Friday, December 26, 2008

De Reede van Texel diorama

Yesterday, I played the "The Making of De Reede van Texel" DVD for my sister-in-law. Her reaction was that she would like to have a copy for her fellow teacher who builds boats with students. They are also both art teachers. Despite the fact that the audio is all in Dutch, the video is still very interesting. I just wish that when it was available online, that I had downloaded some of the pictures that showed multiple ships in the Texel Roads. I would like to try my hand at constructing some new images that would show the Dutch fleet lying in the Scheldt in late June, early July 1653. This is the individual ship page for the VOC ship Nagelboom hired by the Admiraliteit van de Noorderkwartier. If someone could help me with more images besides those which are presently on the website, I would appreciate your help.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A list from 24 July 1661

Earlier today, I received a list for the Admiralty of Amsterdam, dated 24 July 1661, that gave the length, beam, and hold, along with captain and guns for some of the ships of the Admiralty of Amsterdam. Included in that list was the Koevorden (50 guns), which this document spells "Coeverden".

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The plan for Dutch ships in 1652

When described in books, the Dutch plans for equipping the navy with ships in 1652 seem to be very well-defined. There were the 40 convoyers authorized in 1648, the 36 cruisers authorized in 1651, the 50 Directors' ships and the 100 ships, both authorized in 1652. The reality was that the plan was less certain then what was published. There may only have been 36 of the 40 still in service by May 1652, for example. As for the 100 ships, there were never that many ships hired or activated from the reserve.

Friday, November 28, 2008

"We gather together"

I had not heard this story before about the inspiration for the hymn "We gather together". I know the song well, but didn't realize that it derived from the Dutch. The battle it commemorated was at Turnhout in 1597. The Dutch name for the hymn was "Wilt Heden Nu Treden". Yesterday was the Thanksgiving holiday in America. "We Gather Together" is a typical Thanksgiving hymn.

A few big guns on small Dutch ships

A typical practice at the time of the First Anglo-Dutch War was for Dutch many ships to have a few larger guns. I consider this practice to be a continuation of the Elizabethan arming scheme for ships. The Zeelanders certainly followed this pattern:
Zeeuwsche Leeuw      2-bronze 24pdr
Westcappel           2-bronze 16pdr
Amsterdam            2-bronze 24pdr, 2-bronze 20pdr
Wapen van Zeeland    2-bronze 18pdr (the ship of Joost Willemsz Block)
Hollandia (in 1652)  4-bronze 24pdr, 4-bronze 18pdr, 2-bronze 15pdr
                                        (Johan Evertsen's flagship)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dirck Cleuter

I received a page this morning that shows that Dirck Cleuter was the luitenant of Evert Anthoniszoon when the Hollandia was lost at the Battle of Scheveningen in 1653. The sum of the small pieces of information is how I build the larger picture. My approach to historical research is a bottom-up process.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Someone asked me about my ancestry

This morning, I was talking to my fellow "greeter" and she asked me about my ancestry, given my last name. That question got me thinking again about Matilda Lehman (not Lemon), who married a Beardsley in the 19th Century. Her son told the 1870 census taker that his mother was born in Holland. Other indications were that she was born in Ohio, but I can accept that she might have in fact been born in Holland, in the early 19th Century. What I have learned over the last few months was that the name Lehman was associated with Anabaptists in Germany and the Netherlands in the 17th Century.

The Beardsleys apparently had the custom of greeting men in the family by their middle name. My grandfather was called Moore. The president of Miles Laboratories, who thought of the idea for Alka Seltzer, was called Hub or Hubble, his middle name. He was my great-grandmother's brother. In the 1950's, there was a Beardsley man who they called Lehman, obviously his middle name. They pronounced it Lay-man, not Lee-mon. The name came from my ancestor, Matilda Lehman.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The French intelligence reports from the 1670's

I just had one of those flashes of inspiration. In the French intelligence documents that Jan Glete gave me in 2003, there is a ship called "Tsuy derthuis". I just realized that this was the Amsterdam ship Zuiderhuis!

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Swarten Pieter"

A report from early March 1653 about the Three Days Battle says the commander of the Zeeland ship Faam was "Commandeur Swarten Pieter". He had commanded Cornelis Loncke's ship Faam in the battle. The report also names the dead captains, although Dirck Scheij would seem to have been in error. Also, Sipke Fockes was killed, but his ship was not captured (the Sint Maria).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Google Books

Google Books now has Gijs Rommelse's book about the Second Anglo-Dutch War as full view in the United States. You can't download it, but you can read it online. Also in the United States, they have Vol.II of William Laird Clowes' book The Royal Navy: A History.... Last night, I finally downloaded Vol.II of Granville Penn's biography of William Penn. I also downloaded quite a few volumes of a Dutch biographical dictionary: Biographisch woordenboek der Nederlanden.

Friday, October 03, 2008

It turns out that I have lists from 12 September 1653 that I need to use

I had missed the fact that I have two lists dated 12 September 1653 that I need to use in my analysis. They both include the ship Mars (38 guns), commanded by Reijnst Cornelisz Sevenhuijsen.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thurloe's State Papers

The First Dutch War often has quotations from Thurloe's State Papers. The volumes are available online at British History Online.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Legier Pietersz (van Cruyningen)

This is my translation of what Mollema has about Legier Pietersz:
Legier Pietersz (van Cruyningen)
about 1540-1 May 1620 Zeeuwsche kapitein in 1583

1588 probably served under Loncq against the Armada.
1592 captured a Dunkirker.
1595 distinguished himself at Dunkirk in the blockade fleet, attacked
two privateers at Calais.
1597 off Spain under Duivenvoorde.
1599 was wounded in a fight against a galleon from Sluys.
1600 fought under Evertsen at Lillo and captured a Spanish admiral from Antwerp.
1603 distinguished himself in a sea fight off Sluys.
1606 flag captain for Haultain in the expedition to Spain,
 dismissed from the service due to his old age and wounds.

