Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dutch Captain: Jan Danielszoon van Rijn

Jan Danielszoon van Rijn served the Admiralty of Rotterdam. He distinguished himself in the command of fireships. At the Raid on Chatham, he commanded the Pro Patria, which charged the cable across the Medway and broke it, opening the way for the attack on the dockyard. He attacked the Dutch prize Mathias with his fireship and burnt her. In the Battle of Solebay in 1672, he commanded a fireship that successfully attacked the Earl of Sandwich's flagship St. James (100 guns) and fired her, causing her loss. The Earl drowned, after his crew lost their discipline and swamped his boat by jumping into it. This was another catastrophic example of how morale and discipline could suddenly collapse in the Restoration navy. The loss of the Royal Prince, in the Four Days Battle, is another example. Jan Danielszoon van Rijn also fought in the Battle of the Texel in 1673, where he commanded the fireship Louise. Sources:
  1. J. R. Bruijn, De Oorlogvoering ter zee in 1673 in Journalen en Andere Stukken, 1966.

  2. William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol.II, 1898.

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