In 1600 the British East India Company was granted a charter to trade in the Far East. The Dutch quickly followed, and in 1602, the Dutch East India Company, with their monogram, VOC (Verenigde Oost-indische Compagnie, meaning United East India Company), emblazoned on their goods, was founded and soon developed a massive trading organization throughout the East Indies.
The VOC, with an impressive fleet of merchant ships, established Dutch colonies all along their trade routes; in western Africa, South Africa, and at various locations in the East Indies including the strategic islands of Java, in Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. The two main “hub” ports were Galle Harbor and fort in Sri Lanka, and Batavia (now Jakarta), on Java.
Special Note: This particular Ship Shilling was minted at the Zeeland mint in the Netherlands, and features, on the reverse (back), the swimming lion design. The motto for this design is "I Struggle and Survive."
Historical Note: Until the 16th Century, much of the Netherlands was under the control of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. In 1568 the Netherlands, led by William I of Orange, revolted, and the country adopted the motto: CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCUNT: “through unity small things grow,” in 1578, a quote taken from Roman historian Sallust’s (86 BC – c. 35 BC) monograph, Jugurthine War. The Netherlands’ struggle against Spain can be seen on the coins. The 6 stuivers from different mints have varied Latin mottos around the edges of the coins. ITA RELINQUENDA UT ACCEPTA translates to “Leave it as you received it.” Another is DEUS FORTITUDO ET SPES NOSTRA: “God is our refuge and strength.” And the motto and swimming lion on some coins is: LUCTOR ET EMERGO: “I struggle and survive.”
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