COUPER, JAMES [SSNE 4845]
Captain James Couper arrived in Java in the late 1630's as a ship's captain. Indeed, by 1639, he served the VOC as commander of seven yachts, lightly manned with 250 men, including 50 soldiers. Like many VOC officers Couper mixed sea-borne with land operations. During autumn 1640, 130 sailors were taken from ships and formed into 3 companies companies. Couper personally commanded the avantguard company and the unit as a whole. By late September he had also been placed in command of the Batavia naval squadron with instructions to prevent any vessel from entering or leaving the city. The following year, Couper, by resolution of the local council, was made 'surrogate' in the council's place during all military operations. His appointment was short lived. The ship Langerack arrived from Malacca (Malaysia) in late 1641 with the news that the 'esteemed Commander James Couper, field commander of VOC forces, had fallen asleep in the Lord and had been buried there in St. Thomas church with the proper solemnity.
Spources: J. A. van der Chijs (ed.), Dagh Register gehouden int van Casteel Batavia vant paserende daer ter plaetse als over geheel Nederlands India anno 1640-1641 (Batavia, 1887), pp.4, 39, 121, 161; RPG 'Generale Missiven der VOC' II 1639-1655,pp. 68 and 104.