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.

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