Monday, January 31, 2005

English Captain: Richard Rooth

Richard Rooth served in both the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. In 1655 he commanded the Hound and then the Bear. From 1656 to 1660, he commanded the 5th Rate Dartmouth. At the Restoration, he was reappointed by King Charles II as captain of the Dartmouth. In 1663, he was given command of the 6th Rate Harp. In 1664, he was again given command of the Dartmouth. In 1667, he was appointed to command the 4th Rate St. David. In 1668, he was given command of the Garland. From there, he became First Lieutenant of the 2nd Rate Victory in 1672. In 1673, he was given command of the 3rd Rate Lion, and then was moved to the newly completed 3rd Rate Swiftsure. On 9 March 1674, he was appointed by the King to command the 4th Rate Adventure. On 12 April 1678, he was appointed to command the 3rd Rate Monmouth. He died before 1688, after having a long career in the navy. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. J.R. Tanner, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naval Manuscripts in the Pepysian Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Vol.I, 1903.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

7 of the 36 ships of 1651

I still don't have a complete list of the 36 "cruisers" funded by the "36 ships of 1651". We do know the names of the 7 ships provided by the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier:
  1. Prinses Roijael, 34 guns Captain Albert Corneliszoon 't Hoen crew 140
  2. Jonge Prins, 28 guns Captain Cornelis Barentszoon Slordt crew 115
  3. Eendracht, 40 guns Captain Jacob de Boer crew 140
  4. Alckmaar, 28 guns Captain Jan Warnaertszoon Capelman crew 95
  5. Monnikendam, 36 guns Captain Pieter Florissen crew 138
  6. Wapen van Enkhuizen, 34 guns Captain Gerrit Femssen crew 110
  7. Stad van Medemblick, 30 guns Captain Pieter Schellinger crew 110

Friday, January 28, 2005

English Captain: Richard Newberry

Richard Newberry served in the Parliamentarian and Commonwealth navies. In 1648, he commanded the Hunter dogger. He was appointed, in Parliament, on 13 April 1648. In 1649, he commanded the Irish prize Dolphin (6 guns). From 1650 to 1651, he commanded the 6th Rate Lily (12 guns). From 1651 to 1652, he commanded the 5th Rate Swan (22 guns). He fought in the Battle of Dungeness, in command of the Swan. In 1653, he commanded the 3rd Rate Entrance (43 guns). He commanded the Entrance in the Battle of the Gabbard, where he was in Vice-Admiral Joseph Jordan's division. He probably fought at the Battle of Scheveningen, as well. From 1653 to 1654, he commanded the 4th Rate Laurel (48 guns). From 1654 to 1656, he commanded the 4th Rate Portland (about 40 guns). From 1656 to 1657, he commanded the 3rd Rate Gloucester. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938.
  2. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  3. R. C. Anderson, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700: Part I English Ships 1649-1702, 1966.
  4. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

English Captain: Robert Dennis

Robert Dennis served in the Commonwealth navy. In 1649, he commanded the 2nd Rate George. In 1650, he commanded the hired merchantman Peregrine. From 1651 to 1652, he commanded the John (32 guns and a crew of 120 men). He had Edmund Curtis under his command, in the Guinea frigate (32 guns and a crew of 140 men), and was sent to Virginia in 1652. Robert Dennis apparently stayed in America, as a colonist. If you search for him in Google, you will find more ("Robert Dennis" 1652 john virginia). Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. Dr. S. R. Gardiner, The First Dutch War, Vol.I, 1898.
  3. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930. (index)
  4. House of Commons Journal Vol.7: 14 January 1652

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

English Captain: Thomas Heath

Thomas Heath served in the Commonwealth navy. He commanded the hired merchantman Brazil frigate from 1651 to 1653. He had been with Sir George Ayscue on the voyage to Barbadoes. At that point she carried 24 guns and had a crew of 70 men. He was probably at the Battle of Plymouth, with Ayscue, on 16 August 1652. He fought at the Battle of Portland in early 1653. By that time, the Brazil frigate carried 30 guns. He was in John Lawson's division at the Battle of the Gabbard. John Lawson was Admiral of the Blue. The Brazil frigate was paid off after the battle, as the owner wanted her for a commercial voyage. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938.
  2. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  3. Dr. S.R. Gardiner, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.I, 1898.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

English Captain: Peter Strong

Peter Strong served both the Parliametarian and Commonwealth navies. From 1642 to 1643, he commanded the hired merchantman Peter (14 guns, with a crew of 81 men and having a 270 ton burden). He was in the Summer and Winter Guards for 1642, assigned to the Irish Sea and Irish coast. In the winter, he was under command of Mr. Thompson. In 1643, he continued in the Summer Guard, assigned to the Irish coast. In 1653, he successively commanded the 2nd Rates George, Unicorn, and Rainbow. He joined the fleet on May 30, 1653, before the Battle of the Gabbard (in the Unicorn, 50 guns). He was probably present for the Battle of Scheveningen. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938.
  2. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  3. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

Monday, January 24, 2005

I'm working on an updated OOB for the Battlle of the Kentish Knock

I am relooking at my OOB for the Battle of the Kentish Knock, and bringing it up to date, with the latest information that I have. For one thing, we now know that William Badiley was at the battle, in command of the Dolphin, a vessel of 470 tons. I estimate her armament to be 34 guns, based on comparable ships. William Badiley was removed after the battle, as he showed a lack of judgment, despite having a reckless courage that in some ways mimicked that of Robert Blake. Michael Baumber tells the story reasonably well in General-at-Sea.