Source: J. C. Mollema, De Eere Rol, from Geschiedenis van Nederland ter  Zee, Vol.II, 1940.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The latest questions

In analyzing the lists of the Dutch fleet from May to June 1653, we immediately notice that the Prinses Louise, commanded by Abel Roelantsz, and the Groningen, commanded by Gilles Thijssen Campen are not mentioned. The problem with that is that in Brandt's biography of De Ruyter and Vol.V of The First Dutch War, in De Ruyter's journal entry, the two officers are named as division commanders in two squadrons. The question is, where is the error. Is it in the lists?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How large is a 110 last ship?

The Amsterdam ship Omlandia, built in 1625, was apparently a vessel of 110 lasts. So how large would a 110 last ship be? I estimate that a 110 last vessel would be about 108ft x 25ft x 8-1/2ft in Amsterdam feet. The Omlandia carried 24 guns.

The Friesland ship Omlandia, said to have been built in 1628

The Friesland ship Omlandia mentioned in Vreugdenhil's list as being built in 1628, it turns out, is a vessel of 200 lasts. That is despite the 122ft length and narrow beam. The hold is 13ft and that gives the volume needed to be 200 lasts.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Groote Vergulde Fortuijn

The commanded by Frederick de Coninck during the First Anglo-Dutch Wars, the Groote Vergulde Fortuijn was apparently a 300 last ship. I base that on a baseline factor for calculating lasts from J. C. De Jonge's book, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, in Vol.I.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A list from June 1652

One list of Rotterdam ships that I received early last year was apparently compiled prior to June 1652, but is annotated to include what happened in June and July. The list is dated 28 July 1652. The Dolphijn had been in Brazil, with Philips Jacobsz Schooneman as captain. The Dolphijn is listed as 110ft x 25-1/2ft x 12-1/2ft, all in Maas feet of 12 inches. The Dolphijn was armed with 28 guns at that date. Those dimensions translate to 120ft x 27ft-9in x 13ft-7in in Amsterdam feet of 11 inches. That is, of course, quite different from what is listed in Vreugdenhil's list.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The 38 ships of the 100 hired by 9 June 1652

Dr. Elias, in Vol.II of Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van Ons Zeewezen mentions that at first, only 38 ships of the 100 were hired. We know that by 9 June 1652, that the 38 were hired:
 8 from Rotterdam
11 from Amsterdam
 7 from Zeeland
 7 from the Noorderkwartier
 5 from Friesland

We know that some of these ships were actually built as warships. Some were sold or laid up after 1648, at the Peace. Some ships of that sort were reactivated after July 1651 as part of the 36 ships (variously mentioned as between 35 and 37 ships). Even the newly built warship Campen (40 guns) was funded by the 100 ships appropriation.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A new version of my picture of the Huis van Nassau sailing for the Sound in 1645 from the Vlie

Witte de With's fleet sest sail from the Vlie in 1645, destined for the Sound. The mission was to push the fleet of merchant ships into the Sound without paying the toll to Denmark.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My translation of Dr. Elias on the storm off the Texel in November, 1653

This is my attempt at a translation of what Dr. Elias wrote in Vol.VI, pages 121-122, of the storm off the Texel in November 1653. I did a bit of editing of the translation, which a native Dutch speaker could do better (primarily to make the word order match English better):
The Zeeland Directors’ ship Gekroonde Liefde was the first, having been stranded on the shore at the Huisduinen on Sunday afternoon, November 9, at 2 o'clock. The whole crew, Captain Hartman included, met their end in the waves. The entire night the storm continued to rage with undiminished strength; but on, November 10, the fourth day, Monday, under dense hailstorms and hunting snow, the storm reached its peak. The Directors’ ships, particularly, which were generally sparingly provided with anchors and cables, had struggled to resist the hurricane. Of the many vessels which were stripped of their anchors and drifted landwards, the majority were of the Directors. Against two war ships of the state (the Gouda of Amsterdam under captain Ooms, who with the loss of half of its crew, was stranded on the beach at Petten, and the Prins Willem, of the Noorderkwartier, under captain Boermans, who was found with 12 dead men) there were six of the different Directors lost, on this unfortunate day. Of them, on the head of Petten, the Koning David, of Amsterdam, and the Sint Vincent, of Friesland, and at the Oog, the Moorin, of Amsterdam, and the Graaf Hendrick, of Friesland, were thrown on the shore. Only a small part of those on board survived; the captains, Vogelsanck, of the Koning David, and Wagenaar, of the Graaf Hendrick, were drowned. The Zeeland Directors’ ship, the Luipaard, under captain Tiebij, sank with man and mouse and also the Koning Radbout, of the Directors of Medemblick, became victims of the waves, as well as the East-Indian Company’s cruiser Gerechtigheid (under captain Swart, who perished with the majority of his crew) along with the two Zeeland provision fluits.

Friday, August 22, 2008

More about Anthonis van Salingen

I have written about Anthonis van Salingen at I have usually spelled his last name as "van Zalingen", but the old, handwritten documents generally say "van Salingen". He was born about 1600 and died on 10 December 1652 (the new style date). He served the Admiralty of Amsterdam. He was appointed an Extra-Ordinary Kapitein as far back as 1624. He was a full Kapitein-ter-Zee in 1638. He was promoted to Commandeur in 1645, the year that he took part in Witte de With's successful operation to push a large merchant fleet into the Sound without paying the toll to the Danes. back in 1626, he had retaken a Dutch prize from the Dunkirkers and fought in the sloop-flotilla before Dunkirk. He was a convoy commander in 1639. In 1645, he commanded the Zon or Gouden Zon (34 guns), the same ship he commanded in the Mediterranean Sea in 1651-1652, under the command of Joris Cats. In 1652, he blockaded the English under Appleton in Livorno while Van Galen fought Badiley near Elba. This is based, in part, on the account in Mollema's "Honour Roll".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Sneuper-Dokkum blog

Now, there is more than just the website, for De Sneuper, there is also a blog: The blog is actually titled: "Historische Vereniging Noordoost Friesland".

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Warships blog

Carl Stapel pointed out Alexandervan Maanen's blog, Warships, where he and Ron van Maanen's both have material posted. One thing that might be of wide interest is Ron's list of Dutch ships at the Battle of Lowestoft, with dimensions and gun lists.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nicholas de With

In 1652, Nicholas de With commanded the Amsterdam Directors' ship Prins Maurits (or Mauritius), up until it was wrecked due to bad piloting in November 1652. I presume that he was the same Nicholas de With who served with the English Royalists in 1645. R. C. Anderson lists him as a Royalist captain in 1645.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

"Sleutels van de Sont"

The book Sleutels van de Sont is available in the United States in Google Book Search. This book has the list of ships and captains in Witte de With's fleet in the operation to push a large convoy of merchantmen into the Baltic in 1645 without paying the toll to Denmark.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dutch ship armaments in 1665

By the Battle of Lowestoft, Dutch ships seemed to have carried a large number of guns for their size. The little Rotterdam ship Vrede carried 40 guns. In the case of the Vrede, the ship carried many 12pdr and 6pdr guns. My opinion was that the ship was greatly over-armed for a small frigate. This was the ship that Jan van Brakel commanded at the raid on the Medway when he is often said to have broken the chain on the Medway. The truth seems to be that the fireship Pro Patria, commanded by Jan Daniëlsz van Rijn, was the ship that broke the chain.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Abel Roelantsz

I have been searching on the Gemeentearchief Rotterdam website. I saw what I had known about: "capiteyn Abel Roelantsz Verboom". I believe that he had been flag captain for Tromp on the Brederode in 1652. In 1653, he commanded Witte de With's old flagship, the Prinses Louise (36 guns). He also may have functioned as a division commander.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Gewapende Ruyter

I had never seen the ship Gewapende Ruyter mentioned in any document from the Nationaal Archief in The Hague before yesterday. That is no longer the case. Yesterday, I received photographs of a letter from Admiralty of Amsterdam secretary David de Wildt, from 18 November 1653, with what Jane's Fighting Ships used to call "War Losses". These were the ships lost by the Admiralty of Amsterdam in the First Anglo-Dutch War. The second ship mentioned was the Gewapende Ruyter (kapitein Boëtius Schaeff), 36 guns. David de Wildt categorized the Gewapende Ruyter as being taken and brought to The Downs.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My possible Dutch connection

I found out today that my ancestor's name was not Matilda Lemon, but Matilda Lehman. Lehman is apparently a Mennonite name, and this page makes it seem plausible that Matilda Lehman could have a Netherlands connection. Lehmans moved to Ohio, at one point, and the Beardsleys lived in Ohio at the right period. It was in an 1870 census where Solomon Beardsley said that his mother was born in "Holland". Matilda Lehman is said to have been born in 1812 and died in 1860.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bronze 15pdr guns

I had thought that I did not know the weight of any 15pdr guns, but from a page dated 27 March 1653, I have the weights of two bronze 15pdr guns carried by the Zeeland ship Hollandia, commanded by kapitein Adriaen Banckert. The two guns were 2750 and 2733 pounds.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Copper 6pdr guns for the Gorcum

I was surprised to see that the Rotterdam ship Gorcum (or Gorinchem) carried two copper 6pdr guns in 1652. The Friesland ship Breda had copper 4pdr guns at the same time. The Admiralty of Friesland had acquired the Breda from Amsterdam, as I recall. Nico Brinck had told me that the "copper" guns were actually made from a composite of iron, lead, and beaten copper. The copper was not cast, but beaten to shape with hammers. As far as I can tell, the Gorcum had the copper 6pdrs replaced by Jun3 1653.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Amsterdam ships completed in the summer of 1653

I was working on my annotated list of ships that fought in the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665, when I noticed that the Oosterwijk was 140ft long. The Amsterdam and the Oosterwijk were built under the First Anglo-Dutch War building program and came into service late in the summer, after the Battle of Scheveningen. They were both 140ft long ships. They were a non-standard size, as supposedly, they were going to build 150ft, 136ft, and 130ft ships under the two thirty ship programs. In fact there were many deviations.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My estimate of the 1628 bronze 24pdr drake gun weight

My first attempt at an estimate where I have an idea of dimensions for a gun is a 24pdr bronze drake from 1628. I have a lower resolution scan of Nico Brinck's drawing, so I had some trouble reading the numbers. The gun is about 2273mm long (8ft long in Amsterdam feet). My weight estimate, based on metal volume is 2739 pounds (Amsterdam pounds of 494.09 grams). I do all the important calculations in metric measurements.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I have more from Nico Brinck

Thanks to what Nico Brinck has given me, including in May, I have enough to make more progress on a Dutch gun model. There seems to be value in switching to metric lengths and estimating the actual bore length and diameter. Unlike the English, gun lengths are not on even 6in intervals. I am also using metric weight measures, the motivation for metric is to be able to deal with things like Rijnland feet and Amsterdam feet interchangeably as well as Swedish feet and pounds.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I need to calibrate my formula for Dutch guns

I am finally dealing with the difference in the Dutch pound and the English pound and the Amsterdam foot and the English foot in my gun calculations. I need to find one of Nico Brinck's gun drawings that I have a both a weight in Dutch pounds (one pound is 494.09 grams) and the measurement in centimeters (I think that is what is used for dimensions). That will allow me to calibrate the formula. My original formula was based on English feet and inches and English pounds. The Amsterdam foot is aboutg 283mm and is divided into 11 inches.

