Having looked at the available Dutch documents, it wil be interesting to know how the Korens recorded the incident. It's difficult to sort out the material. A lot of original material has been kept, but others are copies made later or transcripts of oral tradition and it's therefore hard to discover what is true and what is not.

Starting with the Cheju-do archives. Recently a document was discovered which mentions their arrival. It was written by Yi Ik-t'ae, who was the secretary of the governor of Chejudo from May 1649 till February 1669. He found a number of documents in such a deplorable state that he decided to copy them. He did so in the spring of 1696. After an introduction about the beauty of Cheju-do, he describes the reason of copying and continues with:

{The present magistrate Yi Wŏn-jin (李元鎭), his assistant No Chŏng and the administrator of the Teojong area the lord Kwŏn Kŭk-chung [the original creator of the document]}

At July 24, 1653, a ship with 64 western barbarians [man-in 蠻人, an expression which was adopted from the Chinese, in Korean also mentioned as orang-k'e] amŏng them Haendŭlk Yamsŭin [Hendrick Jansen the names of the castaways were not written in Hanja but in Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. In the old documents this script is actually never used even though it had been in existence since the end of the 15th century. In some Dutch dialects, the name is pronounced in the same way transcribed here, so it could be an accurate depiction of 17th century Dutch.] shipwrecked near the Taeya River where the prefect of the Taejong prefecture governs. 26 of them drowned, 2 died of injuries and 36 survived. Their clothing was of black, white, and red in no orderly pattern, [This was relevant to the author since colors of clothes had a meaning in Korea.] and they were all looking around at each other, some sitting casually, some standing. When we questioned them in writing, one of them drew three crosses (tens), then counted out six extra digits and right away tapped his heart. Next he drew two crosses and counted out six extra digits, then closed his eyes and made a gesture of falling. Their appearance and looks were quite strange, their clothing was of a very odd fashion, and they couldn't understand our language, yet even so, by tapping the heart they conveyed the idea of living people, while closing the eyes and falling signified dead people. When we checked the numbers of the living and the dead, it was really as they had indicated. However, neither our interpreters of Chinese and Japanese, nor a person who had returned from a ship wreck in the Ryûkyû Kingdom, could understand their speech, so there was no way that we could ask about their situation. But we suspected that they were people from the southern barbarians or a Western country, and so reported humbly. As a result of the report, Pak Yŏn (朴延: Jan Janse Weltevree), a southern barbarian who had been shipwrecked (previously) here (in Korea), was sent down (from Seoul). He wrote out his questions and their answers in Korean, and these were then reported with urgency to the Court in a separate document.

- Pak Yŏn and the three western castaways looked at each other for a long time and then one of them said: "He looks like one of our brethren [meaning "brother in arms"]." They spoke with each other and couldn't stop crying. Pak Yŏn cried too. The next day Pak Yŏn summoned the Westerners and asked them where they came from. They all lived in a country in the west. Among them, a thirteen-year-old boy called Nones Kobulsen [Denijs Govertszen] had lived near a place where Pak Yŏn had lived in the west. So Pak Yŏn asked him about his family. He (Denijs) answered that his (Yŏn's) house fell into disrepair and that now, only grass grew on the mentioned place. His uncle had already passed away but some kinsmen were still alive. When he heard this Yŏn could only be sad. Then Yŏn asked: "Why are your clothes and manners different than in the past?" They answered: "It's been a long time since you left the country, so not only our clothes are different but everything is different than in the past." Yŏn asked further: "What do you have with you and where did you want to go?" They answered: "We have sugar, peppers, Mohkyang [a substance used for medicine, called poetjoek or putyuk, at that time, this is a sweet smelling gum from the corypha gebanga] etc. and we went to Toan-do (Taiwan) to fetch deer skins and then we went to Chungwon (the central plains of China) to sell them. Then we wanted to go to Japan to trade the Mokhyang for Japanese silver. We came into a storm and couldn't bear that. We left the fatherland about five years ago, and we prayed to God day and night. If you let us live, please send us to Japan so we can return quickly to our land, since many Dutch ships are anchored there. Yŏn said: " The only city in Japan which is open (for Westerners) is Nagasaki but different from before, they (the Japanese) won't allow any other crews from foreign merchant ships to enter Japan. So don't do that, and, instead, what about going with me to Seoul to enter the department of the training bureau (Han'guk) as cannoneer. You can get enough clothes and your life is safe. The barbarian castaways heard this and abandoned the idea of going back to their country and accepted his advice. Westerners mention their Christian names first and then their family names. They write their words from left to right and their letters look like the Onmun (Hangeul, the 24 letter Korean alphabet). We don't know how to describe the Westernes. Their eyes are blue, their noses big, and the skin of the boys is white but from the others it is yellow-white. Their hair is yellowish-red and neatly trimmed. Their eyebrows are long. Some shave their whiskers and others their beard and some have moustaches. They are between 1.60m and 1.70m in height. When they greet they take off their hat and take off their shoes and put their hands on the ground and say long politeness phrases and they bow. Their hats are made of wool. Hendulk Yams is their leader and the navigator. He has a good knowledge of the weather and has a good sense of direction.

- Pak Yŏn left the area and was sent to the military and marine barracks in Honam (Chŏlla-do). All their weapons like the big, middle-sized and small cannons were stored in a ware house for weapons on the main land [Shin Dong Kyu,' A Study of the International Studies between Japan, Korea and the Netherlands (네덜란드인 朝鮮漂着에 관한 再考察), p. 65 (Yi Ik-t'ae ' The document of the western castaways.   Shyang kukp'yoin'gi ' which can be found in Chiyngnok )]}

A number of things are striking. Hamel records the conversation with Weltevree quite differently than Yi Ikt'ae. The reasons can vary. Either Hamel remembers the conversation differently when he wrote his report at Dejima, Weltevree translated differently than the actual conversation or Hamel wanted to hide certain things.

The description of the "barbarians" is remarkably accurate and it can be noted that the men were reasonably tall. The way of greeting is a bit strange but they might have done so because they heard that this was the custom with the Chinese and the Japanese.

It was their first encounter with Weltevree and the men were clearly moved. The story about Govert Denijs is also remarkable. Hamel writes later that Weltevree originates from De Rijp but Govert came from Rotterdam. In De Rijp there is no proof that Weltevree has lived there. Instead, there are numerous clues that he came from elsewhere. This document actually confirms this.

Finally the place of the shipwreck was mentioned. This was always a puzzle since Hamel mentions four miles. However four "Hamel miles" are about 28km, and the distance between the mentioned beach via the old road is 14km. It's possible that Hamel was mistaken because they were worn out or that his memory abandoned him. Of course, they did not carry a kilometer counter, but the mentioned beach lies about 20km north of the beach which was always thought to be where they arrived and where the Hamel monument is located in Cheju-do. Cheju-do has very few beaches, it has mainly a rocky coast, and it was always assumed that they washed ashore at the south-eastern point of Cheju-do. However, comparing that beach with Hamel's description there is little resemblance. The beach mentioned in this document bears much more resemblance with the description Hamel gave. At this beach it is indeed possible to wreck a ship in a storm with three jolts and still have a number of people survive. It would have been impossible to record anything since the entire cargo would have been ruined by saltwater. They had to rely on their memory and when wounded and fatigued, distances can appear farther than they actually are.

In Korea everything the King said was recorded verbatim and these documents survived the strains of time remarkably well. The ruling king wasn't allowed to see these documents. This to protect the scribes but it could also influence the honesty of the scribes and the value of the records. These records were made so the next king might learn from them. The following documents are therefore interesting and they come from the Annals of (King) Hyojong.

