Monday, July 30, 2007

The definitive word on the Amsterdam Directors' ships lost off the Shetlands in early August 1652

Carl Stapel had told me about a letter that Gerrit Munt wrote, complaining about Tromp's leadership of the fleet, after the storm in the Shetlands in early August 1652. In that letter, he told of seeing some large Amsterdam Directors' ships capsize in the storm, if I understand correctly. In any case, in this one document telling the status of the original 24 Amsterdam Directors' ships, the four ships lost are mentioned:
Adm    Ship               Guns Crew Captain
A-Dir  Neptunis           36   125  Gerrit van Lummen (or Limmen)
A-Dir  Princes Roijael    28   110  Marten de Graeff
A-Dir  Sint Salvador      34   120  Mathijs Corneliszoon
A-Dir  Alexander          28   100  Jan Meijckes

The status document does not have the gun and crew figures. I supplied those from Hendrick de Raedt's pamphlet.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dutch Gun Weights

I am interested in comparing armament weights for different 120ft Dutch warships. The first step is to find what the representative gun weights were. In some cases, I may actually have the weights for interesting ships. This is a short list that I just compiled:
Gun Weights

12pdr guns

3850 lbs  iron
3220 lbs  iron
3200 lbs  iron
3160 lbs  iron
3120 lbs  iron
3015 lbs  iron
3005 lbs  iron
2980 lbs  iron
2940 lbs  iron
2930 lbs  iron
2920 lbs  iron
2909 lbs  iron

8pdr guns

2500 lbs  iron
2320 lbs  iron
2310 lbs  iron

6pdr guns

2560 lbs  iron
2520 lbs  iron
2400 lbs  iron
2300 lbs  iron
2260 lbs  iron
2240 lbs  iron
2220 lbs  iron
2210 lbs  iron
2200 lbs  iron
2190 lbs  iron
2140 lbs  iron
2100 lbs  iron
2000 lbs  iron
1930 lbs  iron
1900 lbs  iron
1820 lbs  iron
1590 lbs  iron
1550 lbs  iron
1525 lbs  iron
1515 lbs  iron
1490 lbs  iron
1485 lbs  iron

5pdr guns

1500 lbs  iron
1420 lbs  iron
1410 lbs  iron
1395 lbs  iron
1385 lbs  iron
1365 lbs  iron

4pdr guns

1295 lbs  iron
  840 lbs  bronze

3pdr guns

  965 lbs  iron
  950 lbs  iron
  895 lbs  iron
  730 lbs  iron
  720 lbs  iron

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"The Sun and the Moon"

I received another Amsterdam ship list, this one dating from 15 November 1653. The arming schemes for the two ships, the Maen (Moon) and the Son (Sun) are interesting. The two ships have the same dimensions: 125ft x 31ft x 13ft x 7ft. The armaments are different. The Son has 22-12pdr and 10-8pdr guns while the Maen has 16-12pdr and 16-8pdr guns. The Son also has 4-6pdr guns, while the Maen has 4-4pdr guns. They both are also equipped with 4-18pdr guns.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Rotterdam ship Klein Hollandia

The Rotterdam ship Klein Hollandia was sunk the opening action of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, when Robert Holmes attacked teh Smyrna convoy with a strong squadron. The real dimensions of the Klein Hollandia, according to Ron van Maanen, were somewhat different from the nominal dimensions published in Vreugdenhil's list: 133ft-10in x 32ft-5in x 13ft-3in x 6ft-9in. The armament at some point consisted of 3-24pdr, 21-18pdr, 8-12pdr, 4-8pdr, and 8-6pdr guns. The crew varied between 234 and 300 men. This is partly drawn from Ron van Maanen's document: "'Oorlogsschepen' van de admiraliteit van de Maze in de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw" (undated).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Noorderkwartier ship Eenhoorn of 1625

I have learned that the hold depth for the Noorderkwartier ship Eenhoorn, built in 1625, was 11ft, not something greater. That means that for a size in lasts of 200 lasts, we have: 200 lasts = (125ft x 29ft x 11ft)/K. Solving for the factor K, we have K=199.375. That reinforces the case for the factor for the Brederode being 190.08, where we calculated using Maas feet of 308mm. The Eenhoorn, of course, has dimensions in Amsterdam feet of 283mm.