I will be analyzing Hainsworth's and Churches' book

Hainsworth's and Churches' book about the Anglo-Dutch Wars, The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652-1674 (1998), is currently the most accessible work for most English-speakers. I am thinking that I will at least address their coverage of the First Anglo-Dutch War, and compare it with a somewhat older book, Michael Baumber's General-at-Sea (1989). The overlap between these books is the First Anglo-Dutch War, and both have maps and descriptions of the battles. I will be looking at the Battle of the Kentish Knock first, as that has some immediate interest.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Dutch prize "Land of Promise"

The Dutch ship, the Land van Beloften (Land of Promise or Promised Land) (24 guns) was captured on July 21, 1652, when Robert Blake attacked the Dutch fishing fleet and their accompanying escort. Her captain was Jan Noblet. The Land van Beloften was a ship hired by the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier, and was one of the "1oo ships of 1652". After the Restoration, she was used as a fireship (if not before that). Her English dimensions were LK=68ft-0in B=23ft-0in D=11ft-0in and a navigational draft of 10ft-8in. Her Engish burden was 191 tons. My estimate of her Dutch dimensions is: L=90ft B=26ft H=12-1/2ft. Depending on the rake, the length could be as great as 94ft. The Dutch dimensions are in Amsterdam feet. The key is:
  • LK=length on the keel
  • B=beam (English is outside the planking, Dutch is inside)
  • D=depth in hold (keel to center of deck)
  • L=length from stem to sternpost
  • H=hold (the Dutch measured from the keel the height at which the deck connected to the side)

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Hired ships that fought in the First Anglo-Dutch War

Thanks to Frank Fox, we know something about a few of the hired ships that fought in the First Anglo-Dutch War. His full article with details (in Part II) is in The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.84 No.2 (May 1998), pp.152-172. Here are some of the ships:
  • Exchange, built 1650, LK=74ft-9in B=28ft-11in Tons=332 18 main deck gun ports (32 guns, crew 120 in 1653)
  • John & Abigail, built 1653, LK=79ft B=29ft-2in Tons=357 22 main deck gun ports (in Blake's squadron at the Gabbard)
  • King Ferdinando, built 1650, LK=81ft-0in B=30ft-6in Tons=4o1 (36 guns, crew 140 in 1653)
  • Prudent Mary, built 1652, LK=76ft-6in B=26ft-6in Tons=284 20 main deck gun ports (28 guns, crew 100 in 1653)
  • Society, built 1652, LK=82ft-0in B=27ft-6in Tons=330 18 main deck gun ports (44 guns, crew 140 in 1653)

English Naval Officer: Sir John Pennington

Sir John Pennington served in the navy before the Civil War, and in the Royalist service, after the start, although not at sea. In 1617, he commanded the hired merchantman Star. In 1620, he commanded the hired merchantman Zouch Phoenix. He commanded the 2nd Rate Victory from 1621 to 1622. In 1625, he commanded the 2nd Rate Vanguard. He acted as Admiral in the operation in support of France against the Huguenots. He commanded the 3rd Rate Lion from 1626 to 1627. In 1627, he lead the operation at La Rochelle. Apparently, in 1626 and 1627, the ere were great difficulties in supplying the fleet. They also had trouble manning the ships. In 1631, he commanded the 3rd Rate Convertine. From 1633 to 1634, he commanded the 2nd Rate Unicorn. In 1635, he was Rear-Admiral with his flag on the 2nd Rate Swiftsure. From 1636 to 1638, he was Vice-Admiral with his flag on the 2nd Rate St. Andrew. In 1636, Edward Popham was his flag lieutenant. In 1639, he flew his Admiral's flag on the 2nd Rate Rainbow, and was notable for having witnessed the Dutch attack the Spanish armada in English home waters at the Battle of the Downs. In 1640, he flew his admiral's flag on the 2nd Rate James. In 1641, he was back in the St. Andrew. He obviously sided with the Royalists in the Civil War. Sir John Pennington was notable for consulting his officers when making difficult decisions. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea, 1989.
  3. N.A.M. Rodger, The Safeguard of the Sea, 1997.

