Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The journals of Witte de With

When the Brederode was taken by the Swedes at the Battle of the Sound, the ship was in a sinking condition and they "ransacked" the ship. For that we may be thankful, as they rescued Vice-Admiral Witte de With's letters and journals. They are in the Swedish archives, with the papers of the Swedish Admiral Wrangel. Carl Stapel had told me about the journals. Prof. Jan Glete, who is in Stockholm, at the university, had seen them, told us about the letterbook. He was disappointed that there were no ship lists, as I am, although I did not really expect to find anything but lists of captains. Those do exist in the journal. Thanks to Ambassador Antoine van Dongen, Dutch Ambassador to Sweden, I have a copy of Witte de With's journal from 1 October to 5 November, 1658. The last date is the last entry in the journal. I find the handwriting very neat and relatively easy to read, although I can only read part of the words, without more details study. There are quite a few lists of captains. This may blow apart one theory of mine, about a certain captain's name. Grove gives the name as Jan Samplon, while Witte de With seems to have written the name as Jan Semplon. After reading more of the journal, I must say that the handwriting is not uniformly neat. Some of it is harder to read, as it might have been written more hastily. I really am grateful for the kindness of the Ambassador in sending me the copies.

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