Tuesday, August 31, 2004

English fireships at the St. James Day Battle in 1666

The engraving of the St. James Day Battle that list the ships, guns, and captains, also lists fireships and how they were distributed (English only, of course). White Squadron:
  • Providence John Wood
  • Fortune William Lee
  • Richard Henry Brown
  • Paul Captain Stevens
  • Jacob William Humble

Red Squadron:

  • Abigail Thomas Wilshaw
  • Samuel Joseph Paine
  • Bryer William Seally
  • Lizard Joseph Harris
  • Fox John Elliot
  • Allepin Andrew Ball
  • Charles John Johnson

Blue Squadron:

  • Blessing William Maiden
  • Gift John Kelsey
  • Land of Promise Captain Matthews
  • Mary William Flowers
  • Virgin William Hughes

Monday, August 30, 2004

It runs out that the Journal of John Narborough gives the English fireship names for Solebay

Pages 80 to 81 of R. C. Anderson's book, Journals and Narratives of the Third Dutch War, in the section covering John Narborough's journal from January 7, 1671/2 to September 18, 1672, has the English fireship names and their divisional assignments. It doesn't address the French, however. Apparently, they only had 6 fireships, not 16, as Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen had indicated.

The Battle of Solebay (28 May 1672)

I wish that I could find what fireships accompanied the Allied fleet at Solebay and what their squadron assignments were. The sources that I have for the Third Anglo-Dutch War seem to omit mention of fireships for the Allies. Thankfully, for the Dutch, Brandt's biography of De Ruyter does list fireships and where they were assigned.

Dutch fireships in May 1672

I am looking at the Battle of Solebay (28 May 1672), and my primary source doesn't mention fireships at all. Brandt's biography of De Ruyter does list fireships, some of which were old warships (some well known). fireships from De Ruyter's squadron:
  • Gorinchem, 4 guns crew 30 Dirk de Munnik Rotterdam
  • Vrede, 2 guns crew 34 Jan Danielszoon van den Rijn Rotterdam
  • Swol crew 20 Abraham Schryver Rotterdam
  • Eenhoorn crew19 Piter Besaçon Rotterdam
  • St. Salvador Andries Randel Amsterdam
  • Sollenburgh Klaas Pieterszoon Schuit

fireships from Van Ghent's squadron:

  • Velsen crew 22 Hendrik Hendrikszoon Amsterdam
  • Windhond crew 22 Willem Willemszoon Amsterdam
  • Beemster crew 22 Hendrik Rosaeus Amsterdam
  • Sollenburg Jan Janszoon Bout Amsterdam
  • Draak Pieter van Grootveldt Amsterdam
  • Leydtstar Sybrant Barentszoon Amsterdam

fireships from Bankert's squadron:

  • Middelburgh Willem Meerman Zeeland
  • Prinsje Kornelis Ewouts Zeeland
  • ? Herman Adriaanszoon Zeeland
  • Hoop Antony Janszoon Zeeland
  • Helena Leonora Pieter Syvertszoon Bokker Noorderkwartier

There are guns and crews listed later for some of these, but we really don't know how they were armed or what crew they had, as these varied over time.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Vrijheid of 1651

I wondered what the burden is for the Amsterdam ship the Vrijheid built in 1651. I also wondered if the Jaarsveld built the same time was of similar dimensions: 134ft x 34ft x 13-1/4ft. It could have been as large as 300 lasts, although I would guess something more like 270 lasts. If the typical factor was something like 196, then the burden would definitely have been 300 lasts.

Rethinking the Frederick Hendrick (I lost a post, earlier this morning)