The frigate Overijssel in 1642

The Rotterdam frigate Overijssel was built in 1636, according to the page I reveinved recently. In 1642, the captain was Jan Jacobsz de Jonge Boer. The ship is stated to be 90 lasts. As I have written on 17th Century Naval Wargaming blog, I believe that is calculated from the dimensions in Maas feet (100ft x 23ft x 8ft) of 308mm. The armament in 1642 consisted of 22 guns: 2-12pdr, 6-8pdr, 4-6pdr, and 10-4pdr guns. For comparison, the armament in 1652 consisted of 22 guns: 4-24pdr, 2-12pdr, 4-8pdr, and 12-6pdr, a much heavier broadside weight.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Rotterdam ship Dordrecht in 1642

The Rotterdam ship Dordrecht, which was captured by the English at the start of the First Anglo-Dutch War, was built in 1639. I have a page about the ship dating from 1642, when the Dordrecht was about 3 years old. In June 1652, the Dordrecht was commanded by Sier de Lieffde. The ship was about 115ft-7in x 27ft-3in x 10ft-10in. In 1652, the Dordrecht carried 6-bronze 12pdr, 12-iron 8pdr, and 8-iron 6pdr guns. In 1642, the ship was said to be of 130 lasts. if we do the lasts calculation that would mean: 130 lasts = (115.64 x 27.27 x 10.91) / K where K=264.65. The Dordrecht carried 28 guns in 1642: 2-bronze 12pdr, 10-iron 8pdr, 8-iron 6pdr, 2-bronze 4pdr, and 6-iron 4pdr guns. In 1652, the broadside weight was 128 lbs. In 1642, the broadside weight was 92 lbs.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

An inventory for the Amsterdam Directors' ship Walvis

One document that I received yesterday was an inventory of the Amsterdam Directors' ship Walvis (or Walvisch) dating from 19 June 1653. This was soon after the Battle of the Gabbard (or the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort), which was fought on 12 and 13 June. These are some interesting (to me) bits from the inventory:
The ship Walvis

10-iron 12pdr
 8-iron  8pdr
10-iron  6pdr
 2-iron  3pdr

2400 lbs of gunpowder on board

65 12 lbs shot
80  8 pdr shot
98  6pdr  shot

Monday, July 23, 2007

I am still puzzled by a 1653 Brak

Ron van Maanen, as I have mentioned, lists a yacht Brak, of the Admiralty of Amsterdam, with a date of 1653 that has somewhat different dimensions than the yacht that we know. The captain, on 1 April 1653, was Dirck Pietersse Berthiens. The dimensions that Ron gives are 115ft x 25ft x 9ft x 6ft. The armament is familiar: 4-8pdr, 12-4pdr, and 2-3pdr guns. The crew was anywhere from 70 to 90 men. The usual dimensions for the Brak are 115ft x 23ft x 10-1/2ft x 6ft. Ron also lists a set of dimensions for a Brak on 31 March 1665 of 116ft x 24ft.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Open issues about the Dutch in the First Anglo-Dutch War

Perhaps, if I had complete access to the information, I would not have these issues. But given what I actually have to study, there are some open issues about the Dutch navy in the First Anglo-Dutch War that I would like to resolve. Some things would disappear from my list, if I just had complete information that is known to exist. For example, any information about the Rotterdam Directors' ship Erasmus, lost in June 1652. The dimensions of the other Rotterdam Directors' ships (the two ships named St. Pieter, the Prins, the Hollandia, the Meerman, and the Jonas). I also lack information about most of the hired ships of the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier and the Admiralty of Rotterdam. I lack information about the later ships hired by the Noorderkwartier Directors in 1653. All that should be largely resolvable. Other nagging issues are actual details about Abraham van der Hulsts' ship in 1652, up to August. His ship was named Overijssel, but we don't really know the dimensions and guns, for sure. Then there is "Captain Belevelt", mentioned in lists in September 1653. He was said to be a captain of the Admiralty of Friesland. Carl Stapel suggested that Belevelt was a corruption of Bulter, that it was actually Joost Bulter. Was his ship, the Stad Groeningen en Ommelanden actually in service as early as September 1652? If so, it was with 28 guns, not the later 36 or 38 guns.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The list of the crew for the ship Faem

