Thursday, November 27, 2003
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Blogging, when no one knows you are there
I keep on blogging about what I think is "good stuff", despite the fact that very few people even know that I am here, and what I am doing.
My goal is to post information that I would have been really excited to find, before I got access to the Nationaal Archief, in Den Haag. My initial package was actually from Rick van Velden, in his role at "The Missing Link". The most exciting piece was this list, dated 26 February 1652, from the Rotterdam Admiralty. This was a revelation, as the document clearly stated that the dimensions were given in Maas feet, consisting of 12 inches per foot. The usual way of measuring 17th Century Dutch ships was the Amsterdam foot, divided into 11 inches per foot.
The consequence of the Maas foot revelation was that many, if not all, of the traditional dimensions for Rotterdam ships in 1652 were misunderstood. While the Hold: 13-1/2 feet
The reality is that these are Maas feet.
The dimensions, in Amsterdam feet, are something like:
Hold: 14 feet-8 inches
An Amsterdam foot was about 283.1 mm while a Maas foot was about 313.9 mm (According to The catalogue of the Dutch Navy Model Collection)
The next package was journals. There is one from Witte de With, in 1646. Another is Jan Evertsen's, from 1652-1653. Another is Pieter Florissen's, from a similar period. I also have some journals written by Isaak Sweers from 1650 to 1652. He had been with Johan van Galen, in the Mediterranean Sea, operating against the North African pirates.
After that, I received, on microfilm, a series of documents entitled "Staet van Oorloge te water", each one for a different year. I have the documents for 1628, 1629, 1631, 1633, and 1654. The 1654 document is a classic, as this formed the basis for Vreugdenhil's list from 1938, published by the Society for Nautical Research.
Eventually, I contacted Jan Glete, after I had seen his reference to the "Directies ter Equipering van Oorlogschepen, 1631-1657". Prof. Glete very kindly sent me copies of his notes from 20 years ago, from the Nationaal Archief. I asked if Rick van Velden could find them. He did, over a period of time. There were a few things he was not able to locate. However, there were also a few manuscripts that he found that Jan Glete had not seen.
This fall, I received two more copies of "Staet van Oorlog te Water" for 1654 and 1633. The 1633 manuscript has a cover page in a very fine hand, calling itself: "Staet van Oorlogh te Water voor den Jare 1633". This is probably the most readable page of all those I have received.
Hold: 13-1/2 feet The reality is that these are Maas feet. The dimensions, in Amsterdam feet, are something like:
Hold: 14 feet-8 inches An Amsterdam foot was about 283.1 mm while a Maas foot was about 313.9 mm (According to The catalogue of the Dutch Navy Model Collection) The next package was journals. There is one from Witte de With, in 1646. Another is Jan Evertsen's, from 1652-1653. Another is Pieter Florissen's, from a similar period. I also have some journals written by Isaak Sweers from 1650 to 1652. He had been with Johan van Galen, in the Mediterranean Sea, operating against the North African pirates. After that, I received, on microfilm, a series of documents entitled "Staet van Oorloge te water", each one for a different year. I have the documents for 1628, 1629, 1631, 1633, and 1654. The 1654 document is a classic, as this formed the basis for Vreugdenhil's list from 1938, published by the Society for Nautical Research. Eventually, I contacted Jan Glete, after I had seen his reference to the "Directies ter Equipering van Oorlogschepen, 1631-1657". Prof. Glete very kindly sent me copies of his notes from 20 years ago, from the Nationaal Archief. I asked if Rick van Velden could find them. He did, over a period of time. There were a few things he was not able to locate. However, there were also a few manuscripts that he found that Jan Glete had not seen. This fall, I received two more copies of "Staet van Oorlog te Water" for 1654 and 1633. The 1633 manuscript has a cover page in a very fine hand, calling itself: "Staet van Oorlogh te Water voor den Jare 1633". This is probably the most readable page of all those I have received.
Monday, November 24, 2003
Sunday, November 23, 2003
I have not seen this in any published source, but from multiple documents from the "Directies ter Equipering van Oorlogschepen, 1631-1657", we have detailed information about what ship Gerrit van Lummen commanded.
From an undated document that mirrors what was published in the First Dutch War, Vol. I for the Amstedam Directors, I first knew what ship he commanded.
His ship was the Neptunis (the archaic spelling). His lieutenant, at that time, was Jan Danielsz. van Luijck.
The dimensions for the Neptunis are:
|Height between decks:||7 feet|
(this is from a document from 12 March 1652).