Friday, January 21, 2005

English Captain: John Day

John Day served in both the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. Andrew says that he saw a reference that shows that John Day commanded the Old Warwick (20 guns and a crew of 80 men) in 1651. In 1652, he was captain of the Advice (42 guns) and fought at the Battle of the Kentish Knock. R. C. Anderson lists John Day as the captain of the hired merchantman Sapphire in 1650. Michael Baumber says that John Day was wounded at the Battle of Portland, while commanding the Advice. In 1938, Anderson did not list John Day and the Advice as being at the Kentish Knock. He writes that George Deakins was in command at the Kentish Knock. The Advice was not present at the Gabbard, and at Scheveningen, Jeremy Smith was captain. In 1664, John Day was Lieutenant of the Royal Katherine. In 1666, he was appointed as captain of the Baltimore (48 guns). Sir Thomas Allin criticized John Day at the St. James's Day Battle for not bringing his ship into the line, along with others. He was in Sir Thomas Teddiman's division in the battle. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938.
  2. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  3. Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea, 1989.
  4. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.
  5. J.R. Tanner, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naval Manuscripts in the Pepysian Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Vol.I, 1903.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

English Captain: Richard Owen

Richard Owen served in the Parliamentarian navy. In 1642, he commanded the 3rd Rate Entrance (with a crew of 160 men), and was assigned to the Summer Guard. In 1643, he commanded the 2nd Rate St. George (46 guns and a crew of 260 men), and was a Rear-Admiral. He was assigned to the Summer Guard for 1643. From 1644 to 1645, he commanded the 3rd Rate Garland (40 guns and a crew of 170 men), and was still a Rear-Admiral. He was in the Summer Guard for 1644 and commanded a squadron of 7 ships and a ketch in the Summer Guard for 1645. In 1647, he commanded the 2nd Rate Henrietta Maria, as Rear-Admiral, and commanded the Western Guard. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

English Captain: Richard Pittock

Richard Pittock served in the Commonwealth navy and commanded many small vessels. In 1649, he commanded the Galliot hoy. From 1650 to 1653, he commanded the Hare ketch (12 guns and a crew of 30 men). He is listed in September 1653, as still being in command. In 1654, he commanded the 5th Rate Swan (22 guns). In 1656, he commanded the Cat pink. From 1657 to 1660, he commanded the Swallow pink. The same vessel could be rigged as a pink, a ketch, or shallop. The often had a round stern in the early 1650's. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

English Captain: Edward Greene

Edward Greene served in the Commonwealth navy. He commanded the Adventure (38 guns), a hired merchantman, in 1653. At the Battle of the Gabbard, he was assigned to John Lawson's division. John Lawson was Admiral of the Blue at the Gabbard. He probably fought at the Battle of Scheveningen, as well. By December, the Adventure as assigned to escorting colliers, but Edward Greene had been replaced by Joseph Taylor. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938.
  2. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Colorful characters

The English and Dutch navies, in the First Anglo-Dutch War, were filled with colorful characters, like Witte de With, Michiel De Ruyter, Robert Blake, and William Penn. In the Netherlands, the environment was fired by the ongoing conflict between the Royalists (the Orangists) and the Republicans. Witte de With was a rabid Republican, which made him a very unpopular man. Often, his ill temper is blamed, but more important factors were his demand for every man to fight bravely, without regard for risk to his person, his rivalry with the Orangist Maarten Tromp, and his ardent Republicanism.

On the English side, there were the radical supporters of Cromwell, especially Richard Deane, and less so, Robert Blake. Then there were closet Royalists, such as William Penn. At one point, William Penn had offered to bring ships and men over to the Royalists. He was a suspect, and at one point was imprisoned, but he survived until the Restoration, where he was a trusted advisor to the Duke of York. After his death, Charles II deeded land in America to the Penn family, in honor of the elder William Penn's service to the Royal family, the navy, and England.

Monday, January 17, 2005

English Captain and Admiral: Thomas Teddiman

Thomas Teddiman served in both the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. He was the cousin of Henry Teddiman. From 1659 to 1660, he commanded the3rd Rate Tredagh. He continued in command after the Restoration, when the ship was renamed Resolution. In 1661, he took command of the 3rd Rate Fairfax. In 1663, he took command of the 4th Rate Kent. In 1664, he took command of the 3rd Rate Revenge, and then was transferred to the 2nd Rate Swiftsure. In 1665, he took command of the new 2nd Rate Royal Katherine. He fought in the Battle of Lowestoft, where he was Rear-Admiral of the Blue, with his flag on the Royal Katherine (70 guns). In August, he led the attack on the Dutch in Bergen, flying his flag on the Revenge. The attack went very badly, and a combination of Danish shore batteries and Dutch East Indiamen badly damaged the English ships, which were forced to withdraw. Thomas Teddiman, as Vice-Admiral of the Blue, again with his flag on the Royal Katherine, fought at the Four Days Battle. At the St. James's Day Battle, he was Vice-Admiral of the White, still with his flag on the Royal Katherine. In 1668, he took command of the 3rd Rate Cambridge. He died in 1668. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. R. C. Anderson, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700: Part I English Ships 1649-1702, 1966.
  3. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.

