Tuesday, October 12, 2004

A possible ship-captain association

Dr. Ballhausen identifies Jacob Claeszoon Boet's ship as the Leeuwin on page 436 of his book. Captain Boet commanded a ship of the Monnikendam Directors with 32 guns and a crew of 115 men. I am not ready to absolutely say this is true, as Dr. Ballhausen is often wrong about this sort of identification. He attributes this to page 82 of the Onstelde-Zee (1654). I just happen to have a photocopy of this book (thanks to the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota). All that passage says is:

"Maar 't Schip den Meerman met 24 Yzere en 4 Metale stukken tussen 2 Engelse grote Bengels beklemt, worde na een langh geveght in de gront geschoten; daar op quam 't Ship de Leewwin met 28 Yzere en 4 Metale stukken, den eenen Engelsman van aghteren aan ter zyden dight aanboort leggen, dat het volk van den Meerman ziende leepen over de Engelsman, en salveerden haar in de Leewin."

I have maintained the exact spelling from the passage, even though it differs, even within the same passage. The mapping to more modern Dutch is fairly obvious. The bottom line is that I don't see anything to tie the Leeuwin to Captain Boet, except that the number of guns matches. The passage does suggest that the Leeuwin's armament was 32 guns: 4-brass and 28-iron guns.

Dr. Ballhausen suggests that the Meerman was commanded by Simon Corneliszoon van der Meer (Rotterdam), and gives her armament as 4-brass and 24-iron guns, as indicated by the passage above.

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