the ship’s leadership to seek rescue, he set about following through with his mutiny. He planned to gather a large enough following amongst the nearly 200 survivors to overwhelm any rescue vessel, to commandeer said vessel, and to take the Batavia’s treasure, turning to a short life of piracy in the Indies before retiring to a life of luxury. Here, Cornelisz hard ordered so many murders on the islands, that both he and his men had started showing signs of becoming almost literally addicted to murdering.**] >Jeronimus’s actions in the latter half of July 1629 suggest a man driven to commit ever more perverse atrocities by a burning need for novelty and stimulation. The under-merchant apparently felt jaded by the endless murders he had ordered, and – like some Roman tyrant – sought out fresh diversions to assuage his boredom. >[…] >The under-merchant was, perhaps, intrigued by the changes that came over his followers once he had turned them into murderers; he seems to have found the conflicting emotions of guilt and exultation a fascinating study. And though he had always distanced himself from the violence that had engulfed the archipelago, he now seems to have become obsessed with the idea of experiencing the same sensation for himself. >[…] >For several nights Cornelisz and his companions had had their sleep disturbed by the endless wailings of a baby, the child of a girl from the lower deck named Mayken Cardoes. Mayken had saved her infant from the wreck and nursed it devotedly, even breast-feeding when the water on the island had run out and she herself was close to dying of thirst. But for all her frantic efforts the infant proved impossible to quiet, and she was unable to prevent it from awakening the merchant and his friends. >For Jeronimus, the crying baby seemed the perfect subject for his planned experiment, and he resolved to murder it. It was typical of Cornelisz that he chose to kill with poison – an apothecary’s weapon, and something he, alone of the all the people in the Abrolhos, was able to prepare – and equally telling that he preferred to proceed by stealth. Mayken was brought before him and asked for details of the baby’s illness. One can readily imagine her accepting the under-merchant’s offer to concoct a medicine to soothe it. >The poison that Jeronimus produced, using materials that had been salvaged from the wreck, was calomel – mercurous chloride – a well-known purge that could be deadly in large doses. Cornelisz administered it on 20 July and watched with interest to observe its effect. He must have been disappointed to discover that though the potion quickly silenced the child’s crying, it failed to kill it altogether, merely inducing a sort of coma “so that it could neither live nor die.” >This failure left the under-merchant in a difficult position. It would, of course, have been easy enough for Jeronimus to have finished the helpless infant off, but for some reason he retained his old aversion to killing with his bare hands. He chose, instead, to blood another of the minor mutineers who had thus far evaded his responsibilities. >Cornelisz’s chosen instrument on this occasion was another of the island’s weaklings: Pelaert’s trusted clerk, Salomon Deschamps of Amsterdam. Deschamps, who was the most senior VOC officer in the Abrolhos after Jeronimus himself, was a coward who had done nothing to prevent the under-merchant from seizing control of the islands, “permitting the evil to take its course without saying anything against it, shutting his eyes and dissimulating in order to prolong his own life.” Indeed, as soon as Cornelisz had seemed securely established, he had transferred his allegiance to the mutineers. Now the clerk was made to pay for his betrayal. >*”On 20 July, he was fetched out of his tent by Jacop Pietersz, who took him into Mayken Cardoes’ tent, where David Zevanck, Jan Hendricxsz and Cornelisz Pietersz of Utrecht were, who said to him that they were not certain of his faithfulness [and] therefore took a Young Suckling child from the lap of the foresaid mother, Mayken Cardoes, and said to him, ‘Deschamps, here is a Half dead child. You are not a fighting Man, here is a little noose, go over there and fix it so that we here on the Island do not hear so much wailing.’ Then he, Deschamps, without protest, has taken the child outside the tent and has strangled it, an act of very evil Consequence.”* _____________________________ **Source:** Dash, Mike. “The Tiger.” *Batavia's Graveyard*. Three Rivers Press, 2003. 180-82. Print. _____________________________ **Further Reading:** [Jeronimus Cornelisz](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeronimus_Cornelisz) Batavia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batavia_(ship) ___________________________ **If you enjoy this type of content, please consider donating to my [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/HistoryLockeBox)!**

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