A Short History of the Australiërs.

A Short History of the Australiërs or Boers in Australia.

A Short History of the Australiërs or Boers in Australia.

1616: Dirk Hartog a VOC Captain is blow off course while sailing the Eendracht from Cape Town to Batavia. He lands on Dirk Hartog island a part of continent where Desert meets the sea. He leaves behind a pewter plate nailed to a tree to prove his claim and adds New Holland to the VOC's maps.

25th April 1656: The Vergulde Draeck (Gilt Dragon) en route to Batavia is shipwrecked only 10 km north of the Swan River at what they christen Aanleggen (Scarborough, WA)[POD]. 138 sailors reach shore including 9 women however the Vergulde Draeck is completely wrecked along with its lighter. Unable to despatch a boat north to Batavia to request rescue the survivors retrieve what they can from the wreck including seeds, tools, wood and crucially a dozen chickens and four sheep, including a ram. Initial relations with the local Aborigines are positive and they help show the Dutch the safe plants to eat and the best place to get the abalone and tortoises which will form the basis of their diet until they can either be rescued or the seeds they have planted start yielding crops.

Early August 1656: Using salvaged materials and local wood a small boat has been built and a party of 11 men is sent North to request rescue, since the ship wreck 16 men have died from various causes leaving the party with 111 people including 9 women. Despite the mysterious disease (flu) that has savaged the local aboriginal population 12 have chosen to join the small settlement including 7 women. The first European baby is conceived in New Holland to Dillianne van den Boogaard and her husband Dirk van den Boogaard, a Calvinist priest man who was on his way to perform missionary work in the East Indies.

Late August 1656: The local Mooro group of the Whadjuk people divisions over the issue of the newcomers, who many blaming them for the disease that has swept through them killing 50% of the population, break out into open conflict. The Dutch are forced to defend themselves and their camp is burned down and 7 men die in the ensuring conflict. However they manage to driver off the hostile Mooro. However with the camp burned and continued threat they decide to move to a more defensible location. They also take in another 23 refugees from those among the Mooro who had sided with them. The remaining Mooro have suffered greatly from the superior Dutch firepower and have retreated inland but there will be continued conflict in the months ahead.

September 1656: The crew of the Vergulde Draeck have moved from the initial camp near the beach to a much more defensible location atop a hill near a local lake which they name after their deceased leader Captain Albertsz[Herdsman, Perth], who went down with his ship. However inorder to maintain a lookout for a rescue ship they also establish an outpost manned by a dozen men closer to the sea on a nearby hill. The new fort is made up of mud, rocks and a palisade wall partly made up of salvaged timbers from the Vergulde Draeck. The newly built fort they name Fort Albertsz after their deceased Captain. With the beginning of spring and the abundance of water in their new location the shortage that the had plagued them is solved and they are able to plant much more extensively though they still are dependent on foraging and hunting. With spring the three ewes all lamb and while they have chosen not to either eat the chickens or their eggs in-order to grow the numbers they now can afford to take some eggs for special occasions.

January 1656: Despite the continued hope of rescue with the crops mostly in the ground and both the fort and outpost now built the New Hollanders are increasingly switching from tents made of sail canvas to stone and wooden huts that better protect them from the scorching heat of the Western Australian summer. There have been continued skirmished with the local Aborigines leading to the deaths of 3 more sailors and much worse casualties for the Aborigines who cannot match the flintlock muskets, and steel swords of the Dutch, however an agreement has been made to leave each other in peace through the mediations of one Bungarup an Aborigine who has joined the crew of the Vergulde Draeck and has learnt a basic amount of Dutch.

25th April 1657: Its now been a full year since their arrival and there has been no sign of rescue with survivors increasingly discontented. Of the 138 people who survived to reach shore 42 have now died in various skirmishes and accidents though they have been joined by a 23 (surviving) Mooro. While they had planted crops most of which have now been harvested a shortage of seed and the need to abandon their initial locations means that they will continue to be dependent on foraging and hunting for at least another year and thus hungry. However despite this they are now increasingly established in Albertsz and are beginning to replace the current wooden walls with more secure stone walls. The outpost at Mount Draeck[Mount Kenneth] that has been built to spot any rescue ships has also been upgraded with 30 people living there full time and several small fields newly planted, it has even managed to beat off an Mooro attack.