I have been studying De Vlootbouw in Nederland closely, and I realized several things. One is that the Frederick Hendrick and Huis van Nassau very likely belonged to the 128ft x 31-1/2ft x 12ft charter. I had not realized that the 128ft x 31-1/2ft x 12ft size was considered to be 250 lasts, so I had not equated these ships with those dimensions. A consequence of the 125ft x 29ft x 11-1/2ft dimensions being 200 lasts is that the Noorderkwartier ship Eenhoorn could well be of those dimensions. The "Staet van Oorlogh te Water voor den Jaere 1654" gives her dimensions as 125ft x 29ft, with no depth in hold listed. The depth could be 11-1/2ft instead of the 12ft that I would have expected. There is still great confusion over dimensions due, in part, to some ships being listed in Maas feet of 12 inches, while most ships are listed in Amsterdam feet of 11inches. The Aemilia and the Brederode are two prime examples. They are usually referred to as being 300 lasts, as their dimensions are quoted as 132ft x 32ft x 13-1/2ft. The only difficulty is that is in Maas feet (308mm) rather than Amsterdam feet (283mm). If you convert that to Amsterdam feet, the dimensions are something like 144ft x 35ft x 14ft-8in. That could give a burden way in excess of 300 lasts (more like 370 if we use a factor of 200).

More about Dutch ships

I was reading more from De Vlootbouw in Nederland, and saw something that bears upon the Frederick Hendrick size question. The largest charter built during 1633 to 1646 was 128ft x 31-1/2ft x 12ft, and their burden was 250 lasts, the same as the Frederick Hendrick. The "lasts" factor for this size ship is 193.536. This is lower than I would normally consider to be valid, but is what we calculate for a ship of these dimensions.
Another charter is mentioned, which was widely used for ships built during this period. The dimensions were 120ft x 29ft x 12ft. The height between decks was 7ft. There is no last figure given on page 57, but I would estimate the figure to probably be 200 lasts, although it could actually be 210.
In appendix III, there is a table labeled: "List der Oorlogsschepen in Emplooi en aan den wal op 15 Juli 1655. A note to that table is for a charter where the dimensions were: 125ft x 29ft x 11-1/2ft, and the burden was 200 lasts. In this case, the height between decks was also 7ft. The factor that gives this result is 208.4375.
There are some other last figures, but not for ships that we have the full dimensions. For example, the Zeelandia, said to have been built for the Admiralty of Zeeland in 1648, was 230 lasts. I can't reconcile this listing with what is in Vreugdenhil, as the year differs from anything listed there. The Meermin is said to be 300 lasts, but we only know the length, which was listed as 130ft. I can't make 300 lasts work, except for dimensions like the Kampveere, which as 130ft x 34ft x 13.5ft, where the factor is 198.9.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Some things I had not previously noticed

In a note on page 91 of Dr. Elias' book, Vlootbouw in Nederland, there are some figures that I had not noticed, before (ship dimensions). This is what it says (my translation):
The largest of these ships, namely the Archangel Michael (that in the war service was used as a transport), of 143ft length and 32-3/4ft beam and armed with 46 guns, was a fluit.
Both of the other largest charters, namely, the St. Matheeus, of 144ft length and 36ft beam, with 50 guns, and the Groote Vergulden Fortuyn, of 141ft length and 31-1/2ft beam, with 46 guns, were hired by the Directors of Amsterdam and used as warships.
There is nothing here that I had not seen in some form, elsewhere, but it could have been something I could have used prior to obtaining the archival documents about Amsterdam Directors' ships.
My armament information for the Groote Vergulde Fortuyn differs from that given here. This was the ship commanded by Frederick de Coninck for the entire First Anglo-Dutch War. The figures that I have for 27 March 1652 and 8 November 1652 for the armament are for a 35-gun armament with 4-brass 24pdr of the state, 16-12pdr, 11-6pdr, and 4-3pdr. This agrees with the figures given in The First Dutch War (from the Hollandsche Mercurius) and in Hendrik de Raedt's pamphlet. I would not be surprised if the ship could have been uparmed to 46 guns, given the size. There are many examples of armaments being increased in the war (the Vlissingen Directors' ship Witte Lam and Pieter Florissen's ship Monnikendam to name just a few).

