Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dutch warship inventories

There must be a way to exploit the inventories for Dutch warships. The largest number date from around 23 June 1653, after the Battle of the Gabbard. A typical report after a battle in the Seventeenth Century included an inventory for each ship. The inventories from 1638 and 1640 just seem to have been made as part of normal reporting. The best inventories are in great detail and might include a gun inventory with the weight of each piece. Some inventories were very shot and were only made to satisfy the requirement, although not what was wanted. Leendert Haexwant's inventory for the Overijssel from 23 June 1653 was neatly written and very complete, although it did not give the ship's dimensions or the gun weights. The next inventory in my photograph collection is for the Brederode and was signed by Maerten Harpertszoon Tromp, the fleet commander. I was just looking again at inventories this morning, and they are very much on my mind.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dutch warship inventories 1640-1653

I have been wondering how researchers might exploit the Dutch warship inventories that still exist. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had inventories for ships back to 1640. For example, I have the inventories for the Friesland ship Breda and the Amsterdam ship Deventer dating from 1640. There are a group of inventories dating from 1652 and from 1653. Many of the inventories for 1652 were made when ships were hired for the Admiralty of Amsterdam. There are some of those from 1653, as well, such as for the Pelikaan and the Gulden Reael. A large group of inventories exists dating from 23 June 1653 that were made for the ships that lay off Vlissingen following the Battle of the Gabbard on 12 and 13 June 1653. A variant type of inventory includes just the guns carried, but gives the weights of the pieces. The earliest of that sort that I have date from 1613 and are for Rotterdam ships, such as Lambert Hendrickszoon's ship Leeuw. The best of the inventories are very detailed and give information such as the weights of anchors, the weights of stores, and other things that might be of interest to a specialist historian. Much of this information is stored at the Nationaal Archief in The Hague, but there are ship inventories in the notary papers found by Dr. Hart at the Municipal Archive in Amsterdam.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Staat van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654

A very small number of lists that give the state of the Dutch navy for a year have survived to modern times. The complete, formal lists include the years 1628, 1629, 1631, 1633, and 1654. There are a collection of documents for 1655 that amount to an additional list. An oddity for the year 1654 is that there are multiple versions of the list. They differ in the amount of content. Two of the lists are dated 7 July 1654 and 17 July 1654. I am currently using the 7 July 1654 in my work. The 1654 lists are often treated as the definitive word on ship dimensions, but they actually are inferior, in many ways, to documents from 1652 and 1653. The various lists can all be found at the Nationaal Archief in The Hague.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Guns on the Zeeuwsche Leeuw in 1652 and 1653

The Zeeland ship Zeeuwsche Leeuw was Cornelis Evertsen's ship during the First Anglo-Dutch War, until the Zeeuwsche Leeuw was sunk at the Battle of Scheveningen. I have seen this ship incorrectly called the Wapen van Zeeland. We have three guns lists for the ship in 1652 and 1653. We have one list dated 6 December 1652, from the Collectie Johan de Witt. I believe that the inventory number was 2774h: 2-bronze 24pdr, 5-bronze 12pdr, 6-iron 12pdr, 4-bronze 6pdr, 6-iron 6pdr, and 4-iron 4pdr. We also have a list that shows the guns on 27 March 1653, shortly after the Battle of Portland or the Three Days Battle. This is from the Lias Admiraliteiten Inv.Nr.5554. The last gun list is dated 23 June 1653, shortly after the Battle of the Gabbard. This is from the Sekrete Loketkas 12561-126: 2-bronze 24pdr, 6-bronze 12pdr, 6-iron 12pdr, 2-bronze 6pdr, 4-iron 6pdr, 2-bronze 4pdr, 4-iron 4pdr, and 2-bronze 3pdr guns. The March 1653 document includes gun weights and an inventory.

Zealand ship documents

Ron van Maanen had pointed out interesting documents from the Zeeland archives with ship specifications. Benoit Strubbe, who has a Master's Thesis about Zeeland ships was able to find the documents and photograph them for me. I thought that there could be some benefit in having the original documents, if only for posterity. For example, there is a document about the galleas Zeeuwsche Leeuw built at Veere in 1637. The captain from early on was Cornelis Evertsen de Oude. He must have commanded the ship at the Battle of the Downs. There were many ships built around this time that were 116 feet long (Amsterdam feet). The Zeeuwsche Leeuw was 116ft x 27ft x 11ft x 7ft. Another document says that the first captain was Pieter Adriaenszoon Ita originally. He was succeeded in command by Cornelis Evertsen.

Friday, January 25, 2013

I am grateful that Teemu Koivumaki still has his Sailing Warships website

I have been a past contributor to Teemu Koivumaki's Sailing Warships website. I had lost touch with the correct URL, but now have it again.

The frigate Middelburg, with 28 guns, in 1665

Has anyone know anything about a small frigate Middelburg that was mentioned along with the frigate Leiderdorp in 1665? The Middelburg and Leiderdorp seem to have been similar ships, both carrying 28 guns and having crews of 120 men. They both were used by the Admiralty of Amsterdam. There was another, larger ship named Middelburg that was also used by the Admiralty of Amsterdam. This was a ship probably built in 1659 and was the ship commanded by Willem van der Zaan in 1661 when he captured a Turkish pirate ship. The ship Middelburg, built in about 1659, was the ship burnt at Tobago in 1677.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Noorderkwartier ship Westfriesland

I was surprised to find that I had good information that I didn't realized that I had about the Noorderkwartier ship Westfriesland. The Westfriesland was 8 years old on 26 February 1674, so the ship was built in 1666. The dimensions were: 160ft x 40ft x 14-1/2ft x 7-3/4ft. I also have the gun list dating from 16 May 1673: 6-bronze 36pdr, 2-bronze 18pdr, 18-iron 18pdr, 28-iron 12pdr, 6-bronze 6pdr, and 22-iron 6pdr. The crew on 16 May 1673 was 324 men. The captain was Jan Heck, who had commanded the old Eenhoorn during the First Anglo-Dutch War. My sources were a photograph of a document from the Nationaal Archief and a list of ship from Carl Stapel that he had sent me in 2007. By the way, I have a new Kindle book available: "Arming the Dutch Navy in the First Anglo-Dutch War". This is the link to download the book:

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