Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Tromp's fleet in May 1652 was largely composed of Directors' ships
Dr. Ballhausen has the only published list of ships that comprised Tromp's fleet on 29 May 1652. That list is rather suspect, as is everything produced by Dr. Ballhausen. Still, it is all we have, to date. Many, if not the majority of ships were Director's ships. The reason that we need to be skeptical is simply that Dr. Ballhausen can be right and he can be wrong. You need to check his references to know which is the case. He comes up with gems, such as the name of Jan de Liefde's ship, the Jonas. He also had the reference with supplied the number of guns carried by the Kameel (42 guns). On the other hand, he called Dirk Juynbol's ship the Hoop, when it was actually named Gelderland. Once you saw where the name came from, you could dismiss the Hoop as being wrong (it came from an obviously fictional list of ships from an unknowledgable English source). A feature of Dr. Ballhausen's research is that he only used published sources, although they might be obscure sources. He never used materials from the Nationaal Archief, almost inexplicably.