Isaac Johannes Lamotius, governor of Mauritius

Isaac Johannes Lamotius (bapt. 29 May 1646 in Beverwijk – 1718)[1] or (1653–1710) [2] was governor of Mauritius from 1677 to 1692. Lamotius was interested in arts and knowledge and became an ichthyologist; he made 250 drawings of fishes which are kept in Paris.[3]


Isaac was the son of Johannes Lamotius, who played a main part in the capturing of Dutch Malacca (January 1641) and married in Batavia the widow of Matthijs Quast. As a sergeant major he was stationed in Dutch Formosa (September 1642-?).[4][5][6] In 1653 Johannes lived in Beverwijk

Not much is known about the early life of his son Isaac. In September 1677 he arrived on the island. In 1682 Joan Huydecoper II strongly urged the colonial administrators to undertake botanical research and stimulated the production of drawings of plants on the spot. He gave him instructions how to start an herbarium. In 1685 Huydecoper requested subtropical plants. A cucumis arrived the year after in Amsterdam.[7] Lamotius became an expert on the fauna and fauna of Mauritius and published daily journals. In 1688 the last three dodos were captured.

Some say his fifteen years of command saw the island descend into despotism and immorality was rife. When people complained in 1692, Lamotius and his second man were shipped to Batavia and tried in 1695, sentenced for private trade. He was banished for six years to the island of Rosengain, being chained on the most eastern of the Banda Islands.


  1. Lamotius, Isaac Johannes at the Netherlands Institute for Art History.
  3. Holthuis, L. B., and T. W. Pietsch. 2006. Les Planches inédites de Poissons et autres Animaux marins de l’Indo-Ouest Pacifique d’Isaac Johannes Lamotius [Isaac Johannes Lamotius (1646-c. 1718) and His Paintings of Indo-Pacific Fishes and Other Marine Animals]. Christian Érard (editor), Publications Scientifiques du Muséum and Bibliothèque Centrale, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 292 pp., 93 color pls.
  4. CORPUS DIPLOMATICUM NEERLANDO-INDIGUM. VERZAMELING van Politieke contracten en verdere Verdragen door de Nederlanders in het Oosten gesloten, van Privilegebrieven, aan hen verleend, enz.,
  6. Borao, José Eugenio (2010). The Spanish experience in Taiwan, 1626-1642: the Baroque ending of a Renaissance endeavor. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9789622090835. JSTOR j.ctt1xcrpk.
  7. Heniger, J. (1986) Hendrik Adriaan van Reede tot Drakenstein (1636–1691) and Hortus Malabaricus — A contribution to the history of Dutch colonial botany, p. 63, 71, 161, 162.