Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dutch Captain: Pieter Gorcum

Pieter Gorcum served the Admiralty of Zeeland. He served in Admiral Gijsel's squadron in August 1641, where he commanded the frigate Vlissingen (20 guns). He presumably fought in the Battle of Sint Vincent on 4 November 1641 against the Spanish silverfleet. At the beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch War, he commanded a Zeeland jacht. This is believed to be the Dordrecht (17 guns). We know that the 17-gun jacht was in service in March 1653, and the Staet van Oorlog te Water for July 1654 says that the 17-gun jacht was the Dordrecht. We know from Witte de With's journal that Pieter Gorcum commanded a Zeeland jacht, of which we believe there only to have been two in service at this date. The other was the Jager, which was serving as a fireship at the Battle of the Gabbard when she was captured by the English. The Jager was often called the Gloeyenden Oven, after her commander in 1652, Adriaan Janszoon den Gloeyenden Oven, to give his full name. In September 1652, he was with Witte de With's fleet and fought in the Battle of the Kentish Knock. We know that he fought in the Battle of Dungeness in December 1652. He may well have fought in the rest of the major battles, as well. Sources:
  1. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Captains", 2005.
  2. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Ships 1600-1700", 2005.
  3. Carl Stapel, unpublished manuscript "1641 augustus Nederlands hulspeskader voor Portugal", 2005.

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