Google AdSense

Amazon Ad

Monday, November 29, 2004

English Captain: William Brandley

William Brandley served in both the Parliamentarian and Commonwealth navies. From 1646 to 1647, he commanded the Mary galliot. He first appeared as part of the Winter Guard in 1646. From 1647 to 1648, he commanded the Tenth Whelp. He was assigned to the Winter Guard in 1647 and the Summer and Winter Guard in 1648. In 1649, he commanded the Dutch prize Satisfaction. In May, he was ordered to sail to the Sussex coast, to provide protection to fishing in that area. In 1650, he commanded the 4th Rate Phoenix. From 1651 to 1652, he commanded the 4th Rate Portsmouth (36 guns). He fought at Dover on May 29, 1652 (New Style). He was with Robert Blake's squadron in Rye Bay, before the battle. On September 28, 1652, he fought at the Battle of the Kentish Knock. The Portsmouth carried 38 guns, by then. In 1653, he commanded the 3rd Rate Essex (46 guns and a crew of 250 men) at the Battle of the Gabbard and at Scheveningen. At the Gabbard, William Brandley was Robert Blake's flag captain in the Essex, where she carried 48 guns. The Essex was Blake's flagship for his squadron which joined late in the battle. Sources:
  1. R.C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. C.T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.V, 1912.
  3. C.T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.VI, 1930.
  4. J.R. Powell, ed., The Letters of Robert Blake, 1937.
  5. J.R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

Some notes from Andrew

Andrew notes that Walter Wood commanded the Guinea frigate (34 guns, 150 men) in June 1649. He also writes that it is correct that the elder Robert Moulton died in September 1652. He had been a navy commissioner at Portsmouth in 1651. Captain Willoughby was appointed to replace him. If you are not familiar, yet, with the House of Commons journal online, you should investigate what is there. The journal is on the British History Online website.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

English Captain: Walter Wood

Walter Wood served in both the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. From 1650 to 1651, he commanded the Guinea frigate (34 guns). In 1653, he commanded the 4th Rate Centurion, until he was dismissed. He fought at the Battle of Portland, in February 1653. On 30 March 1653, he sailed from Portsmouth with the ships commanded by William Penn. At the Battle of the Gabbard, Walter Wood was in the Lionel Lane's (Vice-Admiral of the White) division. R. C. Anderson notes that he was dismissed, but I have not been able to find the details in The First Dutch War. We only know for certain that by December 1653, Robert Nixon commanded the Centurion. Prior to that, the Centurion had poor masts, was in need of careening, and other repairs. After the Restoration, Walter Wood was employed. He commanded the 3rd Rate Henrietta (58 guns) in Prince Rupert's division at the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665. Walter Wood again commanded the Henrietta at the Four Days' Battle. He was still in Prince Rupert's division. Walter Wood was one of the English captains killed in the battle. A total of 25 captains were killed, wounded, or captured. Sources:
  1. R.C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. C.T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.IV, 1910.
  3. C.T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.V, 1912.
  4. C.T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.VI, 1930.
  5. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

