Saturday, November 24, 2007

Klokwijs and regular 12pdr guns

I have a page that I had not really noticed. This is from the information about Amsterdam Directors' ships. There is a list of 12pdr guns, some of which are klokwijs (chambered) and some which are normal guns. These are the weights of the six bronze pieces:
Nr. 1   2540 lbs  straight
Nr. 2   2560 lbs
Nr. 3   1565 lbs  klokwijs
Nr. 4   1505 lbs
Nr. 5   1403 lbs
Nr. 6   1400 lbs

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Sampson and Alkmaar, both lost in 1652

Two ships of the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier that I know very little about are the Sampson, commanded by Willem Ham, and the Alkmaar, commanded by Jan Warnaerstz Cappelman. My guess would be that these are both about 116ft x 26-1/2ft x 10ft x 6-1/4ft, the same as the Wapen van Monnikendam. In both cases, the armament was probably 26 guns. That might include something like 4-12pdr, 14-8pdr, 6-6pdr, and 2-4pdr guns.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Vrijheid at the Battle of the Gabbard

One piece of trivia of the sort that interests me is that the new Amsterdam ship Vrijheid was armed with 50 guns and had a crew of 190 men at the Battle of the Gabbard on 12 and 13 June 1653. The Dutch call the battle the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort. The dimensions in our list from 23 June 1653 has rather heroic dimensions: 136ft x 35ft x 14ft x 7ft. The ship is more likely to have been built to the dimensions usually quoted, which are somewhat smaller. The Vrijheid had a lower tier armed with 12pdr guns, supplemented by 4-24pdr and an upper tier of 8pdr guns. There were also several 6pdr and 3pdr guns in the upper works.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Sint Laurens

The Sint Laurens had been hired by the Middelburg Directors in early 1652. Bastiaan Tuyneman was appointed as captain of the Sint Laurens. The Sint Laurens was the earliest casualty of the First Anglo-Dutch War, as the English took the ship in the battle on 29 May 1652. We know that the Sint Laurens probably carried 30 guns. I suspect that her crew included 105 men. One question is if the Sint Laurens was a 112ft or 115ft ship or if it was a 120ft ship or longer. My guess is that the Sint Laurens was at least 120ft. Another Middelburg Directors' ship, the Goude Leeuw, was 124ft long and had a crew of 120 men.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What I know about Joost Bulter's ship in 1653

Two things that I know for certain about Joost Bulter's ship that was sunk by gunfire at the Battle of the Gabbard are that the ship was named Stad Groningen en Ommelanden and the ship was employed by the Admiralty of Friesland, not the Harlingen or Groningen Directors. The documentary evidence is overwhelming. Only in the published literature is the ship called the Kameel. My theory is that a Van de Velde drawing has a note that the ship was called the Kameel. I base that on the article by P. Haverkorn van Rijsewijk "De Eerste Oorlog met Engeland en W. van de Velde de Oude", in Oud-Holland 17th Annual Edition 1899. Actually, an English book from 1870 precedes that publication. It is the The Life of Richard Deane by John Bathurst Deane, published in London in 1870. The book lacks an index so the reference is only found by checking Dr. Ballhausen's book. Page 654 is a good reference for the name and number of guns being Camel and 42 guns. Both of these seem to be wrong. The Deane biography attributes that information to page 120 of the Life of Martin Herbert Tromp (Anglicized version of the admiral's name).

Ship number 164 in Vreugdenhil's list

I had wondered if the ship Omlandia, number 164 from Vreugdenhil's list of Dutch warships, might actually be the Stad Groningen en Ommelanden, but the dimensions are wrong. Vreugdenhil gives the dimensions as 125ft x 29ft x 11-1/2ft, the same as those for the Noorderkwartier ship Eenhoorn. He says that the ship was purchased in 1652 and was last mentioned in 1655. The ship is said to have carried from 40 to 44 guns. I have not seen a mention of any similar ship in documents from 1652 or 1653. I just consulted Dr. Elias's appendix III in the book De Vlootbouw in Nederland. He lists the Omlandia as having 30 guns and calls the ship old. He gives the length as 122ft. His source is a list of ships in the Nationaal Archief (the former Rijksarchief), from the Secrete Loketkas, no.993. That is likely to be an obsolete reference. It still should be possible to look in the Secrete Loketkas for 1655 and to find the list. There is also another list of ships of 100ft and longer, apparently from that period, but without a modern reference (he gives Rijksarchief, no.XLVIII, no.11).