I spoke with Frank Fox, and he pointed out the captains list in "Pepys"

I spoke with Frank Fox over the weekend, and he pointed out the list of captains who served during the period of 1660 to 1688 in the Navy Records Society publication: A DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE OF THE NAVAL MANUSCRIPTS IN THE PEPYSIAN LIBRARY AT MAGDALENE COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. Volume I: General Introduction; Register of Ships; Register of Sea Officers. I have already used it once, since then, in writing about an English captain (Edmund Cubitt, I believe).

Sunday, January 16, 2005

English Captain: Edmund Curle

Edmund Curle served in the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. In 1653, he commanded the Mary flyboat (24 guns). Form 1655 to 1657, he commanded the Sparrow pink. In 1658, he commanded the Vulture (a Dunkirker). From 1659 to 1660, he commanded the Maria (Mary Prize). After the Restoration, he was appointed captain in 1661. He died sometime before 1688 (a notation in Pepys). Pepys says that Edmund Curle commanded the Little Mary (the Mary Prize, 14 guns) in 1661. The Little Mary was a Spanish prize captured in 1654. She was taken by the Dutch in 1666. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. R. C. Anderson, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700: Part I English Ships 1649-1702, 1966.
  3. David Syrett, R. L. DiNardo, The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, 1994.
  4. J.R. Tanner, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naval Manuscripts in the Pepysian Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Vol.I, 1903.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

English Captain: Charles Wager

Charles Wager served in the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. In 1659, he commanded the captured Dutch East Indiaman, the Indian (ex-Amsterdam VOC Roos). In 1660, he commanded the 4th Rate Yarmouth. He was appointed Captain at the Restoration. Frank Fox writes that inn May 1665, Charles Wager commanded the 4th Rate Crown at Tangier. Syrett writes that Charles Wager died on 24 February 1665. The Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.
  3. David Syrett, R. L. DiNardo, The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, 1994.

Friday, January 14, 2005

English Captain: Willoughby Hannam (or Hannum)

Willoughby Hannam served in both the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. R.C. Anderson consistently calls his last name "Hannum". Frank Fox calls his name "Hannam". From 1653 to 1654, he commanded the Katherine (36 guns). He was in command of the Katherine in September 1653. His ship was lying "in the Ellice Road" in December. From 1654 to 1656, he commanded the Dutch prize Half Moon (captured at the Gabbard). From 1656 until 1660, he commanded the Kentish (Kent). He was appointed as captain in 1660. In the Battle of Lowestoft, in 1665, he commanded the 2nd Rate Rainbow (56 guns), which was assigned to Prince Rupert's division. In June 1666, he was assigned to the Western Station, and missed the Four Days' Battle. He now commanded the 3rd Rate Resolution. At the St. James's Day Battle, his ship, the Resolution (68 guns) was disabled and burned by the Dutch. Captain Hannam and 1oo of his crew were rescued. He was killed in action on 28 May 1672 (at Solebay), while commanding the 2nd Rate Triumph (70 guns). He was in Vice-Admiral of the Blue, Joseph Jordan's squadron. He obviously had a distinguished career in the navy. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, Journals and Narratives of the Third Dutch War, 1946.
  2. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  3. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.
  4. David Syrett, R. L. DiNardo, The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, 1994.

One thing we need is an OOB for the Dutch in the Battle of the Downs in 1639

We have a less-than-adequately detailed OOB for the Spanish side in the Battle of the Downs, thanks to C. R. Boxer, but the Dutch side is even worse. We mostly have a list of captains, with no clear notation even as to what admiralty they served. From a variety of sources, we could assign a few ship names (even some guns) to some of the Dutch list. The booksw about Tromp and the campaign leading up to the Battle of the Downs are some of the available sources. There is the "Staet van Oorlogh te Water" for 1633, but it is probably of little help, except for some ship data. Many ships which undoubtedely fought are not in that list, apparently having been built later. For example, there was the Deventer (28 guns). That was a name apparently not used again until the 1660's. There is a small amount in Doeke Roos' new book, and there may be some other, newer sources (only in Dutch, though). Perhaps I could at least start such a list, and fill in as much as I can find, just to make a start on the project.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

English Captain: John Mann

John Mann served in the Parliamentarian navy, and before that was a privateer. In 1644, he commanded the privateer Achilles. In 1645, he commanded the 6th Rate Cygnet in the Summer Guard, for sure, and possibly in the Winter Guard (the captain's name is omitted, but his ship was in the Winter Guard). From 1646 to 1648, he commanded the 3rd Rate Convertine (the former Destiny of Sir Walter Raleigh, not the later Portuguese ship). He was in the Summer Guard for 1646, 1647, and 1648. In 1647, he was assigned to the Downs. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea, 1989.
  3. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

This is another biography of Thomas Rainsborough

Andrew found two biographies of Thomas Rainsborough, the Parliamentarian. This is the second of the two, and can be found at the English Civil War Society of America. The other one is linked and excerpted at 17th Century Naval Wargaming blog. This one starts off:

"Thomas Rainsborow (alias Rainsborough or Rainborowe) was a son of a distinguished sea captain, William Rainsborow (died 1642), and was himself bred to the sea. One of Thomas' sisters married John Winthrop (1588-1649), Governor of Massachusetts, and another married the governor's fourth son, Colonel Stephen Winthrop (1618-58). Thomas had a brother, who was another parliamentarian, Captain William Rainsborow, who was in Colonel Thomas Sheffeild's Regt. of Horse of the New Model Army, and became a major by July 5th, 1647, but was dismissed in 1649.