One of the documents that I just received is a list of the crew, including sailors, soldiers, and boys (jongens) for the Amsterdam Directors' ship Faem, commanded by Jacob Cornelisz Swart. There were 89 sailors, 29 soldiers, and 6 boys. The soldiers were a particularly diverse lot: one from St. Malo, one from Finland, one from Hannover, one from Danzig, as well as men from more pedestrian places, such as serveral from Swol (Zwolle).

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ship characteristics in the Dutch building program in 1653

I was looking, again, at this page (22 February 1653) that gives some details of the ship designs for the 1653 building program:
130ft long, 32ft wide with 130 sailors and 20 soldiers
136ft long, 34ft wide with 145 sailors and 20 soldiers
140ft long, 36ft wide with 150 sailors and 25 soldiers
150ft long, 38ft wide with 200 sailors and 50 soldiers

There were nominally only three designs, but some 140ft long ships were built. They included the Amsterdam ship Amsterdam, except with a 34ft beam, and the Oosterwijk with a 35ft beam, and the Friesland ship Oostergoo, seemingly with a 40ft beam.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Carl Stapel on the 12 ships in Brazil

Carl Stapel says that because the Portuguese were stronger, the West Indies Company asked for more help. The Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier and the Admiralty of Zeeland both sent additional ships, bringing the total to 12 ships. Too bad that I can't name them and the captains. Carl says that two captains, Philips Schooneman of the Rotterdam Dolphijn and Floris van Oyen were buried at Recife in August 1651.

My best information on the ships in Brazil in 1651-1652

Carl Stapel says that there were 12 Dutch warships in Brazil from 1651 to 1652, but my best information says that there were ten. Until I have access to other information which explains the 12 figure, the ten still forms the basis for my list:
Ships in Brazil:

2 ships of the Admiralty of Rotterdam
4 ships of the Admiralty of Amsterdam
1 ship of the Admiralty of Zeeland
1 ship of the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier
2 ships of the Admiralty of Friesland

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Dutch ships in Brazil in early 1652 (UPDATED)

We have the outline of Dutch ships that were in Brazil in early 1652. The question is, again, how many names we can supply (Carl Stapel corrected me on some of these, although I don't have it totally right, yet):
Nimwegen, 26 guns (kapitein Paulus van den Kerckhoff)
Dolphijn, 32 guns (kapitein Marinus de Clercq)

Gewapende Ruiter, 36 guns (kapitein Boetius Schaeff)
Aemilia, 28 guns (kapitein Floris van Oy)
Graaf Willem, 40 guns (kapitein Tas)
Westfriesland, 28 guns (kapitein Boonacker)

a ship
Faam, 30 guns (?) (kapitein Cornelis Loncke)

Eenhoorn, 28 guns (kapitein Allert Jansz Tameszoon)
a second ship

Frisia, 28 guns (kapitein Tjaert de Groot)
Breda, 28

Monday, July 16, 2007

The captain of the Faem in 1652

I have a letter that confirms again that the captain of the Amsterdam Directors' ship Faem was Jacob Cornelisz Swart. He signed the letter with his middle name on "15 X 1652", where the "X" stood for the 10th month, October.

The "Oude Prins" (Prins Willem) shot carried on 22 June 1653

I happen to the the list of guns and the shot carried for the Amsterdam ship "Oude Prins" (the Prins Willem) on 22 June 1653:
12 lb shot    25 per gun
 8 lb shot    21 per gun
 6 lb shot    13 per gun
 5 lb shot    25 per gun
 3 lb shot    12 per gun

A little bit of trivia that wargamers might be able to use, if not historians.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

So, what were the dimensions of the Beer?