English Captain: John Mildmay

John Mildmay was serving in the Parliamentarian Navy as early as 1643, when he commanded the Revenge (4 guns and a crew of 12 men). From 1644 to 1645, he commanded the Maria pinnace. In the Summer Guard list for 1644, this may be one of the "six small pinnaces with six guns apiece" mentioned, but not named. From later ini 1645 until 1647, he commanded the Kentish, a 6th Rate, said to be a purchased armed merchantman. In 1647, he commanded the Peter and then the Providence. The Peter was a 6th Rate (10 guns and 120 tons) serving in the Western Guard in the summer of 1647. With the Winter Guard, John Mildmay commanded the 4th Rate Providence, which served in the Irish Squadron. During the summer, in 1648, he still commanded the Providence in the Summer Guard. There is a mention that he might have commanded the 6th Rate Roebuck sometime in 1648, as well. During the summer, Robert Nixon commanded the Roebuck. From 1649 until 1652, John Mildmay commanded the 4th Rate Nonsuch. In early May 1649, he took an Irish ship leaving Ostend bound for Ireland with 240 men and three guns. At the Battle of the Kentish Knock, he took a Dutch warship, presumably the Maria (30 guns and a crew of 100 men), commanded by Claes Sael. Michael Baumber says that the prize was Sipke Fockes' ship, which would have been the Sint Maria (28 guns and a crew of 100 men), but we know that she survived at that the only prize was the Maria. Another vessel, the Burgh van Alkmaar, was sunk. From later in 1652 until 1653, he was flag captain on the 2nd Rate Vanguard. At the Battle of Dungeness, John Mildmay distinguished himself while aiding Blake's flagship's escape from the Dutch. In a council of war in December 1652, he was one of the signatories to a letter that asked the Council of State to better man and equip the fleet. At the Battle of Portland in mid-February 1653, John Mildmay distinguished himself as George Monck's flag captain on the Vanguard, but was killed in action. Monck was Admiral of the White at Portland. Sources:
  1. R.C. Anderson, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700, Part I English Ships 1649-1702, 2nd Ed., 1966.
  2. R.C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  3. Michael Baumber, General-At-Sea: Robert Blake and the Seventeenth Century Revolution in Naval Warfare, 1989.
  4. J.C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Battle of Portland: 28 February 1653 to 2 March 1653", 2003.
  5. J.C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Ships 1620-1700", 2004.
  6. J.J. College, Ships of the Royal Navy, 2nd Ed., 1987.
  7. J.R. Powell, ed., The Letters of Robert Blake, 1937.
  8. J.R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

Friday, November 26, 2004

English Captain: John Coppin

John Coppin served in the navy both before and after the Restoration. Andrew points out that John Coppin was born on 24 May 1607. In 1644, he commanded the hired merchantship Elizabeth and Anne. From 1645 to 1649, he commanded the 6th Rate Greyhound. In 1650-1651, he commanded the Amity. From 1651 to 1652, he commanded the Entrance. In 1652, he commanded the 3rd Rate Speaker. He lost a leg, apparently at the Battle of the Kentish Knock, and by the end of the year had to concede that he could serve no longer, until he healed. He was back at sea by 1656, and commanded the Langport (renamed Henrietta at the Restoration) at least until the Restoration. Captain Coppin seems to have not been at the Battle of Lowestoft, but a the Four Days Battle, he commanded the 2nd Rate St. George (66 guns) in the Blue Squadron. In the battle, the St. George had 17 killed and 23 wounded. John Coppin was among those killed. The references used are:
  • R. C. Anderson, A List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660
  • Frank L. Fox, A Distant Storm: The Four Days' Battle of 1666

Back to Privateers Bounty: Battle of the Kentish Knock

I was showing my son Privateers Bounty, running my Battle of the Kentish Knock scenario (which is available at I commanded the English fleet, and had the difficulty set at Medium. At the beginning of the battle, I selected all the English ships, even scattered as they were, and grouped them. then I set the formation to the "custom" formation, where they stay together but in no particular order. Then I steered them with the helm. I took them to the southeast, to gain some searoom. The English are set up to have the weather gauge, but start the battle in poor order. I followed my rule that I never tack, but always wear (except when I lost control because of the helm following the mouse when I moved off of the helm). I sailed back and forth, to the windward, and systematically wrote off the Dutch fleet. By the eveing, the English had 83% of their fleet left, and the last Dutch ship had surrendered (the East Indiaman Prins Willem). This was perhaps the most one-sided battle that I have fought with Privateers Bounty. I can only guess that the factors included the mismatch between the numerous, large English ships and the generally small Dutch ships present. Another important factor is keeping the fleet grouped and only manuevering as a group. While doing that, I kept the Dutch ships from being able to close, until they were worn down badly. I only closed with the Dutch to finish off stragglers. The third English squadron never was able to close until I was able to sail more to the northwest, across the remnants of the Dutch fleet, before I wore the fleet and sailed back to the southeast.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Dutch and English captains postings