In 1643 Thomas Rainsborow was in command of the ship 'Swallow', and took a royalist ship that was carrying reinforcements to the King. Then as captain of the ship 'Lion' he landed 100 (possibly 180) of his crew to help Lord Fairfax's defense of Hull, and while himself leading a column of 500 musketeers, was captured in the great sally which terminated the siege (Oct. 11th, 1643). In his account of the fight Lord Fairfax described Rainsborow as a Colonel, which he was continually described as, with his later service as a colonel being all on land."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Dutch Captain: Jan Pieterszoon Tant

Jan Pieterszoon Tant served the Admiralty of Zeeland in the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War. In June 1665, he commanded the advice yacht Dieshoek (6 guns). She had a crew somewhere between 20 and 26 men. In August 1665, he commanded the frigate Zeelandia (36 guns). At the Four Days Battle and St. James's Day Battle, he commanded the Zeeland warship Utrecht (50 guns). The Utrecht had been built in 1653, and carried 2-24pdr, 6-18pdr, 18-12pdr, 22-6pdr, and 2-bases (an archaic swivel gun). The Utrecht had dimensions 134ft x 33ft x 13.5ft, so she was a good bit larger than the smaller and more numerous 130ft ships. I have no further information about him after 1666.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

English Captain: Thomas Harrison

Thomas Harrison served in the Parliamentarian and Commonwealth navies. From 1647 to 1648, he commanded the 4th Rate Mary Rose. He was assigned to the Winter Guard in 1647 and the Summer Guard in 1648 (and possibly, the Winter Guard). In 1649, he commanded the 4th Rate Phoenix. In 1650, he commanded the 2nd Rate Rainbow. In 1652, he commanded the 2nd Rate Vanguard, but he was superseded by Vice-Admiral William Haddock. In early July 1652, he was ordered by Sir George Ayscue to keep vessels from leaving the Thames, as Tromp was off the Downs. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938.
  2. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  3. Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea, 1989.
  4. J. J. Colledge, Ships of the Royal Navy, 2nd Ed., 1987.
  5. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

More thoughts about Zachary (Zacharia) Brown

When you see that Zachary Brown served through the Second Angl0-Dutch War, and fought in all the major battles, it seems clear that his problems in the First Anglo-Dutch War were not representative of what sort of naval officer he was. King Charles II, the Duke of York, Prince Rupert, and the Duke of Albemarle generally did not keep incompetents around. A nasty feature of the Restoration navy was that if you were someone's "favorite", it could still happen, although it was not very likely. I'm not sure if I could give a counterexample. I would need to study A Distant Storm more closely, to be sure.

I am relatively sure that Zachary Brown took part in the Battle of Plymouth and possibly the Battle of the Kentish Knock, before his mishap on the way to join the fleet, after the Battle of Dungeness (which he had missed). I will check this evening, as I don't have access to my copy of Anderson's article about fleet lists.

Monday, January 10, 2005

English Captain: Zachariah Brown

Zacharia (or Zachary) Brown served in both the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. From 1650 to 1652, he commanded the hired merchantman Hercules (34 guns). The Hercules was intercepted and driven ashore after the Battle of Dungeness by Bastiaan Centen in the ship Haes. The Dutch were able to get the ship off, and took it home to the Netherlands. Zacharias Browne was courtmartialed, convicted, and dismissed for incompetence. He seems to have done better in the Restoration navy. He was appointed as a Captain in 1664. Frank Fox says that "Zachary Brown" commanded the 4th Rate Assistance (40 guns) at the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665. He was with Sir Jeremy Smith at Tangier from December 1665 until March 1666. At the Four Days Battle in 1666, Captain Brown still commanded the Assistance and was in Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Teddiman's division. At the St. James's Day Battle, he was in Sir Thomas Allin's division. Sir Thomas Allin was Admiral of the White. In this battle, the Assistance carried 46 guns. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea, 1989.
  3. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.
  4. David Syrett, R. L. DiNardo, The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, 1994.