The Amsterdam ship Frederick Hendrick (1636)

I am curious to know the dimensions for the Amsterdam ship Frederick Hendrick. There is a rather poorly drawn Willem van de Velde de Oude drawing that leaves a lot to the imagination. Part of the problem is the poor quality of the reproduction in the Van de Velde Paintings book.
What we know about the Frederick Hendrick is that it was built in 1636 and carried 32 guns. The only indication we have of size is the 250 last figure.
If the dimensions were 132ft x 32ft x 13-1/2ft, then the factor would be about 228, which is possible. The low end is probably about 132ft x 32ft x 13ft, where the factor would be 219.6. The largest factor that would be likely would be about 250, which would mean dimensions of 134ft x 34ft x 13-1/2ft. The actual factor would be 246.
We have put a bound on the possible dimensions (although only approximately):
  • smallest: 132ft x 32ft x 13ft
  • largest: 134ft x 34ft x 13-1/2ft

This assumes typical proportions. If the depth were greater or the beam greater, that would change things, of course.

Purists might object to doing these sorts of calculations, but I find them useful.

French captain in the Dutch service: Job Forant

Job Forant commanded the Rotterdam ship Dolphijn (32 guns) in Witte de With's squadron in the expedition to Brazil in 1647-1649. He departed after the others, leaving on 4 February 1648. The others had left on 26 December 1647. By April 1649, the crews had grown mutinous. Job Forant's ship, the Dolphijn, part of the crew mutinied, and set sail for home. Job Forant was judged to have not resisted well enough, and had at first lied about the circumstances of their leaving Brazil.
The cases of Witte de With and his captains became involved with Dutch politics, as Prins Willem II was ready to have them executed. Witte de With was a known Republican, and this fact caused him trouble with the Orangists during the First Anglo-Dutch War. Fortunately, for Job Forant and Witte de With in particular, Willem II's death from Smallpox put an end to their jeopardy. A fair trial was held and Job Forant was banished from the country because of his complicity with the mutiny. Witte de With received a good deal of sympathy from
the members of the courtmartial board, and was sentenced to loss of wages for the voyage and
had to pay for the cost of the courtmartial.
This information is partly extracted and paraphrased from the English summary in Hoboken's book.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Dutch row-jachts in 1635

I keep going back into Dr. Elias' book Vlootbouw in Nederland, looking for nuggets that I might have previously missed (probably, I see things that I have previously seen but forgotten about). Today, on page 48, at the top of the page, I read about the "roeyjacht" Bommel. The data is from 5 February 1635, from the Resolutions of the Admiralty of Amsterdam. The specs:
  • dimensions: 116ft x 22ft x 8-1/2ft
  • crew: 70 sailors
  • armament: 2-brass 12pdrs, 2-brass 8pdrs, 6-iron 8pdrs, 8-iron 5pdrs, 2-iron 3pdrs, and 6 steenstukken
The captain was Barend Dorrevelt.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Hof van Zeeland (58 guns)

Dr. Weber puts that construction of the Hof van Zeeland as being 1653. That is much earlier than Vreugdenhil put the date. It is reasonable, though, as Phase III of the 1653 building program included on 136ft ship for Zeeland.
The specs are:
  • dimensions: 136ft x 34ft x 13-3/4ft
  • armament: 2-brass 36pdr, 4-brass 24pdr, 18-iron 18pdr, 2-brass 16pdr, 6-brass 12pdr, 8-iron 12pdr, 6-brass 6pdr, 6-iron 6pdr, and 2-brass 5pdr.
I believe that the list published in Dr. Weber's book has a typo (one of many), as it lists "6-brass 16pdr", but the context would indicate that it should be as I have written.
The planned crew was 196 sailors and 60 land soldiers. The actual crew carried at the Four Days Battle was 188 sailors and 60 land soldiers.
The ship was burnt at the Four Days Battle and most of the crew was lost.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Kleine Harder of 1658

The Kleine Harder took part in the Four Days Battle. She belonged to the Admiralty of Amsterdam, and had been built about 1658, at Amsterdam. Her dimensions were: 114ft x 28ft x 11ft. Her planned crew was 120 sailors and marines and 2o land soldiers. She actually carried 114 sailors and marines and 20 land soldiers at the Four Days Battle. Her armament consisted of 34 guns: 6-12pdr and 12-8pdr on the lower deck, 12-6pdr on the upper deck, and 4-2pdr on the quarterdeck. At the Four Days Battle, she lost one man killed. At the Four Days Battle, her captain was Jan Davidszoon Bondt, presumably, son of David Janszoon Bondt. This information is from Van Foreest and Weber's book, De Vierdaagse Zeeslag 11-14 Juni 1666.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