On my agenda is collecting my posting about Dutch and English captains and admirals from here, and Anglo-Dutch Wars blog, and having them added to, where I already have my previous entries. I have a working document for Dutch captains in the period of 1628-1700 that will some day be published. I believe that it is on the order of 84 pages, as it currently stands. What is there right now is more in the nature of notes rather than paraphrased text, unlike what I have posted. Certainly, J.C. Mollema's "Honor Roll" is the basis of some of what I have written (my translation and editing of what he wrote). I seem to have access to more than Mollema used, so I have been able to expand and to supplement what he wrote. He also omitted many captains that I have covered. He omitted more than he included, I would guess. He also seems to have relied heavily on Brandt's biography of De Ruyter: Het Leven en Bedryf van den Heere Michiel De Ruiter.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Dutch Captain: Cornelis Tijloos

Cornelis Tijloos lived from about 1650 to 1680. Like many in the 17th Century, his life was short. Usually, that was due to disease, although it is unclear in his case. Brandt first mentions Captain Tijloos in the May 1672 list. We know that he participated in the Battle of Solebay, where his ship had one man killed and one severely wounded. He next appears in May 1673, now in command of the Geloof (56 guns and a crew of 229 sailors and 51 soldiers), prior to the Schooneveld battles. He also fought in the Battle of the Texel in August 1673, still commanding the Geloof (now with a crew of 209 sailors and 20 soldiers). In July 1675, he commanded the Wakende Boei (46 guns and a crew of 200 men), in De Ruyter's fleet, headed for the Mediterranean Sea. He is next mentioned on 6 September 1675 under the command of Jacob Teding Berkhout and with a snauw and fireship. In January 1676, he was in Vice-Admiral De Haan's squadron. On 22April 1676, he was again in Vice-Admiral De Haan's squadron at Etna, where De Ruyter was mortally wounded. Gerard Callenburgh was De Ruyter's flag captain on the Eendracht (76 guns), and he temporarily assumed command. On 28 May 1676, Cornelis Tijloos was in Vice-Admiral Callenburgh's squadron near Palermo. Now Lt.-Admiral De Haan had secured Callenburgh the rank of temporary Vice-Admiral. On 1 June, in a battle at Palermo, De Haan was killed and Gerard Callenburgh again temporarily assumed command of the fleet, now with only 14 ships. I have no reference to Cornelis Tijloos after the 28 May date.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

English captains killed at Scheveningen

Having just written about Owen Cox, and the mistaken report of his death at Scheveningen, we shall turn to the known list of captains who are known to have been killed in the battle. The only source that I have that has specifics is The First Dutch War, Vol.V. Page 173 lists the English casualties. That source estimates the total casualties, killed and wounded in the battle, were somewhere between 1,000 and 1,200. That seems low, as the total wounded seems to have been around 1,200. The number of those killed seems to have been around 600. Of the captains and admirals, 8 were killed at either the Gabbard or at Scheveningen. They include William Graves, Rear-Admiral of the White, in the Andrew (60 guns) (at Scheveningen); Edmund Chapman, captain of the Golden Cock (36 guns) (at Scheveningen); John Taylor, captain of the William (the least well-known of the two John Taylors who commanded ships) (at Scheveningen); James Peacock, Vice-Admiral of the Red, in the Triumph (60 guns) (at Scheveningen); Thomas Salmon, captain of the Gift (34 guns) (Scheveningen); William Newman, captain of the Mayflower (34 guns) (Scheveningen); Roger Crispe, said to be captain of the Prosperous (42 guns) (Scheveningen), but R.C. Anderson omits him from his list of captains (The First Dutch War seems to support this name, however); and John Vesey, captain of the Martin (14 guns) (killed in an action against Dutch frigates on 19 June, near Vlieland. This list of captains comes from the House of Commons Journal, Volume 7, October 28, 1653.