Dutch gun speculation

The two bronze 24pdr guns carried by the Zeeland ship Goes in 1652 and 1653 are interesting, because they only weighted 2384 pounds. To me, that means that they were short and had thin metal, certainly being chambered guns. They seem to have been the sort of mid-Seventeenth Century equivalent to a 24pdr carronade. The problem is that I have no way of knowing just how thin the metal was. My wild speculation puts the length at 5-1/2 Amsterdam feet.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dutch guns

My project for yesterday was to compile a spreadsheet of Dutch ship gun inventories. I don't have complete coverage, but there is enough to be useful. There is limited information on 36pdr guns. All that I have is from the gun inventory for the Zeven Provincien that was published. There was a larger type of bronze 36pdr that averaged 6635 pounds. There was a somewhat smaller 36pdr that averaged 6282 pounds. The heavier 24pdr averaged 4923 pounds. The Zeven Provincien only had two of these. I knew about the other four that were carried by the Zeeland ship Vlissingen in 1653. Most bronze 24pdr guns carried by the Zeven Provincien averaged 4420 pounds. I can see that I have some reorganizing to do on the list, so that there may be some small adjustments in the averages, but those are about right, as is.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hosting for two sites is down

Two of my web sites, and are both down due to a fire at the hosting service, Avahost. They really do not know how long it will take to get back up. I could tell there was a problem with traffic from those two sites disappeared from my tracking.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My current short project

Frank Fox called me to today to ask about guns carried by Dutch ships at the Battle of Lowestoft that he needed to know about. That got me started on making a list of ships with dimensions and gun lists that I know about, giving credit to the source for the dimensions and gun lists. I was actually able to put a good number of hours in on this, so that I made significant progress this afternoon. Of course, very little of this information has been published. I will at least supply this to Frank Fox, as he has shared a lot of information with me. Naturally, before I did anything with this, I would get photographs of the original source documents. I have a pretty good idea where to look. It is just that my focus has been on 1648-1654.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The notation about Cornelis Tiebij and the English ship lying at Veere in late July 1653 still interests me. There is another page that places the Bonaventura at Veere in that period, as well. We believe, however, that contrary to published sources, the Bonaventura was not at the Battle of Scheveningen and was not sunk there. Sources had indicated that the Bonaventura had been hired by the Directors of Middelburg and that the ship was used in the battle. We don't think that Cornelis Tiebij's ship Luipaert was the Bonaventura, renamed, but you have to wonder at the reason for the note about him and the English ship.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The ship Edam in English service

Both the figure 103ft given by Pepys and the 86ft figure given in Van Foreest and Weber's book both seem incorrect for a keel length for the captured Dutch ship Edam. The Edam was called the Black Bull in English service, after the symbol of Edam. There are conflicting figures for the length of the Edam. The published figures all were 120ft, but there is considerable documentary evidence that indicates that the length was 124ft. Using my rule of thumb, a length of 124ft in Amsterdam feet would give an English keel length of 94ft (or perhaps 93ft). If the Dutch length were 120ft, the English keel length would be 89 or 90 ft., not 86ft.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Wkipedia page on the Brederode

I ended up looking at the version in English of the Wikipedia page about the Dutch ship Brederode. I decided to go ahead and make several corrections at the bottom of the piece.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yet another source that says that the Graaf Hendrick was a Groningen Directors' ship

Early this morning, I was reading documents from late 1652 and saw another reference to the ship Graaf Hendrick, commanded by Jan Reijndersz Wagenaer, being a Groningen Directors' ship. All the lists from 1653 assign the ship to the Admiralty of Friesland. The document that I read this morning was dated 6 December 1652, four days before the Battle of Dungeness.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Goeree Gat

After looking at the island of Goeree in Google Maps, I still wonder which side is the "Goeree Gat" mentioned in The First Dutch Wars volumes. Also, after the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort (the Battle of the Gabbard), a few ships sought shelter at Goeree. Were they in the water immediately to the north or to the south of the island? Does someone know? Google Maps is useful from my desk at work, but Google Earth really gives you the capability to see what an area is like, with the ability to view from an angle above the earth, or even down to the water level.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A list of ships from 30 June 1652

I have this list of ships under the flag of Admiral Tromp, dated 30 June 1652. I suspect that the number of ships is greater than the number in the printed list of the fleet that is divided into three squadrons. Still, I would be interested to see the comparison between the two lists. If the printed list is at all valid, we should be able to tell which captains are meant by the names we do not recognize in that list. The handwritten list gives the admiralty, the captain's name, the guns and the crew size for each ship. The ship names are omitted, but we know which ship each captain commanded, so that is not an issue.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Friesland ship Groningen

The Friesland ship Groningen was captured by the English in 1665 and fought in the Four Days' Battle with the English fleet in 1666. We first saw the Groningen mentioned in late 1653, not earlier. The one other mention that I have seen is in 1658. For example, on 8 August 1658, the Groningen was with the fleet headed for the Sound. The Groningen's captain at the time was Laurens Degelencamp (or Degelcamp). Most of the ships carried fewer guns for oveseas voyaging, later in the year. By the time the ships went to the Sound, they did not carry topgallant masts or sails and did not have a spritsail topmast. In August, Groningen carried 34 guns and had a crew of 100 sailors and 15 soldiers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yes, the pictures are "after" the Willem van de Velde de Oude drawings

As with my past work, which can be seen at, these pictures are "after" the drawings of Willem van de Velde de Oude.

The Battle of Dungeness picture

I believe that the ship to the left, firing at Blake's flagship was the Campen (40 guns). The Campen was a new ship that had been built earlier in 1652. Joris van der Zaan was the captain of the Campen from September 1652 to the first day of the Three Days Battle (the Battle of Portland) when he was killed. At this date, the Campen still had 4-24pdr guns, a lower tier of 12pdr guns, with the rest being 6pdrs.

Roger Morrice and his World: a workshop


Roger Morrice and his World: a workshop

The Breakfast Room, Merton College, Oxford. Saturday 14 June 2008, 10.30am - 5pm.
The recent publication of Roger Morrice's Entring Book was an important milestone in the study of late-seventeenth century Britain. This one-day workshop is designed to assess the impact of the Entring Book on the study of the period, and to sketch possible directions for future research into the period.
Speakers include: Alasdair Raffe (Durham), Sarah Cieglo (Yale), Stephen Taylor (Reading), and Jason McElligott (Oxford)
A registration fee of £10 will cover coffees, lunches and tea. Those who wish to stay overnight in Oxford can ask the organisers to book a room for them in Merton College. The cost of a room is £28 per night.
To book a place at the workshop, email either Jason McElligott ( or Mark Goldie ( before 7 June.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A slightly different and possibly improved picture from Dungeness

This is a brighter version of the photo from Dungeness. Which version do you like better? My wife likes the darker picture better.

