Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Dutch Captain: Cornelis Cruijck

Cornelis Adriaanszoon Cruijck (from Schiedam) was a captain for the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC). He took command of the Vogelstruis from Douwe Aucke. The Vogelstruis belonged to the Amsterdam Chamber of the VOC.

He was present at the start of the Battle of Portland, in De Ruyter's squadron. Forty of his crew were also from Schiedam. De Ruyter's ships combined their attacks so that four or more ships was board a single English ship. De Ruyter, himself, boarded, was repulsed, and then reboarded and took the large hired merchantman Prosperous (42 guns). In the intense fighting on the first day, Captain Cruijck was killed, his crew was decimated, and the ship was heavily damaged aloft. That night, the English took the Vogelstruis. The ship was so heavily damaged that the English made her a hulk, rather than trying to return her to service.

We estimate the Vogelstruis' dimensions to have been 160ft x 38ft x 18ft and she carried 40 to 44 guns. The large retourschepen such as the Vogelstruis were heavily armed. They often had 4-brass 24pdrs and a lower tier filled with 18pdrs. The upper tier would be 12pdr with 8pdr on the quarterdeck. We can't be sure how the Vogelstruis was armed, however. We do know that she had a crew of about 200 men.

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