13th May 1657: Elise van den Boogaard is the first European child born in New Holland, by now three other Dutch women are pregnant, as are two of the aboriginal women who have taken up with Dutch sailors.

June 1657: Hunger is still a serious problem as shortage of seeds plus the destruction caused in the abandonment of the camp meant that insufficient land was planted and in 1656. Also the climate and nature of the soils means that yields are lower than expected. While this has been offset by fishing and hunting there is still significant shortage or basic roughage and the local plants are not liked by the Dutch. Though the continued growth of the chicken population which now number nearly a four hundred means that eggs are once more on the menu. The New Hollanders are thus very busy trying to clear as much land as possible in the vicinity of Albertsz and Mount Draeck to plant a sufficient harvest next year which up until now has been done on a communal basis. However thanks to the relative peace with the Mooro the decision is taken to allow men to start setting up private farms to work themselves, though only in the vicinity of the two settlements. 10 subdivisions are made linking up Albertsz with Mount Draeck these have been given to the more senior men in the colony who have stated their desire to stay on in New Holland even after they are rescued.

October 1657: Dirk van den Boogaard as the priest and one of the more senior people to survive has been the nominal leader or at least first among equals since the immediate aftermath of the wreck, though due to the small size of the group he had been careful of general opinion. However there is a large number who are increasingly unhappy with the affairs of New Holland. Much of this discontent is coming from the majority who have not either paired up with one of the Dutch or the Aborigine women in the group. He and Dillianne have grown to like life in New Holland but the majority are still determined to get rescued and insisting that they dispatch another boat. While he has held this off by pointing out that it would take at least 2 months for the initial boat to reach Batavia and then more time for a rescue party to be dispatched and find them, however pressure has grown to great and he gives in and allows another boat to begin construction. But only on condition that a church is built first so that he can minister to his flock.
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Part the Second

17th December 1657: The second boat is dispatched from New Holland crewed by 9 of the more desperate men.

1st January 1658: The population of New Holland stands at 117 with nine children having been born since their arrival. However there is still a major population imbalance with only 22 adult women and 95 men.

3rd February 1658: After a terrible two month journey and on the brink of starvation they will reach Java and make contact with the VOC there. They will report not only that the Vergulde Draeck wasn't lost at sea but that the survivors have established a settlement on habitable land and secured temporary peace with the natives and that while most of the crew of the Vergulde Draeck wish to leave some of the passengers intend to settle.

17th March 1658: Two ships are dispatched from Batavia to search for the crew of Vergulde Draeck. Due to the inaccuracy of their charts they cannot navigate straight to the Swan River estuary but are forced to arrive 100 miles further north and slowly head south hugging the coast in order to find the crew. On board the ships are 9 families from Java who are tired of the humidity and the dreadful disease environment have decided to try their luck in this new settlement. They bring with them equipment, livestock and seeds to help boost the chances of the settlement along with more weapons to help defend against the natives.

2nd May 1658: The rescue party is sighted by the outpost at Mount Draeck and are guided into the Swan River anchoring in Peereboom Water [Melville Water]. The entire population has assembled to greet the ships on the foreshore.

May 1658: The rescue ships Emeloort and Waekende Boey off-load the supplies and colonists and do some limited exploration while the Captains discuss with the leaders of those who wish to remain behind how this will be managed. While there had been discussion of appointing a VOC representative to govern the place it is eventually decided to appoint Dirk van den Boogaard as Administrator. He will run the settlement for the next 16 years though he will consult on most major matters with the Volksraad made up of all the male heads of households in the settlement. It is also agreed that the existing farmland at Albertsz will be subdivided and given to the dozen or so who wish to stay but who have yet to be given land. The new arrivals are given plots on the northern bank of the Swan River. In order to fulfil its purpose as a stop off point for VOC ships and to enable further trade a harbour on the shore must be established. The site chosen is where the rescue ships have moored and the crew set up camp on the northern shore of the river. Directly south of Albertsz it is named Nieuw Rotterdam [Crawley, WA] after Captain S. Volckertszoon's home town. Before leaving the two captains agree to help clear the site and construct a pier.

