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Frederick de Houtman

Fredirick de Houtman (15711627) was Dutch explorer who sailed along the Western coast of Australia (see History of Western Australia) en route to Batavia.

He assisted fellow Dutch navigator Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser with astronomical observations during his first expedition to the East Indies in 1595-1597.

During subsequent expeditions he added further stars to the list of those observed by Keyser. Between them the following constellations are credited to them as discoverors.

Houtmand was the elder brother of Cornelis Houtman who in a second expedition in 1598-1599 was killed. Frederick was imprisoned by the Sultan of Atjeh in northern Sumatra, but made good use of his two years in prison by studying the local Malay language and making astronomical observations.

In 1603, following his return to Holland, Frederick published his observations as an appendix to a Malayan and Madagascan dictionary he wrote.

In 1619 he sighted land on the Australian coast near present day Perth. After sailing northwards along the coast he encountered and only narrowly avoided a group of shoals, the Houtman Abrolhos. Houtman then made landfall in the region known as Eendrachtsland which previous explorer Dirk Hartog had encountered.