Friday, November 19, 2004

What R. C. Anderson said about Owen Cox

R. C. Anderson's article "The First Dutch War in the Mediterranean" tells more details about Owen Cox. First, the reason that the Duke of Tuscany was angry at the English was that Henry Appleton, the squadron commander, had allowed Cox to take a small French merchant ship quite close to Livorno. Cox had been sent to Genoa to careen the Constant Warwick, and when he arrived back, Appleton dispatched him to watch Van Galen. Appleton feared that Van Galen would intercept Richard Badiley's squadron and defeat him. This was a prelude to the Battle of Monte Cristo, which the English lost. Prior to the battle, the Dutch had seen Cox, in the Constant Warwick, scouting ahead of Appleton's squadron. Cox acquitted himself well in the battle, and was praised by Badiley. It was at Monte Cristo that the Phoenix was captured by the Dutch. After the battle, Cox was temporarily given command of the Bonaventure, after her captain had died. Cox wanted to retake the Phoenix, but Appleton would not allow him to try. Badiley approved of the attack, and on a day when Cornelis Tromp was hosting a party on board the Phoenix, the English struck in an attack with armed men three boats. They succeeded in taking the Phoenix, and Cornelis Tromp, after resisting, escaped by jumping through a stern window. The Phoenix, under Cox's command, arrived in Naples on November 30th, 1652 (Old Style). On January 24th, 1653, Cox in the Phoenix, in company with the Harry Bonaventure, fought an action against two Dutch warships convoying 4 merchantmen. The Phoenix was heavily damaged, and Cox had to take time to make repairs. When Appleton's squadron eventually left Livorno on March 4, 1653 (Old Style), a battle was fought between the two fleets. Appleton was defeated and Badiley never seriously closed with the Dutch. In the fighting, Van Galen was fatally wounded. Cox was present in the Phoenix, as part of Badiley's squadron. The English were ordered to withdraw from the Mediterranean, and arrived back in the England in time for the three surviving frigates to fight in the Battle of Scheveningen. Possibly, the reason that Badiley's Paragon did not take part was that the crew was mutinous.

More about Owen Cox, English captain

Although Owen Cox was reported to have been killed at Scheveningen, as reported by Whitelock in his Memorials, that was incorrect. Page 373 of The First Dutch War, Vol.V, has the letter saying he was killed. The note on Page 390 corrects the record. Pages 95 and 96 of R. C. Anderson's book Naval Wars in the Baltic apparently notes the continued career of Owen Cox. A squadron was sent out from Landskrona on July 6th, 1659, under the command of "Major Coxe" to the Little Belt, arriving on the 20th. The Swedes defeated the combined Danish-Dutch squadron. This was where the Dutch Monnikendam (32 guns) was lost. After the battle, Coxe burnt 30 tranports at Aarhuus.

English Captain: Owen Cox

Owen Cox was an energetic and competent captain who served the navy of Cromwell. From 1645 to 1646, he commanded the Royalist. From 1648 to 1650, he commanded the Phoenix. From 1648 to 1650, he commanded the Recovery (28 guns). Then from 1651 to 1652, he commanded the Constant Warwick (32 guns). He operated in the Mediterranean until the English were beaten and driven from the Mediterranean Sea after the Battle of Livorno (14 March 1653). During 1652-1653, the biggest diplomatic issue for both the Dutch and English was relations with the neutral Duchy of Tuscany, as Livorno was Tuscan. The Constant Warwick was in Henry Appleton’s squadron. Cox had created a diplomatic incident by taking a French ship outside the port. The Duke of Tuscany objected, and commanded that the French ship be released. When the Constant Warwick left for Genoa to careen, only two ships were left in the port under Appleton’s command (the Leopard was Appleton’s flagship).

Owen Cox was temporarily in command of the Bonaventure (44 guns) for a short period. During the Battle of Monte Christo (or Elba), the frigate Phoenix ended up in Dutch hands, after some peculiar circumstances. After the Phoenix was recovered from the Dutch, he commanded her until his death at the Battle of Scheveningen, in August 1653. The recapture of the Phoenix created another diplomatic problem, as they took her in Livorno by a boat attack. Cox's death at Scheveningen terminated a promising career, which might have continued after the Restoration. There is some indication that this is wrong and that he was an officer in the Swedish navy during 1658-1659, but I am not able to verify this.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Dutch Captain: Jacob Teding van Berkhout

