Anthony Van Diemen - Encyclopedia

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ANTHONY VAN DIEMEN (1593-1645), Dutch admiral and governor-general of the East Indian settlements, was born at Kuilenburg in 1593. He was educated in commerce, and on entering the service of the East India Company speedily attained high rank. In 1631 he led a Dutch fleet from the Indies to Holland, and in 1636 he was raised to the governor-generalship. He came into conflict with the Portuguese, and took their possessions in Ceylon and Malacca from them. He greatly extended the commercial relationships of the Dutch, opening up trade with Tong-king, China and Japan. As an administrator also he showed ability, and the foundation of a Latin school and several churches in Batavia is to be ascribed to him. Exploring expeditions were sent to Australia under his auspices in 1636 and 1642, and Abel Tasman named after him (Van Diemen's Land) the island now called Tasmania. Van Diemen died at Batavia on the 19th of April 1645.

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