Dutch spoken: 17th Century Dutch captains and ships

Marco Schuffelen now has his page with clips of him pronouncing names of 17th Century naval officers and ships. I have heard some of the clips, pre-launch, but I won't be able to listen to all the new material until tonight. I really appreciate his work, as I have wondered about the correct pronunciation for a long time. I had started to learn from my former manager, who is South African, but I have been gone from the spot for 7 months, so I am not getting new input from him. I always think it is better to know how the straight information, and I'm indebted to Marco for his work.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

English Captain: Benjamin Firmase

Benjamin Firmase served towards the end of the Commonwealth. From 1659 to 1660, he commanded the 6th Rate Truelove (14 guns). Later in 1660, he commanded the 6th Rate Henrietta pinnace (6 guns). He did not serve after the Restoration (I checked sources to verify that). Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. J. J. Colledge, Ships of the Royal Navy, 2nd Ed., 1987.
  3. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.
  4. David Syrett, R. L. DiNardo, The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, 1994.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

English Captain: Thomas Rainsborough

Thomas Rainsborough served in the Parliamentarian navy. Michael Baumber calls him "Colonel Thomas Rainsborough". In 1643, he commanded the 3rd Rate Lion, when he was captured while on shore, and freed in a prisoner exchange. From 1647 to 1648, he served as a Vice-Admiral with his flag in a 3rd Rate (either the Happy Entrance or Leopard). In 1648, he flew his Vice-Admiral's flag on the 2nd Rate Constant Reformation, one of the ships that went over to the Royalist side. He was not well-liked, and he was thrown off his ship in the Downs, in April 1648, when the rebellion happened. He had been appointed Vice-Admiral when William Batten was removed from command for conspiring with Royalists and Presbyterians. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea, 1989.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Breaking the chain at Chatham in the "Raid"

I just read the Netherlands navy history website, as Marco Schuffelen asked me a question about Jan Daniëls van Rijn, captain of the fireship Pro Patria, at the Raid on Chatham in 1667. I was confused by reading the Dutch, but I cheated and used the Systran translation box to translate most of the text. As I had thought, Jan van Brakel, in the Rotterdam ship Vrede (34 guns) had broken the chain. I had not remembered that he had made a misstep at Sheerness.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Friesland in the First Anglo-Dutch War

Friesland started with war with a limited number of hired merchant ships, along with the Omlandia (30 guns), an old ship built in 1628. Friesland was the first admiralty to augment their forces with a new, larger ship. Sometime in the summer of 1652 (presumably), they purchased the Groenewold, and renamed her Groningen. She became the flagship of Hendrick Janszoon Camp in the Battle of Dungeness. The Groningen was heavily damaged in a sharp fight with two English frigates after Dungeness. De Sneuper says that he was back in time for Portland (the Three Days Battle). His lieutenant, Frederick Stellingwerf was proposed to replace him, but he was probably not appointed. Instead, Frederick Stellingwerf was given command of the newly acquired Zevenwolden (38 guns). He fought at the Gabbard and Scheveningen, where his ship was captured and sunk, and he was taken as a prisoner. He later died in the prison. The other, new large Frisian ship was the Kameel (42 guns). This probably was a ship belonging to the Groningen Directors (de Stad en Lande), although at least one contemporary list as well as Dr. Elias, say the ship belonged the Admiralty of Friesland. In The First Dutch War, Vol.V, there are translations of documents that make it seem that the ship was named "Stad en Lande" (a good Frisian ship name).

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

English Captain: John Burley

John Burley served the navy of King Charles I, and in the navy during the Civil War. In 1636, he commanded the 6th Rate 5th Whelp. In 1638, he commanded the 6th Rate 6th Whelp. In 1639, he commanded the 6th Rate 2nd Whelp. In 1642, he commanded the 3rd Rate Antelope, when he was in the Summer Guard. He was a Royalist, and was executed by the Parliament in 1647. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

More about William Badiley

William Badiley was, of course, Richard's brother. Richard was a squadron commander in the Mediterranean Sea during 1652 to 1653. His brother, William, seems to have been reckless, and was not employed after the Battle of the Kentish Knock. Recklessness is practically an unknown quality among English naval officers during the First Anglo-Dutch War. About the only man who could be credibly charged as being reckless, besides William Badiley, was Robert Blake, General-at-Sea. The usual problem among English naval officers in the 17th Century was timidy. Compared to Robert Blake, some normally brave officers were considered to have been over-timid at the Battle of Dungeness (30 November 1652, Old Style).

At the Battle off Dover on 19 May 1652, Blake's rashness was rewarded, as the Dutch, under Maarten Tromp, were so out-matched by the English 2nd Rates, that they could not stand and fight. At the Battles of the Kentish Knock, Dungeness, and Portland, Robert Blake showed a lack of judgment and basic tactical knowledge. Fortunately for him, the strong core of 2nd and 3rd Rates (with the occasional 1st Rate) were more than the Dutch could handle. He was also backed by very capable men, such as William Penn, John Lawson, George Monck, and many others. At the Battle of Dungeness, two brave men sacrificed themselves to save him (the captains of the Garland and Anthony Bonaventure). At Portland, he was saved again, until he threw away the opportunity to annihilate the Dutch at the end of the third day. An apologist might say that the English had suffered considerably, as well, but if you read the account of what happened from Blake's letter and what Michael Baumber and Peter Padfield wrote about him, you would know better. What you can say is that Robert Blake was focused and intent on engaging the Dutch, under most circumstances. Perhaps it was his wound at Portland that caused him to vary from his usual reckless style.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