Jacob Teding van Berkhout served the Admiralty of Amsterdam. We first know of him in 1671, when he commanded the Harderwijk (44 guns and a crew of 180 sailors and 40 soldiers) in Lt.-Admiral Van Ghent's squadron with the fleet. By May of 1672, he commanded the Akerboom (60 guns and a crew of 230 sailors and 50 soldiers), again in Van Ghent's squadron. He commanded the Akerboom at least through the Schooneveld battles in 1673. From analysis, it is apparent that he was the Battle of the Texel in August 1673, not Adriaan Teding van Berkhout, who served the Noorderkwartier. The next time he is mentioned in "Brandt", he was in command of the Oosterwijk (60 guns and a crew of 270 men), in July 1675. He was under the command of De Ruyter, destined for the Mediterranean Sea. In January 1676, Captain Teding van Berkhout was assigned to the Third Squadron, under Schout-bij-Nacht Nicolaes Verschuur. He was also present on 22 April 1676, with the fleet, at Etna. On 28 May 1676, he was under Vice-Admiral Callenburgh at Palermo. "Brandt" is useless, after De Ruyter was killed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

What we need

What we need are some high-quality 3D models of ships from the Anglo-Dutch Wars for use in games and illustrations. How cool would it be to have a model of the Brederode? The main issue is the effort involved, as well as having an appropriate tool. Since there is a paucity of van de Velde drawings for the First Anglo-Dutch War, it will be harder to give really accurate drawings, but we have some generic ships from some of the panoramic battle scenes, such as Livorno and Scheveningen. I'm seriously considering using Rhino 3D, as I have had a recommendation that it is good and really impressive models have been done with it, and academic licenses for it are more reasonable than those for 3D Studio Max, although 3DS Max is the top of the line tool.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Dutch Captain: Pieter Corneliszoon de Sitter

Pieter Corneliszoon de Sitter served the Admiralty of Amsterdam. He first appears in Brandt's biography of De Ruyter in May 1667. He commanded the Amsterdam ship Jaarsveld (46 guns and a crew of 175 sailors and 30 soldiers). He was assigned to De Ruyter's squadron in the fleet. In June 1667, he was in the Thames, near Rochester, under Vice-Admiral Star. On 15 July 1667, he was in Lt.-Admiral van Nes's squadron. By May 1672, Captain de Sitter commanded the Agatha (50 guns). He was assigned to De Ruyter's squadron. He was at the Battle of Solebay, and his ship suffered 13 killed, 17 severely wounded, and 18 lightly wounded. He was also present for the Schooneveld battles in 1673, in the Van squadron under Banckert. At Schooneveld, the Agatha had a crew of 198 sailors and 47 soldiers. In August 1673, he was in Cornelis Tromp's squadron at the Battle of the Texel. In that battle, the Agatha had a crew of 180 sailors and 23 soldiers. In June 1674, Captain de Sitter commanded the Beschermer (50 guns and a crew of 188 sailors and 91 soldiers) on the expedition to Martinique. In July 1675, he was with De Ruyter, bound for the Mediterranean Sea. Captain de Bitter commanded the Zuiderhuis (46 guns and a crew of about 200 men). He was there for the battles in 1676, but I do not know his fate. He may have been killed at Palermo on 2 June 1676 (Andrew thinks that this may be the case). In any case, he died sometime in 1676. Many of the captains in De Ruyter's fleet were killed, as things went very badly for them, especially after De Ruyter's death.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Joost Bulter and the Friese ship Kameel

The only thing about Joost Bulter and his ship that I am certain is that his ship was sunk at the Battle of the Gabbard and he drowned. As for the rest, there are varying degrees of uncertainty. The First Dutch War narrative seems to indicate that his ship is the "Town and County" (Stad en Lande). More likely, his ship was a Directors ship funded by Groningen (sometimes referred to as the Stad en Lande). We know that one of the 50 Directors ships was provided by Groningen. This would seem to be the ship. The ship in question is called the Kameel in several places, including by Dr. Elias in "Schetsen". In describing the Dutch losses at the Battle of the Gabbard, he says that the Kameel was a Friesland Admiralty ship. Another source, the handwritten document of "Ships at Vlissingen" from July 1653, also indicates that the ship was a Friesland Admiralty ship. Finally, "De Sneuper" says that the Kameel was a Groningen Directors ship ("directieschip"). She took five shots below the waterline and sank. The Kameel had been a new ship with 42 guns.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Dutch Captain: Jan Davidszoon Bondt

This is based on my translation of the entry in Mollema's "Honor Roll" supplemented by other material:

Jan Davidszoon Bondt lived until 5 February 1677. He served the Admiralty of Amsterdam. In 1665, he was a volunteer under De Ruyter. In 1666, he commanded the Klein Harder (34 guns) in the Four Days and St. James's Day Battles. Afterwards, he became a fireship commander. In 1667, he was commander of 5 frigates taken by 11 English ships. In 1672/1673, He commanded the Stad Utrecht (66 guns) at Solebay, Schooneveld, and the Battle of the Texel. In 1675, he served under Benckes in the Sound. In 1676, he captured several Dunkirkers and the served under Benckes in the West Indies (Tabago). Because he left Tabago without authorization in 1676, he was beheaded in Amsterdam in February 1677.