The Rotterdam ship Beer, or Vergulde Beer, was hired at Amsterdam in 1652. The Beer was one of the 100 ships to be hired as part of the Extraordinary Equipage. There are at least two candidates in the list compiled by David de Wildt in February 1652. Carl Stapel reputedly knows the answer, but my guess is that the Beer was 120ft x 25-1/2ft x 11-1/2ft x 6ft. The Beer was very lightly armed, with 24 guns, consisting of 8pdr, 6pdr, 4pdr, and 3pdr guns. The Beer served until about May 1652. Her first commander, Jan de Haes, left to command the English prize, originally named Rosencrans and then renamed as Koning Karel, apparently.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

David de Wildt's list from February 1652

Sadly, my impression is that David de Wildt's list, from February 1652, often has inaccurate dimensions for ships. This is a list of ships at Amsterdam that were thought to be candidates to hire for service in the impending war with England. Given my limited access to information from the Nationaal Archief, I often have to use the dimensions given in this list, despite the fact that they are not that reliable. Still, they are useful, when nothing else is available. The dimensions the list gives for the ship Sint Matheeus, subsequently hired for service by the Amsterdam Directors are 144ft x 36ft x 15ft x 7ft. The dimensions measured by the English were: 108ft long on the keel, 32ft wide outside the planking, and 15ft depth in hold, measured at the center, English-style. Let us look, again, at my estimation system, where the Dutch dimensions are in Amsterdam feet, divided into 11 inches:
LK * 1.33 = Dutch length overall
B * 1.13  = Dutch beam inside the planking
D * 1.13  = Dutch hold at deck side

108ft x 1.33 = 144ft (exactly right)
32ft x 1.13 =   36ft (exactly right)
15ft x 1.13 =   17ft (should be 15ft)

I would argue that the 144ft x 36ft dimensions are more plausible than the 140ft x 34ft usually listed in the Amsterdam Directors' lists.

Friday, July 13, 2007

English ships, estimated: ships named Defiance

I have this spreadsheet of English ships that is almost too wide to put on a single line per ship. I will try a different display strategy for ships named Defiance:
Ship: Defiance  LGD:  138ft LK*B*D:        471 tons   Built: Deptford DY
Date: 1590      LK:    92ft LK*B*D*4/3     628 tons   Fate: rebuilt in 1614
Guns: 45        Beam:  32ft (LK*B*B/2)/94  501 tons
                Depth: 16ft

Ship: Defiance  LGD:  121.25ft LK*B*D:        656 tons   Built: Woolwich DY
Date: 1615 RB   LK:    97ft    LK*B*D*4/3     875 tons   Fate:  sold in 1650
Guns: 40        Beam:  37ft    (LK*B*B/2)/94  706 tons
                Depth: 18.28ft

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Guns for five new ships for the Admiralty of Zeeland

I have this page that totals up the guns required to arm five new ships for the Admiralty of Zeeland (being built in early 1653):
Bronze guns:
20 bronze German half cartouwen shooting 24 lbs shot
 4 bronze French half cartouwen shooting 18 lbs shot
26 bronze short half serpants shooting   12 lbs shot
 6 bronze half serpants shooting          6 lbs shot
24 bronze drakes shooting                 6 lbs shot

Iron guns:
42 iron half cartouwen shooting          18 lbs shot
72 iron sakers shooting                  12 lbs shot
 6 iron half sakers shooting              6 lbs shot

90 bronze guns and 120 iron guns

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jan Glete's approximation for displacement works pretty well

Jan Glete created an approximation for doing displacement calculations for sailing ships when he had little information. My assessment is that his formula works pretty well. Compare the results for the ship Den Briel. My calculations assume a block coefficient and use an estimated mean draft, beam outside the planking, and waterline length. I calculated a displacement of 669.1 tons for the Den Briel, completed in 1655. Jan Glete's approximation, also implemented by me, gives 639.1 tons. Given the uncertainties involved, that is pretty close agreement. His formula is metric, so I have a conversion factor. He uses the "lasts" figure in his calculation. This is my rendering of formula, for English dimensions:
   Displacement = Lasts x 2.5 x (39.37/12)^3/35

