Monday, July 31, 2006

One of the ships from the list I received from Jan Glete: the Edam commanded by Barent Cramer

This is the data for the ship Edam from the list dating from 1652 that I received from Jan Glete, today:
The ship Edam, Captain Cramer

Length from stem to sternpost: 124ft
Beam:                           28ft
Hold:                           11ft
Height between decks:            6-1/2ft

28 guns:

 6 brass guns of     12 lbs
 4 brass guns of      6 lbs
14 iron gotelingen of 8 lbs
 4 iron gotelingen of 6 lbs

The crew consisted of 90 men

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Climatology research in the Caribbean

For a study of 17th Century hurricanes and tropical storms, a researcher is interested in information about merchant and warships that were in the Caribbean and for which log books or journals might exist. Send me any information that you might have and I will pass it on to the researcher. I will also cross post this on the other 17th Century naval history-related blog (17th Century Naval Wargaming).

More about 8 October , 9 October, and 10 October 1652

After the English fleet had been sighted and had closed to a half mile, it was the two East Indiamen that were with the fleet that had drifted off, as well as three warships. At the end of 8 October 1652, Jan Jansz van Nes, in the Gorcum (30 guns) (or Gorinchem) was missed. The English had taken the ship, and had removed Jan Jansz van Nes and his son from the ship, but Willem Adriaansz Warmont had retaken the ship. Witte de With says that the ship was totally dismasted. Cornelis Jol's (Cornelis Holla) ship, the Leiden (28 guns), had lost its mainmast. Gerrit Nobel's ship was wrecked and sank. His ship, the Burgh van Alkmaar (24 guns) had blown up in the battle. Adriaan Nicolaesz Kempen's ship, the Amsterdam (30 guns), had lost its bowsprit, as had Cornelis van Houten's ship, the Witte Lam (30 guns). The East Indiaman Vogelstruis had apparently missed the battle, having become separated in the rough weather, and rejoined at midday on 9 October. On 10 October, the wind was from the west, and Witte de With held another council of war. They could see the English fleet to the west southwest. They found out that four ships had sailed to the Texel without orders. These were the ships of Lambert Pieterszoon (the Nassaouw, 34 guns), the ship of Ewout Jeroenssen (the Zutphen, 28 guns), the ship of Jacob Andriesz Swart (the Faam, 28 guns), and the ship of Laurens Degelcamp (the Gelderland, 24 guns). The decision was made to sail to the Goeree Gat, so they altered course, accordingly. This is based on the account in Witte de With's journal, published in The First Dutch War, Vol.II. Sources:
  1. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Ships 1600-1700", 2006
  2. Dr. S.R. Gardiner, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.II, 1900

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mr. Van Dongen on the situation at Antwerp in the 16th and 17th Centuries

Mr. Van Dongen's notes in the rear of his paper about Witte de With make interesting reading in themselves. He tells the story in one note about the unfortunate situation of Antwerp. In the early 1600's, trade in Antwerp suffered, while the northern provinces in the Spanish Netherlands prospered. Earlier, Antwerp had been a prosperous seaport, much as Amsterdam was. The north effectively could blockade Antwerp, as access from Antwerp to the sea was by way of the Scheldt estuary. Antwerp also had the experience of being taken by Spanish troops in 1576, and 6,000 of the population were killed. Later, prior to the Armada campaign, the Duke of Parma, Alessandro Farnese had occupied the city and caused further disruption (from 1584 until 1585). Part of the Duke's program was to force all Protestants to leave the city. The deteriorating situation at Antwerp caused many people to flee. Many moved to the United Provinces, the seven northern provinces of the Spanish Netherlands that were in rebellion against Spain. Assets from Flanders helped to finance the newly formed United East Indies Company (the VOC). Antwerp did not regain unrestricted access to the sea until 1839! Sources:
  1. Antoine Francois van Dongen, "Making Waves": the life and times of Admiral Witte de With (1599-1658), 2005

Friday, July 28, 2006

New information on the way

At the beginning of 1652, prior to the outbreak of war, the Dutch authorized the hiring of 150 ships to be used a warships. Fifty of these were hired by the Directors in the various cities:
  • Amsterdam
  • Rotterdam
  • Hoorn
  • Edam
  • Enkhuizen
  • Monnikendam
  • Medemblick
  • Middelburg
  • Vlissingen
  • Zierikzee
  • Veere

The other hundred were to be hired by the five admiralties:

  • Amsterdam
  • Rotterdam (the Maze)
  • Zeeland
  • Noorderkwartier
  • Friesland, at Harlingen

About fifty ships were quickly hired by the Directors. Dr. Elias said that only 38 ships were initially hired by the admiralties. As 1652 progressed, that number increased. It is not clear that there were ever 150 hired ships in service at the same time during the First Anglo-Dutch War. The fleet became dominated by hired ships, by the summer of 1652, when the wartime building program bore fruit.

