Friday, May 04, 2007

Joost Bulter's ship

We are fairly certain that Joost Bulter's ship in May 1653 and up to the Battle of the Gabbard, when the ship was sunk by gunfire, was the ship Stad Groeningen en Ommelanden. This was a ship employed by the Admiralty of Friesland, and was one the two Friesland ships in service in March to June 1653 that carried 38 guns. The originally intended armament was just 28 guns, as indicated in documents from 1652. The ship was of modest size, just 120ft long (in Amsterdam feet). The Stad Groeningen en Ommelanden (or simply, the Stad en Lande) is mentioned in Vol.V of The First Dutch War, as being named the "Town and Country" (Stad en Lande). This seems to have been accurate, while the many references to the ship as "Kameel" with 42 guns seem to be incorrect. They are curious, though, as they are so widespread. The appendix to Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen that lists an outline list of Dutch ships in service in March 1653 says that there were two Friesland ships that were "States' Ships" with 38 guns in service in March. One ship had a crew of 110 men and the other had a crew of 140 men. One of them was the Zevenwolden (with a crew of 140 men), commanded by Frederick Stellingwerff, and the other was Joost Bulter's ship, the Stad Groeningen en Ommelanden (with the crew of 110 men). Many of us had been mislead by the reference to the Stad Groeningen en Ommelanden as a "Groningen ship" or a ship "of the Stad en Landen" as meaning that it was a Directors' ship. That seems be wrong and the ship was employed by Admiralty of Friesland, as is indicated in the documents.

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