Monday, March 06, 2006

A theory about Abraham van der Hulst's ship in 1652

One result of studying the March 1653 list of ships in the Dutch navy is that I can see that the list of ships that were employed by the Admiralty of Amsterdam from May 1652 until March 1653 is very tightly circumscribed. There is no room for "mystery ships". That made me wonder if the ship that Abraham van der Hulst commanded in 1652 is one we already know about. A pretty definitive list for the Admiralty of Amsterdam in early 1653 is published in The First Dutch War, Vol.IV. This list includes losses, and is meant to be comprehensive from the beginning of the war up to the date in which it was compiled. From internal evidence, we would date the list from right after the Battle of Portland and before the results of the Battle of Livorno were learned. As many lists, this may have been compiled and annotated over some months. Anyway, my conjecture is that Abraham van der Hulst may have commanded the 26-gun ship Sampson in 1652, and that Hendrick Adriaanszoon succeeded him in command, at some point. The only flaw in this scenario is that there is a list that says that Hendrick Adriaanszoon was waiting to convoy merchant ships to the Baltic in late July 1652. None of the ships in that list are mentioned by name. As is often the case, only captains are mentioned. If my conjecture is not true, then there is a "mystery ship" involved.

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