This is my working list of Royalist ships at Kinsale at the beginning of September 1649. My information is based on The Letters of Robert Blake, Michael Baumber's book, General-at-Sea, Colledge's book Ships of the Royal Navy, Vol.I, R.C. Anderson's entry in Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700 Part I English Ships 1649-1702, and R.C. Anderson's List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660. The last two are "Occasional Publications" of the Society for Nautical Research.
  • Constant Reformation (52 guns)
  • Swallow (36 guns)
  • Convertine (42 guns)
  • Washford frigate (14 guns)
  • Ark (20 guns)
  • Scots frigate (24 guns)
  • James (29 guns) 300 tons
  • George
  • Culpepper (18 guns)
  • Roebuck (12 guns) 90 tons
  • Blackmoor Lady (18 guns) 180 tons
  • Ambrose
  • Charles
The English left at Kinsale in early September 1649 were:
  • Lion (52 guns), flagship of Robert Blake
  • Garland (44 guns)
  • Elizabeth (36 guns)
  • Nonsuch (36 guns)
  • Guinea frigate (32 guns)
I have also consulted my notes from Powell's The Navy in the English Civil War, although that was not very helpful.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

I have written a new document about Jacobean and Carolian Middlingships

I have passed on to my webmaster a new document about Jacobean and Carolian "Middling Ships", to be posted on Kentishknock.com. Hopefully it will appear, and relatively quickly as well. These ships built during the reigns of James I and Charles I, and were developments of a moderate-sized galleon type used in the Elizabethan navy. Some of the ships were rebuilds of their Elizabethan ancestors. The survivors of this class of ships served as large 4th Rates in the First Anglo-Dutch War, were the Bonaventure (44 guns) blew up, the Garland (44 guns) was captured, as was the Leopard (48 guns).

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Frescheville Holles and other items

I extend my thanks to Andrew in Russia for some details that we might not otherwise have known. For example, he writes that Sir Frescheville Holles commanded the Cambridge (70 guns) from 20 January 1671 to 28 May 1672. Of course, he had been at the Smyrna Convoy fight, earlier in 1672. Another detail was that Thomas Butler, the Earl of Ossory, commanded the Resolution at the Smyrna Convoy battle, and was Robert Holmes' second in command. Thanks to Steven Webber, we know that the Resolution (70 guns) led the English line at the battle, in the initial approach.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

English captains: Andrew Ball

1648 Commanded the Adventure (34 guns)
1649-1652 Commanded the Adventure (36 guns) as part of William Penn's squadron in the Mediterranean Sea
1652 Commanded the Antelope (56 guns) on a voyage to the Sound. On the return voyage, the Antelope was wrecked on the Jylland coast in a storm.
1652 Commanded the Lion (44 guns)
1653 Was flag captain of the Triumph (62 guns), Blake's flagship. He was killed in this battle.
In August to September 1652, Captain Ball was having difficulties in manning his ships. The Antelope was partly manned by paying off the Adventure and transferring her crew to the Antelope. Before leaving, he was asked to fall down to where the Sovereign (90 guns) was fitting out and help protect her against attack.
In early September, Captain Ball was asked to convoy some merchant ships to the Firth of Forth, on his way to the Sound.
In the afternoon of 30 September (Old Style), about 4pm, the Antelope was driven ashore in a storm on the Jylland coast. It was not until 2 October that the seas were calm enough for the surviving ships to return and take off most of the crew. They set sail for England and arrived on 14 October. They brought in 13 or 14 prizes from their voyage.
R.C. Anderson says that there 18 ships in Captain Ball's squadron (in the book Naval Wars in the Baltic) The squadron was sent to Copenhagen to convoy home 18 merchant ships that had gathered there during the war. They had previously been at Helsingør as part of a group of 22 merchant vessels. The king of Denmark had invited them to Copenhagen, and 18 made the voyage. Ships and Captains known to be on the voyage to the Sound:
Antelope (56 guns) Andrew Ball
Star (22 guns) Peter Mootham Tiger (36 guns) James Peacock Convert (20 guns) Stephen Rose Prosperous (42 guns) John Barker Recovery (26 guns) Francis Allen Greyhound (20 guns) Henry Southwood Elizabeth (a hired merchantman)
In the Battle of Portland, the Triumph was hotly engaged. Robert Blake was wounded, Andrew Ball, the Flag Captain, was killed, along with Blake's secretary, Mr. Sparrow, the ship's master, Mr. Broadridge, and his mate. Richard Deane was almost hit, as well, as the bar shot that hit Blake's leg tore Richard Deane's clothes. The Triumph lost between 80 and 100 killed and wounded out of a crew of about 350. This all happened on the first day, before John Lawson and his squadron were able to come up to support Blake. Lawson recaptured all the English ships that were taken by the Dutch. The Sampson (26 guns) had already sunk. Lawson's ships restored the English position, after the Dutch had put great pressure on Blake and the leading English ships at the beginning of the battle.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Abraham van der Hulst

