Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Rotterdam ship Kalmar Sleutel was one of the 36 ships of 1651

I was surprised to see that the Rotterdam ship Kalmar Sleutel was one of the 36 ships of 1651. Something like 35, 36 (the usually quoted number), or 37 ships were funded for service in 1651, as the threat of war seemed imminent. Ron van Maanen's list "Oorlogsschepen" van de admiraliteit van de Maze in de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw says that the ship was 20 years old in 1652, and was engaged in fishery protection, which we knew. From the 28 November 1652, we know that the Kalmar Sleutel (or Calmer Sleutel) was one of the "Hundred Ships" of 1652. The Kalmar Sleutel was included in David de Wildt's list of ships that seemed suitable for hire in February 1652, with the same dimensions seen elsewhere (102ft x 25ft x 11ft, with a height between decks of 6ft). The Kalmar Sleutel had been commanded by Dirck Vijgh, on 22 July 1652, when the ship was sunk in action with English frigates, while protecting the Dutch fishing fleet. We also know the list of guns: 8-8pdr, 6-6pdr, 6-4pdr, and 4-3pdr guns (from a list of ships of the admiraliteit van Rotterdam, dated 27 September 1652).

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