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The Fleets

Stoomvaart Maatschappij Java, Amsterdam 1873-1887

In March 1873 in Amsterdam besides the existing Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (SMN), the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Java was founded, with the aim to establish a connection between Amsterdam and the Dutch East Indies, which was rich in development.
The founders, T.C. Scholl and J. Heybroek had received strong support from the United Kingdom by J.W. Adamson and Th. Ronaldson (shipowners and shipbrokers in London), (see also Stoomvaart Maatschappij Insulinde) whom had clearly seen that the needs for the Dutch government for tonnage, to and from the Dutch East Indies, could not be met by the SMN alone.
The Amsterdam firm of B.H. Schröder & Co. also took part in the newly founded company and supplied the resources for the first three ships.

First, the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Java purchased a second hand ship (ex Columbian) and within the year added four new cargo passenger ships too the fleet, all built in Great Britain.
With that the outsider had suddenly became the largest Dutch shipping company to trade to the Dutch East Indies.
Moreover, a sister company, the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Batavia which was under management of Hudig and Scholl was founded in Rotterdam and owned one ship.

The company flourished well and because its ships were built to a lower standard and were therefore cheaper to run than the ships of the SMN, the company could obtain lower passage and freight tariffs.

In 1875, however the driving force behind the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Java in the person of T.C. Scholl, died and the company went rapidly downhill after that.
In spring of 1876, the ships were then chartered to the SMN and its own exploitation had to be abandoned. However, the SMN only used two of the ships on the Amsterdam Dutch East Indies route for the passenger trade. The other ships were sold or used in the Dutch East Indies.
One new ship was built for the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Java in 1879, the KONINGIN EMMA, however, SMN stipulated how the new ship was to be built.

In the next years the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Java saw a growing loss, partly due to a new competitor in the form of the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Insulinde. On 1 September 1887 the company was liquidated. The two best ships became the property of the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland and the remaining ships were sold.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for their assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

  • Route:
    • Amsterdam-Batavia (Djakarta)

Yellow with black top.


    Stoomvaart Mij. Java  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Borneo 1873 built by W. Pile & Co., Sunderland | 1876 sold to W.E. Woolf & Haig, Hull renamed Kin Shan, 13 October 1877 foundered in Atlantic Ocean. 1,716
Celebes 1866 built by Pile, Spence & Co., London | ex- Columbian built for West India & Pacific SS Co., Liverpool, 29 October 1867 foundered off St. Thomas, 1873 raised and repaired, 1873 purchased from G. Blaxland Jr., London renamed Celebes, 1883 renamed Soenda on charter SMN, 1887 purchased by SMN, 1900 sold for scrap to Italy, 1901 scrapped at Genoa. 1,490
Holland 1873 built by Raylton, Dixon & Co., Middlesbrough | 1876-1878 chartered by SMN 1879 sold to Fr. Bennington & Co., Stockton renamed Castlefield, 25 August 1883 foundered off Cape Bon. 1,822
Java 1873 built by Backhouse & Dixon, Middlesbrough | 1876-1881 chartered by SMN, 1881 sold to Soc. Rouenaise de Transports Maritimes a Vapeur, Rouen renamed Port de Rouen, 1883 sold to Robert Thompson, Hull not renamed, 1883 sold to Massey & Sawyer, Hull same name, 1885 renamed Drewton, 26 November 1892 stranded and lost off Jaffa. 2,265
Koningin Emma 1879 built by Richardson Duck & Co., Stockton | In charter SMN, 1887 sold to SMN, 1894 converted into a cargo ship renamed Java, 1901 sold to L. Donegani, Livorno, Italy renamed Jolanda, 1903 scrapped at Genoa. 2,531
Madura 1873 built by Richardson Duck & Co., Stockton | 1876-1887 chartered by SMN, 1887 sold to Christopher Furness, West Hartlepool not renamed, 1891 registered under Furness, Withy & Co. Ltd, November 1895 foundered on voyage Hamburg to Port Royal. 2,315
Soenda   see Celebes.  
    Stoomvaart Mij. Batavia  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Sumatra 1858 built by Tod & McGregor, Glasgow | ex- Salsette built for P&O, 1871 sold to Adamson & Ronaldson, London not renamed 1873 purchased renamed Sumatra, 1876 reverted to Adamson & Ronaldson, sold several times without a change of name, 1900 scrapped at Genoa. 2,289

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