Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Good sources about Dutch ships

On page 355, Vol.I, of Jan Glete's book, Navies and Nations, in Note 10, he talks about a list of about 40 ships hired by the Directors in 1652 to 1653. As far as I can tell, there is no single list. Instead, there are many separate documents, from various dates, starting from early 1652 up until mid-1653 or so. The reference is: "Erste Afdeeling, Directies, Equipering Oorlogsschepen, Algemeen Rijksarchief, The Hague. Mr. Ron van Maanen had originally pointed out this archive to Jan Glete.

There are many other references to documents and letters in the archives in Dr. Johan E. Elias' 6-volume book, Schetsen uit de geschiedenis van ons zeewezen. Dr. Elias had thought that J.C. De Jonge had missed a great deal of material, when he compiled Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, originally in the 1840's. Schetsen is filled with references to documents that Dr. Elias saw in the early 20th Century (at least from 1916 to 1930). Rick van Velden was able to find a few of them, but I would think that a large number remain unseen for the last 70 or 80 years. We really need to find them and make that information available. I am convinced that if we had the time and resources to do the research, we could fill in most gaps in our knowledge of Dutch ships during the First Anglo-Dutch War. I have already mentioned the Hendrick de Raedt pamphlet. That has the prospect of being very useful, if we could obtain a copy.

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