I have two separate translations I did of narratives about Abraham van der Hulst:
Abraham van der Hulst ( 1619-1666 )
Abraham van der Hulst was born on 11 April 1619 in Amsterdam. He began his career in the naval service at the bottom of the ladder. However, though there was already a difference about him, due to his bravery and conduct. In 1650 he was, at the age of 31, appointed as an "extraordinary captain" and in the year 1653 to "ordinary captain". He distinguished himself in battle at Terheide during the First English War (1652-1654).
For two long years he accompanied De Ruyter off the coast of Portugal as captain of a 50-gun ship and a crew of 170 men. In 1656 he captured two Portuguese West-Indian traders in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1658, he commanded the "Hilversum" under De Ruyter off the Portuguese coast. Due to his performance in various actions he was promoted to Rear-Admiral. In 1665 he distinguished himself during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in the fierce struggle near Lowestoft, so that he was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral of Holland, in succession to Cornelis Tromp.
In June 1666 we find the famous Four Day's Battle situation. Abraham van der Hulst commanded the ship the "Spiegel" in the squadron of Lieutenant-Admiral Tromp. In this very heavy battle against the English, his ship was irretrievably lost. After two days of battle there were 35 dead and 66 wounded on board. The mainmast of the sailing ship was lost overboard due to English shot. While Abraham continued heroically, he was shot in the chest by a bullet. He died on June 12 1666. His body was carried to Amsterdam and honorably buried in the Old Church.
On the fine marble tomb is a poem by Joost van den Vondel:
Here rested Hulst, the terror of the British sea banner; Well-tried in battle after battle, in blood and fire. The great maritime council crowned the fatherland's protector. The fame of the brave heroes is defiant in bronze and marble.
This is my translation of what is in Mollema's Honor Roll:
Abraham van der Hulst 11 April 1619 - 12 June 1666
He served the Admiralty of Amsterdam. Extraordinary Captain in 1650, Ordinary Captain in 1653, Vice-admiral in 1665.
In 1653 he distinguished himself at Terheide. In 1654 he was a convoy commander under the command of Cornelis Tromp in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1656, he served under de Ruyter in the Mediterranean Sea and captured two Portuguese West-Indian traders. In 1658 he commanded the "Hilversum" (50) under de Ruyter on the Portuguese coast. In 1661, he served under de Ruyter in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1665, he fought at Lowestoft. In 1666, he was killed in the "Spiegel" (74) in the Four Days Sea Battle.

Dutch captain: Eland du Bois

We don't know when Eland du Bois was born, but he died on 26 December 1676. He served the Admiralty of the Maze. He was appointed as a captain in 1665.
In 1665, he fought as a lieutenant at Lowestoft. In 1666, he commanded the Utrecht (36 guns) in the Four Days Battle and the Two Days Battle (St. James Day Battle). In 1667, he fought at Chatham. In 1672, he distinguished himself in the Battle of the Smyrna Convoy against the English (he commanded the Dordrecht (44 guns). He was severely wounded by a shot in the left hand.
In 1673, he distinguished himself in the Schooneveld battles and the Battle of the Texel.
In 1674, he commanded the Ridderschap (64 guns) under Cornelis Tromp on the French coast and in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1675, he was a convoy commander in the Sound. In 1676, he died after returning to The Hague.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I was struck by how many burst 8pdrs there were after Scheveningen

