Bredenhof sailed as a merchant vessel for the
Dutch East India Company (VOC) between
Patria and the East Indies in the mid-18th
century. She was lost on the 6th of June 1753
off thecoast of Mozambique when she became
caught in currents and struck a reef. She was
making her third voyage to the east, and was
bound for Ceylon and Bengalen to trade her
cargo of silver for spices.
Bredenhof had just begun her journey to the east
from the Cape of Good Hope when she ran into
treacherous waters and struck a reef. By order
of the captain, Jan Nielson, the ship's silver bars
were thrown overboard to prevent the crew from
plundering the ship. The gold carried on board
was saved, however. At the time, Bredenhof
carried between 230-251 men, who formed
separate groups in an attempt to reach land in
rafts. Only half of the crew made it alive. Most
of the remaining men eventually made it back
to the Netherlands on other Dutch ships.
Although efforts were made to recover the
lost silver as early as the 1750's, the wreck
site wasn't discovered until 1986. The site
was discovered in the Mozambique channel
and excavated by an international dive team
led by Ernst Klaar and Gavin Clackworthy.
The team collected the silver from the site
as well as 14 barrels of copper coins, 5,000
golden ducates, 15cannons, and 5 anchors.
Items found during the excavation were sold
at auction in Christie's in Amsterdam.
Type: Dutch East Indiaman (Spiegelretourschip)
Master: Jan Nielson
Chamber: VOC Hoorn
Tonnage: 425 last, 850 ton
Lenth: 136 feet