{Yi Wŏn-jin, the magistrate of Cheju-do remarked respectfully: "There was a ship which perished in the southern region. I sent Kŭk-chung, the administrator of the Taejong district, and No Chŏn, his assistant, hence for inspections and they were accompanied by soldiers. The ship perished in the in the ocean and thirty-eight people survived. They (Kwon and No) didn't understand their language and their way of writing was unfamiliar to them too. They transported a lot of medicine and deer-skins, etc. ninety-four packages of Mokhyang, four barrels of Borneo camphor [also used for the preparation of medicine] and 27,000 deer-skins. They had blue eyes, big noses and yellow hair, and they cut their hair short. Some shaved their whiskers and keep their moustaches. Their overcoats were long enough to reach their thighs and had four points. They had threads with beads (buttons) at both ends of their collars and at the end of their sleeves. Their clothes underneath had many pleats like a skirt. They (Kwon and No) had a man who spoke Japanese ask them: "Are you Western Kirrisi'tan (Christians)?" They all answered "Ya, Ya." Then we asked by pointing to our country, and they answered “Koryŏ,” when we pointed to this island they answered “Ojil-do (吾叱島).” Then we asked them by pointing to Chungwŏn (中原, China), they answered with “Taemyŏng (大明)”  (The Great Ming or the Ming Dynasty) or Taepang (大邦 the great land). Then he pointed in a northwestern direction and asked what that was, and so they said “Tartar[y].” He pointed to the east and asked in that way what that was, and they answered “Japan or Nagasaki.” When he asked them where they wanted to go they answered him: "Nagasaki." So the Royal court decided to send them to Seoul. A Westerner Pak Yŏn, who came earlier to our country looked at them and said: "I am sure they are Westerners." Eventually, they were allowed to travel. Probably they are good with guns and cannons. Some could whistle with their nose and some danced shaking their feet. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 66 ('The documents of Hyojong (Hyojong sillok)', August 6th, 1653)]}

Again, we can see that the words in the previous document were confirmed with some funny nuances. The list of goods is fairly well in concurrence with those of Hamel only the alum and sugar are missing but probably they were dissolved in the water. More documents were probably recorded and may still surface, but there is a long lapse while the men waited for a decision. It finally came in this form:

{The magistrate Yi Wŏn-jin (called governor by Hamel and who went to Seoul as we may recall from the journal) mentioned humbly when questioned at the 23rd of this month: "There was an advice that there would be a new decision about the salvation of the Westerners when the ministers would come to the court. They came today. Shall we talk about it to make a decision?" The king said: "The arrival of the barabarians doesn't mean that they have to submit themselves, but there should be a way to keep them alive. What can I do? I don't think it will be a problem". The chairman Chŏng T'ae-hwa said: "It's difficult to keep them permanently alive with the grain of the government. Why don't we let them come to the main land? I don't think that will be a problem." The king said: "Let's summon them to Seoul and incorporate them in the training bureau, so we can keep them safely alive." The chairman Chŏng T'ae-hwa said: "Shall we have the cargo sent here by boat and let them walk on the road and also make the prefects provide them with food in all the places they have to pass?". The king said: "Do as you said." [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 69 (All documents of the military authorities of the border regions [Pibyŏnsa tŭngnok 備邊司謄錄]', 24 September, 1654]) And so the men were summoned to Seoul – their fate had been decided.

Let's go back to another case. Before Weltevree another Westerner had come to Korea in 1582. In the Korean documents he is mentioned as Pingni or Mari. (The name is only in Hanja and can be pronounced in different ways) He was repatriated through China, so why didn't that happen with Weltevree and Hamel and his men? There was an incident in 1644 with a Chinese ship with a number of Christians amŏng the crew which were executed as we will see later on.

We could already read in the Dutch documents that Weltevree was put on the coast to fetch water, but what do the Korean documents say? Let's see what A-Chŏng writes.

{It's a fact that a man had a shipwreck near Tongnae (Pusan) and went to Ezo before. (The northern part of Japan in the middle of Hokkaido) and came back hence. Ezo is close to our southern coast, so the commander of our border region (備邊司) should know about that. Thinking of Holland [阿蘭陀人, Aranta in the documents. The Portuguese were speaking of Ollanda, the Japanese called it therefore Oranda, the Kanji was pronounced in Korean as Aranta] it therefore doesn't border our country, but we have no other choice but to think about it. Therefore the country is called Holland or the country of the red barbarians and it's also called like that. It lies in the southwestern ocean (Sŏ'namhe, 西南海). It lies about 129,000 li off Japan. (里, about 575km . Three thousand li is the length from Korea, north to south) and it lies close to the Frank Empire. [佛郞機, Franki in the documents, meaning the Frank Empire which was known at first by William of Ruysbroeck. He went as an envoy for Louis IX and Pope Innocentius IV to the Mongolian emperor with the assignment of persuading him to abandon the idea of attacking the Christians. William of Ruysbroeck arrived in the Mongolian capital Karakorum on April 5, 1254. In this way the Chinese and Mongolians knew about the Franki] They (The Hollanders) have deep lying eyes and big noses, their beards and hair are red. Their legs are about 80cm long. When they have to urinate, they lift their leg, like a dog. In general they follow the Christian doctrine. They rely on their big ships and big cannons. A ship is 90m long, 18m wide and the hull is about 60cm thick. In general they have five cannons. It will be difficult for the countries along the ocean.  [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 73 ('The manuscript of the deceased A-chŏng (A-chŏng Yuko', vol. 5, about the mental customs of soldiers who prepare to fight against Japan)].}

In itself an amusing way to look at the Dutch but didn't the Dutch have a similar way of looking at the Asians?

Most important however is that obviously there was someone mentioned who roamed around the neighborhood of Pusan. From the same book we see the following: "Yŏn looked at the Western castaways without saying anything, and he looked at their behavior. The barbarian castaways did the same and stared at Yŏn and said: "He is like one of our breathern." and they all started to cry. The barbarians said: "There are many merchants of our country in Japan. If you can send us to Japan we can return to our country", Yŏn said: "Nagasaki is the only city which is still open [for foreigners], but the merchants are not allowed to come ashore. So they have to trade on their shops. The Japanese laws say that those who come to Japan [from abroad] will be killed even if they are Japanese. Additionally, because there were some Christians who came secretly to Chosŏn [Korea], Chosŏn send them to Thushima, and the daimyo of Thushima killed them and stole their money. So we can't send you to Japan. I work here safely at the training bureau and have enough to eat. So it's better that you join me back to Seoul." The barbarians reluctantly agreed. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 39 (Song Hae-ŭng (成海應 1760-1839), 'the complete works of Yŏn Kyong-je (Yŏn Kyŏng-je Chŏnchip 硏經齊全集)', Chapter: dairies, articles about the Western ship)]}

Also this confirms for a big part what Yi Ikt'ae writes about it. So it becomes very likely that Weltevree didn't put any words into their mouth and that Hamel's memories about the incident were different. A bit more about Tongnae, as we've seen from other Dutch documents, the damyo of Tsushima had a trading post in Pusan, the Japanese lodge. The Japanese lodge was, like an embassy nowadays, a territorial piece of Japan near the old harbor in modern. Normal Koreans couldn't go there, they were punishable by death and it was, like Dejima, a walled stronghold in which the Japanese worked and lived.