19th May 1658: The Emeloort and Waekende Boey depart carrying those survivors of the Vergulde Draeck who wish to leave. Most of those who choose to remain behind were either those who had married Aboriginal women or were settlers heading to Java to establish Plantations rather than sailors. Including the 31 additional settlers who have recently arrived New Holland now has a population of 81. This is barely enough to sustain the settlement and leaves them very vulnerable to the Mooro who though decimated by disease and conflict still outnumber the settlers 7 to 1, that is not counting the other groups of the Whadjuk people who inhabit the area. So it is a matter of some urgency that New Holland attract more settlers in the near future.
I wouldn't refer to them as Boers. Boer is a South Africa thing due to the Great Trek and the African linguistic influences. Great timeline, though.
This is interesting. An Australia colonized in the 17th century could become a major power in its own right by the late 18th.

Though I have a few misgivings about the name of their ship and that mountain. It reminds me of certain...other Boers, ones who shall not be named here. ;)


I always wondering why nobody made a timeline about the Batavia not being taken over by muniteers, and initially thought that this timeline was about that very subject.

Never knew about the Vergulde Draeck, interesting, keep it up.
This is interesting. An Australia colonized in the 17th century could become a major power in its own right by the late 18th.

Though I have a few misgivings about the name of their ship and that mountain. It reminds me of certain...other Boers, ones who shall not be named here. ;)

It's sad that I've never read any of those books, but I could still spot the reference.

Anyway, good start for this TL.
I like this TL and would love to see more. A Dutch or at least a Dutch speaking, which could develop into a separate language, if they are conquered and the ties with the old motherland were broken (like what happened with South Africa IOTL).
I wouldn't refer to them as Boers. Boer is a South Africa thing due to the Great Trek and the African linguistic influences. Great timeline, though.

ehh not really boer is just the Dutch word for farmer, like Bauer is the German word for farmer. In an Australia settled by Dutch (speakers) this word will be known there too, just like other European languages were imported from European countries to other European (often settlement) colonies.

Now the way the word Boer is used in English is related to the Great Trek (grote trek), but it is word imported from Afrikaans* (excuse me, but African linguistic influences is a bit vague) and it could be used in TTL Australia with or without a different meaning.

(*= a daughter language of Dutch).
Though I have a few misgivings about the name of their ship and that mountain. It reminds me of certain...other Boers, ones who shall not be named here. ;)

I was actually just looking through the list of VOC ships that got lost at sea in the 1650-1675 timeframe and it jumped out at me.
Part 3

1658: Two more VOC ship arrive in Nieuw (New) Rotterdam bringing more supplies and crucially several cattle and sheep, they also bring another 11 settlers, including 4 women. After a brief visit to stock up on fresh food they depart for the Cape spreading word amongst the VOC sprawling empire of its latest venture. More farmland is cleared and the new settlers are established on the rich alluvial soils around New Rotterdam rather than further north around Lake Albertsz, though the original settlers remain on their plots rather than clear fresh land.

1658-1670: New Holland grows very slowly as a steady trickle of settlers arrive, while there is continued conflict with the Whadjuk people and several bloody setbacks for the settlers. The gradual introduction of European diseases devastates all of the native people in the vicinity of the settlement and is far more effective protection that the superior muskets and swords of the settlers. The initial friendly relations are very much of the past and a pattern of hostility is established, with the settlers regarding the Aborigines as untameable savages due to the fact that when they are captured and made to work as slaves they tend to either die or run away. Word of the deadliness, untrustworthiness and demonic nature of the European settlers is also spread throughout the tribes of the region.

