Tuesday, November 25, 2003

The Dutch building programs from 1653 The Dutch initiated discussion of a 30-ship building program in late 1652. By early 1653, the plan was finalized. The genesis of this plan was the realization, after the Battle of the Kentish Knock, that the Dutch were outmatched by English warships. While the typical Dutch ship had a lower tier composed of 12-pounder guns, the English typically had culverins (18-pounder guns) on the lower tier. For the smaller frigates, the lower tier probably had a mixture of culverins and demi-culverins (9-pounders). The larger English ships probably had a mixture of demi-cannons (32-pounders) and culverins. The largest English ships probably had cannon-of-7 on the lower tier (42-pounders). Lt-Admiral Tromp wanted more of the largest ships, but Amsterdam blocked that from happening. Instead, the building program was mostly composed of smaller ships. There were three charters approved: Length: 150 feet Beam: 38 feet Hold: 15 feet Height between decks: 8 feet Length: 136 feet Beam: 34 feet Hold: 14 feet Height between decks: 7-1/2 feet Length: 130 feet Beam: 32 feet Hold: 13-1/2 feet Height between decks: 7 feet The planned originally approved for each admiralty was: Rotterdam: 1-150ft ship and 4-130ft ships Amsterdam: 4-136ft ships and 6-130ft ships Zeeland: 2-136ft ships and 3-130ft ships Noorderkwartier: 2-136ft ships and 3-130ft ships Friesland: 2-136ft ships and 3-130ft ships The totals, by type were: 1-150ft ship 10-136ft ships 19-130ft ships What was ultimately built did not actually conform to this plan very closely, but this was what was planned. This information is my rendering of what Dr. Johan E. Elias had to say on p.114 from De Vlootbouw in Nederland in de Erste Helft Der 17e Eeuw 1596-1655, Amsterdam, 1933. I hope to publish an English translation of this book, with commentary and corrections, as this is an extremely useful book.

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