The armament was 34 guns:
4-24pdr brass belonging to the State 12-12pdr 6-8pdr 6-6pdr 4-4pdr 4-3pdr (this totals 36 guns and is from a document from a document dated 8 November 1652--National Archives 1.03.02 Inv. nr. 8)
Saturday, November 22, 2003
Witte de With, De Ruyter, and Jan Evertsen were determined to prevent another collapse, like what happened at the Battle of the Gabbard, in June 1653. They had felt like Tromp had lost control of the battle, and that the situation had turned into chaos. In the ensuing rout, the English captured or destroyed many ships. At Scheveningen, after Tromp's death, the Dutch understood that they were losing the battle. Instead of a rout, de With and his fellow admirals formed a rear-guard, and kept he losses and damage down, from what they could have been.
There is some indication that the Dutch had also fought in a line, although not in as disciplined manner as the English. The Dutch apparently had the advantage of the wind, at the beginning of the Battle of Scheveningen (also called Ter Heide), and attacked first. Like the English, the Dutch also broke the English line.
The results of either side breaking the line were less dramatic than what happened in the latter 18th and early 19th Centuries. To take advantage of breaking the enemy's line, you must concentrate on the ships on either side of the break, with several ships against one.
The Dutch usually practiced concentration and mutual support, but in this case, they kept their line intact, so that breaking the opponent's line did not have any dramatic effect. The main result of the four "passes" were that the smaller and more lightly armed Dutch ships accrued accumulated damage until they were not able to continue the battle.
Friday, November 21, 2003
Thursday, November 20, 2003
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Monday, November 17, 2003
Sunday, November 16, 2003
Saturday, November 15, 2003
I have seen several references to a Dutch ship called Jonas en de Walvisch. That seems to have stemmed from a misreading of an document, or something that was simply mistaken. There were clearly two distinct ships. One was the Amsterdam Admiralty ship commanded by Joris de Colerij (there are many spellings of his name: de Taullery, de Caulery, for example), called the Jonas. The reference for this is on page 202 of Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen, Vol. V, by Dr. Johan E. Elias.
There was another ship, belonging to the Amsterdam Directors, commanded by Abraham Verleth, called the Walvisch. The Walvisch carried 30 guns and had a crew of 110 men. The reference for this is a note on the next page (page 203) of the same volume.
This work is an important source of information about the First Anglo-Dutch War. The only problem may be that I have not seen a library copy in the U.S., although there is bound to be. I have a very poor copy, in paper, that is falling apart, and a very nice hardbound copy. Apparently, the work is available in the Netherlands, if you will look in one of the used and out-of-print book search web sites.
Friday, November 14, 2003
I have conflicting data about several captains and their ships. One is that regarding Claes Janszoon Sanger.
Claes Jansz. Sanger and the West Cappelle
Claes Jansz. Sanger commanded the Zeeland Admiralty ship, the West Cappelle. in August 1653, he was part of Michiel De Ruyter's fleet, engaged in convoying duties in the Channel. There is one list that calls his ship, the "Galjas van Middelburg".
Captain Sanger and his ship fought through the war, until the Battle of Scheveningen. Quite clearly, he was an English captive at the end of the battle. As a matter of policy, the English burnt any ships they captured in this battle.
Yet, in the "Staet van Oorlog te Water voor den jaare 1654", Captain Sanger and his ship are listed. As late as the Battle of Lowestoft, in 1665, a ship named West Cappelle was present.
I guess the most likely scenario is that the 1654 list is mistaken, and the West Cappelle of 1665 is a new ship. I would welcome input on this question.
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
|To carry powder for all guns||23|
|To fill and hand powder for all guns||10|
|Surgeon and men hold||7|
|Carpenter and his men||5|
|Purser and his men:||3|
|Men for the small shot:||74|
|Men to stand by the sails:||80|
|Men for the boats and tops:||32|
I am currently sketching the deck and gunport arrangements, and then do the exterior drawing on top of that (in pencil). I ink that and erase the "helping lines" with a kneaded eraser.
Another tip is that I make heavy use of scanner, graphics program, and printer. When I have a well-proportioned ship, I will copy that in the graphics program (after scanning). I turn on grid lines with 0.1 inch spacing. Then, I will "resample" to resize the drawing. Note that I am just using a copy, not the original image. I will scale the drawing to the size I want, and then do a "print preview" to check the size. I use the Corel PhotoPaint 8 graphics editor, and it provides such a feature. It shows size information in inches. I can then adjust my scaling, if I did not get the results I wanted.
