Saturday, July 02, 2005

Dutch Captain: Willem van Brederode

Willem van Brederode served the Admiralty of Amsterdam. He initially served in the army. When the so-called Nassau fleet planned to attack Spanish colonies on the west coast of America, the ship had five companies of 120 soldiers on board. These were commanded by Willem van Brederode. Apparently, Witte Corneliszoon de With was along, as well. In 1624, there is a note in the Resolutions of the Admiralty of Amsterdam noting that of 16 candidates, 8 would be appointed as captains. Willem van Brederode was one of those appointed, and his first command was the Witte Leeuw, a vessel of 110 lasts and a crew of 70 sailors. He continued to command the Witte Leeuw during 1627 and 1628. One December, his crew refused to go to sea. The beginning of his career was unhappy. Two weeks later, he was appointed an ordinary captain and given command of a new ship that was being fitted out for sea. In 1629, he commanded the Gouda, a ship of 200 lasts with a crew of 90 sailors. In 1630, he lost a ship, for which he was held accountable. In 1636, he was appointed to command the Utrecht. This was a ship of 200 lasts with either 30 or 32 guns. In 1639, he served during the campaign leading up to the Battle of the Downs. He seems to have died, as Jacob Meyndertszoon van Uyl was brought to command his ship. Much of this description is based on my translation of the entry in Dr. De Boer's book Tromp en de Armada van 1639. Sources:
  1. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Ships 1600-1700", 2005.

  2. Dr. M.G. De Boer, Tromp en de Armada van 1639, 1941.

  3. Dr. F. Graefe, De Kapiteinsjaren van Maerten Harpertszoon Tromp, 1938.

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