Friday, September 22, 2006

Abraham van der Hulst's ship in 1652

One outstanding question is which ship Abraham van der Hulst commanded in the period of June to August 1652. Two contemporary sources, which I do not believe are independent sources, are the Hollandsche Mercurius for 1652 and Hendrick de Raedt's pamphlet, show him commanding a ship of 26 guns with a crew of 100 men. We know from Witte de With's journal that covers September 1652, that Abraham van der Hulst commanded a 40-gun ship that had a crew of 130 men. From the list in The First Dutch War, Vol.IV, that I date from about mid-March 1653, that he commanded the Groningen, a 40-gun ship, prior to moving to the Vrijheid, following Augustijn Balck's death. The listing in Witte de With's journal then probably means that Abraham van der Hulst commanded the Groningen in September 1652, and at the Battle of the Kentish Knock. If it were not for the Hollandsche Mercurius and Hendrick de Raedt's pamphlet, we would conclude that he probably commanded the Groningen through the earlier part of 1652, as well. I have not seen another source that would indicate that anyone else commanded the Groningen during that timeframe. I must say, though, that in other cases, the lists from the Hollandsche Mercurius and Hendrick de Raedt's pamphlet seem pretty accurate. I do know of a deviation, although not so great, that Gerrit Nobel's ship, the Burgh van Alkmaar actually had 30 guns and a crew of 98 in September 1652, not the 24 guns and the crew of 95 men (not so great a deviation) listed in the published sources. I had thought that perhaps Abraham van der Hulst had commanded the elusive Achilles, built in 1644, up to August 1652, but the existence of the ship is unproved, except for Vreugdenhil and other lists that have obvious inaccuracies. So the question to be answered is if there are handwritten lists with captains, possibly ship names, and guns and crews for June to August 1652 that might clarify this issue. Sources:
  1. Pieter Casteleyn, Hollandsche Mercurius, 1652
  2. Johan E. Elias, De Vlootbouw in Nederland 1596-1655, 1933
  3. Hendrik de Raedt, Lyste van de schepen van Oorloge onder het beleyt Admirael Marten Harpersz. Tromp, 1652
  4. Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654, 1654
  5. A. Vreugdenhil, Ships of the United Netherlands 1648-1702, 1938
  6. Witte de With, journals from 1652 to 1658, Archive E8812 from the Riksarkivet, Stockholm

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