Monday, October 11, 2004

Dutch captain: Augustijn Balck

Mollema's "Honor Roll" only has a short listing for Augustijn Balck:

Augustijn David Balck died on 28 February 1653, and we don't know his birth date. He served the Admiralty of Amsterdam, and was promoted to captain in 1636. He distinguished himself at the Battle of the Downs in 1639. In 1648, he accompanied the ambassador to Archangel. In 1653, he was killed at the Battle of Portland.

In 1639, he commanded a convoyer, and was in Commandeur Denijs's squadron on the south side of the fleet at the Battle of the Downs [C. R. Boxer, Tromp's Journal 1639, p.189]. Many of those captains present from Amsterdam fought in the First Anglo-Dutch War:

  • Jacob Troucquois
  • Jan de Lapper
  • Jan van Galen
  • Augustijn (Aucke) Balck
  • Willem van Nieuhoff
  • Evert Anthonissen
  • David Janszoon Bondt
  • Claes Bastiaanszoon van Jaarsvelt

    At the beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch War, Captain Balck was in Witte de With's squadron. On July 5, 1652, he attended a council of war on Tromp's flagship, prior to sailing for the Shetlands. His ship, the Vrijheid (46 guns), was one of 16 from Amsterdam on the voyage. On October 1, 1652, he commanded a convoy to "Muscovy", and sailed from the Vlie. He had 11 warships and two galliots. I believe that the list of ships and captains were:

  • Sampson (26 guns) Hendrick Adriaanszoon
  • Vrijheid (46 guns) Augustijn Balck
  • Bommel (30 guns) Pieter van Brakel
  • Windhond (18 guns) Dirck Pieterszoon Heertjens
  • Westfriesland (28 guns) Hendrik Huyskens
  • Fazant (32 guns) Jan Janszoon de Lapper
  • Patientia (24 guns) Andries van Loenen
  • Hoop (unknown guns) Bo√ętius Schaeff
  • Omlandia (30 guns) Jacob Troucquois
  • Aemelia (28 guns) Willem van der Zaan
  • Brak (18 guns) Pieter van Zalingen
  • Because of the convoy, Captain Balck was absent from the Battle of the Kentish Knock. He was present, though, at the Battle of Dungeness, where he was still in Witte de With's squadron (although Witte de With was absent, and his squadron was commanded temporarily by Michiel de Ruyter. He was also present at the Battle of Portland, where he was killed on the first day.

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