We see furthermore in another document {The translator Kim Kŭn-haeng [金勤行]} came in December and said: "I heard what an old man in Pusan told me lately. In 1627 a Western ship washed ashore in Kyŏngju and three castaways were captured. They were sent to the Japanese lodge (in Pusan) but the Japanese staff didn't accept them because they didn't resemble Japanese castaways. So the Westerners stayed for four to five years in Pusan. Afterwards, was said, they went with a minor officer to the royal court in Seoul...... [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 41-42 (The government in Tongnae (東萊 in Pusan) 'Abstract from the documents about the contacts with the Japanese (Chŏpwaesa mongnokch'o 接倭事目錄抄 )', December, 1666)]}

Even though they disagree about the place where the ship washed ashore they agree remarkably on other points, and it gives us valuable information. Clearly the Koreans had tried to hand over Weltevree and his two companions to the Japanese but they refused them. They have lived obviously for a while in Pusan until someone brought them to Seoul. That this is important we will see further on. In any way the two documents agree that Weltevree came ashore in the southeast of the country. In itself it's already remarkable since it means that the ship either went through the Straight of Korea where it would have been noticed or it sailed around the east of Japan and came in that way to Korea. Also the following document indicates that the Japanese didn't want Weltevree and his two companions. {Observing the words of Kim Kŭn-haeng in the letter of Tongnae: "A Western ship washed ashore in Kyŏngju and three castaways were captured." They were sent to the Japanese lodge, but the Japanese staff didn't accept them and according to the border guards to the king: "We asked to Pak In (Pak Yŏn) and he said: "The three of us were caught at Kyŏngju and were sent to the Weikwan (the Japanese lodge) but the Japanese said: "They are not known to us," so we were sent away. That's why we went to Seoul. And an official said: "It's clear then,  ...... [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 42 ('Examples of the reception of the Japanese (Chŏptae wae'in sarye 接待倭人事例)', 10 Januari, 1667)]}

 The Koreans used the latter document as an argument against the Japanese when they later asked why the Koreans didn't send Hamel and his companions to Japan, but again, we also see that there were sufficient reasons to keep Hamel and his men there. Partly because the Japanese didn't want them, despite the fact that there was a kind of understanding to repatriate mutual castaways.


Even though Weltevree has a prominent role, we still know very little about the man. It's a pity that he didn't write anything. We would have had an extremely interesting story. We will have to do with what is known about him. What Hamel (or he himself) says about his town of origin is doubtful but also the way he says he came to Korea throws up more questions than it gives answers. Let's take a look at what is known more about him in the documents.

{Pak Yŏn is a Westerner. He shipwrecked in 1628. It's a fantastic man with a wonderful sharp insight.... He washed ashore at Cheju-do. One evening a royal servant brought us fire so that all the castaways said: "Now they come to burn us and our goods ....." [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 43 (Chŏng Che-ryun 鄭載崙 'Hangŏmannok 閑居漫錄 ')]}

It's not much but we see that the author had an excellent impression of Weltevree. It's true that he says that Weltevree came from Cheju-do but that can be based on stories or misunderstanding. The date at least is the same as what Hamel writes. In the following document of Yun Haeng' im we read the following:

Pak Yŏn is a Hollander. He came to our country and came ashore in Honam (Chŏllado) in 1628. Hij belongs to the training bureau of the royal court, which consists of capitulated Japanese and Chinese castaways. Initially Yŏn was called "hot'anman". He is skilled in making guns. His guns are very well designed and ...... [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 43 (Yun Haeng-im '尹行恁 'Sŏkcheho 碩齊稿 ' vol. 9)]}

Again it confirms what we already know but something strange comes up. Weltevree was called "ho'tanman" by his companions? What could that have been? A "houten man" (wooden man, which is to indicate a stiff, formal person). We already saw that he was considered to be intelligent, so it could be possible that his mates called him mockingly "houten man."

Chŏng Che-ryun (1648 - 1723), was the son of Chŏng T'ae-hwa (1602 - 1673) and the adopted son of his uncle Chŏng Ch'i-hwa (1609 - 1677). They were high officials at the court at the time that the Dutch were in Korea [Ledyard, The Dutch Come to Korea (Royal Asiatic Society, 1971), p. 27 - 29)] They were well aware what was going on in the court, so we should consider this being the truth. Hamel mentioned that Weltevree came ashore in 1627, but when Weltevree said in 1653 that he had been in the country for 26 years, the Koreans would end up in 1628 rather than 1627. It also mentions what Weltevree did. He was a part of the Korean foreign legion, at the same time being the bodyguards of the king. Obviously the king concluded that he was safer with a number of foreigners than with his own people.

In another work of Song Hae-ŭng, we find the following quote: "Pak Yin is a Westerner who shipwrecked at Tamla (耽羅 = Chejudo) in 1628. Yŏn can't write (Korean), so he says that his name Pak Yŏn is in his own language. Yŏn stayed for 26 years in our country. When, in 1653, other Westerners washed ashore in Tamla, Yŏn was sent hence by the court to question them. Yŏn was looking at the others without saying a word and was watching their behavior. The Westerners stared at Yŏn and said: "He looks like one of our brethren."

[Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 44 (Song Haeŭng 'De volledige werken van Yon Kyong-che ( Yŏn Kyŏng-je Chŏnchip)')]}

Another document also mentions his appearance.

{In a document of September 1628, the Westerner Pak Yŏn washed ashore. He is tall and has blue eyes. He has a white face, a yellow beard and a fat belly. Additionally he is excellent and thougtful. .....[Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 44 (Kim Sŏk-ik 金錫翼 'De kronieken van Tamla (Tamla ki'nyŏn 耽羅紀年}

In this document, Cheju-do is mentioned as the place of arrival but this is unlikely. Let's see what can be found more.

Pak Yŏn is a Hollander who shipwrecked at Honam in 1628. The court recruited him into the training bureau which consists of capitulated Japanese and Chinese castaways and made him the chief (訓練都監). Yŏn was also called Hot'anman (胡呑万) in the beginning and knew the books of strategies very well. He also made cannons which were very complicated..... Pak Yŏn used his talents mostly to make cannons, and eventually he taught us how to make Western cannons. It was very remarkable. Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 96 (Yun Haeng-im) 'Sŏk Chae-ho', part. 9, documents about the foreign history ((Haedong oesa 海東外史), article about Pak Yŏn)]}.

We read before that Pak Yŏn couldn't read nor write and now that he was familiar with the books of strategy. The first document comes from a time that he came very recently to Korea and the second one dates a much later time. That means that he made good progress and obviously had a sharp mind as those books were written in the Sino-Korean script. We also see now that he was the captain of the foreign legion and developed cannons and taught the Koreans how to make them themselves. Of course it could be that hot'anman stands for hopman (scoutmaster) but by the time he became the captain of the foreign legion his two companions were already dead. It's without doubt that he was a tall man who obviously had a belly and red hair. But as the Koreans had never encountered a blond person before and had no word for blond, his hair could have actually been blond. Also in the following document we find proof that Weltevree taught the Koreans how to make cannons but obviously the knowledge was later lost.

"When we were present in the assembly hall on August 24 a prefect of the prefecture of Min Chin-hu humbly remarked: "When I visited the fortress Namhan (Namhansan-sŏng; 南漢山城) I saw cannons which were made differently, so I asked the officers. They answered that these were Western cannons left behind by the Western castaways who arrived here a long time ago. So the court sent them to this fortress. When secretary Kim Sa-mŏng was the leader of the national guard, he tried to fire one. But it misfired and exploded. He gathered therefore the remaining pieces of iron and made a Bullanki with it (佛郞機 a Frankish cannon, therefore a cannon made by Westerners). It is said that those remains are still there. Granted, we could test-fire this canon but it's not the same as our Bullanki or our Hyŏnchongp'o. (玄宗砲 a prestigious black cannon, just a name for a cannon to evoke luck, similar to the German’s Big Bertha from World War II). It's useless to keep this toylike cannon since we don't know how to use it. So I summoned a cannon maker and asked him. Thus I came to know that this cannon was cast with a mixture consisting of crude iron (水鐵). He said that he could remelt it and make a Bullanki or Hyŏnchongp'o out of it, and it will be likely better. But it's difficult to judge by myself. So I ask humbly for your answer." The king said: "You can remelt it as you said"  [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 99 (All documents of the military authority of the border regions. [Pibyŏnsa tŭngnok 備邊司謄錄', August 26, 1705).]}

He taught the Koreans how to make better cannons! A remarkable feat he had taught himself. He also taught them to make a better design for guns:

"We have made new guns. Not so long ago there were barbarian castaways here and we got their guns. They were rather complicated and of better quality. So we had the leader of the trainingsbranche made guns according with this design. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 100 ('De documents of Hyojong', July 18, 1656)]}

So we know now that he was the leader of those troups.

