[Online Lecture] Hendrick Hamel

Henny Savenije
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 -
7:30pm to 9:00pm
Online Zoom meeting

Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch lecture series

사진 설명이 없습니다.

We are inviting RAS members and friends to the RAS online lecture via Zoom

** How to join the lecture:

1) Go to Zoom meeting link: 


2) Sign up using your name

3) Enter Zoom details if needed: 

Meeting ID: 897 7920 2551

Password: 774646

4) Join the talk no later than 19:30, May 26 (Seoul)



Hendrick Hamel, 

how I became interested and did the research on the crew who stayed 13 years in Korea in the 17th century.


The ship the Sperwer, destined for Nagasaki, was shipwrecked on August 16, 1653 on the coast of Jejudo,. The survivors stayed in Korea for 13 years, since they were not allowed to leave. On Sep 4, 1666, 8 escaped and were captured on the Goto islands on Sep 8, 1666. From there they were brought to Dejima in Nagasaki where the Dutch had a small “factorij”.  The bookkeeper had to make a report ordered by the VOC (The Dutch East India Company). In Batavia (present day Jakarta) scribes made 6 copies of the documents to be sent to the Netherlands with 6 different ships.  Somehow 3 different publishers got hold of one of the documents and published independently 3 different (!) books.


이미지: 문구: 'Picture of a jaght, like the ones being used in the 17th century by the voc to maintain the nnection between the the several settlements in southeast Asia. Most likely the Sperwer would have looked like this. Etching by by Cornelis Visscher de Jonge (1629-1658)'

I was always interested in the history of Asia, but never came upon books about Korea till in the 1970s I found one, you can guess, Hamel’s story. When I came to Korea in the 1990s someone had published in English a similar book which differed from the one, I had read in Dutch. THAT piqued my interest. I wanted to know which one was the real history and once back in the Netherlands I started searching for material in the vast archives of the VOC. Which cumulated in my website with more than 2000 pages. Granted, some are duplicates (English, Korean and Dutch) since I wanted to give everybody the chance to correct me or criticize my work. I have had cooperation (unwilling and willing) from many people which are named on the respective pages, but I want to mention one in particular, Jun Ueno; A Japanese with a Dutch ancestor who could read the original Korean documents and translated a lot for me. Without him I couldn’t have done that. (Before I met him, I used my knowledge of Chinese characters but that was more of a puzzle than a real translation) , I will talk about their adventures but also the way I did the research.


Henny Savenije hails from the Netherlands and was always fascinated by history, maps and Asia (in that order). Strangely enough he first got a masters in math and a PhD in psychology but after his first visit to Korea he seriously started to do research into the early Dutch documents of Korea.

Among his publications are “Hamel's Journal: A modern translation of the Journal in Dutch.” Ad Donker B.V. Rotterdam 2003 and  “Hamel's Journal in Korean: Hamel Bokoseo,” M&B, Seoul, 2003


Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is normally open as follows:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays:
                                   10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesdays & Thursdays: 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Please call before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796

Email - royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

Find Us On...


Subscribe to Syndicate