A great deal of information exists about the Directors' ships hired by Amsterdam. I have documents from the Nationaal Archief in The Hague that give dimensions and list the guns carried. For the ships hired in April 1653, there is less complete information, as we do not know the captain or size of the crew for ships such as the Keurvorst van Keulen.

The published sources have had few details about the ships hired by the admiralties. The most we have are the captain's name, number of guns, and the crew size. This is often available for Amsterdam ships from The First Dutch War volumes and Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen. The latter has much fewer of those details.

I have information that should be in the mail, or about to be put in the mail, from a number of sources (Jan Glete, Carl Stapel, and the Municipal Archives of Amsterdam, the GAA. There are more details about the various hired ships, often with dimensions and lists of guns. What I find useful, as well, is the date the ship was hired. Where the captain is mentioned, the information is even more useful. I also hope to get the papers of Witte de With from the Swedish national archives, and have made the request.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The more I think about the aborted raid on Scarborough in April 1653, the stranger it seems

I have previously written about Witte de With's expedition to Scarborough, undertaken with the intent of conducting a raid in April 1653. Not following through with the raid seems very uncharacteristic of Witte de With. He had a substantial squadron of ships (something like 17 warships), so he might have done some damage. He let Cornelis de Groot and others talk him out of the raid in a council of war. I have not seen real reason for what the raid would not have been successful. Witte de With seems to have felt like he needed the endorsement of a council of war, prior to making any attempt at attacking. He had come back to active duty after being out of action from early December 1652. He may have actually been on board the Amsterdam jacht Luipaard during the raid. The Luipaard only had 6pdrs as its largest weapon.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

English Naval Officer: Sir John Munden

Sir John Munden served in the English navy in the late 17th and early 18th Centuries. He was appointed a Lieutenant on 30 November 1677. On 14 December 1688, he was promoted to Captain. He fought in the Battle of Beachy Head 30 June 1690. He commanded the Coronation (90 guns) in the Blue Squadron. On 19 May 1692, he fought in the Battle of Barfleur. He commanded the 3rd Rate Lennox (70 guns) in the Red Squadron. In about 1698 to 1699, he cruised in the Mediterranean Sea in charge of a small squadron to suppress piracy. His ship was the Winchester (60 guns). On 14 April 1701, he was appointed as Rear-Admiral of the Blue. Shortly after, on 1 July 1701, he was knighted. In September 1701, he commanded an Anglo-Dutch squadron that escorted Admiral Benbow past the Scillies, on his was to the Caribbean. On 28 January 1702, he was appointed as Rear-Admiral of the White. In 1702, Sir John Munden was sent with a small squadron to the coast of Galicia in Spain. On 18 May 1702, he chased a French squadron, but they proved to fast for the English ships and made port at Corunna. The operation was generally unproductive, and he was courtmartialed. He was acquitted, but was still dismissed from the service. He died on 13 March 1719. Sources:
  1. William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol.II, 1898
  2. David Syrett, R. L. DiNardo, The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, 1994

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I suspect that there are many more Dutch ships hired in 1652 and 1653 than are apparent in the literature

From what Carl Stapel is finding in his research, it seems that there were more ships hired by the Dutch in 1652 than is obvious from the published literature, particularly Vreugdenhil's list from 1938. Part of the explanation seems to be that Vreugdenhil did not make use of documents from the archives. Vreugdenhil seems to also on occasion to be mistaken about a ship in his list. Carl Stapel has made a convincing argument that ship number 8 in Vreugdenhil's list, the Engel Gabriel completed in 1636 is in fact the jacht Engel Gabriel, which was out of service before 1648.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Number 8 in Vreugdenhil's list always has been a hole in the analysis

I must admit that I had not emphasized Vreugdenhil's analysis or research results that indicated that ship number 8 in his list of Dutch ships was the ship that was commanded by Adriaan van den Bosch at the Battle of Scheveningen (or Terheide). Vreugdenhil said that ship number 8 had been completed in 1636, and was a States' ship. I had pretty much discounted that and assumed that the ship named Engel Gabriel commanded by Van den Bosch at Scheveningen was actually the Amsterdam Directors' ship previously commanded by Bastiaan Bardoel. I just assumed that ship number 8 was an unsolved mystery, similar to the mystery surrounding the Achilles of 1630, number 1 in Vreugdenhil's list. Once I became aware of the 28-gun ship named Engel Gabriel hired by the Admiralty of Amsterdam on 19 June 1652, I altered my thinking. This ship was also completed in 1636 and was plausibly the ship commanded by Adriaan van den Bosch in August 1653.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

One answer about how the Engel Gabriel hired on 19 June 1652 might have been employed is as Abraham van der Hulst's ship

I have continued to be concerned about which ship Abraham van der Hulst commanded in 1652. Hendrick de Raedt's list gives the armament as 26 guns and the crew as 100 men. If the Engel Gabriel hired on 19 June 1652 and said to carry 28 guns were the ship commanded by Adriaan van den Bosch in August 1653, then the ship would have been available to be commanded by Abraham van der Hulst in the last half of 1652.