Weltevree must have been a remarkably special person with many talents. Possibly had several protectors, possibly the king himself. In a personal remark Kang Min-su mentions that he had the suspicion that Pak Yŏn was adopted by General Ku In-hu (1578-1658 a powerful general). This would explain that he had so much good-will in Seoul. We also see that he made guns, something Hamel never mentions and rightfully so since that would cause the necessary commotion in Japan but why doesn't he mention this in the Journal? We can only guess for the reasons. Ledyard elaborates on this.  [Gary Ledyard, The Dutch come to Korea, Royal Asiatic Society] and writes that he developed special guns, the so-called bird-gun or musket. We also find both in Ledyard [pag 35] and in Ypyong-do [ Hamel pyoryu'gi , pag 100, 102/103] that Hamel was married and had a son and daughter and that his son (or sons) were working for the trainingsbureau. Chŏng Chae ryun writes for example: "Yŏn married with a woman of our country, he had a son and daughter, after his death we don't know what happened to them [Chŏng Chae-ryun  'Essays van een man in zijn vrije tijd (「淵娶我國女 産男女各1人 淵死後不知其存否也.」)', vol. 2 in Yi Pyŏng-do, p. 100]]. In Song Hae-ung we find exactly the same quote. [Sŏng Hae-ŭng 'de complete werken van Yŏn Kyŏn-che' vol. 56 「娶我國女 産男女各一人」in  Lee Pyŏng-do p.100] In Yun Haeng-im we find: "Pak Yin is also a Hollander. He worked for a long time under General Ku In-hu and later his son (sons) were incorporated in the trainingsbureau. [Yun Haeng-im 'History of the West' vol. 9 「朴延亦阿蘭陀人也 延居大將具仁糀麾下 其子孫遂編訓局之軍籍」in:  Lee Pyŏng-do , p. 102-103]

What do we know about Weltevree? Most likely he was what was called a "kaapvaarder" (buccaneer) in the euphemism of the VOC, so a normal pirate. According to Hamel he left Holland with the Hollandia. Weltevree arrived in 1628 in Korea and he says according Hamel "gaft tot antwoort, mijn naem is Ian Ianse weltevree uijt de rijp A° 1626 met't schip hollandia uijt't vaderlant gecomen" (gave as answer, my name is Jan Janse Weltevree coming from De Rijp A° 1626 with the ship Hollandia from the fatherland).

The ship the Hollandia arrived from the Netherlands at December 14, 1626 in Batavia (Daily registers Batavia. page 299). In the general missives of November 1627 this ship was called "Groot Hollandia" (Big Hollandia) to distinguish it from the flagship Hollandia (Resolutions September 15, 1627) It left on November 12, 1627 from there again to the Netherlands. (General missives, January 6, 1628). Till that moment everything fits.

If we look again at the Korean documents "Among them, a thirteen year old boy called Nŏnes Kobulsŭin [Denijs Govertszen]  had lived near a place where Pak Yŏn had lived in the west. So Pak Yŏn asked him about his family. He (Denijs) answered that his (Yŏn's) house fell into disrepair and that now, only grass grew on the mentioned place. His uncle had already passed away but some kinsmen were still alive. When he heard this Yŏn could only be sad." Later we find in Hamel that Denijsz Govertsen came from Rotterdam.

We also find the municipal archives that at January 14, 1609 a property was transported by Joris Janszn Weltevreen to Jan Janszn at Vlaardingen. There is another deed dated at July 27, 1632 where the heirs of Jan Jansz Weltevreen transported a property at Vlaardingen to Aalbrecht Joosten Peesof. All in all a clear indication that Weltevree didn't come from De Rijp but from the area of Vlaardingen. In De Rijp there is no proof whatsoever that he originates from there.

Finally Iris Heidebrink, the head of the reading room at the National Archives in the Netherlands that the name only appeared in the surroundings of Den Briel or Vlaardingen. Most likely Hamel wanted to protect the people who stayed behind in the Netherlands and it probably wasn't considered good taste that Weltevree married with a local woman, not to mention that most likely he was married in the Netherlands as well.

In Seoul II.

The crew could leave for Seoul and let's see what happened according to the Korean documents over there. First let's take a look what happened to the cargo when it was shipped to Seoul and why they could move to another house and had a better life with the deer-skins.

The secretary Yi Si-bang (戶曹判書 李時昉) humbly remarked: "It seems that the envoys of the Chin dynasty will arrive shortly. Therefore we have to store the necessary material to satisfy them. But especially deer-skins aren't available anymore. We had decided to discuss this matter at another meeting but the circumstances force us. So we have to discuss this in every meeting." The king said: "If we look at the report of the governor of Cheju-do a lot of deer-skins have been shipped, how can we make use of them?" The chairman Chŏng T'ae-hwa said: "Let's use those deer-skins and use the usable ones as tribute and pay [the castaways] with cotton and land as compensation. That will be handy for them to survive during the winter". The king said: "Do as you said." " [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 75 ('The dairies of the royal secretariat (Sŭngjŏng-wŏn ilgi 承政院日記 )', November 30, 1653]. According to another source, Chosŏn Yushuki (朝鮮幽囚記 door Shigeru Ikuta 生田滋 )', p. 202-203 this original document comes from "All documents of the military power of the border regions [Pibyŏnsa tŭngnok 備邊司謄錄] ', December 1, 1653]

The land is never mentioned by Hamel but it's not a bad treatment. The government could also just have taken the skins but they got compensation instead. From this it appears that the Koreans weren't ill-willed. There were however also other sounds. In the following we read the sarcasm of Sŏ Won-bok:

"I Sŏ Won-bok had understood the tenor and opposed humbly: "It is said that the government is going to buy the deer-skins of the castaways for a reasonable equivalent in goods. I hope that the royal court spends time to approach the envoys with respect and not to let them (the castaways) into other places. Thinking about this, it looks like we have to deal with them and that we [the court and the castaways] suddenly trade with each other. Isn't that a shame for our national pride?" [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 75 ('the documents of Hyojong (Hyojong sillok)', 5 December, 1653)]}.

Even though the king asked the counselors to discuss this, they didn't talk about it for a long time. Also Weltevree felt obviously at home at the court. We can read this between the lines in the journal. He was asked for advice and he defended his men. As we may remember from the journal, the crew lived with Chinese landlords together.

Humbly it was remarked that "We, your subjects, met each other in the government building and summoned Pak Yŏn and asked him. He said: "It's not good for them to live with each other at one place. We should pay them a salary and divide them on some places near each other and let them come and go to occasionally meet each other." According to the previous decision we placed them in the trainingsbureau and made Pak Yŏn the leader. Let's teach them also some skills. The will get a salary from the trainingsbureau and will be paid as cannoneers. Before we pay the salaries they will remain in the translation department we will make Pak Yŏn their representative to get their salaries. Then, after having received their salaries, we should send them to the trainingsbureau. We counselors have thus decided. Why don't we add this to our previous decision?". The king said: "Do as you said".  [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 79 ('All documents of the military authority of the border regions [Pibyŏnsa tŭngnok 備邊司謄錄]', May 13, 1654)]}

As we have seen already in the Journal, two men, Hendrick Janse from Amsterdam and Hendrick Janse Bos from Haarlem had tried to escape through the Chinese envoy. We also know that they died, how did this happen? The answer leis in the Korean documents.

