Jacques Specx

Jacques Specx

Jacques Specx (Dordrecht, 1585 - Amsterdam, July 22, 1652) was a Dutch merchant, who founded the trade on Japan and Korea in 1609. [http://www.city.hirado.nagasaki.jp/english/history/historycontent.htm ] [http://www.koreanhistoryproject.org/Ket/C14/E1403.htm ] Jacques Specx received the support of William Adams to obtain extensive trading rights from the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu on August 24th, 1609, which allowed him to establish a trading factory in Hirado on September 20th, 1609.He was the illegimate governor in Batavia between 1629 - 1632. There his daughter Saartje Specx was involved in a scandal. Back home in Holland Specx became an art-collector.

The Dutch, who, rather than "Nanban" were called "Kōmō" (Jp:紅毛, lit. "Red Hair") by the Japanese, first arrived in Japan in 1600, onboard the "Liefde". In 1605, two of the "Liefde"'s crew were sent to Pattani by Tokugawa Ieyasu, to invite Dutch trade to Japan. The head of the Pattani Dutch trading post, Victor Sprinckel, refused on the ground that he was too busy dealing with Portuguese opposition in Southeast Asia.

Jacques Specx sailed on a fleet of eleven ships that left Texel in 1607 under the command of Pieter Willemsz Verhoeff. After arriving in Bantam two ships which were dispatched to establish the first official trade relations between the Netherlands and Japan. [http://www.vocsite.nl/geschiedenis/personalia/specx.html] The two ships he commanded, "De Griffioen" (the "Griffin", 19 canons) and "Roode Leeuw met Pijlen" (the "Red lion with arrows", 400 tons, 26 canons), arrived in Japan on July 2nd, 1609. [Opstall, M.E. van (1972) De reis van de vloot van Pieter Willemsz Verhoeff naar Azie 1607 - 1612 (The voyage of the fleet of Pieter Willemsz Verhoeff to Asia 1607 - 1612), p. 141. ]

Among the crews were the Chiefmerchants Abraham van den Broeck and Nicolaas Puyck and the under-merchant Jaques Specx. It is sure the first two undertook the journey to the Shogunal Court, on wich mission Melchior van Santvoort acted as an interpreter. The last named came with the Dutch ship "De Liefde" inJapan in 1600, and established himself as a merchant in Nagasaki. The Shogun granted theDutch the access to all ports in Japan, and confirmed this in an act of safe-conduct , stampedwith his red seal. (Inv.nr.1a.). In september 1609 the ship's Council decided to hire a house onHirado island (west of the southern main island Kiushu). Jacques Specx became the first"Opperhoofd" (Chief) of the new Company's factory. [ [ English summary of the inventory of the archives of the Dutch factory in Japan, 1609-1860] ]

In 1610 he sent a ship to Korea. [http://www.hendrick-hamel.henny-savenije.pe.kr/holland4.htm ]

Specx owned five paintings by Rembrandt. [http://traumwerk.stanford.edu/philolog/2005/12/ ]


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