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.

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