The head of the trainingsbureau said :" We had never thought that the Westerners would force their way into the procession of the envoy (勅行) of the Chin dynasty. (de Manchus, the founders of the new Qing dynasty), so I was highly surprised when I heard the report. To investigate who did this, we summoned and checked the Westerners and discovered that Nambuk-san (南北山 can be read as South-North mountain probably it was a steely, big man and a die-hard i.e. Hendrick Jansen) and Nam Ian (南二安 can be read as "Comfortable with two thoughts" i.e. Hendrick Janse Bos, possibly bosschieter (cannoneer)) weren't present. According to the report of the welcome committee, we came to know that Buk-san was the one who broke into the procession first and that I-an had escaped. It needless to remark that we arrested the one who broke into the procession but we couldn't catch the other one. We summoned a number of orderlies and reserve officers and assigned them soldiers and let them search the hills near the Ch'angŭi Gate (Ch'angŭi Mun; 彰義門). In the same way we let them search the main streets of the city. Then I intercepted a report of one of the soldiers from the eastern camp had seen I-an on his way to the eastern small gate (Tongsomun 東小門) and arrested him. We threw both in the prison with cangues and chains. [A cangue is a plank cased around the neck, oblong and long at the front and it hinders any movement] [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 105 ('The dairy of Sung Chŏng-won (Sung Chŏng-won Ilki)', March 15, 1655)]}

Of course this caused a big stir and the court was at its wit's end. They didn't want the Chinese to know this, since it would throw up a number of troublesome questions. Korea was in a double bind, it had to pay tribute to both Japan and China since both China and Japan considered them as vasals. The Japanese invaded the country twice in 1592 and in 1597 (the so-called Imjin Waeran or the Hideyoshi invasion) and that didn't do Korea any good. Much was destroyed by the Japanese and the Manchus did the same in 1636, during which the companions of Weltevree were killed. Although this invasion wasn't that violent. The Koreans felt themselves obviously so well treated during this invasion that they erected a monument for the Manchus. (Since then they had a kind of older brother, younger brother relationship with the Qing, the relationship with the Japanese was  much more sensitive). How to conclude this? Let's see what the documents say.

First there were about 30 westerers who shipwrecked and washed ashore in Cheju-do. The governor Yi Won-jin had them sent to Seoul. The court gave them a salary and they belonged to the trainingsbureau as soldiers. When the envoy of the Chin dynasty came, one person with the name of Nam Buk-san appeared on the road and went directly to the envoy with the purpose of being send back to his own country and the envoy was very surprised. The envoy suggested that we should arrest Nam Buk-san and imprison him and await the orders (from the Imperial court in China). Nam Buk-san made a lot of commotion and struggled and died without having eaten anything. The royal court was very worried about this but the Chinese didn't ask any further questions. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 106 ('The documents of  Hyojong', April 25th, 1655)]}

This solves the problem of these two men. They went on hunger strike and died because of it. We already understood from Hamel that their lives hang by a thread. Why was Beijing not informed? Most likely the Korean court bribed the envoy to avoid any further problems. There is a list of presents given to the envoys and the amounts are enormous. We find very little about this. There is a kind of gap in the reports. We know from Hamel that they went to Byeongyeong and for those details we have to believe Hamel on his word. He mentions there was a famine and then suddenly the crew shows up in the documents again. Who knows that the further reports weren't written down because problems might arise when they fell into the wrong hands or maybe they had forgotten all about the crew? Probably we will never know. We will continue after their 7 year stay at Pyŏngyŏng. Hamel called it Duijtsiang or the big granary one of the original furtile areas but obviously the famine was so big that they couldn't maintain them there either:

"Humbly it was remarked "We are terribly at a loss what to do with the Westerners who shipwrecked and washed ashore in Chejudo and couldn't be kept in Seoul. We had sent them therefore to Chŏlla Pyŏngyŏng (= the military baracks in Chŏllado) and the court provided them with supplies. At that time there were only 23 persons alive [ the document also mentions: except for the dead] In this area there is a big famine at the moment so that the area can only send 66 sŏk (石 about 11900 liter of rice). (as a form of taxation). It will be difficult to supply them in the future. Because of the famine I can't feed the Westerners so it's better to send them to other places where the circumstances are better." The situation is exactly as the report mentions. It's better to send them to Chwasuyŏng (左水營) and another big city in Chwado (Chŏlla Chwado (全羅左道), the eastern part of Chŏllado). However guard them well, so we aren't being disturbed by problems in other similar cities. I will add this to the report. I ask humbly for your opinion?" The answer was: "You are right." [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 108 (All the documents of the regional borders [Pibyŏnsa tŭngnok 備邊司謄錄]', January 20, 1662)}

We see here a confirmation that Hamel and his companions went to Saesŏng and the other two cities. Saesŏng (塞城) is in principal the same as 左水營 Chwasuyŏng. It means the fortress at the outer side. Hamel writes Sijssingh what sounds in the local dialect almost the same. Saesŏng is the modern city of Yŏsu. It's also known nowadays where Hamel and his men went aboard their little boat. On the western side of the fortress was a harbor with a lot of ships. Additionally the harbor was closed by floating tree truncs which were connected by chains. So they could never have left on that side. The fortress was shaped like an oblong like all the fortresses in Korea with four gates. The fortresses we build with a gate on each point of the compass and often some smaller escape gates which ran under the wall and could only be reached by means of a stair case. Now there happened to be a gate like that on the southeastern corner of the fortress and the road to the southeast was relatively open. Also the walls weren't that high. They only had to take care that they weren't seen by the men on the other little fortress located on small island in front of the big fortress. Hamel describes this as well.

The incident with the Chinese Schip

From the following documents it appears that there might be other reasons why the men weren't allowed to leave the country and the fears of the Koreans. It's also a document of the difiicult relations between Japan and Korea. Even though it isn't about Hamel and his crew, it is an excellent example about the difficult relations between Japan and Korea and we may understand better why Korea kept the creew and didn't send them to Japan out of humanitarian considerations. We will also see that the completion of the affairs after their flight was just as difficult. In fact the escape has caused a lot of trouble for the Koreans.

The messenger of the government in Tongnae (東萊府) reported humbly "In Japan, when the Kampaku(關白; a guard from the Tenno, the emperor, in practice the Shogun) Ieyasu ( Tokugawa Ieyasu 家康德川 , the first shogun and founder of the shogunate) ruled, there were Westerners who said they were Chrisitan (Kirrisitan, 吉利施端). They only pray to the heaven and deny any human affairs. They hate life and are eager to die. They mislead the world and deceive the people. So Ieyasu had them all arrested and killed. Till in Shimabara (島原) a number of Christian missionaries preached this religion again, roamed around in the harbor cities and tempted the inhabitants by deceiving them. Eventually there was a revolt and they killed Higonokami (肥後守; a governor (守) of the Kumamoto province (肥後(熊本). The rulers in Edo (江戶) said about this that they had exterminated them all" (Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 108 (De documents of the commandant of the border region', January 20, 1662).

We can also read in the dairies of Dejima about these events and find a confirmation of what was written here. Also in other books about the history of Japan we see this confirmed. Like it was said before this is important to understand why the Koreans couldn't let Hamel and his crew go. It was also important for the income of the daimyo of Tsushima. Tsushima is a small rocky island with not many revenues. It lies in visible distance from Pusan and the trade was important for the daimo's of the island.

In the following we read something about that. It's a letter of Taira no Yoshishige (Yoshinari , 平義成), daimyo or lord of Tsushima to the prefect of Tongnae.

