Hendrik van Rheede

Hendrik Van Rheede

Hendrik van Rheede

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Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakenstein (Amsterdam, 13 April 1636 - at sea, 15 December 1691) was a military man and a colonial administrator of the Dutch East India Company and naturalist. Between 1670 and 1677 he served as a governor of Dutch Malabar and employed 25 people on his book Hortus Malabaricus, describing 740 plants in the region. The plant Entada rheedii is named for him.


Van Rheede was born in a family of noblemen that played a leading part in the political, administrative and cultural life of the province Utrecht. His mother Elisabeth van Utenhove died in 1637, his father, Ernst van Rheede, Council at the Admiralty of Amsterdam, died when he was four. Hendrik Adriaan, the youngest of seven children, left home at the age of fourteen. In 1656 he joined as a soldier in the Dutch East India Company and met with Johan Bax van Herentals. Van Rheede served under Admiral Rijcklof van Goens in campaigns against the Portuguese on the west coast of India. He gained rapid promotion becoming an ensign. <!--In 1662 he was kept prisoner on Van Goens first and failing attack.Pol, B. van der (2008) Mallabaarse Brieven. De brieven van de Friese predikant...
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