I wondered if Vreugdenhil might have been mistaken about number 8 in his list

The more I think about the issues involved, the more I wonder if the ship listed as number 8 in Vreugdenhil's list might actually be the hired ship that carried 28 guns. What we know is that Vreugdenhil says that ship number 8, the Engel Gabriel, was built in 1636. The hired ship with 28 guns, named Engel Gabriel, was also built in 1636. There is also number 108 in Vreugdenhil's list, which is also named Engel Gabriel, listed as being hired in 1652 and carrying 36 guns. The ship was lost in 1653. This is obviously intended to be Isaac Sweers' ship, which was sunk by gunfire on the first day of the Three Days' Battle (the Battle of Portland). The ship hired on 19 June 1652, in Amsterdam, was a smaller ship armed with 28 guns. Could this have been the ship commanded by Adriaan van den Bosch at the Battle of Scheveningen in August 1653? Vreugdenhil thought it was the ship, but thought it was a States' ship, a purpose-built warship.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Death of Witte de With

The Dutch Ambassador to Sweden, Antoine van Dongen, wrote a paper about Witte de With, which he calls "Making Waves", the life and times of Admiral Witte de With. He says that the conclusion of the Battle of the Sound, Witte de With had been mortally wounded, but was still alive. He was carried aboard the Swedish ship Draak, along with 70 wounded Dutch sailors. Witte de With died on board the Draak. The Swedes had "rescued the journals and archives" from the Brederode, covering the last six years of her service. Witte de With's journals and letter book are in the Swedish archives.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friesland hired their ships at Amsterdam

Carl Stapel says that the Admiraly of Friesland hired some very old ships at Amsterdam in 1652. They were ships that "could be put of service within one or two months" hired. One of these ships, the Sint Nicolaes (23 guns and a crew of 85 men) was very small and was sunk in a collision while going on a convoy. The Hector van Troijen was just a bit longer (24 guns and a crew of 70 or 75 men). Sources:
  1. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930
  2. Carl Stapel, personal communication "hired ships by admirality of Friesland", 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How well would I be able to align a list of ships with those we know?

What if we had a list of ships, with admiralties, ship names, number of guns, dimensions, and even gun lists. There may be no indication of which captains commanded the ships. How well would we be able to align such a list with the list of known ships and captains in the Dutch navy for the First Anglo-Dutch War? This may soon be more than just and academic question, if I receive a certain set of information in the mail (hopefully in the next few weeks).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

English Captain: Robert Sparks

Robert Sparks fought in both the Parliamentarian and Commonwealth navies. In 1645, he commanded the Anne and Elizabeth, a hired merchant ship which was captured. In the summer of 1645, he was assigned to the "particular service" squadron. In 1653, he commanded the Exeter Merchant. From 1653 until 1654, he commanded the Benjamin (32 guns and a crew of 120 men), also a hired merchant ship. He fought in the Battle of the Gabbard, where he was assigned to Joseph Jordan's division in the Blue Squadron. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964
  2. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Directors' ships armaments

If we were to make a generalization about Dutch Directors' ship armaments in 1652 and 1653, based on what we know, we would say that they had a lower tier of 8pdrs and 12pdrs, or in some cases, 12pdrs and 18pdrs or 24pdrs. The quarterdeck seems to have typically been armed with 6pdrs and there are the ubiquitous 2-3pdr guns, perhaps on the forecastle, or maybe on the poop. There were some of the largest ships which had variations on this pattern. They may well have had nearly a complete upper tier armed with 6pdrs, with an unarmed waist. These are some example ships (all are Amsterdam Directors' ships):
Ship                   Guns Crew Captain                      Gun List
Alexander                28  100 Jan Meyckes                  12-12pdr, 8-8pdr, 4-6pdr, 2-3pdr
Blauwe Arend             28  105 Dirck Pater                   4-18pdr, 8-12pdr, 8-8pdr, 6-6pdr, 2-3pdr
Catarina                 28  ?   Jacob Jansz Coppe            10-12pdr, 8-8pdr, 8-6pdr, 2-3pdr
David en Goliad          34  120 Claes Bastiaansz van Jaarveld 4-24pdr, 14-12pdr, 10-8pdr, 4-6pdr, 2-3pdr
Groote Vergulde Fortuijn 35  135 Frederick de Coninck          4-24pdr, 16-12pdr, 11-6pdr, 4-3pdr
Hollandsche Tuin         32  ?   Joris Jansz Block             4-18pdr, 10-12pdr, 8-8pdr, 8-6pdr, 2-3pdr