The most accessible source for information about Dutch ship damage after the Battle of Scheveningen is The First Dutch War, Vol.V, pages 358 to 364. My general impression was that there were many 8pdrs that had burst. As I look over the list of damage, I find that the numbers were not that great. Still, there were no reports of any other caliber of gun that had burst; only 8pdrs.
Prins Willem (28 guns): 1-8pdr "sprung", 1-8pdr burst
Campen (42 guns): 2-8pdrs "blown to pieces"
Westfriesland (28 guns): 1-8pdr burst
That is only five guns, not so great a number in a fleet of over 100 ships, many of which were armed with 8pdrs. I was starting to wonder if their primary 8pdr supplier could have had quality problems, but the numbers are too small for that to be the case. Still, we only have detailed information for the Amsterdam ships.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The capture of the St. Patrick (5 Feb 1667)

I am interested in the capture of the St. Patrick (48 guns) by two small Dutch frigates. I am searching for the explanation of this and the Smyrna Convoy fiasco. I have a nasty theory: that the English crews were poor, and that they may have been poorly led. The St. Patrick incident took place off the North Foreland, where the St. Patrick and supposedly, the Malaga Merchant fell on the two Dutch frigates. When there was a fight, the Malaga Merchant fled. The captain was shot for his failings, within weeks.
I really want to ask Frank Fox his opinion on the matter, but haven't been able to contact him, yet. This would seem to fall within his area of expertise: the English in the Second Angl0-Dutch War.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Admiralty of Friesland ships at the Gabbard

This is my current assessment of Friesland ships that were at the Battle of the Gabbard. In July 1653, we know that there had been four ships. One was lying at Hellevoetsluis, after the battle. Another was an unready flute. A third was captured by the English. The fourth was sunk in the battle.
I believe that he first ship was the Breda, a ship built in 1637. The captain of the Breda was Hendrick Bruynsvelt.
The second ship now seems to be the flute Graaf Willem, commanded by Jan Coenders. He did so badly in the battle that he was dismissed from the service. Fortunately for him, he was judged to be too inexperienced. Otherwise, he could have been shot or hung.
The third ship has to be the Westergo, as that was the Friesland ship that was captured by the English.
The fourth ship was the ship commanded by Joost Bulter. If you read The First Dutch War, you might think that the ship was named the Stad en Lande. Other sources indicate that the ship name was Kameel. There is some evidence that indicated that this was a ship belonging to the Groningen Directors (Stad en Lande). All the records in June and July 1653 would lead you to believe that this ship belonged to the Admiralty of Friesland. The biggest change in my assessment of Friesland ships is due to finding that Jan Coenders' ship was the Graaf Willem, a flute.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Pieter Gorcum and the three-masted yacht Dordrecht

I am still pretty happy with my identification of the three-masted yacht Dordrecht as Pieter Gorcum's ship. My primary sources on this subject are The First Dutch War and Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen. A table on page 762 of Vol. I confirms that the ship was in service in March 1653 (because the Dordrecht was the only 17-gun yacht used by Zeeland). From The First Dutch War, in the narrative from Witte de With's journal, leading up to the Battle of the Kentish Knock, we know that Pieter Gorcum commanded a Zeeland yacht. The other Zeeland yacht we know about was the Gloeyenden Oven (14 guns) commanded in 1652 by Adriaan Janszoon den Oven. On page 765, another table is derived form the "Staet van Oorlogh te water voor den jahre 1654", and gives the information for the Dordrecht. What I had not previously noticed is that the crew was 50 sailors. The length we already knew was 85 feet (Amsterdam feet of 283mm), measured from stem-to-sternpost.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

A Dutch warship from 1629: the Thetis

I have only scratched the surface of analyzing the Dutch warship lists from 1628 to 1633. I will continue to publish tidbits, as I can, to give you a flavor for what we have. I picked out one ship for today, the Thetis, a ship of the Admiralty of Amsterdam. The Thetis was commanded by Captain van Abt. She carried 30 guns and had a crew of 100 sailors. We don't know dimensions, but we know she was of 250 lasts. To give you an approximate idea of how large a ship of 250 lasts was, I have two example sets of possible dimensions:

1) 130ft x 34ft x 13.5ft

2) 134ft x 32.25ft x 13.5ft

Amazingly enough, we know the list of guns for the Thetis:

2-24pdr, 2-Chambered 18pdr, 2-18pdr, 12-12pdr, 10-8pdr, 2-5pdr, 6-steenstukken plus 12 chambers for them

Chambered guns were typically lighter and made of brass. They had a chamber for gunpowder that was of smaller diameter than the gun bore. As for steenstukken, I had long assumed that they were similar to fowlers, but Jan Glete says that they were swivels, and despite their name, they probably fired iron shot, not stones, as least by this date.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Dutch ships in the Smyrna Convoy battle in 1672

I can at least list the Dutch warships in the Battle for the Smyrna Convoy in March 1672. The armed merchantships seem to be beyond our reach, at this point in time. The crew and gun lists are estimated based what is known about the ship's history. I thought that this could be helpful to gamers, in particular, as not many people have access to the Dutch ship information at this level of detail.

Ship name Guns Built Captain Admiralty Crew Length Beam Depth Gun list
Vlissingen 50 1653 Adriaan de Haaze Zeeland 200 130ft 34ft 13.5ft 2-24pdr, 4-18pdr, 26-12pdr, 12-6pdr, 4-3pdr, 2-unknown
Klein Hollandia 54 1654 Jan Jacobszoon van Nes Rotterdam 215 133ft-10in 32ft-5in 13ft-3in 22-18pdr, 20-12pdr, 12-4pdr
Utrecht 48 1653 Cornelis Evertsen de Jongste Zeeland 175 134ft 33ft 13.5ft 2-24pdr, 4-18pdr, 16-12pdr, 10-8 and 9pdr, 7-6 and 5pdr, 6-6pdr, 3-4pdr, and 2-unknown
Dordrecht 50 1653 Eland du Bois Zeeland 200 130ft 34ft 13.5ft 2-24pdr, 4-18pdr, 16-12pdr, 12-8pdr, 16-6pdr
Delft 36 1664 possibly Salomon Le Sage Zeeland 120 116ft 28.5ft 11.5ft 16-12pdr, 12-6pdr, 6-4pdr, and 2-unknown

Thursday, August 05, 2004

14 June 1652: captain of the Brederode

This has been available to me for a decade, but the significance of it just hit me: on 14 June 1652, there are signatures on a letter about the battle that took place off Dover on 29 May 1652. Abel Roelants (or Roelantsz.) signed as the captain of the Brederode. I knew that Egbert Meussen Kortenaer was "steurman" (listed here as "stierman"). These signatures are on page 759 of Vol.I of Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen. I had not been able to find any evidence of Abel Roelants (sometimes called "Vader Abel") prior to May 1653, when he assumed command of Witte de With's old flagship, the Prinses Louise (36 guns).

Analyzing the Dutch in the First Anglo-Dutch War

My approach for analyzing the Dutch navy in the First Anglo-Dutch War has been to organize information by captain's last names. The driving reason is that most lists from existing records only record captain's names. For example, we have Jan Evertsen's journal during the Dungeness campaign, and he lists the composition of the fleet. No ship names are mentioned. There are only the captain's names. I am fortunate to have a copy of the handwritten original, and have found that useful, as they transcription in The First Dutch War is of only mediocre quality. I am using an Excel spreadsheet as my current analysis tool to aid displaying information about captain, ship, battles, and operations. I kept wanting to use Word documents and tables, but they just don't work. You can't make a Word table wide enough. The only remaining choices are paper, which is a lost cause, or an Excel spreadsheet. I am going through and recording the data. I have not been able to put as much time into this effort as I would like, but I am up to 77 captains, so far. Where I only know ship names, I will just have to append them to the list in order by ship name, since we don't know their captain's name.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Witte de With sailed from the Texel with 27 warships and 4 fireships