Our country is peaceful and your country seeks reconsiliation as well, so we are in the same circumstances. But every year western merchant ships come to Japan and the Westerners] try to deceive our people with magic. I am only terrified that many foolish people will believe them. Our lord (the Shogun) hate these people (the Christians) and banned the shipping routes starting this year, but aside from these ships we got the order with the permission to trade with other countries [then the west]. We would like to see that the trade with your country could increase especially in matters like medicinal materials, silk and cotton. It;s very desirable that we could trade with Pusan. I would like to request you to inform your subject as soon as possible. If you report it honorably it is better that you explain the contents of this letter. I request your friendly disposition for our mutual happiness. Thank you. Tsushima, Taira no Yoshishige [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 128 'Letter about the ban of Christianity:   Yasojong munŏm kŭmsŏhan 耶蘇宗門嚴禁書翰')]

It's of course clear that despite the courtesies this was more or less an order to start the trade again. But also an order to be on the alert for the Christians. Christians are the Catholic Portuguese and Spanish missionaries, since for the Japanese there was no way to distinguish them for other Christians. The Dutch therefore had to hide as much as possible that they were religious and when François Caron had built a fireproof brick warehouse in Hirado with the words "Anno Domini 1639" in the facade that meant trouble it was wrong. For the Japanese it looked like the Dutch also want to do missionary work and that didn't fit into the ideas of the Shogun. Caron got the order to break down this warehouse immediately. Diplomatically he did this immediately which was fortunate since the envoy who transmitted the message had the order to kill him if he objected.

Because both the coast of Japan as Korea are very long and rocky the chances that people shipwreck are great and there was a kind of agreement that if a ship washed ashore the people would be repatriated. But the Japanese were so affraid of Christianity that they broke the pact one-sided as can be seen in the following:

From Taira no Yoshishige, the daimyo of Tsushima, Japan to the minister of the Ministries of Rites in Chosŏn (= Korea). We check every day that the order which forbids Christian ships to enter Japan. If there are possibly any castaways on any coast on whatever do (province) send them as soon as possible to the Waegwan and please inform the responsible administrator over there. I am only terrified by idea that they would disguise as Japanese ships, so please obey all directions of the responsible official. April, 1644 the Daimyo of Tsushima, [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 130, 'Letters about the ban of Christianity')]

We see in fact a hidden order, even though phrased in friendly wordings but nevertheless an order. It says a lot about the way the Japanese were looking at the Koreans, they just had to obey but also that they wanted to prevent at all costs that Christians entered the country. The following is another example.

From Taira no Yoshishige, the daimyo of Tsushima, Japan to the minister of the Ministry of Rites in Chosŏn. According to the report of Tobu (東武; Edo?) there are Christians in the border regions with Taeming (China) and your country. It is said that they want to come to Tsushima this year. If this is true, capture them alive please. I would like to request your country to check in all harbors, when there are suspicious ships other than the allowed, to arrest them and bring them to the responsible officials in the Waegwan. In our country it is peaceful but out there it's still restless. The governor will be replaced shortly but there are still many things to do. I request your friendly disposition please. April, 1644 the daimyo of Tsushima Taira no Yoshishige [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 130-131 ('Letters about the ban of Christianity')]

It looks as if the "Please" is added as mere eyewash. It's clear. Castaways are possible Christians and are to be deported to Japan. That the Koreans don't take this for granted appears from the following undated letter.

Only Tsushima lies near Chosŏn, so if there are any castaways then they will be either Chinese or Japanese shops. We shall them therefore send them back immediately and won't allow them to remain any time in Chosŏn as you will know. Additionally this is strictly according to the customs in Chosŏn, so we won't allow any misleadings or strange magic. They send subject to the islands nearby and to the wasted lands and try to prevent theft in this way. The laws are very strict (here). The name "Riambo-do (里菴甫島)" as you mentioned is unknown to us and we have never heard this name and don't know where it is. Christian magic misleads the people and brings unrest so we, Chosŏn and Japan would dislike it and will never allow it..... We are more allert than before, since the order has reached every fortress which is in charge of defending the coast. If foreign ships harbor the islands or harbors of Chosŏn that we won't refrain from arresting them and sending them to the Waegwan. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 131 ('Letters about the ban of Christianity')]

Clearly it can be seen that the Koreans don't surrender without resistance but also are unable to resist the Japanese completely. It looks however that the Koreans are misinterpreting deliberately to stall the matters which appears from the following notes:

According to the letter of Taira no Yoshishige in 1644, the So Kyu (Chŏng-ku (宗久) in Korean) survivors of Christians. (Sidan, 施端) who roam around the island of Hŭngampo-do (黑菴甫島 one letter difference but they look alike) This island is between China and Chosŏn, so if there are any castaways we will have to arrest them.

According the letter of 1645 there stayed in Nagasaki (the crew of) a Chinese ship which shipwrecked. They mentioned voluntarily that 'Ch'ŏngkukch'ŏn (天國川)' lies between Siam and the Western countries. The leader of the Sokyu (Christians) builds (according to them) Chinese Junks and wants (in this way) smuggle people from Chosŏn to Japan. So he wants that all our fortresses arrest them. We reported these two letters to the military authorities [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 132 ('Maritime lists', vol. 3, p. 524)]

It is curious to know what exactly is meant with Ch'ŏngkukch'ŏn (the heavenly country, river, heaven?) but we can read between the lines one feels obliged to obey but reluctantly and sometimes doesn't know well what to do. The following also testifies the fact that if there are castaways and if they are Christian, it is considered to send them not to Japan because the following event had a tragic result.

The magistrate of Chŏlla-do Mok Sŏng-sŏn (睦性善 ) remarked humbly: " A Chinese ship appeared in front of the bay of Chindo Kun (珍島郡) Namdo-p'o (南桃浦). So the prefect of the prefecture the lord Yi Gak (郡守 李恪) went there to see who had arrived and questioned the crew members. Tzai Man Guan ((Ch'oi Man-gwan, 蔡萬官, in Korean), Lee Guo Chen (Lee Kuk-ch'im,, 李國琛 ), Lin Ri Si (Im Ri-sa, 林理思) and Chen Jing (Chin'gwa, 陳璟) etc. knew a few characters. They came from Canton which lies in the Guanzhou (Kwangchupu, 廣州府) prefecture in the south (Namhae-hyon, 南海縣) and they are merchants. They were originally en route to Nagasaki but because of a storm they ended up in Chosŏn" The commandant of the border regions answered: "It is difficult to repatriate Chinese when they arrive in Chosŏn. Before a Japanese questioned us already about the affairs of the Christians and since this ship already wanted to go to Nagasaki it's better for us to send them to Tsushima. Then we also send a special, smart interpreter and send him too to Tsushima to send the Chinese castaways there ." the king allowed this. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 136 ('The documents of Injo (Injo sillok 1623-1649)', August 24, 1644)]

It is therefore clear that they didn't think immediately of sending to Japan but since these people were already on their way to Nagasaki and they assumed it was safe. That people who came accidentally to Korea were treated well appears from the following from a Japanese source.

