Sunday, May 31, 2009


On page 750 of Volume I of Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen has two pieces of information about steenstukken ("stone guns"), which Jan Glete says are swivel guns. Page 750 lists the guns of a 36-gun ship. They include eight 3pdr steenstukken. In the table of guns, De Jonge lists a 4pdr steenstukken. I am currently using the 3pdr figure for my broadside weight calculations. I believe that I have the document that is behind this page from the Nationaal Archief in The Hague.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Dutch ship Deventer

The Amsterdam ship Deventer too part in the campaign leading up to the Battle of the Downs in 1639. The Deventer and the larger of the two ships named Zutphen were both nominally 250 lasts. The Deventer was said to have carried 32 guns in 1636 and had a crew of 100 sailors and 20 soldiers. My guess is that the Deventer had similar dimensions to the Zutphen, which by my calculations was 240 lasts, rather than the nominal figure of 250 lasts.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Rotterdam boeier Bonte Craij

The handwriting seems ambiguous. The "ij" could be an ""n", so that instead of Bonte Craij, it could be Bonte Cran. I am going with Ron van Maanen's reading, though, of Bonte Craij. This is from the Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1629. I have the Staets for 1628, 1629, 1631, 1633, and 1654. I have been making a spreadsheet where I estimate missing information. The Rotterdam boeier Bonte Craij was built in 1615 and was still in service in 1629. The Bonte Craij was a vessel of 28 lasts. My estimated dimensions are 56ft x 16ft x 6.5ft. The handwritten page does not specify the shot weight, but I would estimate the six guns were 4 pounders. There were also 12-steenstukken, which Jan Glete says were a sort of swivel gun. The crew consisted of 30 sailors. This link is to a photograph of a boeier.

Monday, May 11, 2009

More about the Agatha

A reader reminded me that the Zeeland ship Agatha, hired from the Hoorn Chamber of the VOC about 1665, later was sold to Denmark in 1666. The Agatha was renamed Faero in the Danish service. We know the dimensions, in Danish feet, for the Faero, so we can calculate the Dutch dimensions. We write the name in English as Faero, but the Danish name could be written as Farø. The dimenensions in Amsterdam feet are calculated as 132ft x 30ft x 13-1/2ft. I estimate that the deck height would be 7ft. This is a larger ship than I would have guessed. The typewritten page in Danish says that the ship was built in 1653.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The ship Agatha in 1665

The Admiralty of Zeeland hired the ship Agatha from the Hoorn Chamber of the VOC for service in the war, probably in 1665. The Agatha was classed as a jacht by the VOC. We know the guns carried by the Agatha but not the dimensions. My guess would be that the Agatha was probably about 120ft x 29ft x 11ft. The Agatha only had 4-12pdr, with the other 28 guns being smaller.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Speculation about the "Kameel"

Kameel was the name that was noted on at least one picture drawn by Willem van de Velde de Oude for Joost Bulter's ship in 1653. From actual documents, we know that his ship was actually named Stad Groningen en Ommelanden. This was a purchased ship, bought by Groningen for service with the Admiralty of Friesland. I have wondered if Kameel was the original name of the ship, prior to being purchased, and that the picture on the tafferel remained the picture of the Camel, even though the ship had been renamed Stad Groningen en Ommelanden. That is just my latest theory to try and explain why the name Kameel appeared on the drawing and in the published literature as the name of Joost Bulter's ship.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

155ft is a plausible length for the Vogestruis

The ship Vogelstruis, which played an important part in battles in the First Anglo-Dutch War from August 1652 up to the Three Days Battle in early 1653, had an English-measured keel length of 116ft. If you use my rule of thumb of multiplying that by 1.33, you get 154.2 ft in Amsterdam feet for the length from stem to sternpost. The VOC ship Vrede had a length of 155ft. I have wondered if the two ships, Vrede and Vogelstruis, might have been built to the same dimensions.

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