Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Dutch in the Mediterranean Sea from October to December 1652

On October 11, 1652 (these are probably all old style dates), Johan van Galen sailed his fleet from Porto Longone. He left Anthonis van Zalingen with seven ships to continue to blockade Henry Appleton's English squadron at Livorno (Leghorn). Another six ships, under the command of Michiel Franszoon van den Bergh. Michiel Franszoon van den Bergh commanded the Gelderland (40 guns), and served the Admiralty of Rotterdam. Van Galen took his other five ships north, hoping to find English ships heading to Genoa from Newfoundland. He had heard rumours of English ships to the south, and ended up being becalmed there with nothing to show for his efforts. He findly came near Livorno on November 30, but was hit by a storm that drove him south. He only was able to anchor at Livorno on December 14th. When he arrived, he was informed that the English had retaken the Phoenix frigate, which the Dutch had taken at the Battle of Monte Christo. The Phoenix had been under Cornelis Tromp's command. He had been with Van Galen, but had put back into Livorno after taking the English ship Samuel Bonaventure on November 5th. On November 20th, Tromp hosted a party on the Phoenix for Dutch captains. They were all very drunk, and Andries de Boer, captain of the Zeelandis, passed out and was left there to recover. After most left, there were only 40 men left on the ship. The attacking party was led by Owen Cox. They came in three boats, one with Owen Cox, and the others with lieutenants Lyme and Young. They had trouble in the dark, but eventually reached the Phoenix before dawn. In the fight, Cornelis Tromp shot and killed Lieutenant Young, but had to flee by jumping through a stern window. He was rescued by a boat from the Dutch merchantman Groote Dolfijn (captain Boterpot). Cox set sail with the Phoenix, which was pursued by the Roode Haes, a hired ship, and the Zeelandia. The Phoenix had Andries de Boer still aboard as a prisoner. Owen Cox arrived at Naples with the Phoenix on November 30th. That was the day that Anthonis van Zalingen died, leaving Cornelis Tromp as the senior Admiralty of Amstedam officer in the Mediterranean Sea. This is based on the account in R.C. Anderson's article "The First Dutch War in the Mediterranean" from the November 1963 issue of The Mariner's Mirror, supplemented by my unpublished paper "Dutch Ships 1600-1700" (2005).

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