I use the figure 39.37 inches per meter. I divide that by 12 inches to the foot to get cubic feet. A ton of seawater is 35 cubic feet.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Rotterdam ship Den Briel, calculated

The Rotterdam ship Den Briel was apparently completed in 1655, but not commissioned at the time, if I understand correctly. The ship was eventually placed in service, but the last we hear of Den Briel was in 1665. This is another ship where I have the dimensions in Maas feet and I have calculated the rest:
The ship Den Briel
Length in Maas feet:      117ft
Beam in Maas feet:         29-3/4ft
Hold in Maas feet:         12-1/6ft
Length in Amsterdam feet: 127ft-7in
Beam in Amsterdam feet:    32ft-5in
Hold in Amsterdam feet:    13ft-3in
Displacement:             669.1 tons
Broadside Wt (Est):       226 lbs
Armament (Est):  12-18pdr, 12-12pdr, 4-8pdr, 10-6pdr guns
Length on Waterline (English):   114ft-2in
Beam outside of planking (Engl):  31ft-5in
Mean draft (English):             13ft-1in
Size in Lasten:                  254 lasts
Displacement (Jan Glete's approximation): 639.1 tons
English length on keel:          96ft
English burden:                 503.3 tons

Monday, July 09, 2007

The ship Dordrecht in 1652, calculated

The Rotterdam ship Dordrecht was commanded by Sier de Lieffde in early 1652. The Dordrecht was in an English port at the outbreak of the First Anglo-Dutch War and was made a prize by the English. I have done the calculations for the Dordrecht, which had a specification in Maas feet of 12 inches to the foot. These are the results:
The ship Dordrecht
commander: Sier de Lieffde

Length in Amsterdam feet:  115ft-7in
Beam in Amsterdam feet:     27ft-3in
Hold in Amsterdam feet:     10ft-10in
Est height between decks:    6ft-6in
Displacement:              421.5 tons
Broadside weight:          108 lbs
Guns:            6-12pdr, 12-8pdr, 8-6pdr
Length on waterline (English):      103ft-5in
Beam outside of planking (English):  26ft-6in
Mean Draft:                          10ft-9in
Size in Lasten:                     160 lasts
Jan Glete's approx. tonnage:        400 tons
English burden:                     325 tons

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Rotterdam ship Prinses Roijael Marie "calculated"

I thought it would be interesting to use my new spreadsheet to do the calculations for the Rotterdam ship Prinses Roijael Marie, built in 1643 and captured by the English in 1652. The ship served as the Princess Marie in the English navy, so the English dimensions might be of interest:
Prinses Roijael Marie
Built: 1643
Commander: Joost van Coulster

Length (Amsterdam feet): 124ft-4in
Beam (Amsterdam feet):    29ft-5in
Hold (Amsterdam feet):    13ft-1in
Est ht between decks:      6ft-6in
Displacement:            585.8 tons
Broadside weight:        184 lbs
Armament: 2-24pdr, 4-18pdr, 4-12pdr, 22-8pdr, 4-6pdr
Length on waterline(Engl ft):   111ft-2in
Length on waterline (Amst ft):  119ft-9in
Beam outside planking (Amst ft): 30ft-9in
Beam outside planking (Engl ft): 28ft-7in
Mean draft (English feet):        12ft-11in
Size in lasten (Dutch gross tonnage):  220.98 lasts
English burden (tons):                 406.83 tons
Jan Glete's approximation:             557.42 tons

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A different list of Rotterdam ships in the Extraordinary Equipage

