18th Cent. Dutch-East Indies ship recovered near England

A silver coin from De Rooswijk, a Dutch East Indies ship that sank near England in 1740
A silver coin from De Rooswijk, a Dutch East Indies ship that sank near England in 1740. Photo: Ra'ike / Wikimedia Commons

The Dutch government ordered a salvage operation for the cargo of an 18th century Dutch East Indies ship which sank near Kent, England in 1740. An international team will salvage the cargo of De Rooswijk between July and October, NU.nl reports.

Minister Jet Bussemaker of Education, Culture and Science called De Rooswijk a "time capsule" in an interview with AD on Tuesday. The ship offers "a unique view into the past", the departing Minster said. "The archeological information we can gain from this wreck is extremely valuable to describe this period in history."

De Rooswijk was built in 1737 in Amsterdam for the Dutch East India Company. On January 8th, 1740 De Rooswijk departed on her second trip and stranded on the Goodwin Sands sandbank near Kent and sank. The crew perished.

The ship's cargo included a large load of silver bars and coins. Some of this precious cargo was already salvaged. The rest of the load wil be brought to the surface in this salvage mission. The cargo will later be exhibited, according to NU.nl.

De Rooswijk is a protected wreck under the Malta Convention, but its remains are still threatened by natural conditions as well as by curious divers. 

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