Diemen, Anthony Van

, a governor of the Dutch East India settlements, was born at Kuilenburg. He went, in early life, in a low military capacity to India, where he was chiefly employed in writing petitions for the soldiers; but being afterwards promoted to a post under government, which required some skill in accounts, he became a merchant, and afterwards accountant-general of the Dutch settlements in India. In 1625, he was appointed a member of the supreme council, and in 1631 he returned to Holland as commander of the India fleet. He remained but a few months in Europe, and when he went back to India many important offices devolved on him. In 1642, he sent out two ships to explore the unknown countries to the south, part of which, forming the southern extremity of New Holland, was, in honour of him, distinguished by the appellation of “Van Diemen’s Land.” He died in | April 1645, having held, with much reputation, the supreme power in India upwards of nine years. Van Diemen’s land is an island in the form of an oblong square, about I Go British miles long, by half that breadth, separated by a strait, or rather channel, more than 30 leagues wide, called, in recent maps, Bass’s strait, and containing a chain of small islands, running N. and S. from New Holland. From the time it was originally discovered, says capt. Cook, it had escaped all farther notice by European navigators, till captain Furneaux touched at it in March 1773; but he did not know at that time that capt. Marion, after having remained here for some time, sailed from thence on the 10th of March, 1772. It was again visited by captain Cook in January 1777. 1


Cook’s Voyages. Rees’s Cyclopædia.