A "photo" from the Battle of Dungeness on 10 December 1652 (new style)

This is my first version to be exposed that shows a snapshot "taken" at the Battle of Dungness, on 10 December 1652. The picture shows a smaller Dutch ship alongside Robert Blake's flagship, Triumph. They are vigorously firing at each other.

My improved photo from the Battle of Livorno

This version of the ship photo "taken" at the Battle of Livorno in March 1653 has been further modified to look more photographic than drawing or painting. The ship clearly is Dutch built, or at least is depicted that way in the original drawing.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A "photo" of a Dutch ship at the Battle of Livorno in 1653

This is my first attempt at adding photographic elements to a 17th Century drawing. This ship is probably one of the Italian ships hired by the Admiralty of Amsterdam in 1652-1653. This "photo" shows the ship in the Battle of Livorno.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Dutch fleet right before the Battle of Scheveningen

One list of the Dutch fleet that I have is dated 1 August 1653. That is just nine days prior to the Battle of Scheveningen (the Zeeslag bij Ter Heide) on 10 August. The list has ship names, captains, guns, sailors, and soldiers listed. The list is slightly odd in that it was compiled right after some ship changes were made and does not totally reflect them. For example, Cornelis Evertsen de Jonge was flag captain for Johan Evertsen on the new Vlissingen (50 guns, 150 sailors, and 55 soldiers). The West Cappel and the Vlissingen are both listed with Cornelis Evertsen de Jonge. There are some striking features, such as a Middelburg Directors' ship named Bonaventura not being listed. The only new Middelburg Directors' ship was that of Cornelis Tiebij. The name and details are omitted from this list. The list does not actually say which city hired each of the Zeeland Directors' ships.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lists of ships at the Battle of Scheveningen

I have lists of ships from right before and right after the Battle of Scheveningen (the Zeeslag bij Ter Heide). One curious fact is that I do not see the collection of odd ships that I had thought were in the battle. I was printing the pages with lists last night, so I had a fresh copy with the reference on the pages. For example, while the Roosencrans (44 guns) is there, I did not see the Bonaventura, said to have been hired by the Middelburg Directors. The Bonaventura was the captured English hired merchantman Anthony Bonaventure, captured at the Battle of Dungeness.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

One disappointment

I am amazed and disappointed that I still don't have a good list of the Dutch fleet for the Three Days Battle (the Battle of Portland). Even for the Battle of the Kentish Knock, I only have an approximate list. One exists, apparently, but I don't have it yet. Probably the best lists that I have are for the Battle of the Gabbard and the Battle of Dover. I have a pretty good list for the Battle of Scheveningen. I have a good list for the voyage to the Shetlands in July and August 1653. I have only partial information about the fishery protection squadron that was attacked on 22 July 1652. We can hope that the missing information exists somewhere and just has not been found yet, but some of it may just not exist any more.

Friday, April 18, 2008

So, what ship would Bartel Simonszoon have commanded on 12 June 1653?

Perhaps it is all a mistake, but there are several sources that say (perhaps not independenty) that Bartel Simonszoon commanded an Amsterdam Directors' ship that carried 30 guns and had a crew of 120 men. The easy answer is that he is a duplicate with misspelling of Barent Timonsz Soudaen, who commanded the ship Gulden Pelicaen in the Battle of the Gabbard (the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort). I have known about this for almost a year, but have been concerned about the "easy answer", because there is a list from 24 June 1653 that gives the crew, as well as the number of guns. Of course, the ship name is omitted. Witte de With's journal gives the guns and crew for "Bartimeus Soudaen's" ship as 30 guns and 120 men, so perhaps there really is a duplicate entry in the status report about the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Dutch fleet lying off Vlissingen on 23 June 1653

Perhaps two-thirds of the Dutch fleet lay off Vlissingen after the Battle of the Gabbard that was fought over 12 and 13 June 1653. We have several lists dating from about 23 June 1653 that list the ships. A few ships were at Goeree and about one third of the fleet lay in the Texel Roads. That was where Witte de With was after the battle. He was apparently the senior naval officer present at the Texel. I can only imagine what the fleet lying off Vlissingen looked like. I assume, from maps that I have seen, that they fleet lay no farther west than Vlissingen and were mostly anchored from there and farther from the open sea.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I was just looking at a document from July 1652 that confirms what I determined by analysis about Rotterdam ships in June 1652:
Five Convoyers

Adm  Ship         guns  captain
R    Gelderland   20    Aert van Nes
R    Gorcum       30    Jan Jansz van Nes
R    Schiedam     30    Dirck Juynbol
R    Dordrecht    26    Sier de Liefde
R    Rotterdam    30    Jan Aertsz Verhaeff

Two for the Mediterranean Sea

R    Gelderland   40    Michiel Fransz van den Burgh
R    Brederode    54    Lt-Adm Maerten Harpertsz Tromp

Four in the North Sea

R    Wapen van Rotterdam   26  Jacob van Boshuijsen
R    Prinses Roijael Marie 34  Joost Willemsz van Coulster
R    Prinses Louise        36  Vice-Admiraal Witte de With
R    Holland               30  Hendrick de Munnick

Two in Brazil

R    Dolphijn              28  Marinus de Clercq
R    Nimwegen              26  Paulus van den Kerckhoff

Eight ships of the 100 ships

R    Maria            26   Quirijn van den Kerckhoff
R    Gulden Beer      24   Jan de Haes
R    Sphera Mundi     26   Reijnout Venhuijsen
R    Hollandia        24   Hendrick Ernestus de Bartrij
R    Roscam           26   Corstiaen Eldertszoon
R    Calmer Sleutel   24   Dirck Vijgh
R    Overijssel       22   Cornelis Engelen Silvergieter
R    Utrecht          22   Leendert Haexwant