Monday, July 17, 2006

Joost Bankert de Jonge in the First Anglo-Dutch War

The information about Joost Bankert's service in the First Anglo-Dutch War is somewhat confusing. We know that he was killed in the Three Days Battle (Portland). The question is whether his ship survived or not. There is a letter about 17 Zeeland ships sailing home after the battle that seems to indicate that Joost Bankert's lieutenant took the ship back to Zeeland with the others. This is a short summary of his ship's service:
Adm Ship     Guns Crew Acq  Type Note   Commander                  Ship  Captain 
Z   Liefde   26   86   1652 h    8/1652 Joost Bankert de Jonge                     De Ruyter's fleet
                                 8/1652 Joost Bankert de Jonge                     The Battle of Plymouth
                                12/1652 Joost Bankert de Jonge                     In Jan Evertsen's squadron
                                12.1652 Joost Bankert de Jonge                     The Battle of Dungeness
                                 2/1653 Joost Bankert de Jonge           killed    The Three Days Battle
                                 3/1653 Joost Bankert's luitenant                  To Vlissingen

Sunday, July 16, 2006

English Captain: William Thomas

William Thomas served in the Parliamentarian navy. From 1643 until 1644, he commanded the 5th Rate Eighth Whelp (18 guns and a crew of 60 men). He served in the Summer Guard in 1643. From 1644 until 1646, he commanded the 5th Rate Warwick (22 guns, a crew of 80 men, and 200 tons). He served in the Summer Guard and Winter Guard in 1644. He commanded the Warwick in the Vice-Admiral's squadron in the Summer Guard for 1645 and was also in the Winter Guard for that year. From 1646 until 1647, he commanded the new frigate Nonsuch. He commanded the Nonsuch in the Winter Guard for 1646. In the summer of 1647, he commanded the Nonsuch in the Irish Guard. He was gone from service by the winter of 1647. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964
  2. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962

Saturday, July 15, 2006

English Captain: Richard Willoughby

Richard Willoughby served in the Parliamentarian navy. From 1644 until 1647, he commanded the Globe. The Globe was a vessel of 300 tons armed with 24 guns and with a crew of 100 men. In 1644, he was assigned to the Summer Guard and the Winter Guard. In the summer of 1645, he was assigned to the Irish Guard. Later, he was assigned to the Winter Guard for 1645. In the 1646, he was with the Irish Guard in the summer and in the Winter Guard. He continued in command of the Globe in the summer of 1647, in some unknown capacity. From 1647 until 1649, he commanded the new frigate Nonsuch. He commanded the Nonsuch in the Irish Guard in the summer of 1648 and again in the Winter Guard. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964
  2. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962

Friday, July 14, 2006

This must be the armament for the Jozua in 1654

J. C. De Jonge, in an appendix to Vol.I of Geschiedenis van het Nederlandse Zeewezen, has armaments for the ships in the list for July 1654. This must be the armament for the Noorderkwartier ship Jozua, Pieter Florissen's flagship up until the Battle of the Sound in 1658:
Jozua (136ft x 34ft x 14ft)
Built at Hoorn in 1654

Crew:  about 200 sailors and 30 soldiers

50 guns

Lower Tier:

Upper Tier:

  1. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Ships 1600-1700", 2005
  2. H.A. van Foreest and R.E.J. Weber, De Vierdaagse Zeeslag 11-14 Juni 1666, 1984
  3. J. C. De Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, Vol.I, 1858

Ships in service in mid-March 1653 with the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier

This represents my latest estimate of ships in service, both 's Landsschips and hired ships in service with the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier in mid-March 1653:
Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier

States’ ships

Rank             Name                          Adm/Dir guns Sailors Soldiers Ship                  Sources
kapitein         Jacob Corneliszoon de Boer    NQ      40   140              Eendracht             1DW4, 1DWMed, jonge1

Schout-bij-Nacht Pieter Florissen              NQ      36   140              Monnikendam           1DW1, jonge1, Raedt1

commandeur       Bourgoigne                    NQ      34   140              Enkhuizen
kapitein         Ham                           NQ      32   130              Prinses Roijaal

kapitein         Gabriel Antheunissen          NQ      30   110              Kasteel van Medemblik

kapitein         Cornelis Pietersz Taenman     NQ      28   120              Prins Maurits
kapitein         Cornelis Slordt               NQ      28   120              Jonge Prins
kapitein         Jan Heck                      NQ      28    96              Eenhoorn
kapitein         Pieter Schellinger            NQ      26    96              Stad Medemblik
kapitein         Arent Dirckszoon              NQ      24    96              Monnikendam

Hired ships

Rank             Name                          Adm/Dir guns Sailors Soldiers Ship                  Sources
kapitein         Reynst Cornelisz Sevenhuysen  NQ      30    90              Profeet Samuel
kapitein         Willem Ham                    NQ      28    90              Tobias
kapitein         Isaak Codde                   NQ      24    82              Postpaert
kapitein         Tijs Tijmensz Peereboom       NQ      24    80              Peereboom

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Prinses Roijaal Marie and the Eenhoorn were very similar in size