1670: Despite low immigration with less than twenty five people arriving most years high birth rates and the early settler effect have seen the population grow to nearly five hundred. The northbank of the Swan River between the sea and past Thijssen Island [Heirisson Island] in the east is now densely settled up to Albertsz. The need to stick together to defend against the Whadjuks mean settlement is confined to this area though the 'frontier' advances every year further up river and inland as new land is cleared and new boerderij established. New Rotterdam is now a true hamlet with a 11 houses, an armoury, a church and two warehouses. The pier has been extended further into the river enabling bigger ships to tie up and several fishing boats now ply the Swan River. Wool has become the biggest export from New Holland along with basic supplies for passing VOC ships. Cattle have been introduced and numbers are building up as the gradual beating back of the Whadjuks enable the herds to range further in safety.

1685: The 1685 Edict of Fontainebleau, which repeals the Edict of Nantes leads to a general exodus of the Protestant Huguenots from France. While most remain in Europe a small number emigrate to the VOC colonies of the Cape and New Holland. Two ships bearing 240 settlers arrive in New Holland in 1686 providing a much needed boost to the colony, some of them having been wine makers in France they also bring cuttings from the vines of their native land.

1700: Despite the short term boost from the Huguenots the attitude of the VOC has remained one of benign neglect which, combined with the awesome distance from Europe, still retards the growth of the colony. The bloody war with the Whadjuk people has finally seen them defeated and driven out of the Swan River Plain meaning that land is no longer in short supply. Despite all this the population of the colony has grown to 1,500 and with greater numbers increased specialisation is possible with the beginning of basic craft industries, though anything at all advanced has to be imported from Europe with hefty fees going to the VOC. Settlement has extended up both the Swan and Gerber Rivers [Canning River] and New Rotterdam is now a thriving village with a new, bigger, Church, 4 warehouses, an armoury and a brand new town hall for the Administrator Wilhelm De Bruin to govern from and the Volksraad to meet in.

1724: Despite the divergence from normal VOC practice it had always followed a more hands off approach to New Holland, this was mostly due to its lack of importance. With New Rotterdam being a three week diversion from the direct Cape Town-Batavia route it did not receive the attention paid to the Cape, which had the blessing and the curse of being the vital resupply point on the hugely profitable spice trade between Europe and Java. 90% of VOC ships bypassed New Rotterdam with only those that needed safe harbour due to some accident, were running low on supplies or were bringing supplies and colonists to New Holland stopping.
This approach had been welcomed by the settlers and in another departure from normal practice the first five VOC administrators had all been settlers resident in the colony rather than apparatchiks sent from Amsterdam for a brief term. This status quo is disturbed by the appointment of Piet de Jong, sent from Amsterdam with the specific aim of making the colony turn a profit rather than simply not costing anything. Having previously worked in the Cape Colony de Jong imported the extremely authoritarian style of government that had become common there.
This was meet with fury from the settlers who after having been left alone for nearly seventy years were unprepared for the level of control he wished to exert over the Colony. However he brought with him a garrison and with only 3,800 people in the colony and surrounded by desert to the north and still hostile Aboriginals to the south and east he is able to exert his authority. His most hated edict is the end of the previous pattern of fighting the Aborigines in order to advance the frontier in order to provide more land for sheep and cattle runs. This had seen the size of the colony massively increase. His halt on further conflict and efforts to make peace with the natives, while noble have the side effect of ending the growth of the colonies main exports, wool and leather. However he does support and expand the wine industry that has set up by the Huguenot settlers. While it will be some time before this becomes a major export this and higher taxes on everything else does begin yielding the VOC a profit.

Also are any Dutch or Afrikaans speakers following this?
To answer your question, I'm from the Dutch province North Brabant and Dutch is my native language. :)

BTW nice TL !


With a span of 70 odd years and a self sustaining settlement will you have any other powers sniffing around, if only to grab a site for a fort? What's his name went all the way to Ceduna in 1627 and Tasman touched Tasmania in 1642 so some knowledge is there to be exploited.