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dutch ships and captains in the First Anglo-Dutch War

If I had not already learned this lesson, it was brought to my attention again, that you cannot be sure which Dutch captain commanded which ship in the First Anglo-Dutch War unless you see the names listed together in some source. Even then, because there were so many ships of the same name, you need to find more about which ship it was.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The list of Dutch captains from 16 May 1652

I have a list of captains that is dated 16 May 1652 that says that Joost Bulter commanded a Directors' ship of the Stadt en Lande (Groningen). Another part of this list says that Cornelis Evertsen de Jonge commanded a Vlissingen Directors' ship. Those are rather surprising, as there are other lists that eventually give them different assignments. The list of ships of the Admiralty of Zeeland, from December 1652, says that Cornelis Evertsen de Jonge had commanded the ship Vlissingen (26 guns). However, Hendrick de Raedt's list also assigns him to the Vlissingen Directors. Joost Bulter is lists in May to June 1653 as commanding a ship of the Admiralty of Friesland. That was the ship Stad Groningen en Ommelanden (38 guns).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I probably will not be available during the daytime

I am going into withdrawal, as on my latest consulting job, I no longer have access to the Internet, and therefore to email, during the day. I am sorry to say that I will be less accessible than I have been, although it is in a good cause (doing work and earning money).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Zeeland warship Hollandia in early 1653

The Zeeland ship Hollandia had served as Johan Evertsen's flagship in the First Anglo-Dutch War, apparently up to and including the Three Days Battle (the Battle of Portland). I had long thought that the Hollandia was one of the 100 ships of 1652, but in fact, it was one of the 36 cruisers funded in 1651. The Hollandia is usually listed as carrying 38 guns. I have a gun inventory for the Hollandia in late March 1653 and at that date, the largest guns carried were 24 pounders. The Hollandia apparently had 2-36pdr guns replacing two others in the Battle of the Gabbard (the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort). In late March, the Hollandia had 4-24pdr guns that weighed between 4159 and 4386 lbs. It also had four very light French 18dr guns weighing between 2356 and 2460 lbs. They were described as French half-cartouwen shooting 18 pound iron shot. The Hollandia also carried two 15pdr iron guns weighing 2733 and 2750 lbs. The listing does not give the material, but they probably were bronze, not iron and I would expect that they were chambered.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Resources for the Dutch navy in the First Anglo-Dutch War

My latest thinking on resources for the Dutch navy in the First Anglo-Dutch War is that none of the current published works really are adequate. For English speakers who want information about the orders of battle, ships, and captains, the only choice is The First Dutch War, published by the Navy Records Society "a long time ago". Everything else only deals with generalities. Michael Baumber's book General-at-Sea has a bit of detail, but not Dutch fleet lists. For that matter, the most detailed Dutch source, also very old, is Dr. Johan E. Elias's work Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen. There is some detail there, but mostly the book is a source for references to the archives. There also Dr. Ballhausen's book, Der Erste Englisch-Höllandische Seekrieg 1652-1654, which is in German. His lists are filled with errors, but his book is still valuable. He has many references into obscure published sources, although they need to be checked, as they may not always support his conclusions. For Dutch ship information, the only option in the published literature is A. Vreugdenhil's Ships of the United Netherlands 1648-1702. It is both incomplete and has many errors, sadly. Frankly, the best sources are all unpublished, at this point. Most are in the Nationaal Archief in The Hague, as well as the various municipal archives, the Zeeuws Archief in Zeeland, the Westfries Archief in Hoorn, and a few others. There are also the maritime-related museums, such as the Scheepvaart, which is currently closed for renovation. We can only hope that some new published sources will appear soon, even if they are in Dutch, so that everyone does not have to try to find the unpublished information for themselves.

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