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|Mint||R. Australian Mint|
|Minimum metal content ( gr )||31.15|
History & Significance
In June 1629, the Dutch East India Company’s (VOC) vessel, Batavia, was sailing from the Netherlands to Batavia (Jakarta), when it struck a reef off the coast of Western Australia and was wrecked. Most survivors were able to swim to nearby Beacon Island, and the ship’s Commander Francisco Pelsaert took 47 crew and a longboat on a gruelling journey to Batavia to seek help.
Unknown to Pelseart, the Batavia had been threatened with a mutinous plot led by Undermerchant Jeronimus Cornelisz. Assuming leadership, Cornelisz and his supporters set about eliminating any opposition by murdering the survivors. A total of 125 men, women and children were killed. On Pelsaert’s return the mutineers were arrested: seven were hanged and two marooned on the mainland, making them Australia’s first recorded European settlers.
The wreck of the Batavia was discovered in 1963 and sections of its hull and other artefacts are on display at the Western Australian Maritime Museum. The Batavia, Australia’s second-oldest shipwreck, is an unparalleled tale of the darkest side of human nature.