History of Vessel
The Koning Willem II was built in Kinderdijk (Holland) during the year 1840. The name of the shipyard is unknown. The vessel first appears in the shipping register of Bureau Veritas in 1842. In that year the Captain was L.C.E. van der Brugh who remained with the vessel until 1849 when Captain Lammert Roelfs Giezen became the new Commander. The latter remained as Captain until his early death (37 years) in 1856. The last Captain until the Koning Willem II’s demise at Guichen Bay was Hindrik Remmelt Giezen.
Originally the Koning Willem II was owned by the firm B.J. Suermondt of Rotterdam. By 1842 its owner was P. Varkevisser of Scheveningen, and the vessel was registered in s’Gravenhage (The Hague), Holland. In 1849 it was registered in the port of Rotterdam.
Not much is known about the Koning Willem II’s sailing career. The vessel was certified to travel all seas but little evidence of her journeys can be found. One reference can be found in the shipping list “Rotterdam – United States”, which states that the Koning Willem II as having traversed the Voorne Canal (Holland) on the 14th May, 1847 on its way from Rotterdam to New York. On that occasion the vessel is referred to as a frigate and the owner is stated as M. Varkevisser.
An advertisement, dated 1851, is preserved in the Giezen family files of the Central Bureau for Genealogy in The Hague and reads as follows: “Awaiting loading to Batavia (now Jakarta – Indonesia) with Goods and Passengers the extra fast sailing coppered Dutch frigate ship Koning Willem de Tweede, Captain L. R. Giezen, ready to depart during this month. Address at the office of M. Varkevisser.”