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.

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