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HOME > Hamel Pavilion > Lives in Seoul > Lives in Hullyeondogam

Hamel and his mates arrived in Seoul on June 26, 1654 or immediately before.

On April 11, 1654 before they arrived, Lee Won-jin made a proposal to King Hyojong about calling them to Seoul and King Hyojong decided to attach them to Hullyeondogam(¡ºBibyeonsa Deungrok¡», Feb. 24, the 5th year of King Hyojong).

Dongdaemun Stadium
(the old site of Hullyeondogam
in the Joseon

According to¡ºThe Journal of Hendrick Hamel¡», after arriving in Seoul, he stayed with the rest of his mates for the first two or three days.

After that, they were divided into two or three, or four and lived with Chinese escapees from China. These Chinese refugees were Chinese interpreters.
Hamel and his mates were attached to a foreign unit of Hullyeondogam where Park Yeon (Weltevree) worked and began the life as soldiers.

First of all, they became guards under general's command by order of the king.

The chief of those days was Lee Wan. They were paid rice equivalent to 70 geun per one person.

They were given Joseon-style name and age and a round wood plate certifying that they were foreigners. Moreover, they were supplied even one stand of matchlock, gunpowder, and bullets.

The round wood plate refers to Hopae. Their life as Joseon people began. Some of them had Joseon-style name such as "Nam Buksan" and "Nam Ian".

On the other hand, Hamel and his mates were obviously different from Korean people with their blue eyes, white face, reddish brown hair, and a tall height.
Probably, they had a very strange feature from those of Joseon people. Although Park Yeon (Weltevree) had stayed since 1627, having 35 foreigners in Seoul was a surprise and rare experience for Seoul people.

According to ¡ºHyojeongsillok¡», August in the 4th year of King Hyojong, Mujinjo and ¡ºThe Journal of Hendrick Hamel¡», King Hyojong occasionally called them to the Court and asked them for traditional Dutch song or dance or to display some feats.

In addition, high-ranking officials often called them because their wives and children wanted to see them.
As a result, Hamel and his mates could not go around the street freely during their stay in Seoul.

In August, 1654 soon after arriving in Seoul, they were transferred to a large castle, known as Namhansanseong, by order of the king because the envoys of the Ching Dynasty visited Seoul.

Hopae in the Joseon Dynasty

With two invasions of the Ching Dynasty in 1627 and in 1636, Joseon entered the tributary state system of the Ching Dynasty and built a diplomatic relation with it.

Because Joseon did not inform the Ching Dynasty about the 36 Dutch survivors of a shipwreck and did not want to explain the reason of their stay in Seoul, Hamel and his mates were moved to Namhansanseong in the suburb of Seoul and they were kept on a close watch.

In December, it was very cold, so the chief of Hullyeondogam felt compassion. He wrote a letter to the king to provide them the buckskin carried on the Sperwer at the time of shipwreck in Jeju-do.

Unfortunately, it already went to rot or were worm-eaten.


Hamel and his mates were allowed to sell some intact buckskin so as to buy things to stand the cold. They decided to buy a house because their landlord forced them to gather firewood in spite of severe cold and they had to go and return along over three miles everyday.

They gave each one's fund and bought a small house in Seoul and some clothes to go through winter.

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