Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Dutch captains: Adriaan Janszoon den Oven and Abel Roelants ("Vader Abel")

During 1652, Adriaan Janszoon den Oven commanded the Zeeland yacht, Gloeyenden Oven (14 guns). He was also called Adriaan Janszoon den Gloeyenden Oven. Possibly, the yacht named after him, as maybe it was hired from him, with him as captain in 1652.

By the end of 1652, another captain had taken command of the yacht. Captain den Oven commanded the Zeeland ship Neptunus (28 guns) at the Battle of the Gabbard, where the ship was lost to the English. That is why he was absent from Scheveningen. The yacht, the Gloeyenden Oven was serving as a fireship at the Gabbard, and was captured by the English and taken to the Thames.

Captain den Oven had been made a captain in 1636. He fought under Evertsen against the Dunkirk admiral Collaert in 1636. In 1637-1639, he distinguished himself against the Dunkirkers and at the Battle of the Downs. In 1643, he was in the blockade service in front of Dunkirk. In 1645-1646, he fought against the Dunkirkers.

As for Abel Roelants, he definitely served the Admiralty of Rotterdam. It seems that he took command of Witte de With's old flagship, the Prinses Louise (36 guns) in early May 1653. There is a note that in late 1652, the Prinses Louise carried as many as 46 guns. I really would like to find the documents that are mentioned in the note, as they would seem to be of great interest: List of ships of the Admiralty of Rotterdam near the letters of this admiralty, and "Hare Hoog Mogenden, of 27 September and 18 November 1652).

Apparently, Abel Roelants was a division commander (Rear-Admiral) in Egbert Meeuwsen Kortenaer's squadron in October 1653 (one of 16 ships). The other division commander was Gideon de Wildt, who as Vice-Admiral in Kortenaer's squadron. Kortenaer flew his flag on the Brederode. I imagine that Gideon de Wildt was still using the Amsterdam ship Vrede (44 guns) as his flagship and Abel Roelants was probably still using the Prinses Louise. I don't have any information about Abel Roelants, after 1653.

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