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Pieter Engels baptismal extracts  1

    Herewith two baptismal extracts which include a Pieter Engels.

    My preference goes to the first [below], not only because he has only Pieter as the given name, but also because he is born in the Saint Saviour parish (the harbour district of Gent) possibly from a seafaring or captain’s family.

Yours faithfully, the Curator

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St Saviour’s Church – Gent

    On 7 June 1709 I baptized Pieter, born at 8 pm yesterday, son of Jacob Engels and Joanna Baets, a married couple. Pieter Engels and Livina Engels were his sponsors.

P Van Butseele, vice-pastor.

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St Martin’s Church – Gent

    On 7 June AD 1709 I baptized Daniel Pieter, born at 1 am, son of Daniel Enghels and Adriana vanLoo, a married couple. Pieter van Renterghem and Livina Theresia Mortier sponsored him.

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Baptismal Register – St Maartensdijk   2   

Baptismal Register - St Maartensdjik- Family Spoor, period 1700-1714

Date baptised Name Father's name Mother's home
20 July 1700 Abraham Abraham Spoor Neeltje Constance (Vosse ?)
9 Jul 1702 Catrijne Abraham Spoor Neeltje Constance Timmerman
14 Dec 1704 Adriaen Abraham Spoor Neeltje Pietertje Timmerman

29 Apr 1708

Abraham Abraham Spoor Neeltje Cornelis
7 Feb 1700 Pieter Hendrick Spoor Maetje Pieters (van Dijcke)
10 Oct 1700 Hendrick Johannes Walton (aka Wilton) Adriana Spoor; married Tannetje Spoor
24 Sep 1702 Jan Jan Barthelse Wilthon (aka Wilton) (Adriana ?) Spoor; (married ?) Marietje Pieters
18 Nov 1703 Tannetje Johannes Wilthon (aka Wilton) Adriana Spoor; Neeltje Pieters (?)
21 Dec 1704 Jannetje Jan Barthelse Wilthon (aka Wilton) (Adriana ?) Spoor; (married ?) (Tannetje ?) Spoor
28 Mar 1706 Hendrick Johannes Wilton (Adriana ?) Spoor
26 Jun 1707 Abraham Johan Wilton (Adriana ?) Spoor
2 Sep 1708 Adriaen Johan Wilton (Adriana ?) Spoor
3 Nov 1709 Adriaen Johan Wilton (Adriana ?) Spoor; (married ?) Tannetje Spoor
18 Feb 1711 Adriaen Johan Wilton (Adriana ?) Spoor; (married ?) Jannetje Spoor
20 Apr 1712 Cornelis Johan Wilton (Adriana ?) Spoor
12 Jan 1707 Marinus Bartel Aron Ribbe Jannetje Spoor (married ?) Jan Wilton

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Spoor Family Details 3  

    In the archives of St Maartensdijk’s orphans’ court are registers of the orphans acts 1654-1710 and 1711-1745 which contain the following details about the families Spoor or Spoors. 

21 December 1656

    The St Maartensdijk’s baptismal and marriage registers show that at that place on 21 December 1656 Hendric Spoor, a young man from Bergen op Zoom, [in the Dutch province, North Brabant] married Catharina Catzhoec, younger daughter from St Maartensdijk.

    From this marriage the following children were baptised there:

10 August 1658, Marinus
18 April 1660, Pieter
6 August 1661, Tanneken
15 October 1662, Janneken
30 Mar 1664, Adriaen [possibly father of the subject]
5 July 1665, Dyngenken
10 April 1667, Adriaen [possibly father of the subject]
14 October 1668, Digna
4 Jan 1671, Hendric
12 Feb 1673, Abraham
5 Jun 1675, Adriana
8 Mar 1677, Digna
24 September 1679, Pieter

20 July 1695

    The estate inventory dated 20 July 1695 which Hendrick Spoor and his wife Catalina Catshoeck “have with their death vacated and willed” for the profit of their children Marinis Spoor, Marinis van Riel married toTanneke Spoor, Bartel Mariniss. (Ribbe) married to Janneke Spoor, Heyndrick, Abraham, Adriana (20 years and 3 months) and Pieter Spoor (c. 16 years).

    The estate included a house and yard “upon which stands the Brewery” on the East Port of St Maartensdijk and a house and yard opposite the brewery named “Goutje”.


October 1696

    From a petition to the St Maartensdijk’s orphan trustees by the guardians, Marijnis Spoor and Marijnis van Riel, about the aforementioned Pieter Spoor, it appears that the latter will not work.

    They, [the guardians], request permission for him “to be put on a ship to sail from coast to coast”.

    The family gives permission on 1696 for Pieter Spoor “to be ordered on a ship to East or West Indies”.

22 October 1696

    On 22 October 1696 the orphan trustees approve of this.


30 October 1701

    In a letter, dated 30 October 1701, addressed to the St Maartensdijk’s orphan trustees Marinus Spoor complains about the attitude of Pieter who has returned from the East Indies. He seeks advice “because most ships which go to the East will depart on the 1st”.