I am collecting information about the Battle of Scheveningen so as to be able to compile the Dutch OOB. Witte de With wrote the States General, on 11 August 1653, that he had sailed from the Texel on 9 August with 27 warships and 4 fireships. Tromp was able to easily draw the English fleet off, so that Witte de With was able to safely put to sea, and then they were able to again outmaneuver the English, so they could join. Apparently, the English misunderstood where the Dutch were, in relation to them. This was typical of the 17th Century, as neither the English nor Dutch understood how to effectively scout. After the Battle of Scheveningen, the Dutch had retreated into the Texel roads. They had about 90 warships, yachts, and service craft remaining, and only two flag officers with the fleet. They were Witte de With and Pieter Florissen. Tromp had been killed. Jan Evertsen was missing. Michiel de Ruyter had been heavily damaged and made for the Goeree Gat. The Dutch were very fortunate that the English were forced, by heavy damage and the need for stores, to give up the blockade. Another letter from De With on 11 August names ships, so this will be helpful in building the OOB for Scheveningen. There is also a damage report that adds further ship names.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

There is some new content coming for KentishKnock.com

I sent off a new document to be put into KentishKnock.com. it is a table of English ships and the battles in which they participated in the First Anglo-Dutch War. It will be available as soon as my webmaster finishes her work. I am at work on a richer table for the Dutch for the First Anglo-Dutch War. I keep learning new information, so this will be the best information, yet.

New information

I have learned two new pieces of information about the First Anglo-Dutch War. At the Battle of Scheveningen, the ship that Jan Coenders commanded was the Frisian fluit Graaf Willem. We don't know anything more about the ship, except that she was hired by the Admiralty of Friesland. The other piece of news is that there was one more ship lost at the Battle of Scheveningen that I had not realized. Cornelis Pietersz. Taenman commanded the Noorderkwartier ship Prins Maurits (32 guns). At the Battle of Scheveningen, he acted as Vice-Admiral to Pieter Florissen. He fought in the rear-guard, protecting the retreating Dutch fleet. At the latitude of the North Maasbank, his ship was lost.

Monday, August 02, 2004

The Friesland ship Groningen

The dimensions published in Pepys' list for the Groningen and Edam got switched, by a copyist. That was Frank Fox's assessment quite a long time ago. Dr Weber incorporated that insite into his book De Vierdaagse Zeeslag 11-14 Juni 1666 published way back in 1984. I had noticed this anomoly, as well, but only in the last five years. The Edam (Black Bull in English service) had Dutch dimensions of 120ft x 28ft x 11ft. The Groningen was a much larger ship: 132ft x 31ft x 14-1/2ft. Yet, the dimensions reported by Pepys for the Groningen were 86ft x 28ft-4in x 12ft. The Edam's English dimensions were 103ft x 30ft x 13ft-6in. Clearly, there was something wrong, as we knew the Edam's Dutch dimensions from the 1654 list. Remember that Dutch dimensions were in Amsterdam feet of 11inches (283mm). The length was that from stem-to-sternpost and the beam was that inside the planking. The depth was that to the side of the main deck, not the center. English dimensions were the length on the keel, the beam outside the planking, and the depth from the top of the keel to the underside of the center of the deck, in English feet (305mm).

More about the Convertine

One wildcard in the process of accessing ship dimensions and the origin of the Convertine is that on July 21, 1653 (NS), Captain John Taylor reported that he had lengthened the Convertine (as well as the Welcome). Did that lengthening affect the keel length, or did he just extend the length from stem-to-sternpost? That would have meant just disassembling the bow and extending the timbers, then replanking. He could have just moved out frames, accordian-like. The goal was to make to make it possible to have more guns on the broadside of both ships. He wanted them to be able to comfortably mount 40 guns on each ship. That seemed a rather odd statement, as the Convertine was quite large, and ultimately mounted 54 guns. The Welcome was a rather odd ship and was quite small. The English measurements were 82ft x 29ft x 10ft-7in. My estimate is that translated to Dutch dimensions of no more than 114ft x 32ft x 12ft. The combination of short length and broad beam is unusual for a Dutch ship. Not infrequently, you would see length-to-beam ratios of 5:1. It seems that the Welcome, captured in 1652, would have to have been a merchantman, but I have not been able to confirm that. It still seems likely that the Convertine was just a captured Portuguese merchantman, although one that was strongly armed as if for the trade to the East Indies.

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