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My Dutch family connection

I have started doing genealogical research at I found out tonight that I seem to have a Dutch ancestor: Matilda Lemon, born in 1812. One 19th Century census says that Solomon Beardsley's mother was born in "Holland". Her name was Matilda Lemon and she was married to Elijah Hubble Beardsley. She died relatively young, in 1860.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dutch guns

I have been doing some calculation about Dutch guns of bronze. In one case, a Dutch 24pdr gun was captured by the English. The gun was 9-1/2ft long and weighed some 4352 pounds. I estimate that a bronze 24pdr gun that weighed 4111 pounds was 9ft long. Going even further in estimating, I would estimate that a bronze 16pdr gun that weighed 3136 pounds was 9ft long. A bronze 16pdr gun that weighed 2961 pounds would be 8-1/2ft long. A bronze 15pdr that weighed 2761 pounds would be 8-1/4ft long. The only problem that I can see with these estimates is that they are probably wrong!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The list on pages 156 and157 of The First Dutch War, Vol.VI

Yesterday, I was comparing a list from the archives, from the journals of Michiel De Ruyter, and could see, again, that this was the list that C. T. Atkinson had seen and put into The First Dutch War, Vol.VI on pages 156 and 157. Atkinson was not very familiar with the material, so he did not recognize that the list was of the ships in De Ruyter's fleet in mid August of 1652. This is the list that says that Laurens Degelcamp (or Degelencamp) commanded a ship named Gelderland at the time. There are two X's next to the ship Sint Nicolaes and to the Gelderland. The Sint Nicolaes was lost by collision, presumably with Aert van Nes's ship, also named Gelderland.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ship armaments

One thing to bear in mind about how Dutch ships were armed in the First Anglo-Dutch War is that by the 1670's, English fifth rates had a main armament of 9pdr demi-culverins with 30 0r 32 guns total. A representative fifth rate had 18-9pdr, 10-5pdr, and 4-4pdr guns. Since many of the Dutch ships in the First Anglo-Dutch War were armed with 12pdr, 8pdr, and 6pdr guns, they are not that far out of line. They were ill-suited for fighting 40-some gun 4th rates or larger ships, but they were what the Dutch mostly had. The Dutch were not able to fix their problem until too late for the first war. It was only the second war building program that provided them with ships that could fight on a more equal basis. Those ships were not as well-armed until the third war, as there was still a shortage of larger guns in the 1664 to 1667 period.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Comments on some Zeeland ships

There is a great deal of confusion about certain Zeeland ships in the First Anglo-Dutch War. Part of that confusion is caused by the coverage in Vreugdenhil's list. He only mentions ship names and provides scant details. I think that I can reduce some of that confusion, or I will at least try:
Vreudenhil's number Name            Guns Date Length Captain
 67                 Zeelandia         32 1642 122ft  Andries Pietersz den Boer
217                 Zeelandia         32 1648 118ft  Jan Naelhout
315                 Zeeuwsche Leeuw   27      116ft  Cornelis Evertsen de Oude
                 (in the original documents, the ship is not called the
                  Wapen van Zeeland)
not listed          Wapen van Zeeland 34      116ft  Joost Willemsz Block

Vreugdenhil seems to have confused two different ships, mixing the information for the Zeeuwsche Leeuw with the name of Joost Willemsz Block's ship. Cornelis Evertsen de Oude's ship served with Tromp's fleet while the other three served in the Mediterranean Sea during 1652 and 1653.

A. Vreugdenhil, Ships of the United Netherlands 1648-1702, 1938.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Abraham van der Hulst's ship on 29 July 1652

I have a document that shows that Abraham van der Hulst's ship, which we know was the Overijssel, on 29 July 1652 carried 28 guns and had a crew of 90 men. Hendrick de Raedt's pamphlet shows the ship with 26 guns and a crew of 100 men. I would guess that the 28 guns and a crew of 90 men were correct.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Noorderkwartier ship Hollandsche Tuin

From the book by Dr. Graefe, we know that the Noorderkwartier ship Hollandsche Tuin was 250 lasts and that the ship in 1636 carried 32 guns (16 bronze and 22 iron). The crew at that date was 100 sailors and 20 soldiers. We know that ships of 250 lasts were about 128ft x 31ft x 13ft. The Hollandsche Tuin was apparently one of the 12 ships in Brazil in 1650 to 1652.

Monday, February 18, 2008

J. C. De Jonge's list from March 1653

A striking feature of J. C. De Jonge's list of ships in March 1653 is that it actually is a list from before the Battle of Portland (what the Dutch call the Three Days Battle). Things fall into place when you realize that. That explains the eight Directors' ships that were lost from the original fifty ships. The list also seems to ignore the new ships that were hired, starting in January 1653.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Three Days Battle or Battle of Portland

Today, I made several small corrections to the Dutch Wikipedia page for the Driedaagse Zeeslag (the Three Days Battle). The English call this the Battle of Portland. I am working on a list that only has ships that I have a good deal of confidence were in the battle. For some reason, there is not a fleet list for the Dutch in the most obvious places at the Nationaal Archief. There may be a such a list in an "obvious place", but if so, it is not so easily accessed by my researcher. I am reduced to how I had always operated prior to gaining access to archival information. I look at the published sources for references. I also had several references from archival sources following the battle, from March 1653. That allowed me to build a list with 58 ships of about 70 that fought in the battle. I can guess at more but I don't actually have a solid reference for them.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Did Dirk Gerritsz Pomp command the St. Jan Battista?