I have a document, a letter dated 28 July 1652 from Witte de With, that I received in early February 2007 that lists the Rotterdam ships that were funded by the 100 Ships of 1652 (the Extraordinary Equipage). This is interesting, because it is another list to compare to what we have seen from December 1652:
Adm Ship              Gun  Commander
R   Overijssel        22   Cornelis Engelen Silvergieter
R   Utrecht           22   Leendert Haexwant
R   Hollandia     24 or 26 Ernestus de Bertrij
R   Beer              24   Jan de Haes
R   Sphera Mundi      26   Reijnout Venhuijsen
R   Calmer Sleutel    24   Dirck Vijch
R   Maria             24   Quirijn van den Kerckhoff
R   Roscam            26   Christiaen Eldertszoon

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mike Kelley pointed out this site about the French frigate Hermione

Mike Kelley, on the AgeOfSail Yahoo Group, pointed out this site about a reconstruction of the French frigate Hermione: A slight drawback is that the site is in French.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


There was a tendency in 1652 and 1653 to use the first and middle names, usually something like Hendrickszoon or Jacobszoon. One example was Corstiaen Corstiaenszoon, whose whole name was actually Corstiaen Corstiaensz de Munnick. In one letter that I received today, Abraham van Campen was called Abraham Hendricksz (his middle name, abbreviated the usual way). Another twist is that the captain of the Amsterdam Directors' ship Sint Matheeus in June 1653 was Cornelis Laurenszoon. I had thought that might have been Cornelis Naeuoogh's middle name, but that was apparently Jacobszoon.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"Good Lists" of Dutch ships

I was thinking that there were two good lists of Dutch ships from 1652 and 1653, but there are really more than that. The ones that I was thinking of were this really extraordinary list of Zeeland ships from December 1652 and then the list of ships from about June 23 1653, after the Battle of the Gabbard (the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort) from 12 to 13 June 1653. There are actually more than that. The list of Amsterdam ships that Jan Glete had sent me in August 2006 is really good, as it lists all ships hired by the Admiralty of Amsterdam during early 1652. The list dates from September 1652, as best as I can tell. There are also other Amsterdam lists that have only gun lists, in some cases, and at least one other that has dimensions. There are many lists of Friesland ships that cover the Admiralty of Friesland and ships hired by Groningen that are usually considered as serving under the Admiralty of Friesland. The only Friesland ships not well covered in what I have are the two Harlingen Directors' ships, the Vergulde Pelicaen and the Sint Vincent. I actually may have the dimensions of the Sint Vincent. If I have the dimensions of the Pelicaen, I cannot tell, as there were too many ships named Pelicaen. We have pretty good coverage for the ships built for the Admiralty of Rotterdam (or the Maze), but the hired ships generally only have gun lists. We are lucky to have the gun lists for many of the Noorderkwartier ships, as they are the least well documented, at least the hired ships. We do have dimensions for many ships built as warships for the Noorderkwartier. In any case, there is a great deal more information available than has been published. I am not going to get into print any time soon, but there should be something soon in Dutch that represents the leading edge of research into Dutch ships and the fleet in 1652 to 1654.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A theory about names

I have a theory that the Wapen van der Veere (38 guns) and the Wapen van Zierickzee (34 guns) were not real ship names, but simply reflected the fact that the ships had been hired by the Directors of these places. They would not likely to have been the names of the ships before they had been hired in 1652. These two ships seem to be unique, as the other Directors' ships seem to have continued to use their names from before they were hired.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Rotterdam ships in 1652 and 1653

I have a good deal of information about ships hired by the Admiralty of Rotterdam and the Rotterdam Directors, but I only have partial information. I understand that complete information exists, but I don't know where it is, as it is "top secret, compartmented information", given that one or more publications are planned with that, and the author does not want to be "scooped" on the Internet. I am particularly interested in the Directors' ships and the Erasmus in particular. The Erasmus was commanded by Sijmon Cornelisz van der Meer and was sunk in the opening weeks of the war. I am not privy to any more information than that. I do have gun lists for most other ships, but lack dimensions for any of the hired ships.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A 415 pound drake from the Scottish wreck

This is a BBC article with photographs showing a 4pdr iron drake raised by Dr. Colin Martin and being preserved. The 415 pound gun was found in the wreck of a small ship, possibly named the Swan, off Duart Point in Scotland.

