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Term Definition

Commonly known as bluestone, a Belgian limestone widely used in the Netherlands as slabs on a grave, also exported to the colonies.

Synonyms - blue-stone

Type of guards appointed by the Governor of Nagasaki.


Present-day Jakarta, headquarters of the VOC in Asia.


Boatswain. Petty Officer or deck boss, supervised the standing and running rigging of the ship, especially that of the mainmast. The boatman had the boatman's mate and all the sailors under him.


Free citizen, person not employed by the Company who, with the Company's permission, settled on Company territory, usually ex-servants; in the 19th century also: descendants of these free citizens, in particular 'Dutch Burghers'. They sometimes owned their own ships to trade themselves. Also called freemen in plural.


Also dagregisters. Diary or register in which the most important events were kept by the chief factor.

Synonyms - dagregisters

Trading post. Factories were then established by chartered companies such as the Dutch East India Company (VOC), founded in 1602, and the Dutch West India Company (WIC), founded in 1621. These factories provided for the exchange of products among European companies, local populations, and the colonies that often started as a factory with warehouses. Usually these factories had larger warehouses to fit the products resulting from the increasing agricultural development of colonies, which were boosted in the New World by the Atlantic slave trade.

Synonyms - comptoir,factory

Can be compared to the current public prosecutor.

Heren XVII

The VOC consisted of six Chambers (Kamers) in port cities: Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam, Enkhuizen, Middelburg and Hoorn. Delegates of these chambers convened as the Heeren XVII (the Lords Seventeen). They were selected from the bewindhebber-class of shareholders.

Synonyms - Lords Seventeen

Chief factor or chief merchant and supervisor of al the staff on the factory.


Takes care of all merchandise. Usually the same person as the Opperhoofd. Supreme authority aboard a VOC ship (until 1742).


Construction in which bones of the deceased are kept.

Synonyms - ossuary

Head of trade and administration, in fact the second man after the chief factor.