Amsterdam, The Netherlands

National Archives of the Netherlands

The Nationaal Archief in Amsterdam contains a valuable collection of documents related to the role St. Eustatius played in the Treasure Island story as well as recorded the names of all twelve men involved in piracy. No other archive in the world has that information

Amsterdam is connected to real story of Treasure Island because The Netherlands owns St. Eustatius, a small island north of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. It was here that Owen Lloyd was captured. Lloyd and his associates were condemned to hang but they latep in the aftermath of war between r escaped with help of Lloyd’s family at St. Kitts. Johannes Heyliger, the Governor of St. Kitts,  had seized 17,000 pesos from Owen Lloyd and his associates and approprited them to hisd own use. The money which belonged to the Spanish captain, Juan Manuel Bonilla, was returned several years later. Amsterdam played a modern role when the the archivists at the Nationaal Archief, at the request of maritime historian, John Amrhein, Jr.  discovered a treasure trove of documents that related to the theft of treasure and those that stole it. When Owen Lloyd was captured he was interrogated by the governor. Others with him were as well. From these interrogations, clues were discovered which documented  who these “pirates” were. They were everyday people for the times caught up in the aftermath of war between Spain and England.

It was only after the discovery of Lloyd’s interrogation that Amrhein, the author of Treasure Island: The Untold Story, was able to determine who Owen Lloyd was and where he was from. He gave his birth place in Wales, stated his age, and said that he last lived in Virginia. Those facts enabled Amrhein to connect the dots and lead him to courthouse records in Norfolk, Virgina, that told the human story of Owen Lloyd and his one-legged brother, John.