Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dutch Captain: Arnout de Holk

We know very little about Arnout de Holk, who served the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier. He only appears in sources available to me in the list of ships and captains sent to relieve Danzig in 1656, under the command of Lt-Admiral van Wassenaer. After Charles X, king of Sweden, conquered Poland in 1655, rebels took over Danzig. The Dutch opposed the domination of the Baltic by Sweden, as the Dutch depended on trade for their existence. The Wikipedia says that the Dutch imported grain from Poland, as well as lumber and other naval supplies, which we know included iron guns from Sweden. The list of Lt-Admiral van Wassenaer's fleet has been published in multiple places. It may have originated in the Hollandsche Mercurius for 1656, and Brandt and others seem to have simply copied that article. The list is somewhat suspect due to instances of many captains listed as commanding different ships than they commanded before and after the operation. Arnout de Holk is said to be captain of the Burg van Alkmaar (36 guns and a crew of 155 men) built in 1654. Her dimensions were 130ft x 32ft x 12ft, similar to the Jupiter.

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