Episode 17 – Hans Putmans (Putman?)

Hans Putmans (or possibly Putman) was the fourth VOC Governor of Formosa and his first order of business was to fix the mess left at the end of Pieter Nuyts’ governorship. Like Nuyts, Putmans heralded from Middelburg, though he had a more varied career with the VOC, being posted to different trading posts before eventually being appointed to Formosa.
His role as governor began with a promising relationship with Zheng Zhilong, before taking an unexpected and somewhat bloody turn.

The Zheng family was based on Xiamen and Jinmen Islands. Xiamen had a perfect natural harbour that protected ships from ocean swells. That’s where Zheng kept his fleet. Gulangyu Island, where Putmans hid his fleet, is labelled south-west of Xiamen.
[Image from Lost Colony by Tonio Andrade]
Map of the Island of Formosa, circa 1665, by artist Johannes Vingboons.

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