I have been studying the list of captains in the Fishery Protection Squadron on 22 July 1652, as shown in the book by Lambertus van den Bosch, Leven en Bedryf van den Vermaarden Zeeheld, Cornelis Tromp, published in 1692. There were 15 ships in the squadron and some of them are easy to list. For Amsterdam, just consult The First Dutch War, Vol.IV and the list of Amsterdam ships. The list shows the Marcus Curtius and the Catarina lost. Apparently, the ships discarded were also in the squadron, such as the Patientia and Engel. For Rotterdam, we know the Paulus and the Sphera Mundi. For the Noorderkwartier, we know the Sampson, Wapen van Holland, Adam en Eva, and Land van Beloften for sure. The published list of 12 ships that excludes the Marcus Curtius seems to be at least partially incorrect. From analysis, I wonder if Dirk Gerritsz Pomp commanded the St. Jan Battista, which I believe was in the squadron. Van den Bosch lists Dirk Gerritszoon, which I assume was him.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Friesland ships

So, what do we make of the lists that say this about Friesland ships in early 1652?:
2 Convoyers
2 in the North Sea
2 in Brazil
5 of the 17-1/2ships of the 100

and this:

Friesland         2
Stadt en Landen   1

200 last ships

I recently received some information from Ron van Maanen about Zeeland ships. Some of the older ships were larger than most of the ships in service in 1652. For example, the Middelburg, built in 1632, and the Vlissingen, also built in 1632 were both 200 lasts. A 200 last ship might be 125ft x 29ft x 11-1/2ft, in Amsterdam feet.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Vogelstruis

The Vogelstruis was a ship built for the Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch East Indian Company (the VOC). The Vogelstruis seems to have been smaller than the biggest "Retourschepen" of the VOC and had acquitted herself well in the First Anglo-Dutch War, up until the Battle of Portland when the English took her after a hard fight. The Vogelstruis was so heavily damaged that the English just made her a hulk. I now can see that the reason that the Vogelstruis did so well was the combination of being small enough to have some speed and maneuverability and because she was well-armed. She had a complete 18pdr lower tier. That made her one of the most heavily armed Dutch ships in the war.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Claes Jansz Sanger in early August 1653

One curiosity that I noticed today, in a page that I received, is that the list shows Claes Jansz Sanger, on 1 August 1653, as captain of the ship Milde Maerten. That is curious because there is every reason to believe that on 10 August, he was captain of the Zeeland ship Westcappel, when it was lost in the Battle of Scheveningen. Presumably, this is just because a feature of documents from the First Anglo-Dutch War is that they are often mistaken, or at least have errors introduced by copyists.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A challenge

What I would be interested to see is if anyone can find information about these ships hired or which served during the First Anglo-Dutch War. This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers most of the ships that I have either no information or minimal information. In some cases, I have some information, but would like some confirmation (Prins Maurits). It doesn't count that you can say "I know but I won't tell".
Admiralty or Directors      Ship
Harlingen Directors         Sint Vincent      28 guns
Harlingen Directors         Vergulde Pelicaen 28 guns

a possible ship hired by the Groningen Directors

Noorderkwartier             Vergulde Schel, 24 guns
Noorderkwartier             Peereboom       24 guns
Noorderkwartier             Tobias          30 guns
Noorderkwartier             Profeet Samuel  30 guns
Noorderkwartier             Lastdrager      28 guns
Noorderkwartier             Mars            34 or 38 guns
Noorderkwartier             Alkmaar         26 guns ('s-Landsschip)
Noorderkwartier             Roode Leeuw     24 guns
Noorderkwartier             Huis van Nassau 24 or 28 guns
Noorderkwartier             Burgh van Alkmaar 24 or 28 guns ('s-Landsschip)
Noorderkwartier             Adam en Eva     24 guns 
Noorderkwartier             Sampson         24 or 26 guns ('s-Landsschip)
Noorderkwartier             Stad Medemblick 26 or 32 guns ('s-Landsschip)
Noorderkwartier             Nieuw Kasteel   14 guns
Noorderkwartier             Arke Noach      24 guns
Noorderkwartier             St. Jan Baptist 24 guns
Noorderkwartier             Wapen van Holland 30 guns
Noorderkwartier             Prins Maurits   28 or 32 guns ('s-Landsschip)
Noorderkwartier             Herder          

Amsterdam                   Jonas            26 guns
Amsterdam                   Gewapende Ruyter 36 guns ('s-Landsschip)

Rotterdam Directors         Erasmus
Rotterdam Directors         Sint Pieter     28 guns  Sijmon Cornelisz van der Meer
Rotterdam Directors         Sint Pieter     29 guns  Isaac de Jongh
Rotterdam Directors         Jonas           36 guns
Rotterdam Directors         Meerman         32 guns
Rotterdam Directors         Prins           38 guns
Rotterdam Directors         Hollandia       26 or 28 guns  Ruth Jacobsz Buijs

Rotterdam                   Gulden Beer     24 guns
Rotterdam                   Maria           24 guns
Rotterdam                   Hollandia       24 guns  Hendrick Ernestus de Bartrij
Rotterdam                   Roscam          26 guns

Medemblick Directors        Koning Radboud  28 guns
Zeeland                     Wapen van Keulen 30 guns
Zeeland                     Hasewind         28 guns ('s-Landsschip)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Friesland Directors' ships in 1652

There were potentially two sorts of Friesland Directors' ships. This is a matter over which there has been heated discussion. Fortunately, you can't yell over email. There were definitely two Harlingen Directors' ships: the Sint Vincent and the Vergulde Pelicaen. Both carried 28 guns. The Vergulde Pelicaen was apparently discarded after the Battle of Portland in 1653, if not before that. The Sint Vincent served up until early November 1653, when it foundered in the severe storm off the Texel. I have at least four or five references to the existence of a Groningen Directors' ship. At least two references cite the Groningen ship Graef Hendrick as being a Groningen Directors' ship. Also, in early 1652, Joost Hendricksz Bulter is cited as a captain commanding a Groningen Directors' ship. By late 1652, he was appointed to command the new ship Stad Groningen en Ommelanden, which as purchased by the Admiralty of Friesland. A list from December 1652 lists Jan Reijndersz Wagenaer as the captain of a Groningen Directors' ship Graef Hendrick. This controversy, in my opinion is not resolved, even though several of us have our own, differing opinions. One is that there never was a Groningen Directors' ship, despite that being part of the plan for the Extraordinary Equipage. I tend to believe that at least in 1652, the Graef Hendrick was the Groningen Directors' ship, but by 1653 may have been funded by the Admiralty of Friesland.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Brederode in June 1653

