Rare 1790 document on the dire financial situation of the VOC
Redenen door Bewindhebberen van de Oostindische Compagnie geallegeerd aan de Heeren van de Hollandsche Personeele Commissie, in July 1790, waarom het jongste subsidie aan de Compagnie toegestaan, niet voldoende zal zyn, wanneer het zal zyn genoten.
[The Hague], . Folio. 15, [1 blank] pp. Unbound. In very good condition, untrimmed, preserving deckle edges.
A thorough document by the directors of the VOC detailing why a granted subsidy of 30 million(!) Guldens would not nearly be enough to cover all the costs of the VOC.
The document, still largely in the same condition as it left the printer's shop in 1790, is testament to the dire financial situation of the VOC at the end of the 18th century. Although the company had been extremely profitable during the 17th century, the profitability steadily declined during the 18th century.
The trade with Japan dried up, the Chinese at Java rebelled against Dutch rule, the English took over the opium trade, and generally profit margin declined, while the costs of maintaining the fleet remained very high. But the death blow was perhaps the financially disastrous Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780–1784).
ARA, Coll. Radermacher, 149: Landwehr, VOC, 1623.