 24 November 1702

    On the 24 November 1702 the estate of the deceased brewer Heijndrick Spoor (“in the Brewery”) was inventoried. He bequeaths the estate to his wife, Maetje Pieters, … van Dijcke, Marinus van Riel and Bartel Mariniss. Ribbe to be guardian over the children of the said couple.


3 January 1703

    On the 3 Jan 1703 before St Maartensdijk’s bailiff and magistrate a deed is drawn up, in which it is mentioned that Maetje van Dijcke shall retain possession of the complete estate providing that the children of Heijndrick Spoor and those named Heijndrick – c. 6 years, Cornelia – c. 4 years, and Pieter – c. 3 years, will be properly provided for from the estate.


9 December 1722

    The deceased guardians Van Riel and Ribbe are replaced on 9 December 1722, apart from Matie van Dijke, who remains; by Jan Wilton and François van Riel as guardians over the orphans.

10 December 1722

    Hendrik, (approximately six year old in 1703) has made on 10 December 1722 his inventoried estate “in common possession with his remaining widow Lidia Bijnagte”.

17 June 1728

    Most likely this is the same Pieter Spoor as the one mentioned in the death certificate dated 17 June 1728 who died in the East Indies.

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The first mate, Adriaen van der Graeff, Zeewijk’s log

Sunday 30 November 1727

    In the latter part of the night, morning, and forenoon, the wind SSE and SE, top sail wind, clear sky, good weather.

    After midday, evening and in the first part of the night the wind S, topgallant sail wind, clear sky, good weather.

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Zeewijk ship’s log, Mon 1 Dec 1727. Source: Dutch National Archives, Inventory no. 11417, scan: 242. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Zeewijk ship’s log, Mon 1 Dec 1727. Source: Dutch National Archives,
Inventory no. 11417, scan: 242. Reproduction: Peter de Waal

Monday 1 December 1727

    In the latter part of the night, morning, and forenoon, the wind S, topgallant sail wind, clear sky, good weather.

    This morning we distributed 11 small (storage) barrels of butter.

    At about 8 o’clock the Petty Officers came into our tent asking to speak to the Master to inform him that 2 persons named Adriaen Spoor from Saint Maartensdijk, [and] Pieter Engels from Gent; both boys, forsaking God, were found committing the abominable sin of Sodom and Gomorrah together yesterday afternoon. Which shrieks to the heavens and shudders through the ship’s master’s body along with the rest of the ship’s council.

    Whereupon the Master asked: “Friends how come you know this?” Whereupon they answered: “Here are 3 good witnesses, who have seen it. They will give you a good deposition of that.”

    These witnesses were promptly present and promised the Master and also the ship’s council to provide a good deposition of the facts. These three persons, namely, are:

Frans Feban, Quartermaster
Dirk Jansen van Grieken, Quartermaster
Hendrik Armanse, Sailor

    Whose sworn deposition reads thus:
    On today the 30th November 1727
    We, the undersigned Frans Feban, Quartermaster and Dirk Jansen van Grieken, also Quartermaster and Hendrik Armanse, Sailor, all in the service of the United East India Company. And in the aforementioned capacity on these islands named by us Fredrik Houtman and on behalf of the United East India chamber of Zeeland with the company’s ship Zeewijk having come out in the year 1726, and remained here on the aforementioned island because of shipwreck of the said ship, declare on the request of Jan Steyens, Master, in the service of the above mentioned company and present on the islands and who, to the same territory previously mentioned, and on behalf of the United East India Company of Zeeland.

    How true and unquestionable it is what we experienced on the 30th of said month; what abominable and god-forsaken deed of the persons – Adriaen Spoor from Saint Maartensdijk and Pieter Engelse from Gent, young sailors – with each other there perpetrated the abominable act of Sodom and Gomorrah. The above and said declaration we declare to be the absolute truth, which we at any time are prepared to affirm under oath as the absolute truth.

    Thus done and passed on the island by us named Fredrik Houtman anno 1st December 1727 [and] was signed [by]: Dirk Jansen van Grieken, Frans Feban and Hendrik Armanse.

    [The deposition was witnessed by]: Jan Nebbens.

    Thus has the Master with his ship’s council concluded to interrogate these 2 young men. But they would not confess; upon which we decided to place burning fuses between their fingers. Despite that, and being obstinate, they would not confess. So that we, after considering the matter precisely, decided with the whole ship’s council and with consent from the common [ship’s] folk to place them, at the earliest opportunity granted by God, each apart on one of the most northerly islands.

    After mid-day, evening and in the first part of the night the wind S, top sail-wind, clear sky, good weather.

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Tuesday 2 December 1727

    In the latter part of the night, morning, and forenoon, the wind S, fresh topgallant sail wind, clear sky, good weather.

    In the morning about 7 o’clock the sentence was read out, which says:

    Thus by the accusation of 2 quartermasters and one sailor of the Company’s former ship Zeewijk, now wrecked at the island by us named Frederik Houtman, of the persons with names Adriaen Spoor from Maartensdijk, young sailor and Pieter Engels from Gent also young sailor having been present on the aforementioned ship.

