The Dutch Cemetery in Chinsurah: A Digital Archive of Memories

Daniel Antonio Overbeek

Last Name: 
Overbeek (Overbeck)
First Name: 
Daniel Anthony
Post-nominal titles: 
Governor and Extraordinary Counsellor of India
year of death: 
date of death: 
25th September 1840
Age at death: 
Father of Peter Theodore Gerard Overbeek and husband of Sara Leonora Overbeek (nee Eilbracht). His grandson was William Wright (1830 - 1889), the orientalist scholar [refer to the Dictionary of National Biography Vol. 63 available at,_William_(1830-1889)_(DNB00)]. His parents were Daniel van Overbeek and Theodora Immens (whose parents were Andreas Franciscus Immens and Cornelia Mauregnault). [Source: Burke's Peerage]
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After his term as the last Dutch governor, D.A. Overbeck stayed on as a private citizen in British-occupied Chinsurah after the secession of the Dutch rule. He is mentioned in Mesrov Seth's The History of Armenians in India as having laid the foundation stone for the steeple of the Armenian Church in Chinsurah. He is also recorded as having deposed before the British court in the matter of establishing the identity of the Maharajah of Burdwan (the 'Pertaub Chand' case). As governor, Overbeck also famously donated drums and a silver idol of Shiva to the Sandeshwar temple in Chinsurah.
Overbeck’s popularity with the populace is obvious from the following account of his farewell speech and the responses to it: "Gentlemen King's Servants and Inhabitants of the Netherlands territory in Chinsurrah It was my wish to see you assembled to bid you my last farewell. I have lived 36 years among you having arisen from the lowest situation in the service to that of your Chief. I feel grateful to the Almighty for the advantages I have enjoyed at this place and to you for the affection and fidelity you have shewn to me. I am happy that my administration has met with your approbation which appeared by eighteen addresses which were presented to me by the King's Servants, the Military Forces, the European Inhabitants, the Portuguese Christians, the Moguls, the Musselmen and Hindoos having their abode in this Colony and which were signed by thousands. I hope if it is the will of Providence soon to return to this place and to spend the remnant of my days among you. Meanwhile I announce to you that it is the desire of the High Authorities that B C D Bouman Esq shall assume the charge of Resident of this Settlement in my stead I present him therefore to you and trust you will show him the esteem love and obedience which you did to me. I feel particularly happy my dear Hindoo friends that during my administration God has opened a way in this settlement by which you may be benefited in the best interests of your being. The Netherlands have united themselves with Britain in sending you worthy Missionaries and to establish schools among you for the instruction of your sons and daughters. O do not despise this privilege which you enjoy and I shall shed a tear of joy and gratitude at the happy prospect which your complying with this entreaty oilers for the future. Farewell all of my friends, farewell, The Almighty God be with you keep you under his protection and bless you now and for ever." At the end of this speech the numerous assembly could not contain their feelings tears rolled down the cheeks of every one and expressions of the most sincere regret on the departure of the virtuous Resident were heard from all sides. When silence was restored the Revd Mr Lacroix, the Netherlands Missionary, rose and addressed in the name of the assembled inhabitants the Honorable D. A Overbeck nearly as follows; "Honourable Sir, It is with feelings of heartfelt sorrow that we learn the news of your approaching departure. We were all sincerely attached to you. The justice, impartiality, disinterestedness and wisdom which have at all times characterised your public proceedings the love and friendship which you have invariably shown to us your zeal to promote religion and good morals and your indefatigable efforts to render happy all those who were placed under your care has made you worthy of our esteem love and gratitude. We would have felt inexpressively happy if you had continued among us and if we had been permitted longer to be blessed with your paternal administration but the Lord of Heaven and earth who has all things in his hand has ordered it differently we trust however that this change will under his leading work together for your good and our good. Your remembrance will ever remain dear to us and your name will never be uttered among us without creating feelings of undistinguished love in our hearts. May we request you also not to forget us and sometimes to think of us. And shew us the favor much respected and beloved Chief to accept of this small gift." The speaker presented at the same time to Mr Overbeck a handsome silver vase with an inscription expressing the feelings of the inhabitants towards him as a token of the love and esteem "which we all feel for you on account of your merits Receive our best wishes on your journey and be persuaded that our fervent prayers will be offered up to the Almighty to beseech him to grant you success in your undertaking so that the justice and honour which we are all witnesses you perfectly deserve may be rendered to you. Should it be the will of Providence to bring you safe back among us which we sincerely hope you will find again in us warm and faithful friends who by their devotedness in all circumstances will show you that the affection they felt and expressed for you was sincere and unchangeable. These sentiments are not mine alone but those also of all my fellow Inhabitants who have given me charge to express them to you." To this Mr Overbeck replied, "The proof of your attachment in presenting me with this handsome vase is truly nattering to me I have received many testimonies of affection already from the inhabitants of this place no visible token therefore was requisite to make your remembrance dear and lasting to me I accept of your present with gratitude as a testimony that you nave considered my feeble efforts among you in their true light namely as intended to promote your peace rest and happiness. I shall have this valuable gift daily before me and it will in all circumstances afford me matter of comfort in beholding it to think that thousands remember me and wish me happiness and bliss. Sure grief is better felt than expressed allow me therefore to end commending you to the protection of the Almighty God. I will now bid you farewell." The Honorable DA Overbeck left Chinsurah on the 24th instant and was accompanied to the ghaut by the most respectable of the inhabitants and the garrison which saluted him at the weighing of the anchor. We understand Mr Overbeck is to sail for Java in a few days in the Eliza under Captain Cole with his son PGT Overbeck, Esq. Secretary to the Political and Judical Department at Chinsurah. [Source: The Quarterly Oriental Magazine: Review and Register, 1825.]

Any reason for importance: 
Last Dutch Governor of India
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This record has been created by:: 

Souvik Mukherjee