You would not know it from Vreugdenhil, but the Rotterdam ship Prinses Roijaal Marie, completed in 1643, was very similar in size to the Noorderkwartier ship Eenhoorn, built in 1625. The reason you are likely not to know that is because Vreugdenhil gave dimensions for Rotterdam ships built before 1653 in Maas feet of 308mm. They were divided into 12 inches. Amsterdam feet were 283mm, and were divided into 11 inches. The inches were similar in length. The dimensions of the Prinses Roijaal Marie, in Maas feet, were 114ft x 27ft x 12ft, while length given for the Eenhoorn of 1625 was124ft in Vreugdenhil's list. My converted dimensions for the Prinses Roijaal Marie, in Amsterdam feet, are: 124ft x 29.5ft x 13ft. We actually know from one of the versions of the Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654 gives the dimensions of the Eenhoorn as 125ft x 29ft. We also have seen the size in lasts listed variously as 200 or 220 lasts. Sizes in lasts were often just estimates, so that is one possible explanation for the variation. In any case, if the Eenhoorn were 200 lasts, we could estimate that the hold was about 12ft. The rationale is that by using a last figure that works in other example ships, you can estimate dimensions.
200 lasts = 200 x K
If we chose as K = 217, then 200 = L x B x H / 217
200 x 217 = L x B x H
43400 = 125 x 29 x H
H = 12ft
Of course, the hold depth is entirely contingent on the last factor we chose. Ab Hoving, in his article on Dutch ships in The Heyday of Sail book has a good discussion of lasts and their computation (or non-computation).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Frigateering and the Vrijheid

The Dutch described their building program as "frigateering" in the 1630's to 1650's. They were generally building rather small ships of length to beam ratios of about 4.o and greater. The first serious break from that plan was the construction of the Vrijheid, which was trying to imitate English warships, such as the old 3rd Rates, such as the Garland, Bonaventure, Entrance, and the Portuguese prize, the Convertine. Those ships were all apparently armed with culverins (18pdr) on the lower tier. The Vrijheid was similarly proportioned, but only had 12pdrs, along with 4-24pdr, on the lower tier. Until more of the 1653 and 1654 building program ships completed, too many ships only had 12pdrs as the main armament. Maarten Tromp and Witte de With really wanted to fix the problem, but politically, it was impossible. Only a few large ships were built and purchased.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Gelderland was a ship built for the Admiralty of Amsterdam in 1639. Her dimensions were 116ft x 27.25ft x 10.33ft. She carried a nominal armament of 28 guns and had a crew of 100 men. This is a summary of her service in the First Anglo-Dutch War:
Adm Ship      Guns Crew Date  St  Note   Commander          Ship Fate  Captain  Note
A   Gelderland 28  100  1652  h   8/1652 Cornelis van Velsen                    at the Wielingen rendezvous
                                  8/1652 Cornelis van Velsen                    De Ruyter's fleet
                                  8/1652 Cornelis van Velsen                    Battle of Plymouth
                                 12/1652 Cornelis van Velsen                    convoy towards Nantes
                                  3/1653 Cornelis van Velsen                    The Three Days Battle
                                  3/1653 Cornelis van Velsen                    Sailed from Amsterdam
                                  4/1653 Cornelis van Velsen                    Lying in the Texel roads
                                  6/1653 Cornelis van Velsen  blown up  killed  Battle of the Gabbard

Monday, July 10, 2006

Amsterdam War Losses up to mid-March 1653

(I obviously need to adjust my template, as the text is very much too wide)
In my researches for filling in the details of De Jonge's list for March 1653, I have my version of the war losses for the Admiralty of Amsterdam for up to mid-March 1653. As a point of interest, De Jonge seems to have omitted mention of several ships from the Fishery Protection Squadron lost on 22 July 1652 that seemed to be from Amsterdam. This is my list:
Losses to date:

Rank      Name                       Adm/Dir  guns Sailors Soldiers Ship                Sources
kapitein  Johan van Galen            A        44   150?    20       Jaarsveld           1DW4, jonge1
kapitein  Barent Pietersz Dorrevelt  A        30   100?    20       Amsterdam           schet2, jonge1

kapitein  Isaac Sweers               A        36   130     20       Engel Gabriel       1DW4, jonge1

kapitein  Jeroen Adelaar             A        30   100?    20       Middelburg          1DW4, jonge1
kapitein  Claes Sael                 A        30   100?    20       Maria               1DW4, jonge1
kapitein  Dirk Bogaart               A        24    80     20       Juffrouw Catharina  1DW4, schet2, jonge1
kapitein  Hendrik Kroeger            A        24    80     20       Marcus Curtius      1DW4, jonge1
This is the complete set of all sources, including those used here:


1DW1 = The First Dutch War, Vol.I
1DW2 = The First Dutch War, Vol.II
1DW3 = The First Dutch War, Vol.III
1DW4 = The First Dutch War, Vol.IV
1DW5 = The First Dutch War, Vol.V
1DW6 = The First Dutch War, Vol.VI
ball    = Dr. Ballhausen’s book
rdhb  = Rotterdamsche Historiebladen
schet2 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.II
schet3 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.III
schet4 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.IV
schet5 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.V
schet6 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.VI
vloot = De Vlootbouw in Nederland
vreug = A. Vreugdenhil, Ships of the United Netherlands 1648-1702
glete = Jan Glete’s notes on Directors’ ships 
dir    = Director’s ship documents from the Nationaal Archief from 1652 and 1653
     1-undated but from March 1652 or later with a table
     2-12 March 1652
     3-27 March 1652
     4-30 March 1652
     5-8 November 1652
     6-10 January 1653
     7-27 January 1653
     8-28 January 1653
     9-30 January 1653
     10-8 February 1653
     11-18 March 1653
     12-undated but from early 1653
     13-4 April 1653

ont = Onstelde-Zee
raedt = Pamphlet of Hendrik de Raedt (about the voyage to the Shetlands)
26Feb52 = Admiralty of Rotterdam, 26 February 1652
zdir = Zeeland Directors ships pages from the Zeeuws Archief
fleet1 = list of the fleet 15/24 July 1652 from the Nationaal Archief
fleet2 = list of the fleet 19/20 September 1652 from the Nationaal Archief
staet54 = Staet van Oorlog te Water for 1654
paintings = Michael Robinson, Van de Velde Paintings
cs = communication from Carl Stapel
salt = Francis Vere, Salt in their Blood: The Lives of the Famous Dutch Admirals, 1955.
jonge1 = J. C. De Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, Vol.I

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I suspect that Herman Munnekes commanded Gerrit Femssen's former ship at the Battle of Dungeness

Herman Munnekes (or Munnick) is difficult to track, particularly as C. T. Atkinson had blown the transcription of Jan Evertsen's journal in The First Dutch War. Vol.III. I am far enough along with my current project, which drive much of Dutch Ships in Various Operations in the First Anglo-Dutch War, to see that the Wapen van Enkhuizen is the only available ship that Herman Munnekes could have commanded at Dungeness. There had apparently been disatisfaction with Gerrit Femssen after the Battle of the Kentish Knock, and we do not see him mentioned in the most obvious published literature after October 1652. He was assigned to Pieter Florissen (Florisz) Blom's squadron at the time. Herman Munnekes had commanded the Wapen van Holland (30 guns) in the Fishery Protection Squadron. The ship was taken on 22 July 1652, and was such as good ship, that she saw service in the English navy until 1656 as the Arms of Holland, until she was accidentally blown up in 1656.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The most likely ship for Abraham van der Hulst to have commanded in 1652

My assessment is that the ship most likely to have been commanded by Abraham van Hulst in 1652 was the 26-gun ship Sampson, hired by the Admiralty of Amsterdam. By March 1653, the ship was commanded by Hendrick Adriaanszoon. There is some possibility that the commanded the ship in August 1652, in which case, it would not be a plausible candidate. The main thing is that the list of ships in the service of the Admiralty of Amsterdam is very well-defined, and there is no room for "mystery ships".

The organization of Jan Evertsen's squadron on Saturday, 7 December 1652

A feature of Jan Evertsen's handwritten journal is that he gives the day of the week, as well as the date. We know that 7 December 1652 was a Saturday, because of that. On 7 December, Jan Evertsen (or Johan Evertsen) gave the organization of his squadron in his journal. He nicely lays out the divisions. Sadly, The First Dutch War, Vol.III, did not preserve that layout. This is his squadron organization:
Vice-Admirael                 Admirael                       Schout-bij-Nacht
Commandeur Cornelis Evertsen  Vice-Admiraal Johan Evertsen   capitein Jan Evertsz de Liefde
Gillis Janszoon               Jan le Sage                    Johannes van Regermorter
Jacob Adriaensz Penssen       Jan Pauwelszoon                Cornelis Cuijper
Bastiaen Centen               Jan Oliverszoon                schipper of Frans Mangelaer
Jacob Wolfertszoon            Joost Banckert                 schipper of Cornelis Rocusz Fincen
                                                             Dingeman Cats

Friday, July 07, 2006

De Ruyter and Witte de With

As we know, Witte de With was trying to get his new ship, the Huis te Zwieten, ready for service. The ship had been built for Genoa, and was purchased for the Dutch navy, along with a smaller ship, the Huis te Kruiningen. Michiel De Ruyter was trying to get the Huis te Kruiningen ready for sea, as well. In the event, neither ship was ready for the Battle of Scheveningen, where both men were squadron commanders. At this date, Witte de With did not have a regular flagship, and he apparently ended up using the Vrijheid, commanded by Abraham van der Hulst, as his flagship. The Vrijheid was probably the most suitable ship available, as the lower tier of guns were 18pdr with four 24pdr guns. Witte de With's favorite ship, the Brederode, was not available at this date, as it was still the fleet flagship. After Tromp's death at Scheveningen and the completion of the new Eendracht (58 guns), the Brederode became available. At least until late 1653, Ebert Meeuwssen Kortenaer, the captain of the Brederode, was temporarily promoted to squadron commander, and he used the Brederode as his flagship for a squadron of 16 ships. By July 1654, Witte de With was back in the Brederode, which he used as his flagship until his death at the Battle of the Sound. Egbert Meeuwssen Kortenaer was Jacob van Wassenaer's flag captain on the Eendracht. Jan de Witt, ruler of the Netherlands, did not trust Wassenaer, a soldier, without experienced supervision to be provided by Kortenaer. By July 1654, De Ruyter used the Huis te Zwieten as his flagship and Cornelis Tromp used the Huis te Kruiningen as his. Sources:
  1. C.T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.V, 1912
  2. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930
  3. Staet van Oorlogh te Water for the year 1654, 1654