This ship left Canton (廣東) at July 3, it washed ashore and shipwrecked in Chin-do on July 17 (珍島). Twenty to thirty patrol boats were sent to look for the ship. The magistrate gave the 52 castaways rice, vegetables and other food. These castaways were imprisoned in the official residence of the governor (守護(屋敷) until the answer to the report of Seoul came. They even got some change when they left Chin-do. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 137 (' Memories of a Cantonese ship with 52 crew members which shipwrecked in Chin-do Chŏlla-do' From the archive of the So (宗) family)]

Somewhere else we find:

The governor of the border regions humbly said: "I heard what Hong Hui-nam (洪喜男 a translator in Tongnae) said: "The Christians have become a terrible problem in Japan. There are some reports in Japan that the Christians enter Japan from Anbu (安府) in China, a place near our border. So the Bakufu (幕府 ;the court where the Shogun rules) had the daimyo of the island thoroughly research the matter but they don't ask us to interrogate them. It is good to send (the crew of) this Cantonese ship now but they might not accept it if they came to know there are no Christians aboard. We also worry to send the person on duty as guard. Why don't we send the crew to the Waegwan in Pusan? If we send them to the Waegwan the Japanese will settle the matter themselves." I think that these words are sufficient so I humbly request your answer." The king answered: "Do as you said". [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 138 ('Examples to keep the Japanese occupied', August 24, 1644)]

In itself it's funny to read the title of the document. But the affair wasn't finished yet. ('The dairy of Sung Chŏng-won (Sung Chŏng-won Ilki)', August 22, 1644)

From Ch'ae Yu-hu (蔡裕後), the minister of the ministry of Rites (禮曹大人) in Chosŏn to the lord Taira, the daimyo of Tsushima in Japan. I have thought of you this autumn. Let's respect our mutual friendship. We do our best to guard our coasts by a royal decree, yet a ship washed ashore in Namdo-p'o (南桃浦) in the region of Chin-do (珍島), Chŏlla-do. According to the inspection done by our soldiers there were 52 men aboard. When we asked them where they were going, they told us they were going to Nagasaki as south-sea merchants but that a storm blew them this direction. They call themselves Chinese but we have never seen a ship like theirs. It is to be doubted that there are any Christians among them. So we send them to the governor since we can't decide if there are Christians among them or not. Settle this please. Thank you. The minister of the ministry of Rites, Chae Yu-hu. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 140 ('Letters about the ban on Christianity')]

Obviously it became known one way or the other. The how we can read in the following letter.

From Tiara no Yoshishige (Yoshinari), the daimyo of Tsushima, Japan to the minister of the ministry of Rites, Chosŏn. On my way to Edo on December 24, I received a letter from the Bakufu in Atsuta (熱田(名古屋, an old name for Nagoya). In the letter it was mentioned "We questioned in Nagasaki a Chinese with the name of Wu Guan (五官) but in reality some Christians were revealed" and also "The two leaders of the Christians live in Macau and give the Chinese some money and have them fix an old boat. It is clear that they went first to Chosŏn with this boat and accordingly to Japan." So you should stop all the boats which appear on your coasts or islands and send them to the Waegwan please. If you do so, I will thank you cordially on behalf of the Shogun. Ultimately these rebels look down upon the Shogun and us, his officials, and they want to exterminate us, which they will do as well. They will obviously eventually cause problems so we have to exterminate them. The governor of Tongnae and the translatator will be familiar with the remaining matters. Thank you. December 24, 1644. The daimyo of Tsushima, Taira no Yoshishige [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 143 ('Letters about the ban of Christianity')]

And yes, as expected there were some Christians amŏng the crew as can be seen in the following document.

In 1644 there was a Chinese in Nagasaki who was called Lim You Kwan (林友官) but in Japanese was called Kouta Hachibe (小歌八兵衛 ). He wanted to smuggle Japanese sword to China but was caught and imprisoned. He was already convicted of the crime and his execution was pending but he told us secretly (sneakily) about the Christians so excaped his execution. Lin You Guan told us that it was possible that there could be Christians who would come with the next ship to Japan. When a Chinese ship from Canton arrived here in August, we examined it thoroughly and found books about Macau. We tortured the Chinese aboard the ship and revealed 4 Christians who were Hwang Oh Kwan (黃五官), Yang Ryuk Kwan (楊六官) etc... Then they were thoroughly tortured under the command of judge Yamazaki (山崎). In that way Wu Guan and Liu Guan admitted their behavior and told us secretly that it was possible that more Christians would come with the next ship who were called Hwang Sun Nang (黃順娘) and Chu Chin Kwan (周辰官) . [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 144 ('The collection of documents of Nagasaki', 長崎實錄大成, 正編, Part 1, p. 185-186)]

We can read about the fate of these prisoners in the following document.

In 1644 a ship from Canton came in. We let those who had informed us sneakily examine the crew and tortured them and discovered in this way 5 Christians. They were Hwang Sun Nang, (黃順娘), Chu Chin Kwan (周辰官) and three others. We imprisoned everybody and informed Edo. In December, 1644 we send Lim You Kwan (林友官) and two others and Egawa Tozaemon (穎川藤左衛門), a translator to Edo and had them questioned over there as well. They confessed the same as they had said in Nagasaki. These Chinese have lived for several years in Macau and were baptized as Christians. They admonished furthermore that their western ship caught on fire and was abandoned in Nagasaki in 1640. 13 crew members were saved and at that time send away form there. It is possible that other Christians come into the country so the 6 men (who told us secretly about the Christians) were allowed to stay alive and were asked to become spies to discover Christians. They were send back to Nagasaki where they received housing in Furukawa-cho (古川町). So there were nine Christians, nine of them died in prison. The other seven were tortured and executed. All other Chinese of these two ships who were therefore no Christans were sent away. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p.145 ('The collection of documents of Nagasaki', 長崎實錄大成, 正編, Part 1, p. 185-186)']}

It seems to become long-winded but that's how matters developed in those days and it's important to follow all these procedures to be able to understand why Hamel and his crew stayed in Korea and why it lasted another year that they had to had to stay in Dejima but also why it lasted another year before the others were repatriated from Korea.

From Taira no Yoshishige, the daimyo of Tsushima, chamberlain (侍從) of the fourth rank and an official and subject of Japan (禮曹參判大人), Taira no Yoshishige,  to the ministry of Rites in Chosŏn. Our country is peaceful and so is yours. That is honorable. The incident with the foreign ship about which I spoke previously has all happened while my colleague was in Tsushima, so was I informed by my officials. I heard about the tortures of the crew of the Cantonese ship which was in your country and sent to us.  There were 5 Christians amŏng the 52 crew members. They have confessed and I thank your country for that. We, my colleagues and I (我熵), have gathered previously and went to Edo for an audience at the Shogun. He was very pleased and thanked us respectfully. We dared to mention the foreign ship and he was very moved and excited. Then we, officials, have accepted his order humbly and took his words as an explanation to you. Your country is worth being thanked and praised, your country has the role to be the harbinger to keep our environment well. The Christians have confessed that they knew that Japan was very strict in checking the Christians in Japan so they wanted to come first with a passenger boat (客船) to your country and try to smuggle themselves to Japan since Japan and Chosŏn are close to each other. They are despicable and should be executed. So order the harbor guards to tighten up control and arrest immediately any unauthorized castaway and send them to the Waegwan please. They are illegal in both countrues and it should be forbidden to come into both countries and should be exterminated for our national well being. The government (of both countries) will be peaceful then. Be so kind and accept the small presents I mentioned in the other letter as a small token of our gratitude. Thank you. February 27, 1645. The daimyo of Tsushima, chamberlain of the fourth rank and an official and subject of Japan Taira no Yoshishige. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 148 ('Letters about the ban on Christianity')]

Finally the last documents in this set.

The chief of the Waegwan said: "A ship of Nanjing ((南京 also Nanking) shipwrecked in the area of Chosŏn and nearly everybody drowned but it is said that 3 survivors were send by Chosŏn to Beijing (北京). If the Kampaku (關白; therefore the Shogun) hears about this, he will definitely question the daimyo of Tsushima. Whey didn't you inform the daimyo of Tsushima? A castaway washed ashore last July on a piece of wood in Chwasuyŏng (左水營; present Yosu) We questioned where he came from and knew he was a Chinese. People in the Waegwan asked us to see the man we did so. Then said Taira no Nariyuki (平成幸): "He's from Fuzhou (福州), so we won't interogate him. That's why we sent him to Beijing. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 150 ('Collection of examples of the border regions  邊例集要')]

From these list of documents it becomes clear it wasn't that easy. It becomes clear that the Koreans by experience didn't send certain people to Japan for several reasons. The first being that Christians were killed in Japan and we have seen in the beginning of this article that Hamel and his crew said they were Christians. The second reason was that if castaways didn't come from the South of China the Waegwan wasn't interested.

