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The Fleets

Stoomvaart Maatschappij Insulinde, Amsterdam 1881-1886

There was the wish by several Amsterdam merchants to open a direct service from the Netherlands to the Netherlands Dutch Indies (Java) besides the already existing lines from the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (SMN) of Amsterdam and the Rotterdamsche Lloyd. H.W. Meyer of the shipbroker company Meyer & Co. approached its relations J.W. Adamson and Th. Ronaldson (shipowners and shipbrokers in London).
Adamson and Ronaldson were allured by the fact that the freight rates from the Netherlands to the Dutch East Indies were higher than those of United Kingdom to British India and in 1880, the time seemed favourable due to an important increase of freight especially the quantity of shipped coffee strongly increased.
On 24 September 1881 the N.V. Stoomvaart Maatschappij Insulinde with a capital of 2,4 million Dutch guilder (of which Fl. 600,000 placed) was founded. Most capital originated from the English participants. The Company started the service with two of Adamson and Ronaldson ships taken over, the Edinburgh and the Mercedes. The Edinburgh was renamed AMSTERDAM and the Mercedes C. FELLINGER.

Stoomvaart Maatschappij Insulinde adopted cargo tariffs which were 25 per cent lower than those of the SMN and the Rotterdamsche Lloyd. The two shipping companies decided thus also to adopt cargo against the same tariffs as the Insulinde. With that a freight war on the Netherlands East India route was started and by October 1881 the tariffs had even decreased by 50 per cent.
In January 1882 the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Insulinde had a shortage of ships and there was dispute between Executive Board and Council of commissioners Meyer and Adamson & Ronaldson about chartering of foreign tonnage. On 24 March 1882 H.W. Meyer and Adamson & Ronaldson withdrew from Stoomvaart Maatschappij Insulinde board, but stayed on as shipbrokers to the company.
The new board decided to order four new cargo ships with a restricted first class passenger accomodation for twelve persons; with those four ships a regular monthly service could be maintained. Two ships were ordered from the British yard of Raylton, Dixon & Co. (the MACASSAR and PADANG) and two ships were ordered from the Dutch yard Koninklijke Fabriek van Stoom & Andere Werktuigen of Amsterdam (KONING WILLEM III and the NEDERLAND EN ORANJE.)
They were four identical iron steam ships and had an accommodation for 12 first class and 12 second class passengers.

The monthly service was supposed to begin in July 1883, but due the late delivery of the new ships this had to be postponed until August and September. In the meantime, the service maintained by chartered foreign ships.
In March of that same year the SMN, Rotterdamsche Lloyd and the Insulinde reached an agreement, as a result of which the competition between the Dutch shipping companies slightly diminished.
The SMN and the Rotterdamsche Lloyd had adapted their schedules and started a ten days service to the Dutch East Indies, the SMN led the service by means of Marseille instead of Naples.

In the second half of 1883 the four newly built ships came in service for the Insulinde. On 7 October 1883 the company got authorisation to write off 5% obligation loans of Fl. 900,000 to order a new ship by Raylton, Dixon & Co. and on 15 May 1884 the JACARTA was delivered from the yard of Raylton, Dixon & Co.

1884 was a year with very low freight rates for the company; the low freight turnovers, the rising cost of coal, extra port money and higher insurance premiums together with the loss on 1 February 1885 of the NEDERLAND EN ORANJE was for the Executive Board reason to hold an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on 11 March 1885 and to reorganize the company.
The loss over 1884 amounted to Fl. 168,165.49 guilder and in March 1885 the total loss had already run to Fl. 207,346.61 guilder and with the enormous depreciation on the ships, amounted to the total loss a million guilders.
This amount of loss was too much for the company and on 1 April 1886 the board decided to liquidate the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Insulinde 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-London-Pauillac-Padang-Batavia (Djakarta)



Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Amsterdam 1855 built by Tod & McGregor, Glasgow | ex- Edinburgh built for Glasgow & New York Steam Ship Co., 1859 taken over by Inman Line not renamed, 1870 chartered to H. E. Bates & Co., 1872 sold to Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co., converted to cable ship, 1881 purchased from Adamson & Ronaldson renamed Amsterdam, 1882 resold to Adamson & Ronaldson renamed Edinburgh, 1886 sold to Italy renamed Eridano, 1907 to Italian Navy as supply ship, 1907 hulk, 1917 scrapped. 2,330
C. Fellinger 1879 built by Mounsey & Foster, Sunderland | ex- Mercedes, 1881 purchased from Adamson & Ronaldson renamed C. Fellinger,1886 sold to A. Kirsten, Hamburg renamed Titania, 1898 sold to Deutsche Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft Kosmos (DDG Kosmos) not renamed, 1898 resold to US Government renamed Marcellus, 9 August 1910 sunk in collision with steamer ROSARIO DI GIORGIO near Cape Hatteras. 2,072
Jacatra 1884 built by Raylton, Dixon & Co., Middlesborough | 1886 sold to Hamburg Amerikanische Paketfahrt Aktien Gesellschaft (Hapag), Hamburg renamed Gothia, sold to Deutsche Levante Linie, renamed Lipsos, 1913 sold to Wm. Eisenach, Stettin renamed Anna Strowig, 1914 sold to Emiel R. Retzlaff, Stettin renamed Rudolf, 1914 laid up in Barcelona, later interned, 1919 allocated to France, 1922 sold to Lalande, Lefebre & Cie., Dunkerque renamed Maguyla, 1923 scrapped. 2,433
Koning Willem III 1883 built by Kon. Fabriek van Stoom & andere Werktuigen, Amsterdam | 1886 sold to Kinsin Linie, Hamburg renamed Niobe, 1898 to Hapag not renamed, 1898 to Norddeutscher Lloyd renamed Babelsberg 1900 sold to Ostasiatische Handels Ges., Hamburg not renamed, 1906 sold to Japan renamed Kinko Maru, 1918 disappearead at sea. 2,199
Macassar 1883 built by Raylton, Dixon & Co., Middlesborough | 1886 sold to Hamburg Amerikanische Paketfahrt Aktien Gesellschaft (Hapag), Hamburg renamed Slavonia, 1897 sold to Deutsche Levante Linie, renamed Leros, 1906 stranded at Alderney and lost, 1907 wreck salvaged and scrapped. 2,285
Nederland en Oranje 1883 built by Kon. Fabriek van Stoom & andere Werktuigen, Amsterdam | 1 February 1885 sunk after collision off Aden, 1885 wreck raised and abandoned at Bombay, repaired and renamed Akbar for Visram, Ebrahim & Co., Bombay, 1887 sold same name. 1907 scrapped at Bombay. 2,205
Padang 1883 built by Raylton, Dixon & Co., Middlesborough | 1886 sold to DGG Kosmos, Hamburg renamed Denderah, 1898 sold to F. Laeisz, Hamburg renamed Lemnos managed by Deutsche Levante Linie, 1900 purchased by DLL not renamed, 1901 sunk after collision with steamer HELIOS off Blankenese. 2,285

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