Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dutch Captain: Laurens Pieterszoon Bachuysen

Laurens Pieterszoon Bachuysen served the Dutch West Indian Company. He participated in the campaign leading up to the Battle of the Downs. He commanded the ship Salamander (40 guns and a crew of 110 men).

He joined Tromp on 17 May 1639, along with the ships of captains 't Jonge Hoen, Cornelis Meij, from the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier, of captain Frederick Pieterszoon and his ship of 28 guns, along with a ship with 20 guns, skipper Lambert Hendrickszoon, and another fluit with 28 guns, skipper Jan Jacobszoon Lops of Medemblik. On 22 June, he was with Tromp and his squadron two miles from Portland. On 10 July, he was still with the main body of Tromp's fleet, a few miles from Gravesend. On 12 August, he was with the fleet when two Zeeland West Indiamen joined, the ship Tholen and the Vlieboot Hoop. On 6 September, he was with Tromp's squadron as they cruised to the westward. Previous to that, Tromp had noted that they would be cruising to the westward between Beachy Head and "the narrows".

Tromp's squadron, on 15 September, consisted of the following captains and ships:

Commander:                     Ship:               Guns  Crew
Lt-Admiral Tromp               Aemilia             57    240   R
Willem van Colster             Gelderland          34    120   R
Pieter Pietersz. de Wint       Frederik Hendrik    36    120   A
Claes Cornelisz. Ham           Sampson             32    120   NQ
Lambert Ijsbrandsz. Halfhoorn  Hollandsche Tuin    32    120   NQ
Robbert Post                   Deventer            28    110   A
Jan Gerbrandszoon              Omlandia            28     80   F
Cornelis Ringelszoon           ?                   32    110   Z
Laurens Pietersz. Bachuysen    Salamander          40    110   WIC
Frederik Pieterszoon           Groote Christoffel  28     90   NQ
Hendrik Janszoon Camp          Gideon              24    100   F
Jan Pauluszoon                 Meerminne           28    105   Z        
On 16 September, he was with Tromp as they were chased by the "Spanish Armada", now of 67 ships. They then turned and fought. This was when Frederick Pieterszoon's hired ship, the Groote Christoffel, blew up. This was a ship hired from Amsterdamse Reeders Christoffel and Johan Raephoen. About mid-afternoon, the Spanish had been "out-fought", and withdrew. Tromp had just 16 ships, after losing the Groote Christoffel. On 3 October 1639, Laurens Pieterszoon Bachuysen was in Tromp's squadron of 26 ships. On 13 October, Tromp had reorganized the fleet, so that Captain Bachuysen was now assigned to Jan Evertsen's squadron, which was to attack the Portuguese Admiral's squadron. The Battle of the Downs was fought on 21 October 1639. Thanks to a reader for correcting me about where the Groote Christoffel was hired (updated 11/25/2009).

  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. Charles R. Boxer, The Journal of Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp Anno 1639, 1930.

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