Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire (c. 1585,
Amsterdam - 22 December 1616, at
sea) was a Dutch mariner who circumnavigated the earth in 1615 and
1616. The strait between
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego and Isla de los Estados was
Le Maire Strait
Le Maire Strait in his honor, though not without
controversy. It was Le Maire himself who proposed to the council
aboard Eendracht that the new passage should be called by his name and
the council unanimously agreed with Le Maire. The author or authors of
The Relation took Eendracht captain Schouten’s side by
“ ... our men had each of them three cups of wine in signe of ioy
for our good hap ... [and the naming of] the Straights of Le Maire,
although by good right it should rather have been called Willem
Schouten Straight, after our Masters Name, by whose wise conduction
and skill in sayling, the same was found.”.
Eendracht then rounded Cape Horn, proving that
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego was
not a continent.
4 External links
Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire was one of 22 children of Maria Walraven of
Isaac Le Maire
Isaac Le Maire (1558–1624) of Tournai, who was then already a
prosperous merchant in Antwerp. Isaac and Maria married shortly before
the Spanish siege of
Antwerp in 1585 after which they fled to settle
in Amsterdam. Jacob is thought to have been the oldest son, born
perhaps the same year. Isaac was very successful in Amsterdam, and
became one of the founders of the
Dutch East Indies Company
Dutch East Indies Company (VOC).
However, in 1605
Isaac Le Maire
Isaac Le Maire was forced to leave the company after
a dispute and for the next decade tried to break the company's
monopoly on the trade to the East Indies.
By 1615 Isaac had established a new company (the Australian Company)
with the goal to find a new route to the Pacific and the Spice
Islands, thereby evading the restrictions of the VOC. He contributed
to the outfitting of two ships, the Eendracht and Hoorn, and put his
son Jacob in charge of trading during the expedition. The
experienced ship master
Willem Schouten was captain of the Eendracht
and a participant of the enterprise in equal shares with Isaac Le
On 14 June 1615 Jacob le Maire and
Willem Schouten sailed from Texel
in the United Provinces. On 29 January 1616 they rounded Cape Horn,
which they named for the Hoorn, which was lost in a fire. The Dutch
Hoorn was also the birthplace of Schouten. After failing to
moor at the
Juan Fernández Islands
Juan Fernández Islands in early March, the ships crossed
the Pacific in a fairly straight line, visiting several of the
Tuamotus. Between 21 and 24 April 1616 they were the first Westerners
to visit the (Northern)
Tonga islands: "Cocos Island" (Tafahi),
"Traitors Island" (Niuatoputapu), and "Island of Good Hope"
(Niuafo'ou). On 28 April they discovered the
Hoorn Islands (Futuna and
Alofi), where they were very well received and stayed until 12 May.
They then followed the north coasts of New Ireland and
New Guinea and
visited adjacent islands, including, on 24 July, what became known as
the Schouten Islands.
They reached the Northern Moluccas in August and finally Ternate, the
headquarters of the VOC, on 12 September 1616. Here they were
enthusiastically welcomed by Governor-General Laurens Reael, admiral
Steven Verhagen, and the governor of Ambon, Jasper Jansz.
The Eendracht sailed on to Java and reached Batavia on 28 October with
a remarkable 84 of the original 87 crew members of both ships on
board. Although they had opened an unknown route,
Jan Pietersz Coen
Jan Pietersz Coen of
the VOC claimed infringement of its monopoly of trade to the Spice
Islands. Le Maire and Schouten were arrested and the Eendracht was
confiscated. After being released, they returned from Batavia to
Amsterdam in the company of Joris van Spilbergen, who was on a
circumnavigation of the earth himself, be it via the traditional
Strait of Magellan.
Le Maire was aboard the ship
Amsterdam on this journey home, but died
en route. Van Spilbergen was at his deathbed and took Le Maire's
report of his trip, which he included in his book Mirror of the East
and West Indies. The rest of the crew arrived in the Netherlands on 1
July 1617, two years and 17 days after they departed. Jacob's
father Isaac challenged the confiscation and the conclusion of the
VOC, but it took him until 1622 until a court ruled in his favor. He
was awarded 64,000 pounds and retrieved his son's diaries (which he
then published as well), and his company was allowed trade via the
newly discovered route. Unfortunately, by then, the Dutch West Indies
Company had claimed the same waters.
^ The Relation of a Wonderfull Voiage made by Willem Cornelison
Schouten of Horne. Shewing how South from the Straights of Magelan in
Terra Delfuego: he found and discovered a newe passage through the
great South Seaes, and that way sayled round about the world. London:
Imprinted by T.D. for Nathanaell Newbery, 1619 [Facsimile of the first
edition in English. London: George Rainbird Limited for The World
Publishing Company, Cleveland, Ohio, 1966]. “Translation thereof out
of the Dutch, wherein it was written” by William Philip
^ THE RELATION, p. 25
^ "chiefe Marchant and principall factor"
^ THE RELATION, The Preface
^ An Historical Account of the Circumnavigation of the Globe: And of
the Progress of Discovery in the Pacific Ocean, from the Voyage of
Magellan to the Death of Cook. Harper & brothers. 1837.
Dirk J. Barreveld (2002), Tegen de Heeren van de VOC - Isaac Le Maire
en de Ontdekking van Kaap Hoorn. SDU.
Edward Duyker (ed.) Mirror of the Australian Navigation by Jacob Le
Maire: A Facsimile of the ‘Spieghel der Australische Navigatie . .
.’ Being an Account of the Voyage of
Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire and Willem
Schouten 1615-1616 published in
Amsterdam in 1622, Hordern House for
the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, 1999, pp. 202,
Kemp, Peter (ed.) (1976), "LeMaire, Jacob (1585-1616)." The Oxford
Companion to Ships and the Sea. Oxford University Press, London.
Spilbergen, Joris van and Le Maire, Jacob (1619), Speculum orientalis
occidentalisque Indiae navigationum, quarum una Georgii à Spilbergen
- altera Jacobi le Maire - directa, Annis 1614 - 18 : exhibens
Novi in mare Australe transitus, incognitarumque hactenus terrarum ac
gentium inventionem ; praelia aliquot terra marique commissa,
expugnationesque urbium, una cum duabus novis utriusque Indiae
historiis, Catalogo munitionum Hollandicarum, ducum et reliqui bellici
apparatus, tretique quatuor, suis quaeque figuris illustrata
Geelkercke, Lugduni Batavorum. OCLC 64412702.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jacob le Maire.
Le Maire reports, on line thanks to: Universitätsbibliothek Bielefeld
(original edition from 1621, in Dutch, with 25 original maps from all
over the world, 256 pages).
Robert Kerr (1824): Voyage round the world, in 1615-1617, by William
Cornelison Schouten and Jacques le Maire, going round Cape Horn.
ISNI: 0000 0001 1076 9970
BNF: cb15376379c (data)