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I have thought that the Dutch tried to fight the English at the Battle of the Gabbard (or Nieuwpoort), with the English tactics

In Vol.I of Peter Padfield's book The Tide of Empires, he has a diagram of the Battle of the Gabbard on 12 and 13 June 1653 (new style). That diagram shows both the Dutch and English in informal line of battle. The entries in De Ruyter's journal, as excerpted in The First Dutch War, Vol.V, pages 137 and 138 do not really tell that sort of story, although elsewhere in the volume, I had the impression that the Dutch were in a rather disorderly line. Both sides broke the other's line, repeatedly, from what I have read. All De Ruyter writes is that the Dutch closed the English, starting at about 3pm. that implies that the Dutch had started with the weather gauge, but lost it "by great disorganization". On the other tack, the English gained the wind, and both sides sailed together doing "each other much damage". It was at sunset that Cornelis van Velsen's ship, the Gelderland, exploded. De Ruyter says that only five men were saved. Both fleets stayed in the general vicinity. The Dutch "drifted in a calm". De Ruyter says that early in the morning, the Dutch got the wind, which was from the southwest, and they sailed to the southeast. The English were about a mile distant. The Dutch had a council of war on the flagship Brederode, and then stood "on the defensive", because they were running low on gunpowder. This was a constant problem for the Dutch. The same thing had happened towards the end of the Three Days Battle (the Battle of Portland). On at about 11am did the Dutch close for a fight. The engagement only started in earnest at noon, when they were both about four miles from Dunkirk, which lay to the south-southeast. De Ruyter writes that the wind was now from the southwest, and that the Dutchs sailed, close-hauled, to the east-northeast. The situation deteriorated in the evening. At about 7pm, Pieter Schellinger's ship, the Stad Medemblik was taken by the English. Elsewhere, there is an indication that the ship was burnt. After that, four ships ran together, supposedly caused by Jan Coenders' jacht, the Prins Willem (12 guns). Only the Prins Willem broke free. The others were taken. De Ruyter does not name the ships in his journal, although we know that something like 13 Dutch warships, one fireship, and one advice jacht were taken, blown up, or sunk. The prizes seen to have been taken to the Thames. Dr. Elias, in notes in Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen, has the details.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

In May 1653, the East Indiaman Prins Willem was back to sailing for the VOC

On 13 May 1653, Michiel De Ruyter encountered two large East Indiamen from Zeeland near the Texel: the Prins Willem and the Oranje. The Prins Willem had been Witte de With's flagship for the Battle of the Kentish Knock, while the Oranje would later fight in the Battle of Lowestoft, carrying 76 guns. The Prins Willem had proved to be a poor sailer and unwieldy, so the ship was returned to the VOC after the Kentish Knock. The Oranje did not participate as a combatant in the First Anglo-Dutch War, but was fitted out as a warship for the Second Anglo-Dutch War. She was commanded by Bastiaan Centsen (Centen, or Senten) at the Battle of Lowestoft. The ship was heavily damaged and was taken by the English. The ship was not worth saving, so she was burnt. Sources:
  1. C.T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.V, 1912
  2. Artitec page about the Oranje
  3. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Jacob Huyrluyt and Nicolaes Marrevelt

On 22 May 1652 (new style), Anthony Young commanded a small squadron of ships patrolling off The Start: the President (36 guns), the Nightingale (24 guns), and the Recovery (24 guns). They saw an approaching group of ships being convoyed by several warships. They proved to be seven "Straatsvaarders", convoyed by two warships, the Zeelandia (34 guns) and the Campen (38 guns). The Zeelandia was commanded by Jacob Huyrluyt and the Campen was commanded by Joris van der Zaan. Jacob Huyrluyt's lieutenant was Nicolaes Marrevelt, who had a distinguished career in the First and Second Anglo-Dutch Wars. Anthony Young attempted to enforce the requirement for Dutch ships to salute English ships, when they were in home waters. Shots were exchanged, and ultimately, Anthony Young let the Dutch proceed, as he did not want to start a war, which everyone felt was imminent. In the event, the war was started a week later, near Dover, when Tromp sailed a fleet of 42 warships into the area, to escape a storm, and encountered two English squadrons commanded by Robert Blake.

The encounter off The Start is the last confirmed presence of Jacob Huyrluyt on the scene. As early as June, Nicolaes Marrevelt, as a luitenant-commandeur was listed as the commander of the Zeelandia, and was for the rest of the war. While a document reproduced in Vol.IV of The First Dutch War mentions Jacob Huyrluyt, he was apparently not present.

