Thursday, January 29, 2004
The Battle of Portland (28 February 1653-2 March 1653): A Question One question, among many, that I have regarding the Battle of Portland, was which ship Sipke Fockes commanded. From the beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch War, he had commanded the Amsterdam Directors ship, the Sint Maria, 28 guns (The First Dutch War erroneously says that he armament was 37 guns, quoting the English). The Hollandsche Mercurius, for 1653, reports that the ship that was captured at Portland was the Groote Sint Lucas. That is repeated in the 1654 book, Onstelde Zee, by Jodocus Hondius. The Groote Sint Lucas, in the Hollandsche Mercurius is part of a list of ships captured at Portland, and taken into Portsmouth. The list shows her with 28 guns, the same as the Sint Maria. Sipke Fockes was killed in the battle. I have long assumed that the Groote Sint Lucas was a different ship. About 8 months ago, I received copies of manuscripts that showed Sipke Fockes still commanded the Sint Maria in January 1653. That caused me to believe that they were the same ship, and the Groote Sint Lucas was an error. Then, I received a document that showed that the Sint Maria was being repaired after Portland. That meant she had not been captured. That gave new credance to the existence of a Groote Sint Lucas.