Thursday, January 08, 2004
The First Dutch War (the Navy Record Society book) I have been reading The First Dutch War for over a decade. A feature of this work is that the original editor, Dr. Gardner, died early in the publication cycle. His successor was much less familiar with both the subject and the material. As a result, the later volumes have documents mis-labelled and mis-dated. For example, there is a ship list said to be for April 1653 that is actually dating from the latter English Civil War (April 1649). There are so many internal indications that this is so, that it is almost incomprehensible that the editor could have not understood this. Another case if a listing of Michiel De Ruyter's squadron (said to be from the fall of 1653), which was actually from August 1652. Again, to someone familiar with the material, this is obvious. This was published in Volume VI. What prompted this, is that I just did some research about Captain Anthony Young, an English captain who commanded a detachment of three ships, in May 1652, in an encounter that was critical in the start of the First Anglo-Dutch War. In Volume VI of The First Dutch War, on page 79, there is a mention that Captain Young was accompanying Dutch prizes, in September 1653. In fact, he had been sacked and charged with not bringing his ship into combat at the Battle of Dungeness, in 1652. This was another case of the editor not being familiar with the material. Admittedly, I had the benefit of an index for the series, which was only produced for Volume VI, after everything else was published.