Friday, December 02, 2005

More on the hiring of ships in 1652

This is based on my translation of a paragraph from pages 91 and 92 from Dr. Elias's book, De Vlootbouw in Nederland:
It was not a surprise, then, that shortly after the proclamation of the resolution to hire and equip 150 ships, they became aware that there were not that many ships of the required charter were on hand. After the Directors took the first and best 50 ships, there remained for the Admirlaties but a fourth of the prescribed 100. Gradually, after ships from the merchant fleet returned could more of the ships for the Extraordinary Equipage be hired and equipped. The unsuitability of the hired ships led us to limit their use. In the spring of 1652, the convoy service sought to limit them, until there were numbers sufficient for their use in offensive and defensive operations. Despite this, all the admiralties hired most of those ships that were available to them. Someone else had the problem of paying the heavy and ruinous rent, which the Dutch people ultimately had to pay. To the extent that the economic climate was favorable, the rent soon ran to the full price of the ship, often in just a year. It was because of this that the Admiralty of Amsterdam pressed for the commencement of warship building starting in the second half of October 1652.

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