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HOME > Hamel Pavilion > Shipwreck and life in Jeju > Life in Jeju



Hamel wrote a favorable impression upon Moksa Lee Won-jin after interrogation in Jeju.

He said that Moksa Lee Won-jin was kind and sympathetic, was born in Seoul, looked about seventies, and enjoyed King Hyojong's deep confidence.


In reality, Lee Won-jin consoled them for their unfortunate shipwreck in a foreign land.
He provided food to them and gave a chance to go out by turns in six-pairs everyday. Since Lee Won-jin frequently talked with them, they could communicate even with gesture and clumsy words. Lee Won-jin treated them generously and supported them.

However, with the appointment of a new Moksa, the situation was completely changed. Early in December, Lee Won-jon finished up his 3-year term and left for Seoul.

Before leaving, Lee Won-jin gave durumagi (man's outer coat) and a pair of shoes to them for them to withstand the cold. Also, he gave them back their recovered books. He was sorry that he could not send them to Japan but he promised them to do his best for their release and facilitate their travel to Seoul (the capital). This was communicated through an interpreter Park Yeon (Weltervree).

According to Hamel's report, Lee Won-jin left Jeju-do early January in 1654.

A new Moksa, So Dong-do treated Hamel and his mates very badly.
Immediately on starting his new post, he seized their provisions of rice, before they had to make a meal with only rice and salt. But Dong-do provided barley instead of rice and barley flour instead of wheat flour without any additions.

Such situation made them terrified and went so far as to plan for escape. They had an eye on one ship and plan for escape. Late April in 1654, they had a chance to escape, but they gave up because a dog howled and soldiers strictly guarded them.


In early May, 6 people had a good chance and took a ship to escape. But, they failed because water filled their ship that prevented it to sail. They were arrested and examined for searching out conspirators. Escapees were given 25 blows on theirbare buttocks with a stick and as a result, they had to stay in bed for about a month. Going out was generally prohibited and they were closely watched.

Late May in 1654, at length, Hamel and his mates received the long-waited order from the king for them to go to Seoul. Hamel was very happy so as to finish a miserable life in Jeju-do.

Six or seven days later, they went on board four ships and their one hand and both ankles were handcuffed to prevent their escape under neglectable watch. They were on board for two days but went back to Jeju-do because of bad weather.

Four or five days later, they could leave again. Finally, they left Jeju-do early June in 1654.







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