    Our rational considerations, and in truth confirmed, that the said persons on the 30 November 1727 after mid-day at about 3 o’clock on the aforesaid island have committed the sorrowful and God forsaken act of Sodom and Gomorrah, to the great sorrow of the officers, dismay of the crew, and disturbing of our island; through which, God forbid, shall this very much afflict plagues over our people and island.

    Yes also question, even cause discord and lose everything good. The abhorrent and Godforsaken manner of living has reached such heights that the aforesaid persons, namely the young sailors, have not spared God nor justice by committing, on that date, the aforesaid sorrowful act. And by some three persons, namely Frans Feban, quartermaster, Dirk Jansen van Grieken, quartermaster and Hendrik Armanse, sailor, present on this island aforementioned, by accident found, while walking towards the island’s beach, the young sailors doing the detestable deeds. All of which are of a dangerous and evil nature, and where justice prevails, is under no circumstance tolerable, but ought to be punished with death and prevent further evil.

    So it is that the full Council of the aforementioned island here have decided, to speedily place burning fuses between all fingers of the same persons in order to bring them to a confession. But they, being stubborn, did not confess. And we have then, as the full Council, resolved to place the same, each apart, on one of the furthest islands. Which was fully agreed to, and having been put to the common [ship’s] folk, who unanimously together positively answered, and have then taken the young sailors, with the row-boat, to the islands, which was on the 2nd December anno 1727.

    Thus passed, sentenced, announced, and executed on the island named by us Fredrik Houtman the 2nd December 1727 on the S. degree of latitude 28:30.

     Aside and present to me stood: Jan Nebbens [Merchant, as Witness]
Signed [by]:

Jan Steyns Adriaen van der Graeff
Christiaan Radis David Gossier
Christiaan Mela Pieter van Ekele
Jan Christiaan Ulryk Coen Snoek
Evert Blankebyle Jan Pieterse
Jacob Stelle Jan d’Water
Dirk Jansen van Grieken Frans Feban
Abraham van der Ede Jacobus van Couenberge
Anthony Bybeek Jacob Smits
Jan d’Boot  


    On the day [Tuesday 2 December 1727] the merchant, Jan Nebbens, and I [Adriaen van der Graeff, first mate], and the boatswain, Christiaan Radis and Jan de Water, quartermaster, and also 6 sailors set out, in the row-boat, to bring the 2 persons aforementioned to the said islands.

    We marooned each of them, in the afternoon at about 4 o’clock, on a separate island situated in the NE distanced about 6 miles from us. Therefore we had to stay overnight at another island.

    After mid-day, in the evening, and early part of the night the wind S, top gallant sail wind, clear sky, good weather.

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Wednesday 3 December 1727

    In the late night, morning, and forenoon, the wind SE, calm and still.

    In the morning, at break of dawn, we started rowing towards our island. And at about 8 o’clock, when arriving at an island situated in the east off our island, we find there laying one of our [Zeewijk’s] mast check (or side peace) which we took behind our row-boat and towed the same to our island to be used as a keelson forour [new] vessel.

    During the afternoon we arrived, by row-boat, at our island and gave the master a proper report where wetook the aforesaid 2 persons.

    After mid-day, in the evening and in the early part of the night the wind SW, topgallant sail and topsail-wind, clear sky, good weather.


Thursday 4 December 1727

    In the late night, morning, and forenoon, the wind SSW, topsail-wind, clear sky, good weather.

    About 7 o’clock in the morning the boatswain goes to the reef with both scows. This day we inspect our victuals and separate in a different tent as much victuals as we think, God willing, our vessel shall need during the voyage to Batavia.

    [These victuals] are placed in the tent according to the following, to wit:

    We have placed the remainder in the other tent, together with what the scows will bring today; as follows:


1  Amsterdam Scheepvaart Museum, S.5534, XLs-98-003. Archives Curator, Gent, Belgium, letter to Mr B Goppel with Pieter Engels baptismal details, 27 Feb 1956. Translated, from Dutch, by Peter de Waal with assistance from Netherlands’ based, Siebe Fuykschot. The above baptismal certificates were initially translated from Latin by Peter Bonsall-Boone and checked/corrected by the Hon EG Whitlam AC QC.

2  It’s assumed that Adriaen (emphasised) born on 14 Dec 1704 is the perpetrator/victim in this case.

3  ibid. Letter from the Dutch National Archive in Zeeland, to Mr B Goppel relating Spoor family details, 28 Dec 1957.

4  ‘Marzeil’ in Dutch original – ‘topsail A square sail (or either of two square sails) next above the lowest or chief square sail on a mast of a square-rigged vessel, or next above a chief fore-and-aft sail on topsail schooners, etc.’ The Macquarie Dictionary, 3rd ed, p. 2231. ‘Bramzeil’ in Dutch original – ‘topgallant The spears and rigging next above the topmast, in a square-rigged vessel.’ ibid., p. 2230.