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HOME > Hamel Pavilion > Lives in Jeolla Byeongyeong > Lives in Jeolla Byeongyeong



In 1657, Hamel and his mates arrived in Gangjin, Jeolla-do.


According to ¡ºThe Journal of Hamel¡», the military commander of Jeolla Byeongyeong faced a crisis of dismissal due to professional negligence, but he was highly regarded by many people and came from a distinguished family. Ministers defended him so he was especially pardoned.

The name of this governor was Yu Jeong-ik and Hamel seemed very friendly with him.
In February, 1657, the new governor was appointed and treated Hamel and his mates very badly totally unlike the previous one.


They were given free firewood previously, but the new chief made void of all the special favors they used to receive and harassed them with many tasks.
In September, he suddenly died of a heart attack, so they were out of his autocratic rule. Furthermore, Jeolla people suffered from his misrule and his death was very fortunate for them as well.

In November, 1657, the new governor arrived.
It may be lucky or unhappy that he was completely indifferent to Hamel and his mates. They asked clothes or other consideration, but he refused because he was not ordered to give them anything except the 50 geun of rice. Even if there was something needed, they had to solve it for themselves. During the winter season they only had clothes which were worn out like rags due to their tasks of collecting firewood in the forest.

But on the other hand, their lives in Gangin were freer.
In Jeju or Seoul, they were closely watched, but in Gangjin they could go anywhere if the governor permitted. According to¡ºThe Journal of Hendrick Hamel¡», they were hard up for money and they learned that begging was not a fault. They told their adventures and charged money for their story. In this way, they could buy goods to prepare for the winter.

Interestingly, Hamel and his mates gained some money by telling their adventures. It implies that in 1657, four years after they were shipwrecked in Jeju-do, they were very good at Korean and familiar with the life in Joseon.

At the beginning of year 1658, the new governor came.

He did not allowed them to goout again and propose to use their labor on condition of providing textiles of four fathoms per year. The price was so small, so they refused his proposal politely. Instead, they asked a travel for 15 or 20 days by turns and obtained his consent. But the permission was given on condition that the rest nursed patients with a fever and they must not go near to Seoul and Japanese place of residence.

In April, 1659, King Hyojong passed away and the Crown Prince Hyeonjong became a king. According to Hamel, their life in Gangjin from 1660 to 1662 wasvery free without particular problems.

In particular, he has friends at the temples near Gangin.
He received many helps from Buddhist monks, who were greatly interested in foreign things. When telling about foreign countries' customs, they received warm hospitality in return.

They often talked the night away.

Early 1660, the new governor came. He was very kind and sympathetic to them. He spoke repeatedly that if he had authority, he could send them home.
Unfortunately, misfortunes happened to them that year.

Joseon had a very severe drought all over the nation.
According to¡ºThe Journal of Hendrick Hamel¡», in 1662, thousand people died from famine brought about by drought. Hamel and his mates were afraid of going out because of street robbers.

Streets were strictly guarded to prevent robbery and murder. Dead bodies littered on the roads because of the famine. Occasionally, national warehouses were attacked and the stocks of military rice were stolen. Many counties suffered damages that period.
This famine lasted three years until early 1662, people could hardly plant a seedling.

As a result, the governor of Jeolla-do informed Hamel and his mates that he could not provide them grain any more.

Late February of the same year, the superior office ordered to break them up to groups: 12 went to Yeosu (Saijsingh in the original text), 5 to Suncheon(Suintchien in the original text), and 5 went to Namwon (Namman in the original text).







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