  1. Dr. S.R. Gardiner, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.I, 1898
  2. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.IV, 1910

Monday, July 03, 2006

Apparently, Isaak Sweers commanded the Engel Gabriel of 1636

Carl Stapel says that Isaak Sweers' journal indicates that he commanded an old States' ship, and therefore, probably the ship built in 1636. That ship carried 36 guns and had a crew of 130 men. The ship was sunk by gunfire in the Three Days Battle (the Battle of Portland). Isaak Sweers was taken prisoner, but escaped with an Spanish merchant, and eventually returned to the Netherlands from Spain (as I recall).

The Reuben, a merchantman that took part in the Battle of Dover on 29 May 1652

A merchant ship, the Reuben, as drafted to take part in the Battle of Dover on 29 May 1652. When R. C. Anderson wrote his Mariner's Mirror article about the English ship lists for the First Anglo-Dutch War, he did not know the name of this ship. He must not have read the literature very closely, as a rather chatty letter written by Thomas White, which was later published, gives the name. The letter also gives the English losses in the battle:
Triumph   8 men killed, 20 wounded
Reuben    3 men killed
Centurion 2 men killed
Victory   2 men killed
Fairfax   1 man killed
The letter appears in Vol.I of The First Dutch War, which is available online in the Google Book Search. Thomas White says that only 36 of the 42 Dutch ships were actually engaged in the battle, and that before the battle, Robert Blake had declined to take the 6 Dutch merchantmen (of the seven convoyed by Jacob Huyrluyt and Joris van der Zaan). His men wanted to take them, but Blake said of them "they were men about honest occasions, and he had no order from the Council of State to meddle with them".

Sunday, July 02, 2006

There are at least two "mystery ships" in Vreugdenhil's list

In the early part of Vreugdenhil's list of Dutch ships, there are two obvious "mystery ships". "Mystery ships" are ones that Vreugdenhil lists, but for which there is no mention in the published literature. In what I have seen, the only mention of No.1, the Achilles of 1630, in Vreugdenhil's list is in the Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654. That list contains essentially what Vreugdenhil has published. He notes, however, that the ship was upgunned to 40 guns in 1653. Given that we have not seen any mention of the ship by that name, it is unclear what the basis was for that note. The source was not Dr. Ballhausen's book. Another mystery ship is the Engel Gabriel of 1636. No armament is mentioned. Given that all the other ships seem to appear in the literature with captains, perhaps that is the mystery ship commanded by Abraham van der Hulst.

The 16 ships of the Admiralty of Amsterdam funded in 1648

At the Peace in 1648, ending the Dutch rebellion against Spain, 40 convoyers were funded to be kept in service. This is my attempt at a list:
Amsterdam (16 ships)

Adm Ship                Guns Crew Date Commander
A   Achilles            28   100  1644 Gillis Schey
A   Bommel              30   100  1645 Pieter van Brakel
A   Dolphijn            32   120  1633 Gerbrand Schatter
A   Edam                28   100  1644 Barent Cramer
A   Gouda               28   100  1636 Jan Egbertsz Ooms
A   Leiden              28   100  1647 Cornelis Cornelisz Jol
A   Star                28   100  1644 Jacob Paulusz Cort
A   Utrecht             30   100  1633 Jan Roetering
A   Westfriesland       28   100  1648 Hendrik Huyskens
A   Zutphen             26   100  1636 Ewout Jeroenszoon
A   Brak                18    70  1649 Pieter van Zalingen
A   Windhond            18    70  1649 Dirk Pietersz Heertjens
A   Overijssel          28   100  1650 Jan van Campen
A   Zeelandia           32   120  1643 Jacob Huyrluyt 
A   Fazant              32   120  1646 Jan Jansz de Lapper
A   Engel Gabriel       ?    ?    1636 
Given that we do not know the armament or crew of this ship named Engel Gabriel, perhaps it could be the ship commanded by Abraham van der Hulst in 1652. We only know of this ship, as it is no.16 in Vreugdenhil's list. I have not seen the ship mentioned anywhere else, by name.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A question seemingly answered

Apparently a book by Arnoldus Montanus, from 1656, has the name of the commander of the Middelburg Directors' ship Bonaventura. This was the former English hired ship Anthony Bonaventure, taken at the Battle of Dungeness. Montanus lists one of the captains of a ship that was lost at the Battle of Scheveningen (or Terheide) as A. Vertien. This is the only name that is not otherwise accounted for by the known ships lost in the battle. That would give us the name of the Bonaventura's captain. We had no information about the Bonaventura's captain, and maybe this is his name. The book is called De Beroerde Oceaan, of twee-jaarige Zee-daden der Vereenigde Nederlanders en Engelsche; Aangehecht Met Deser Opkomst En Voortgang, zeedert twee duisend Jaar ge-eindigt met de dood van Tromp.

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