The 2004 and 2005 Reports are less definite about the Swan identification

Given my concerns, I was glad to see that the identification of the Scotland wreck from 1653 in the 2004 and 2005 reports was less definite. The report (this has the usual large PDF problems with loading, so you may not want to click on it) now says that the wreck is either the Swan or Speedwell, which really doesn't resolve my concerns. I am pretty uncertain that the Swan should be a candidate, given what I have seen. Hopefully, I just have not seen the right sources. I have to say that Colonel Lilburne's letter at least places some ship Swan off Duart Point and that the Swan mentioned there was stated to have been lost.

I am interested to see that the identification is understood to be an estimate, and that the wreck could be that of another ships. I shudder to think how many times I have made an estimate, based on analysis, which was later found to be wrong, once I learned more or was told information that invalidated my estimate. I rely upon the published literature to a great extent, more than can be justified.

The name Swan in the list of English captains from 1642 to 1660

The obvious next step in considering a ship named Swan that was lost in 1653 is to look in Anderson's booklet List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660. He lists the Royalist prize that was in service from 1645 to 1654. He also lists a fireship named Swan from 1643. There was also a Swan pinnace in service in 1643. In 1644, there was a hired merchant ship named Swan. None of these fit the profile of the ship wrecked in Scotland in 1653. The principals involved with investigating this wreck obviously have access to information beyond what I have seen. For example, the construction date of 1641 is no where to be seen in my sources.

Colin Martin and the Swan

Colin Martin, from St. Andrews University, has been involved in investigating the wreck of the English ship Swan, lost in 1653. This is inconsistent with the description in R. C. Anderson's list of the Swan, number 42, which was said to have been sold in 1654. This article, though, indicates that it is the same 5th Rate mentioned by Anderson. However, the wreck cannot be the Royalist prize, simply because that Swan was still in service on 27 December 1653, convoying colliers. The convoyer was a ship commanded by Thomas Wilks that carried 22 guns and had a crew of 80 men. If there was in fact a ship Swan lost at Duart Point, it is not the same Royalist prize. The Swan is said to have been built in 1641 as a warship for the navy, but it is not listed by Anderson. I looked at Powell's book, The Navy in the English Civil War, and it says that the Royalist Swan was taken by the Jocelyn, a hired ship, in 1645. Without knowing more, I have to be skeptical of the identification, although I can believe that Anderson missed including the Swan in his list, due to the existence of the larger Swan that was in service in December 1653 and was sold in 1654.

A document that has a subset of the ships from this list from June 1653

I have this list that is similar to that seen by an English spy and reproduced in Thurloe's State Paper's book. I looked again at a document that I received about the time that I left for the Netherlands, in early May, and I noticed immediately that the ships listed are included in the sparser document. On major difference, besides that this list is smaller, is that there are dates on this document. The surprising fact is that this list dates from before the Battle of the Gabbard (the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort). The dates are from around 7 June 1653. The list is of ships lying in the Texel roads at that date:
Adm    Ship             Commander
A      Pelicaen         kapitein Overcamp
A      Overijssel       kapitein Jan van Campen
A      Goude Reael      kapitein van Loenen
Me-Dir Coninck Radbout  kapitein Jan Rootjens
N      Eenhoorn         kapitein Jan Jansz Heck
N      Lastdrager       kapitein Gerrit Munt
F      Sara             kapitein Hessel Fransz
F      Breda            kapitein Bruijnsvelt
F      Graef Hendrick   (kapitein Jan Reijndersz Wagenaer)
F      Waterhont        (kapitein Oosteroon)
A      Sonne, FS (?)    
A      Cleijne Hoop, FS  

Spanish Armada guns, again

I still am interested in getting more information about guns carried by the ships in the Spanish Armada. In an article from 2002, published in British Archaeology, Colin Martin says that the inventories listing the guns for almost all the ships in the Spanish Armada exists. I need to find out how to get a copy, as that would be invaluable. Colin Martin is or was at St. Andrews, so I need to find out from him about getting the gun lists.

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