The inventory for the Brederode was signed by Maerten Harpertsz Tromp, with his characteristic signature. These are some details:
The ship Brederode

crew of 260 men

54 guns: 4-36pdr, 20-24pdr, 20-12pdr, 10-6pdr

14,000 lbs of gunpowder

 100 36 pound shot
1000 24 pound shot
1000 12 pound shot
 400  6 pound shot

I would imagine that the lower tier consisted of the 4-36pdr and 20-24pdr guns The upper tier would be the 20-12pdr guns. The quarterdeck would be armed with the 10-6pdr guns.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Amsterdam pound versus the English pound (weights)

I usually do not think about this issue, but I have known that the Amsterdam pound is heavier than the English pound. The Amsterdam pound is about 494.1 grams while the English pound is 453.6 grams. That is a ratio of 1.0892857 to 1.0. That means that an English 42 pound shot is 38.56 Amsterdam pounds. The Dutch 6 pound shot is roughly 6.5 English pounds. The Dutch 8 pound shot is 8.7 English pounds (you can see my American-centric viewpoint, since I use the period as the decimal point, not the comma).

To put things in perspective: gun weights

I happen to own a copy of Vol.I of Adrian Caruana's book about English guns. While the shot diameter given for the Alderney wreck guns seems like a Falcon (3-1/2 pounds), the length and gun weight resembles a saker from the Revenge "cast away near the Isle of Azores in September 1591". There is the added benefit of being contemporary to the Alderney gun:
Sakers from the Revenge, all 7ft long:

13 cwt-3qtr-0lbs:  1540 lbs
14 cwt-3qtr-13lbs: 1665 lbs
15 cwt-1qtr-18lbs: 1726 lbs
15 cwt-1qtr-14lbs: 1722 lbs
16 cwt-1qtr-21lbs: 1841 lbs
14 cwt-2qtr-6lbs:  1630 lbs
16 cwt-0qtr-14lbs: 1806 lbs
13 cwt-1qtr-24lbs: 1508 lbs

The two Falcons are much smaller guns, although they are also 7ft guns:

8cwt-0qtr-21lbs:  917 lbs
8cwt-2qtr-19lbs:  971 lbs

Using my empirical equation for guns, I estimate a weight of 973 lbs for a 7ft long iron Falcon firing a 3-1/2 pound shot, which closely matches the Revenge guns.

The Alderney Guns

I was looking at the Alderney Elizabethan Wreck website. I was particularly interested in the gun page. They say about the guns:

All the shot so far recovered is of 78 – 80 mm (3? inches) diameter which reinforces our current view that the guns are all the same, that is to say 7 foot long, cast iron, smooth bore, muzzle loaders of 3½ inch bore and 14 hundredweight (1568 lbs)

I tried my empiracle calculations and I would have said that I would expect 4 pound shot, for the shot diameter and the gun weight. My first idea was that it would be a Falcon, firing 3-1/2 pound shot. I have trouble believing the gun weight of 1568 lbs. For the shot diameter given, that would make for an extremely heavy gun, outside of the range with which I have seen. I concede that for the shot diameter, it must be a Falcon, not a Minion (4pdr). My problem is that the gun weight and length are more like a Dutch 6pdr iron gun. For that small of a shot weight, a similar Dutch gun would be a bit less than a 1000 lbs.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Joris Caulerij

I have a page with Joris Caulerij's signature and he spelled his name with one "L" and "au", not two L's or an "O" instead of the "au". The document is an inventory of his hired ship Jonas, dating from 23 June 1653.

The Vlissingen

A large Zeeland ship named Vlissingen served in the First Anglo-Dutch War. I have wondered if this was the same ship that was Johan Evertsen's flagship in the Battle of the Downs in 1639. The Vlissingen spent 1652 in the Caribbean with a small squadron. Cornelis Mangelaer was the captain up through the Three Days Battle (the Battle of Portland). By May, Jan Pouwelszoon was the captain. He had been Michiel de Ruyter's flag captain on the small Neptunus at the Battle of Plymouth, in August 1652. He fought in the Battle of the Gabbard (the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort) on 12 and 13 June 1653, and almost certainly at the Battle of Scheveningen on 10 August 1653. He took the Vlissingen on the voyage to Norway from September to early November 1653 and survived the terrible storm off the Texel on their return. This was a ship that was 130ft long and carried 32 guns.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Battle of the Kentish Knock

Dr. Elias's book Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen, in Vol.V, has some very good references about ships and the fleet. In Vol.III, for the Battle of the Kentish Knock, that is strangely absent. He mostly refers to The First Dutch War, Vol.II, Brandt's biography of De Ruyter, and the Hollandsche Mercurius. He does refer to Witte de With's journal and to some references in the Staten Generaal, but he seemed to lack knowledge of where the good information was located. For that matter, that is true for me, as well. I happen to know that at least some "good information" exists and that it is a matter of finding where it is. The reason being that it is so good, that there is some advantage for the researcher and author who knows where it is, when there is good reason to want to be the first to publish it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

William Laird Clowes' work is apparently available, online

I was amazed to see that the seven volumes of William Laird Clowes' work The Royal Navy: a History from the Earliest Times to the Present is available at You seem to be able to choose between a variety of formats. I highly recommend this work, if you are interested in sailing naval warfare.

Friday, January 04, 2008

A nice summary list dated 24 June 1653

One of the documents that I have dates from 24 June 1653 and includes the name, captain, guns, and crew of all the ships in the fleet after the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort (the Battle of the Gabbard). The ships are grouped by admiralty, starting with the Admiralty of Amsterdam. This list actually reflects the fleet before the battle, as it includes ships that were lost. For example, the St. Matteeus is listed. The captain was Cornelis Laurensz, and the ship was armed with 42 guns and had a crew of 155 men. A few ships have some elements omitted. In other cases, the figures are incorrect, such as for the Gorcum, commanded by Capta. Willem Ariensz Warmont. The ship is listed as having 23 guns and a crew of 94 men. I would say that the ship would have carried 30 guns. As the entry for "D'heer Commandeur de Ruijter" might be of interest, the ship was "'t Lam", which had a crew of 168 men and carried 38 guns.

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