Joris van Spilbergen

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Spilbergen meeting king Vimaladharmasuriya in 1602.

Joris van Spilbergen (1568 – 1620) was a Dutch naval officer in the 17th century. His first big exploration journey was in 1596, when he sailed to Africa.

He then left for Asia on 5 May 1601, commanding the company of the Moucheron (a trading company before the establishment of the Dutch East India Company). His ships were the Ram, Schaap and Lam. Spilbergen met the king of Kandy (Sri Lanka) Vimala Dharma Suriya in 1602, and talked about the trading of cinnamon.

In 1607, Spilbergen traveled on Aeolus. He was with Jacob van Heemskerk at the Battle of Gibraltar.

In 1614, he sailed beyond the Strait of Magellan and invaded the Spanish settlements on the coast of California. From 1578, El Quisco together with the neighbor Algarrobo and El Canelo were a hiding place of pirates such as the Englishmen Francis Drake, Thomas Cavendish, Richard Hawkins and the Dutchmen Olivier van Noort and Joris van Spilbergen. He had some fights with Sebastián Vizcaíno and Nicolás de Cardona. He returned to Holland in 1617.

He died a poor man in Bergen op Zoom in 1620.

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