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Ship’s Articles

Articles and Orders, September 7, 1761

R. Verloove 1759

Four stamps
7 December 1759
S.S.S. van Middelhoven

Articles and orders according to which we, officers and sailors were hired on the ship named The Unity, captained by Jan Menkenveld, and to which we promise to hold during our journey from this city of

Middelburg to the coasts of Africa or America or elsewhere, to be decided by the captain. At the time of departure, we will voluntarily bring the ship to the Vlacke and at the time of arrival, we will unload as much as is needed for the ship to be brought into port. The officers and sailors are allowed to bring cargo along as specified below, provided that this cargo does not consist of alcohol, gunpowder, guns, or contraband. Furthermore, one chest will be used per two sailors.

From there, we will return to the city of Middelburg or any other port in the Dutch Republic. In order to keep the order and discipline on the ship, we promise to follow all orders and commands to the service of the ship in all obedience and without protests given by the captain or whoever is commissioned in his place to represent his person, as well as his officers, each in their qualities and services. We promise to behave ourselves both on the sea and on the land as honest officers and sailors throughout the journey: we will help load, unload, propel, with the ballast, keel the ship and clean her, scrape her outside and inside – everything as the captain commands. We will transport goods with barques, the boat and other vessels from and to land or other ships, and further do everything which is required in service of the ship. Each time someone proves unwilling, he will forfeit six guilders to the poor sea crew.

Our monthly wages will commence as soon as the ship has reached the sea beyond the last buoy, and end when the ship will have arrived safely and will have been moored at the Vlacke; no sooner than that may we request our salary. As has been kept track of by the overseer of the water law, we have been paid two months in advance; this amount will be subtracted from our total wage.  It is also emphatically stipulated that should the ship sink or be taken by the enemy during the journey, we are not entitled to our monthly wages, but be satisfied with the advance we received.

Should it happen that we encounter enemies, pirates and others declared as enemies by our captain, who attempt to damage or take over our ship during the journey, we promise to defend the ship and our captain at risk of our lives and with God’s help. The coward deserter who will not do this will be despised as a traitor and will lose his wages as well as his personal belongings, and will in addition be prosecuted. The captain furthermore promises that he who becomes lame or wounded as a consequence of defending the ship will receive treatment paid by the revenues of the journey and according to the laws of the sea. If treatment appears ineffective, a compensation, determined by a jury consisting of impartial men, will be provided. Everyone should be contented with the ration of food and drinks that the captain and the officers will allow. Protesting against this will result in a fine of one month’s wage.

Everyone should be present at the daily prayers with proper reverence, on forfeit of 6 shillings given to the sea crew’s poor.

No one is allowed to leave the ship and spend the night elsewhere without the permission of the captain or his substitute, on forfeit of 6 guilders for the sea crew’s poor. Becoming drunk, fighting, or any other form of profligate behavior both on the ship and on the land is forbidden on forfeit of 6 guilders give to aforementioned; the water law of the bailiff.  In addition, the captain is free to remove the wrongdoer from the ship without paying him a penny of his earned wages. If the wrongdoer claims to have any right to receive his wage, he will only be permitted to do so here in this city or after the ship has safely arrived at its final destination.

He who will desert during the journey before having reached this city or the final port, will forfeit all of his monthly wages.

Next to what has been mentioned in this document, we will adhere to the customs and sea laws usual of this city, including its fines and punishments as related to persons and goods.

No one, be they captain, officers, sailors, or ship’s boys, is permitted to trade ivory, wax, unknownmalteget, slaves, or any other goods bought on the coasts, on forfeit of all their monthly wages.

Neither the captain nor his mates, nor the chief surgeon are permitted to take bring along cargo for their private account, nor are they permitted to trade or sell slaves, on forfeit of 1000 guilders for every traded or sold slave. In addition, all their monthly wages and premiums will be confiscated. On the other hand, for every slave that will be sold in the colony, they will receive the following amount: 

 Captain  80 shillings per slave
 Chief mate  24 dito
 Second mate  10 dito
 Third mate  6 dito
 Chief surgeon  24 dito
 Total   144 shillings per slave

The master Carpenter f 400
The boatswain f 400  } Containing no more than  3  Dutch 'kelder' - chest with 15 compartments in which square bottles could be transportedchests  or 6  half One anchor is estimated at 35 litersanchors, including the alcohol for own consumption

The cook
The boatswain’s mate
The surgeon’s mate
De corporal
The cooper  } Everyone f 200, 
 containing no more than  2 chests or 4 half anchors, including the alcohol for own consumption

Every sailor and ship’s boy  f 75,  Containing not more than  1 chest or 2  half anchors, including the alcohol for own consumption

At the time of return, everyone will have to pledge that he does not own prohibited goods nor good worth a larger amount than what has been indicated before. If this is the case, all the shipped cargo, the monthly wages, and premiums will be forfeited.

Middelburg, 7 September 1761


Jan Menkenveld
Daniël Pruijmelaar
J[ohannes] Schutz
Adriaan de Puijt
Petrus Couperus
Louis Bernard
Paullus Chriijstiian Kemp
Pieter Pieters
Hans Kramer
Adriaan Hillebrand
Izaäk de Vos
dit is het handmerk van
Thomas ┼ Ditmars
Conraad Meijer
Herman Lars
Albert Vermeulen
Arnoldus Machiels
This is the signature of Alonse  ┼ Madroes
This is the signature of Chaarel  ┼ Hudde
This is the signature of Anthony  ┼ Colombe
Jan Ewaard
This is  ┼ the signature of Philippus Jacobus de Bock
Abraham Campus
Philippus de Vooght
Abrah[a]m Vermeulen
Anthon Batteram
Otto Wesman
Johannis Coywijk
Lodewick Korn
Gillis Lindt
Jacobus Rankin
Jacobus Duijnkerke
Pieter de Graaf
Adriaan de Visser
This is  ┼ the signature
Roelof Siebers
Maarten Kapper
Pieter Geroll
dit is ’t handmerk van
Lieven ┼ Lamberts
Cornelis de Hondt

Zeeland Archives, Archives of the MCC inv.no. 37.3-052
Transcription made by Paleografie in Zeeland (PaiZ)
Translation made by students of University College Roosevelt
Middelburg, 2013
[* Handwritten texts are italicized]