English Captain: William Badiley

William Badiley served in the Parliamentarian and Commonwealth navies. In 1646, he commanded the hired merchantman Anne (which R. C. Anderson said was in reserve). In the summer of 1646, the Anne was one of those ships that were to be docked and fitted out for sea, in case they were needed. In 1652, he commanded the Dolphin. He fought at the Battle of the Kentish Knock, and the Dolphin was one of the leading ships in Nehemiah Bourne's squadron. Michiel De Ruyter lead his squadron in to aggressively engage them. They came close to getting in trouble, but were rescued because the Dutch ships had trouble tacking, as they had suffered storm damage, and some Dutch captains avoided battle. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea, 1989.
  3. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

The decline of the Netherlands in the 17th Century

I have wondered how much the decline of the Netherlands in the 17th Century was due to Louis XIV and how much was due to William III (William of Orange). They both were brilliant men.

Louis XIV energized France, upon taking control of the government. Under his leadership, France was like a rocket. It rose to great heights, before crashing at the end of the flight. His reign setup France for the revolution at the end of the 18th Century, and put people into the frame of mind where Socialism looked pretty good to them. When Louis XIV took an interest in the Netherlands, the Netherlands developed a big problem.

When the French attacked the Netherlands (in the form of the Dutch Republic, the United Provinces), he brought down the government of Jan De Witt, and caused his death at the hands of a mob, along with his brother Cornelis. The "Young Prince", William III (or Willem III), Prince of Orange, stepped up to save the country. I suspect that William III was trained by the French during the 1660's, when the Dutch and French were nominally allied. The French were supreme on land. They had the greatest generals, perhaps of all time, in Prince Conde and Turenne. They had a fine army, and Vauban was advising Louis XIV in the field, and was revolutionizing military fortifications in a way that was copied for the next 250 years or more.

The bad thing about the regime change in the Netherlands was that Jan De Witt had achieved an understanding of naval warfare, while William III was totally ignorant, and remained so for the rest of his life. He also had no interest, perhaps accounting for his ignorance. Yet, naval power is what saved the nation in the Third Anglo-Dutch War, as much as the valiant defence and William III's statement about "the last ditch" ("There is one certain means by which I can be sure never to see my country's ruin -- I will die in the last ditch").

The Netherlands was sustained past 1673 as an independent nation largely due to the efforts of Michiel Adriaanszoon De Ruyter and the navy. There are not enough superlatives to describe Michiel De Ruyter. I consider him the greatest admiral of all time. If you compare him with someone like Horatio Nelson, De Ruyter towers over him. If you look at their careers, Nelson never really commanded in a battle that was critical to the defense of his nation. Even Trafalgar was not very important, as France had rebuilt its fleet in a short time. De Ruyter, on the other hand, fought in battles that determined the continued existence of his country. He won the Third Anglo-Dutch War, which knocked England off the field by 1674. De Ruyter was a flag officer for a great number of battles in the First Anglo-Dutch War, the war with Sweden in 1658 and 1659, and the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars. He died at an age when few of his contemporaries were still alive (at 69 years) in a fight against the great Huguenot admiral Abraham Duquesne, during the extended war against France that lasted until 1678.

When the Glorious Revolution took place in 1688, William was eager to enter the fray against his old enemy Louis XIV and his uncle, James II. He fought the War of the English Succession to secure his throne, and then in the following War of the League of Augsburg. His wife, Mary II died of Smallpox, as had his mother and father. His sister-in-law, Queen Anne would also die of Smallpox. William III died from a fall from his horse. He left the Netherlands in shambles. They were shorn of trade and capital. The English gladly took over from their allies as the premier commericial empire and naval power. With William III as king, England's navy had suffered as well, due to his lack of interest and knowledge. This was in sharp contrast with Charles II and James II, who were both knowledgable and had a keen interest in the navy.

Monday, January 03, 2005

At the Gabbard and Scheveningen, Witte de With flew his flag from the second-most powerful ship in the fleet

Since before the beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch War, Witte de With had flown his flag from the rather small ship Prinses Louise (36 guns). She had been built relatively recently (1646), but was only 120ft long. By the end of 1652, she was overgunned with 46 guns (according to Dr. Elias). Witte de With missed the battles of Dungeness and Portland, but after Portland played an important operational role. He commanded a very active squadron during the intervening period between Portland and the Battle of the Gabbard. He flew his flag on the Vrijheid, with Abraham van der Hulst as his flag captain. This was the second most powerful ship in the fleet, after the Brederode. She later carried as many as 60 guns. She also was the prototype for new construction patterned after the English (where ships were broader for the length). Amsterdam blocked her from being used in the First Anglo-Dutch War building program, but by 1664, new construction was patterned after her. Michiel De Ruyter's famous flagship, the Zeven Provinciƫn was 3.79 times as long as broad. The Brederode was much narrower for the length, having a length to beam ratio of 4.125. De With was trying to ready his brand new flagship, the Huis van Swieten (60 guns) for the battle, but was unsuccessful, probably due to lack of armament and stores. She was his flagship after Scheveningen to the end of the war. By July 1654, he had reclaimed his beloved Brederode from Egbert Meuwssen Kortenaer. Witte de With had been the Brederode's original captain, and had commanded her during the operation in 1645 to force a fleet of merchant ships past the Sound without paying the toll to the Danes. She was also his flagship for the abortive attempt to recover control of Brazil from the Portuguese.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

