Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I am convinced that ship Huis van Nassau lost in Brazil was built to the 128ft charter

The ship Huis van Nassau was a Noorderkwartier 40-gun ship that was heavily damaged in Brazil, in an action against two Portuguese ships, where one captain caused his ship to explode rather than be captured in 1648. The other Portuguese ship was taken, so the captain was correct in thinking that his ship would be captured. He actually destroyed the 32-gun ship Utrecht and so heavily damaged the Huis van Nassau, that Witte de With decided that the ship was a constructive total loss. He took the crew off and abandoned the Huis van Nassau. The problem was that the ship was not as heavily damaged as seemed to be the case, and the Huis van Nassau sailed itself into a Portuguese port. The Portuguese repaired the ship and used it against the Dutch. From Dr. Elias's book De Vlootbouw in Nederland, it appears that the Huis van Nassau was almost certainly built to the 128ft charter, not to the smaller 125ft charter. The charter's dimensions were about 128ft x 31-1/2ft x 12ft. Sources:
  1. Johan E. Elias, De Vlootbouw in Nederland 1596-1655, 1933
  2. W. J. van Hoboken, Witte de With in Braziliƫ, 1955

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