Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Dutch captain: Jan Thyssen

The information that I have about Jan Thyssen (Tijssen) is from the First Anglo-Dutch War up until 1659. In May 1652, he joined Tromp's fleet with a squadron of 7 Vlissingen and Middelburg Director's ships. This brought the fleet up to a strength of 42 ships. He fought at the Battle off Dover on 29 May 1652, and had gone into the Downs prior to the battle. In August, he sailed with the fleet to the Shetlands, and survived the storm. Hendrik de Raedt's pamphlet says that Commandeur Thyssen commanded a Middelburg directors' ship carrying 32 guns and a crew of 110 men. He seems to have been absent from the Battle of the Kentish Knock. Jan Evertsen's journal from 30 November 1652 says that Michel De Ruyter flew his flag from Jan Thyssen's ship (which we know was the Witte Lam). We are reasonably sure that De Ruyter used the Witte Lam as his flagship for the battles of Portland and the Gabbard. In late July 1652, Commandeur Thyssen and four ships lying there were intended to join the fleet. He must have been at the Battle of Scheveningen, as he and his mastless ship, the Liefde, were lying in the Goeree Gat.

The last time that I have seen Jan Thyssen mentioned was in 1659, when he commanded the Zeeland ship Dordrecht (40 guns) with De Ruyter's fleet in the Sound.

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