Thursday, December 14, 2006

A missing piece: information about the Rotterdam Directors' ship Erasmus

At the beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch War, Sijmon Corneliszoon van der Meer commanded a Rotterdam Directors' ship named Erasmus. That is all we know about the ship, except that it was sunk on 17 June 1652, in a fight with English frigates. The Nationaal Archief has not yielded any information on the subject. Perhaps our only hope will be if something surfaces from a search of the notary records at the Gemeentearchief Rotterdam. Perhaps something will be found, as there were over 150 pages found by Dr. Hart, in the Gemeentearchief Amsterdam, about ships hired in Amsterdam in 1652 to 1653. These were all notary records that had been preserved and have provided information, such as dimensions and gun lists, for ships that might have remained a mystery. I have gradually accepted that I will not be the one who discovers a lot of this, since I am remote from the Netherlands, in the US. If anyone wants to dive into the GAR to find this information, I would welcome that, although I would certainly like to have copies of what is found.

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