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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.

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