How to proceed with the ones who stayed behind?

So far we have seen the correspondence between Korea and Japan regarding the escaped and apparently this was sufficient to start a discussion in Japan about how to proceed with this case.

{The answers Tajima Sakon'emon (田嶋左近衛門 the messenger) brought back were handed to the Bakufu. Then Mr. Inaba (稻 葉), the daimyo of Mino (稻 葉 美濃 守) said very humbly to the daimyo of Tsushima that he had submitted the letters of the Minister of Rites, an official of Tongnae; the port of Pusan, ​​to the Shogun without any consultation. Then the Shogun answered with dignity: he understands from these letters that the eight of the Dutch who had been shipwrecked in Chosŏn are still there. Dutch people have come to Japan for a long time. So he ordered Mr. Inabada to tell the daimyo of Tsushima to order Chosŏn to send these eight to Tsushima and also to have the chief official to write letters to have the letters answered from Chosŏn. The daimyo of Tsushima should therefore go to the hometown of Kobun'in (弘文院; a Confucian scholar Hayashi Gaho 林 梾 峰) and have them write the letters, then show them to the chief official. A piece of paper is good enough. If it is available, then a decent copy should be checked in Tsushima. So You (the daimyo of Tsushima) should then send a neatly copied letter to the Minister of Rites. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 185 'About the case of the Dutch who had been shipwrecked in Chosŏn 阿蘭 陀 人 朝鮮 漂着 之 一件')]} Here we clearly see how complicated things are in Japan and what the reason is that the Dutch spoke of the Japanese "precision ". Everything happens very cumbersome so that no mistakes are made, because they are severely punished, sometimes even with the order to commit suicide. But the implicit threat to Korea can also be read here.

{The daimyo of Mino (Inaba) told the daimyo of Tsushima that it is no problem to write a letter in accordance with what Kobun'in wrote. It is good if the scope of the letter remains intact. So you can write it in Tsushima as you always do. And he (Inaba) also said that the other letters sent to an official and to Tongnae, the port of Pusan, should be written in the same way as sent to the Minister of Rites. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p . 186 ('About the case of the Dutch castaways in Chosŏn')]} The daimyo of Tsushima is apparently also under pressure and is being ordered to deal with things as the government in Edo advocates. And further on: "There will be no problems regarding the Dutchmen, and I think Chosŏn will send them to us. But I heard that the Dutch were treated badly in Chosŏn and that they were staying in bad conditions, so I think they will not be grateful to Chosŏn. Although eight Dutch people come to Japan, they will keep what I said in mind. So it is possible that Chosŏn will try to delay the shipment of the remaining eight or even kill them or they will say that they have died. Of course it is possible that they will die as a result of illness, but if such a thing should happen, then we must ask Chosŏn to send their bodies so as not to damage them. And in order not to delay the shipment, we send Tarozaemon (Kuwa Tarozaemon, boodschap 和 太 郞 左衛 門) as a messenger. [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 187 ('The Document of the Western Castaways : Sŏhyang kukp'yoin'gi 西洋 國 漂 人 記']}

Neither Tongnae nor Tsushima could do or start anything on their own. The general atmosphere was one of suspicion. Every request from both sides was studied with the greatest accuracy. Trade was important to the Daimyo and he was always looking for more. Although the trade for the Koreans also yielded the necessary, they continued to view it as a nasty affair and they only maintained it to keep control of the revenues and to keep a door open to Japan. The ongoing attempts to increase trade on the Japanese side and the keen attempts by the Koreans to maintain the status quo naturally kept diplomatic relations under constant pressure, certainly one of the most rigid between two nations.

From Taira no Yoshimasa, the former daimyo of Tsushima, Japan to the Minister of rites, Chosŏn, I asked about the western ship earlier and I was satisfied with your apologetic answer. We are now in Edo and reported it to the Shogun through an administrator. The order of the Shogun was communicated to us through the same administrator and is as follows. He had heard exaltedly that the shipwrecked people who were washed ashore in Goto were Westerners from Holland and the remaining members of the group were also in your country. The barbarians have been coming to our country for several years now, so the eight survivors should be sent to Tsushima. We send Taira no Narimutsu (平 成 睦), the envoy and Minamoto no Noritada (源 調 忠) the shipowner from Kyoto to ask you sincerely. We would also be grateful if you accept our small gift. It is cold these days but may the request be executed properly. Thank you. November, 1667 [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 189 ('The letters about sending messengers back for the Dutch shipwrecked 爲 阿蘭 陀 漂 人 再 差 嫇 价 書, vol. 23)]} Finally, there were two more letters that dealt with the problem. Of course, a way had to be found to get the men out of the country, and we see that in the following document: When the ministers and the governors were interrogated by the King at the court on April 3, last remarked the Minister of Rites Cho Pok-yang (趙復陽) submissively "We now have no choice but to send the barbarians (to Japan). We should send them with new clothes, which we can make and give to them." Then the chairman Chŏng (Chŏng T'ae-hwa 鄭 太和) said "Namwŏn is on the route. So we call them all in Namwŏn and let (the governor of) Chŏlla-do give them new clothes. Then we decide that every civil servant on duty to accompany them, so the one in Chŏlla-do guides them to the other in Kyŏngsang-do and the one in Kyŏngsang-do sends them to the Waegwan. We will inform the governor of each province, what do you think about it? " The king said, "Do as you say." [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 191 (All documents from border areas')]}

Finally, there is the letter to the daimyo of Tsushima in which they apologize for keeping the shipwrecked and explain the reasons why Japan was not informed of their presence earlier. To Mr. Taira, the daimyo of Tsushima, Japan. The messengers have arrived here and I have received your letter. I think your country is peaceful and prosperous. Which is good. With regard to the Dutch as I explained in my last letter, we did not know where they came from and where they first wanted to go back. We had pity with them so we let them live in the southern province. One day they escaped and went to your country. They stayed for a long time and we considered them to be subjects of Chosŏn. We are (now) aware of their situation so it seems just that we are sending them back. Moreover, we are looking for the other members. It is not only in the past, but also now we look forward to sending them back. But, at least according to your letter, Dutchmen pay Japan's tribute. If that is true, then we obey the Royal Court's policy of sending them back. Why should we neglect our sincere intentions by raising troublesome problems? It is good that we send them back to their own country if there is a suitable ship. But one of them died last year, so we have 7 survivors. We ordered every administration in the area where they were, that they should leave immediately, and that each of them be sent to the Japanese messengers. We also prepare some small gifts in response to your beneficial gifts. May you be happy. Thank you April, 1668 The Minister of the Ministry of Rites, Cho Han-yŏng. (曹漢英) [Shin Dong Kyu, ibid, p. 192 (The answer to the return of messengers for the Dutch Wi'aran ta'inche kyŏnsatab 爲 阿蘭 瞜 人 再 遣使 答 in ['letters exchanged between our country and Chosŏn', vol 23])]}

(All Korean and Japanese documents are translated by Jun Ueno, they can also be found in

YI PYONGDO (1954), Hamel p'yoryugi, Ilchogak, Seoul A Korean translation based on the French translation by M. Minutoli. It has also an extensive supplement with Korean and Japanese documents related to the relations between the Koreans, Dutch and Japanese.

as well as

SHIN DONG KYU. A study about the modern history of the international relations between Japan, Korea and the Netherlands. [Kinsei Nichi-Cho-Ran Kokuseikankeishi Kenkyu.] Thesis defended at Rikkyo Universiteit, Tokyo, 2001 Also with many documents related on the above mentioned relations.

Previous page Previous page

Back to menu

Next page Next page