NameNicolaus Coornwinder
Birthabt 1665, Berkel, Zuid Holland, Netherlands
Death5 Nov 1706, Overshie, Zuid Holland, The Netherlands
Notes for Nicolaus Coornwinder
Nicolaas (Nicolaus) Coornwinder is a bit of a mystery.  From the notarial records it is clear that Nicolaas was a highly respected member of the community since he served as formal witness for more than 20 notarial acts starting in 1683 until 1698.  Here are just some of the records that also bear witness to his developing career:

        Obligatie                          8- 2-1683               10, no. 47                   getuige
        Procuratie                        7- 4-1691               11, no. 21                   luitenant ter zee; getuige
        Testament                       3- 8-1698               11, no.106                  kapitein ter zee; getuige

From these records we learn that he started his career as a lieutenant and worked his way up to sea captain, and his death record in 1706 shows that he was a Commandeur (commander) serving his country. But there appears to be no record of the ship he commanded nor of the journeys he must have taken.

While his life was short (he died at the age of 41 in Overschie), Nicolaas must have lived during an exciting time at sea.  In 1654, the Portuguese-Dutch war ended and the Dutch dominance of the seas started.  In 1670, the Dutch republic had more than 15,000 ships at its disposal, more ships than the English, Spanish and Portuguese together.  The Dutch had also secured exclusive trading rights with Japan starting in 1641 and continuing until 1853, but perhaps more importantly the dutch republic had negotiated a monopoly on opium with Java in 1646.  The demand for Asian spices was ever increasing in Europe, but the Asians had little or no interest in Western goods.  Opium became the currency that ultimately facilitated the trade between the two continents.

Unfortunately, we can only imagine what Nicolaas' role might have been during this period at sea.  
Last Modified 16 Jun 2008Created 1 Sep 2008 using Reunion for Macintosh