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Introduction To The Log-Book Of Captain John Anderson

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Chapter Summary

Captain John Anderson served in the VOC as 'Pilot-Major' of a fleet of ships that set sail from the Dutch Republic in December 1640 and returned in July 1643. The early seventeenth century was an era in which the Portuguese, Dutch and English were vying for control of the spice trade. VOC pilots were required to keep official log-books of their voyages. The log-book entries are mainly factual, although at times Anderson uses similes when describing land, as is the case in other travellers' accounts. Anderson's journal is written in the hand of Sir James Balfour of Denmilne, who held the official position in Scotland as Lord Lyon King of Arms from 15 June 1630. Although Anderson's log was not published in the years immediately following what was his fourth voyage to Java, today it is valuable as a historical source.

Keywords: Captain John Anderson; Denmilne; Dutch; James Balfour; log-book; Portuguese; VOC

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