Gerard Pietersz. Hulft
Get Gerard Pietersz. Hulft essential facts below. View Videos or join the Gerard Pietersz. Hulft discussion. Add Gerard Pietersz. Hulft to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Gerard Pietersz. Hulft
Gerard Hulft by Michiel van Musscher (1677)

Gerard Pietersz. Hulft (12 December 1621 in Amsterdam – 10 April 1656 in Colombo), was a Dutch general. In 1655 he was sent with a fleet to Ceylon and died in action.


Hulft was born as the youngest son of the brewer Pieter Hulft, and member of the Civic Guard at the Lastage, a neighborhood near the port of Amsterdam. After concluding his law studies Gerard Hulft was made Secretary to the City Council in 1645, a position he held until 1653.[1] He served under Johan Huydecoper van Maarsseveen, Andries Bicker, and Cornelis de Graeff. In 1652, a merchant vessel in which he had invested a fortune, was captured by the British. In the ensuing war Hulft hired and kept at his own expense a group of 24 sailors along which he served under Admiral Witte de Witt (1654). After the war he lost his job as Secretary due to an administrative conflict with the burgomasters, when he refused to change the wording.[2] He seemed to have been a friend of Govert Flinck, who painted his portrait before his departure to the East.[2]

View of the lake from Rajapihilla Mawatha, on the right the golden roof of the Temple of the Tooth, top left a toque macaque

Enlisting with the VOC, where his brother Joan was a governor, he left for Batavia in April 1654, carrying letters nominating him either as Governor-General or Director-General of the Indies. Upon his arrival in Batavia in October, after a six-month journey, he joined the Council of Indies. In August 1655 the shrewd Joan Maetsuycker sent him with eleven ships and 1120 soldiers to Ceylon.[3] His mission was to crush the Portuguese utterly.[4] Hulft arrived in mid-September in Negombo. During his staying in Ceylon he maintained cordial relations with Rajasinghe II of Sri Lanka, the most powerful king of the island.[5]

Hulft marched from Maggona and fought the Portuguese in the vicinity of the Panadura Moya Kata.[6] The Dutch took the fort of Kalutara by surprise and laid siege to the city of Colombo, in October 1655.[7][8] On their first attack on 12 November, the Dutch lost 300 people, and 350 were seriously wounded. Half a year later Hulft died in action, being hit from the townwall by an arquebus in his right shoulder. This happened a month before the surrender of Colombo and two weeks after his visit to the Royal Palace, as described by the Dutch minister and orientalist Philippus Baldaeus.[9] His corpse was decorated with flowers and fruits and transported to Galle.[10] His ensign Pieter de Bitter brought the news to Batavia.[]

See also



  1. ^ "[anonymous] - Inventories".
  2. ^ a b "Section - CODART - Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide".
  3. ^ Balbian Verster, J.F.L. (1932) Gerard Hulft 1621 - 1656, p. 141. In: Yearbook Amstelodamum.
  4. ^ "Homepage - History - VOC/Dutch East India Company - WolvenDaal".
  5. ^ Atlas of Mutual Heritage. "The arrival of general Hulft at the court of Rajasingha II".
  6. ^ "Kalutara -- An Odyssey".
  7. ^
  8. ^ Newton, Arthur Percival. The Cambridge history of the British Empire. 2.
  9. ^ Baldaeus, Philip. A description of the East-India coasts of Malabar and Coromandel and also of the Isle of Ceylon with their adjacent kingdoms and provinces.
  10. ^ "Dutch Reformed Church of Galle".

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes