Jan Jansz Weltevree

Jan Janse de Weltevree (1595 – not known) was a Dutch sailor and probably the first Dutchman to visit Korea. His adventures were recorded in the report by Dutch East India Company accountant Hendrik Hamel. Hamel stayed in Korea from 1653 to 1666.

Jan Jansz Weltevree
朴淵 / 朴燕
Revised RomanizationBak Yeon
McCune–ReischauerPak Yǒn
The statue of Weltevree in De Rijp


Jan Janse de Weltevree was born around 1595, according to Hendrik Hamel in De Rijp, though other sources speak of Vlaardingen. He signed on the ship 'Hollandia' and went on March 17, 1626, to the Dutch East Indies. He arrived in 1627 from Batavia, Dutch East Indies on the ship 'Ouwerkerck'. On July 16, 1627, the 'Ouwerkerck' with its captain Jan Janse de Weltevree captured a Chinese junk and its 150-man crew bound for the port of Amoy, China. Seventy Chinese were brought aboard the Ouwerkerck. Jan Janse de Weltevree, Dirk Gijsbertsz from De Rijp, and Jan Pieterse Verbaest from Amsterdam, all from Holland, along with thirteen other Dutch crewmen went aboard the junk to sail the vessel to Tainan, Formosa. The Ouwerkerck reached safe harbor after battling a fierce summer storm that swept the area.[1][2]

The storm-tossed Chinese junk carrying the hapless Dutch and Chinese ended up on the shores of an island off Korea's west coast, during the reign of the Joseon Dynasty. Although the details of what happened next are unclear, the Chinese, with a five-to-one advantage, overpowered the Dutch survivors, captured Jan Janse de Weltevree, Dirk Gijsbertsz and Jan Verbaest, and handed them over to the Korean Joseon authorities.[1]

The Joseon Dynasty of that time enforced an isolation policy so the captured privateers could not leave the country. Jan Janse de Weltevree took the name Park Yeonn (박연, Park is a Korean surname.) and became an important government official. He married a Korean woman with whom he had two children.

According to Jan Janse de Weltevree, the two other captives from the Ouwerkerck were killed in 1636 during a raid of the Manchu.[3] They would have fought in the Korean army.

In 1653 the ship 'De Sperwer' was wrecked en route from Jakarta to Nagasaki, with Hendrick Hamel on board, and Jan Janse de Weltevree acted as a translator and adviser. This group of 36 Dutchmen stayed in Korea for 13 years, working as military advisors to the Joseon Army, until 8 of them escaped to Nagasaki in 1666. Hendrick Hamel authored the accounts of his stay in Korea, from which we hear about Jan Janse de Weltevree.


Besides the Great Church in De Rijp is a statue of Jan Jansz. A replica of this was erected in 1991 in the capital, Seoul.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "A Dutch Privateer in Joseon". Koreanhistoryproject.org. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  2. ^ http://www.hendrick-hamel.henny-savenije.pe.kr/holland14.htm. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Gari Ledyard "The Dutch Come to Korea", page 26. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 70-177936