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.

Google SiteSearch


Lotto System


James Cary Bender's Facebook profile

Amazon Ad

Amazon Ad

Amazon Context Links