Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The mystery remains as to why Vreugdenhil missed so many ships from 1652 to 1653

I had only known that there were a large number of ships not mentioned in Vreugdenhil, from 1652 to 1653, from seeing the list translated and republished in The First Dutch War, Vol.I (from the Hollandsche Mercurius for 1652). From the published sources, there many ships for which I could not apply names. Only after Jan Glete sent me a copy of his notes and then Rick van Velden, at the Nationaal Archief found documents for me, was I able to give names to most of the ships in that list (from about June 1652). It is harder to understand, as Dr. Johan E. Elias, in Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen mentioned by name, and sometimes included the captain's name, for some of the ships in the service of the Amsterdam Directors. This was quite a bit before Vreugdenhil compiled his list. Dr. Ballhausen made no attempt, apparently, to use anything but published sources, so his book is even less useful, in that respect. Of course, Dr. Ballhausen did use some very obscure published sources, and he did supply names of ships and information not published elsewhere, except for the original source. Apparently, Vreugdenhil used Dr. Ballhausen's book for part of his list, although Vreugdenhil seems to have been savvier than Dr. Ballhausen.

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