Wednesday, March 08, 2006

More from the article about Willem van de Velde de Oude in Oud Holland 17

This is from my translation of Haverkorn van Rijsewijk's article "The First War with England and W. Van de Velde the Elder" in Vol.17 of the Oud Holland publication. The story picks up after the Battle of Dungeness:
Tromp, after his victory, accompanied the merchant vessels to the Isle of Rhé. On the way, he tooks several English ships as prizes. He stayed at the latitude of Bordeaux to wait for the return fleet. In the middle of February 1653, Tromp left Bordeaux, heading homeward with 70 warships and 150 merchant vessels. At the beginning of the same month, the English fleet, 50 ships strong, left form the Thames, and continuing, now also 70 ships strong, to the Channel. After the example of the Dutch fleet, they now divided into three squadrons, each with its own commander, and known by the color of the flags. Had Willem van de Velde the Elder joined one of these expeditions against the English in 1652? I have not been able to find any proof of that. He specified that he was at sea, in July, with Tromp, and on the unfortunate voyage [to the Shetlands] he would not have been present. In is highly improbable that he accompanied De Ruyter's squadron, as this served solely to escort merchant fleets. And he cannot be associated with the fleet of De With, which won 8 October was beaten. As we have seen, he made a notarized statement on 9 October in Amsterdam. Also, with Tromp's fleet on 1 December 1652 and in February 1653, he was probably not present.

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