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.

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