English Captain: John Jeffreys (or Jeffries)

John Jeffreys (Jeffries) served both the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. From 1652 to 1653, he commanded the Dutch prize Falmouth (26 guns). He very likely fought in the Battle of the Kentish Knock. Again, he may have fought in the Battle of Portland, still in the Falmouth. R. C. Anderson believed that John Jeffreys fought in the Battle of Scheveningen, while still in command of the Falmouth (by then, 28 guns). By December 1653, he commanded the Little Charity (38 guns), lying at Chatham. From 1654 to 1655, he commanded the 5th Rate Nightingale. From 1655 to 1656, he commanded the 4th Rate Nantwich (48 guns). At the Battle of Lowestoft, he commanded the 4th Rate Assurance (32 guns) in Prince Rupert's division. In June 1666, he was designated as captain of the new 3rd Rate Cambridge (64 guns), which was under construction. At the St. James's Day Battle, his new ship was completed, and was assigned to Robert Holmes' division. His name was spelled many different ways, which was not unusual for the time. The most creative spelling was "Gifferyes", when he was in command of the Little Charity in the Winter Guard for 1653. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938.
  2. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  3. R. C. Anderson, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700: Part I English Ships 1649-1702, 1966.
  4. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930.
  5. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

For those of us who want to learn to pronounce Dutch...

I had seen this site, quite a long time ago (maybe as long ago as 2000) that had audio clips of Dutch being spoken. The pages are part of the author's site that includes "Dutch Pronounced". I found it useful, as it complemented what I had heard from my former manager (an Afrikaans speaker who read and spoke Dutch, as well). While my first interest is in expanding my ability to read Dutch, I also would like to be able understand spoken Dutch and to speak, as well. Marco Schuffelen has a lot of good clips that help a lot in knowing how to pronounce naval officer's namea and the names of their ships. Marco says that he will be posting some new clips oriented towards our specialized interest, for which I am very grateful.

The Bridge to Modernity

One of my central theses is that the 17th Century was the start of modern times. In many ways, the English Civil War was the turning point. During the reign of James I, people still dressed like the Elizabethans. One other aspect, tied to the Stuarts, is that the present British royal family is where they are because they are decedents of the Stuarts, however obliquely. The key person was Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I and Anne (daughter of Frederick II of Denmark). She was married to Frederick V, the Elector Palatine and for a short time, King of Bohemia. Elizabeth outlived many of her younger relatives. One of her children, Sophia, was married to Ernestus Augustus, the first Elector of Hannover. Their son, George, became king upon the death of Queen Anne from smallpox in 1714. I had not realized that there were ties between the Stuarts and the Bourbons, as well. Henriette Marie, mother and grandmother of kings and queens, was a Bourbon princess. Henriette Marie was daughter of Henri IV, King of France and Navarre.

Much of what was happening in early 17th Century Europe was driven by religion, and the English Civil War was no exception. The Thirty Years War was still raging when the situation in England grew ugly. The Civil War started in 1642, and I believe that the ostensible reason that the conflict was over the ship money really misses the point. Henriette Marie was raising her children to be Catholics. James II actually declared his Catholocism by 1669. Charles II kept his hidden until he received the Last Rites on his deathbed. James II's Catholocism is what pushed his opponents into staging the Glorious Revolution, putting his nephew William III and his daughter Mary II on the throne in his place.

Religion caused chaos and war on the continent. Many of the great generals of all time learned their trade in the Thirty Years War. The giants in France, Prince Conde and Turenne were Huguenots, as was the best admiral Abraham Duquense. On the Catholic side was Raimondo de Monteccucoli, who fought for the Holy Roman Empire. Naval buffs recognize his name, as the Italians named a light cruiser for him.

Many of the 17th Century Stuarts died from smallpox. That was true for Mary Stuart, wife of William II (Prince of Orange), as it was for him. Mary II and her sister, Queen Anne also died of smallpox.

Science and mathematics were greatly advanced during this period. This was the time when Leibnitz, Newton, and others lived. The Royal Society was formed in England, at the Restoration. In England you had giants like Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke, and others. It was men like Robert Hooke and Robert Boyle who essentially invented the "Scientific Method".

These were exciting times, and there were important forces at work in government, religion, and science. What we have built stands on top of what they started. There were many other areas of advancement, as well, including economics, business, and finance. I really have only scratched the surface, as the developments were so widespread and important.

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