Hartog Plate

Hartog Plate or Dirk Hartog's Plate is either of two plates, although primarily the first, which were left on Dirk Hartog Island during a period of European exploration of the western coast of Australia prior to European settlement there. The first plate, left by Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, is the oldest-known artifact of European exploration in Australia still existent and is therefore evidence of the first "confirmed" visit by Europeans.

The subsequent discoveries, comprising three additional visits spanning 200 years, are remarkable considering the extreme isolation of the region.

Dirk Hartog, 1616

Dirk Hartog was the first confirmed European to sight Western Australia. On 26 October 1616 in his ship, the "Eendracht" he landed at Cape Inscription on the very northern most tip of the island. Before departing, Hartog left behind a flattened pewter plate, nailed to an oak post and placed upright in a fissure on the cliff top.

The plate bears the inscription:

Ao 1616, den 25sten October, is hier vangecommen het schip de Endracht van Amsterdam, den Oppercoopmen Gilles Mibais van Luyck; schipper Dirk Hartog, van Amsterdam, den 27sten, dito t' zeijl gegaen na Bantam, den Ondercoopman Jan Stoyn, Opperstierman Pieter Dockes, van Bil, Ao 1616.

The English translation reads:

1616. On the 25th October the ship Eendracht of Amsterdam arrived here. Upper merchant Gilles Miebais of Luick (Liege); skipper Dirck Hatichs (Dirk Hartog) of Amsterdam. On the 27th ditto we sail for Bantum. Under merchant Jan Stins; upper steerman Pieter Doores of Bil (Brielle). In the year 1616.

Willem de Vlamingh, 1697

81 years later, in 1697, the Dutch sea captain Willem de Vlamingh also reached the island and discovered Hartog's pewter plate with the post almost rotted away. He removed it and replaced it with another plate which was attached to a new post. The new post was made of a cypress pine trunk taken from Rottnest Island [cite web|url=http://www.voc.iinet.net.au/hartog.htm|title=Dirk Hartogh|work=VOC Historical Society, Perth, Western Australia|accessdate=2006-11-12] . The original plate was returned to the Netherlands where it is still kept in the Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam. De Vlamingh's replacement plate contains all of the text of Hartog's original plate as well as listing the senior crew of his own voyage. It concludes with:

1697. Den 4den Februaij is hier vangecommen het schip de Geelvink van Amsterdam, den Commandeur schipper, Williem de Vlamingh, van Vlielandt, Adsistent Joan van Bremen, van Coppenhage; Opperstierman Michiel Blom van Estight, van Bremen. De Hoecker de Nyptang, schipper Gerrit Collaert van Amsterdam; Adsistent Theodorus Heermans van de; d'Opperstierman Gerrit Gerritz, van Bremen, 't Galjoot t' Weseltje, Gezaghabber Cornelis de Vlamingh van Vlielandt; Stierman Coert Gerritz, van Bremen, en van hier gezeilt met ons vloot den 12do voorts net Zuijtland te ondersoecken en gedestineert voor Batavia.

English translation:

1697. The 4th February is here arrived the ship De Geelvinck for Amsterdam. The Commodore and Skipper William De Vlamingh of Vlielandt, Assistant Joannes Bremer of Copenhagen Upper Steersman Michil Bloem of The Bishopric of Bremen The Hooker The Nyptangh Skipper Gerrit Colaart of Amsterdam Assist Theodoris Heirmans Ditto Upper Steersman Gerrit Geritson of Bremen The Galliot The Weeseltie Commander Cornelis De Vlamingh of Vlielandt Steerman Coert Gerritsenof Bremen Sailed from Here with our fleet the also The Southland Further to Explore and Bound for Batavia.

Emmanuel Hamelin, 1801

In 1801, the French captain of the "Naturaliste" Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin, entered Shark Bay and sent a party ashore. The party found Vlamingh's plate, even though it was half buried in the sand as the post had rotted away with the ravages of the weather. When the party took the plate to the ship, Hamelin ordered it to be returned, believing its removal would be tantamount to sacrilege.

Louis de Freycinet, 1818

In 1818 in the "Uranie", French explorer Louis de Freycinet, who had been an officer in Hamelin's 1801 crew, rediscovered de Vlamingh's plate and removed it to France where it was presented to the Académie française in Paris.

After being lost for more than a century, it was rediscovered in 1940 on the bottom shelf of a small room mixed up with old copper engraving plates. The plate was eventually returned to Australia in 1947 and is currently housed in the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Cape Inscription Lighthouse plaques

Marking the location in 1938 the Commonwealth government commemorated Dirk Hartog's landing with a brass plaque.

Then just short of 60 years later - in the marking the tricentennial of Vlamingh's visit the then Premier of Western Australia Richard Court unveiled a bronze plaque on the 12th February 1997 [ Playford 1998 p.60 - see full ref in further reading]

ee also

*History of Western Australia

References

*cite web|url=http://www.dirkhartogisland.com/history.htm|title=History|publisher=Dirk Hartog Island|accessdate= 2006-07-29
*cite web|url=http://gutenberg.net.au/ausexplore/ausexpl0-intro1.html|title=Introduction — Part I|work=The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888|first=Ernest|last=Favenc|authorlink=Ernest Favenc| publisher=Project Gutenberg of Australia|accessdate=2006-07-29|date=1888

Further reading

* Playford, Phillip E.(1998) "Voyage of discovery to Terra Australis : by Willem De Vlamingh in 1696-97" Perth, W.A. Western Australian Museum. ISBN 0730712214 - specifically chapter titled "A story of two plates" pp. 51 - 60

External links

* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&ll=-25.48115,112.970851&spn=0.003613,0.006781 Cape Inscription on Google Maps]


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  • Hartog Plate — /hatɒg ˈpleɪt/ (say hahtog playt) noun a pewter plate left nailed to a post on Dirk Hartog Island during the visit of the Dutch ship Eendracht, captained by Dirk Hartog, to the western coast of Australia in 1616; inscribed with the date of the… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Hartog — is a surname. It may refer to: ;Hartog * Ashley Hartog South African soccer player * Dirk Hartog (1580 1621) Dutch sea captain and explorer * Simon Hartog British filmmaker * Wil Hartog Dutch motorcycle racer; De Hartog * Jan de Hartog (1914… …   Wikipedia

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  • Dirk Hartog — s plate in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Map of Shark Bay …   Wikipedia

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  • Dirk Hartog's Plate — noun → Hartog Plate …   Australian English dictionary

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  • Dirk Hartog Island — ▪ island, Western Australia, Australia       Australian island in the Indian Ocean, just north of Edel Land Peninsula, Western Australia. Naturaliste Channel passes north to enter Denham Sound (which washes the eastern shore), and Shark Bay lies… …   Universalium

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