Jan Pieterszoon Coen: The Founder of Batavia

Jan Pieterszoon Coen was born in Hoorn, Netherlands. He was baptized on January 8, 1587 and died in Batavia on 21 September 1629. Jan Pieterszoon Coen is the fourth and sixth Governor General of the VOC. In the first term, Coen ruled from 1619 to 1623 and the second term takes place between 1627 to 1629.

Coen went to the Indies on December 22, 1607 and again in 1610. There are not many information about the first trip to the Indies than that his boss, Pieter Willemszoon Verhoeff allegedly murdered by Banda peoples while negotiating the purchase of spices. When he was 31-year-old, Coen, on 18 April 1618, was appointed as Governor-General. However, on May 21, 1619 he officially took the office from the previous Governor General, Laurens Reael.


After becoming Governor General, in 1611, Coen built a trading post at Jayakarta. Banten sultanate’s that ruling Jayakarta was not enjoy with the presence of VOCs and consequently fighting. In January 1619, Coen return to Jayakarta with 17 warships and on May 30, 1619 Jayakarta eventually be controlled entirely by the VOC. On the ruins of the city of Jayakarta, VOC build new settlement, and became known as Batavia

Later in 1623, Coen handed power to Pieter de Carpentier and he was returned to the Netherlands. By VOC, Coen asked to return to the Indies and took the second term as the Governor-General. During the second term, VOC engaged in battles with the Sultanate of Mataram and Banten. Mataram attacks Batavia twice, in 1628 and 1629. Both failed, but the Coen died under mysterious circumstances on 21 September 1629, four days after his wife, Eva Ment, gave birth to a daughter who also died. Coen remembered as the founder of the Netherlands East Indies in the Dutch. His name is widely used as street names and even in Amsterdam there is a building named after him (Coengebouw).

To commemorate the late Governor General Jan Pieterszoon Coen, a monument erected in front of the White House in Batavia in 1869 during the reign of Governor-General Pieter Mijer (1866-1872). Coen statue that stands imperious finger pointing with the famous motto: Dispereet Niet (“abstinence despair “). In the Dutch colonial era, Jakarta’s birthday is always celebrated on May 30, when Coen destroy the city of Jayakarta.


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