Another feature of the print facility, is that I can size the picture, by adjusting percentages. When I do that, the sizing is not done in the image but in the printing.
Once printed, I turn over the sheet and place it on my "light table". In my case, it is homemade. I have a 1/4 inch sheet of plexiglass lying over the space between two plastic rolling carts with drawer. I set a light underneath. When turned on, I can see through the paper to draw. I draw the position of the main deck. I then measure the deck height and draw the upper deck (where applicable) and then do a forecastle and quarterdeck. Larger ships will also have a poop.
Next, I start drawing gun ports from the rear. I draw one and then allow my spacing between ports. I do that until I get near the bow, where I leave extra space and show the forward-most port, reduced in width, as it is angled towards the bow.
I place the upperdeck guns in the spaces between the lowerdeck ports.
I will post some examples, soon. --Jim Bender
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Monday, November 10, 2003
Tonight, I am working on English ship drawings. Again, the purpose is to use them for laying out battles, to gain a better understanding.
I have a template for ships like the Garland, Bonaventure, and Leopard (the Jacobean and Carolean Middling ships). The Garland was captured by the Dutch at the Battle of Dungeness (30 Nov 1652), while the Bonaventure blew up at the Battle of Leghorn (4 March 1653). The Dutch used the Garland, renamed Rosenkrans, at the Battle of the Gabbard (2 and 3 June 1653) and at the Battle of Scheveningen (Ter Heide-31 July 1653). The Rosenkrans was retaken by the English and burnt, at Scheveningen.
The Rosenkrans was armed with 20-18pdr and 22-12pdr guns. Her captain was Jan de Haes, who was captured by the English at Scheveningen. The Rosenkrans belonged to the Rotterdam Admiralty (the Admiralty of the Maas or Maze).
The armament is given in note 4) on p.58 of Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen , by Dr. Johan E. Elias, Vol. V, 1928.
Sunday, November 09, 2003
In case it wasn't obvious, the ship information that I posted is Dutch. The information is part of Drs. Rick van Velden, and the staff at the Nationaal Archief, in Den Haag, found for me.
Most of the Directors ship information that I have is about ships belonging to the Amsterdam Directors.
From Prof. Glete's notes, I also have dimensions for the St. Jeronimus, which belonged to the Medemblick Directors (in the Noorder-Kwartier).
I believe that her captain was Jan Pieterszoon Eenarm.
In early 1652, the St. Jeronimus carried 30 guns and a crew of 110 men. The dimensions are: (Dutch-style, with "width" instead of beam and "hold" instead of "depth")
In November, 1652, the St. Jeronimus was paid off, as the crew refused to go to sea in her, due to her poor state of repair.
This information is from the "Directies ter Equipering van Oorlogschepen, 1631-1657"
Dimensions are all in Amsterdam feet (about 283mm)
20 January 1653 The ship St. Michiel Length: 120 ft Width: 27-3/4 ft Hold: 13 ft Height between decks: 6-3/4 ft 28 guns: 10-12pdr 8-8pr 8-6pdr 2-3pdr The ship St. Pieter Length: 123 ft Width: 28ft-3in Hold: 12-1/2 ft Height between decks: 6-1/2 ft 28 guns: 10-12pdr 8-8pdr 8-6pdr 2-3pdrI suspect that the 12 and 8pdrs were mounted on the main deck, while the 6pdrs were probably on the quarterdeck. I have thought that the 2-3pdrs could have been on the forecastle. If anyone has information about this, I would be very interested to know. --Jim Bender
I'm currently working on a set of drawings that are intended to be reduced to 100 feet per inch. The drawings that I am currently doing are at 25 feet per inch. The drawings are profile drawings for use as "game pieces" (so to speak). I compose 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheets that are printed on index (110 lb) stock. I cut them out and fold in half to make a "tent". The ship's bow is to the left and there is text on the back.
The purpose is to be able to lay out, on the floor, the ships involved in a battle. My current focus is on the First Anglo-Dutch War. I have lost interest in actually using these for wargaming. I find that using a sailing naval war computer simulation is more interesting. Alex, who is Russian, suggested the Age of Sail II-derived software called "Privateer's Bounty". I have been able to handle a fleet up to 42 ships, so far (on a PC with a 1.4GHz processor with a GB of RAM).
I will be posting information that I have found from archival sources in the Netherlands. I am also indebted to Prof. Jan Glete, in Stockholm, for his kind help.
I am currently looking for someone in the Netherlands who would be willing to do some research for me (a little bit at a time).
Again, my web site is:
-- Jim Bender