Monday, July 19, 2004

Witte de With's squadron sent to Brazil in 1647

In 1647, the situation in Brazil had deteriorated, for the Dutch, to the point that they might be expelled from the country. A squadron was sent, under the command of Witte de With, to restore the Dutch position. Witte de With's squadron, as sent, consisted of the following ships: Admiralty of Rotterdam:
  • Brederode (49 guns) Witte Cornelisz. de With
  • Gelderland (40 guns) Joost van Coulster
  • Dolphijn (32 guns) Job Forant
Admiralty of Amsterdam:
  • Huys van Nassau (40 guns) Govert Vorens. Later, Matthijs Gillissen (heavily damaged on 28 Sept. 1648. Later captured by the Portuguese and refitted)
  • Haarlem (36 guns) Matthijs Gillissen. Lt. Dirck Crijnen Verveen
  • Utrecht (32 guns) Jacob Paulusz. Cort (destroyed by explosion on 28 Sept. 1648)
  • Zutphen (30 guns) Corenlis Toelast. Later, Claes de With
  • Overijssel (28 guns) Dirck Crijnen Verveen. Lt. Steven Cuyper.
Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier:
  • Eendracht (41 guns) Paulus Coolen. Lt. Gijsbert Malcontent.
  • Wapen van Nassau (38 guns) Lieven de Zeeuw. Lt. Jacob Cleydijck.
  • Witte Eenhoorn (30 guns) Jan Gijzen. Pieter Adriaansz.
  • Koning David (? guns) Willem Claesz. Ham
There was also a captured Portuguese ship: São Bartholomeu (35 guns) Boëtius Schaeff. This was later renamed as the Gewapende Ruyter. She was listed under the Admiralty of Amsterdam. The list is from W.J. van Hoboken's book, Witte de With in Brazilië, but is augmented, to some extent. Many of the captains and lieutenants (that is my interpretation of "t." in the list) played roles in the First Anglo-Dutch War. For example, Willem Ham lost a leg at the Battle off Dover in May 1652. Boëtius Schaeff was killed at the Battle of the Gabbard in 1653. In 1652, his ship was captured by the English in June 1653. Dirck Verveen had a distinguished career, dying of his wounds after the Battle of the Sound, in 1658. Job Forant, however, was banished for his part in allowing the mutiny that was part of the end of Witte de With's foray to Brazil.

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