Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dutch Captain: Pieter Adriaenszoon Ita

Pieter Adriaenszoon Ita served as a Zeeland commandeur in the West Indian Company and was promoted to Admiral in 1635. In 1616, he was a captain on the Amazon during the Zeeland colonization. In 1623, while serving on the Amazon, the Portuguese burnt his ship. Andrew had found a translation for a long passage about the expedition in 1628 to capture Tobago. He had been in command of a fleet of 12 ships that were operating as privateers against Portuguese and Spanish shipping in the Caribbean and along the coast of Brazil. The ships had left the Netherlands in January 1628 and headed directly for the Caribbean, where they would rendezvous near Cuba. The last ship, the Fortuijn, left on 3 March with 63 colonists. The Zuidsterre sailed with the Fortuijn across the Atlantic. They arrived at St. Vincent on 15 March. On 8 May, the Eendracht joined Ita's fleet. The ships in the fleet had been operating independently against hostile shipping. The ship Cuba joined after the Eendracht, and arrived on 17 May. The Fortuijn didn't arrive until 4 June. The Honduras fleet consisted of two galleons and about 1o armed merchant ships. The Spanish admiral felt that the extra armament that his ships carried would allow him to repel Ita's fleet. In a fierce fight, two Spanish ships were taken, including the Spanish admiral's flagship which lost about half its crew. This action helped to weaken the Spanish so that Piet Hein was able to captured the Silverfleet. In 1634, he crossed the wild coast of Guyana. In 1628, he captured two ships from the Honduras fleet. In 1630, he served under Loncq in the captured of Olinda. In 1636, he served under Jan Evertsen in a battle against the Dunkirker Collaert. Sources:
  1. a translation found by Andrew of a passage from Doeke Roos's book, 2005.
  2. J. C. Mollema, De Eere Rol, from Geschiedenis van Nederland ter Zee, Vol.II, 1940.
  3. Doeke Roos, Zeeuwen en de Westindische Compagnie, 1992.

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