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JAN PIETERSZOON COEN (1587-1630)

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Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 644 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JAN PIETERSZOON COEN (1587-1630), fourth governor-general of the Dutch East Indies, was born at Hoorn, and spent his youth at Rome in the house of the famous merchants the Piscatori. In 1607 he sailed from Amsterdam to the Indies as second commercial agent, and remained away four years. He had proved so capable that in 1612 he was sent out a second time at the head of a trading expedition. In the following year he was made a councillor and director-general of the East Indian trade. Afterwards he became president at Bantam, and on the 31st of October 1617 he was promoted in succession to Laurens Reaal to the post of governor-general. To his vigour and intrepidity the Dutch in no small measure owed the preservation and establishment of their empire in the East. He took and destroyed Jacatra, and founded on its ruins the capital of the Dutch East Indies, to which he gave the name of Batavia. In 1622 Coen obtained leave to resign his post and return to Holland, but in his absence great difficulties had arisen with the English at Amboina (the so-called massacre of Amboina), and in 1627 under pressure from the directors of the East India Company he again returned as governor-general to Batavia. In 1629 he was able to beat off a formidable attack of the sultan of Mataram, sometimes styled emperor of Java, upon Batavia. He died the following year.
End of Article: JAN PIETERSZOON COEN (1587-1630)
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