A silver spoon commemorating Juff’ Margareta van Hoorn (1656-1694)
With maker’s mark IT (unidentified, act. 1667-1700), town mark of Batavia and a third mark T (1686)
L. 18.8 cm
Weight 67 grams
The inscription on the back of the spoon reads: “Ter Gedagttenisse van Juff’ Margareta Van Hoorn Weduwe Van d.h.= Francois Tack op Bata: overleden d 30 Maij Aõ 1694 out 38 Iaren 10 maend 22 dagen.”
François Tack was born in The Hague in 1649. He arrived in Batavia in 1672 and took part in several VOC-military operations in the East Indies; in Sri Lanka, (Ceylon) (1672), the Coromandel Coast against the French (1674), and in East Java (1676 and 1678), becoming commander of the sea- and land-forces sent against Palembang in 1681. That same year he was appointed Captain of the castle of Batavia. On the 12th of September 1675, he married Margareta van Hoorn, daughter of Pieter van Hoorn, a council member of the Indies. After several more successful military operations, he was appointed Governor of Malacca in 1685. However, before taking up his new post, he was sent on a mission to negotiate debt repayments by the Susuhunan of Mataram.
During this mission, Tack, together with the other members of this mission, was killed by the notorious slave rebel or famous freedom fighter Surapati. When Surapati escaped enslavement and became the leader of a group of fugitive Balinese people who initially fought for the Dutch East India Company’s army, but later switched sides to fight against it. As a reward for taking on the Dutch, Surapati was made the ruler of a court in Pasuruan, East Java. Surapati continued to wage several battles against Dutch colonial forces until 1706, when he was killed in battle.
Tack was given a state funeral in Batavia. His widow died childless almost nine years after François Tack, and perhaps she did not have enough money to order commemorative salvers.