Friday, November 12, 2004

I need to work more on getting a better translation from Brandt about Willem van Bergen

I'm not content with my quick translation, this morning, of passages from "Brandt" about Willem van Bergen. I have a couple of new "weapons" to deploy in the battle. They are the World Lingo online text translator and the Logos Multi-lingual E-Translation Portal. Part of the problem is the archaic Dutch and spellings used in "Brandt", which all the modern translation software won't help.

Dutch Captain: Willem van Bergen

All that I know about the Dutch captain Willem van Bergen is from Brandt's biography of De Ruyter (published in 1687). In August 1665, he commanded the small frigate Popkensburg (22 guns and a crew of 110 men). In September, the Wapen van Leiden, commanded by Barent Hals, and the Popkensburg were roaming, away from the fleet at Texel. Earlier, in June 1657, Willem van Bergen was said to have been found by the French at Livorno (Leghorn). In July, De Ruyter boarded his ship and spoke with him.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Zeekalf in 1636-1637

Dr. Graefe says that the Zeekalf carried 4-brass and 24 iron guns in 1636. I'm sure that she is the same ship that Cornelis Engelen Silvergieter had commanded in 1628-1629. Dr. Graefe gives her size as 200 lasts, but the earlier listing gave her size as 170 lasts. She is listed as having been built in 1622, which is almost the same as the "Staet van Oorlog te Water" for 1628 and 1629 gave as her build date (1623). In 1636, her crew was 90 sailors and 20 soldiers. Her captain was Sybert Vijgh.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Dutch Captain: Michiel Franszoon van den Bergh

Captain Michiel Franszoon van den Bergh served the Admiralty of Rotterdam. In early 1652, he commanded the Rotterdam ship Gelderland (40 guns) in the Mediterranean Sea. He spent most of the First Anglo-Dutch War in the Mediterranean Sea, but did not participate in the big battles. His ship had been built in 1634 and was one of the ships that were 250 lasts. The dimensions in Amsterdam feet were about 128.5ft x 30.5ft x 13.5ft. I say "about", as these are converted from Maas feet. His ship had been commissioned in 1651, apparently as one of the 36 cruisers that were activated in preparation for possible war with England. Captain van den Bergh returned from the Mediterranean with ships commanded by Cornelis Tromp in early November 1653. In 1656, he took part in the operation to blockade Danzig, under the command of Lt.-Admiral van Wassenaer. In this operation, Captain van den Bergh commanded the fairly new ship Prins Maurits (built in 1653). This ship was about 300 lasts (134ft x 33ft x 13.5ft) and carried 42 guns.

Cornelis Engelen Silvergieter at the Battle of the Downs in 1639

At the Battle of the Downs, Cornelis Engelen Silvergieter was in Tromp's squadron, destined to attack Don Antonio Oquendo's squadron. He had been with the fleet during the campaign. Tromp's journal refers to him as "Cornelis Engelen", but it is clearly Cornelis Engelen Silvergieter. The earliest date that I have seen a reference to him is April 1628, when he was convoying merchantmen off the coast of France (Dr. Graefe, De Kapiteinsjaren van Maerten Harpertszoon Tromp, p.32). We know from other sources that his ship was the Zeekalf (23 guns).

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

What happened to the Maecht van Dordrecht?

I have been curious as to the fate of Witte de With's great flagship, the Maecht van Dordrecht. During the campaign that lead to the Battle of the Downs, the Maecht van Dordrecht carried 42 guns and had a crew of 140 men. I am actually surprised at such a small crew, as I believe that the ship's dimensions were 132ft x 32ft (in 308mm Maas feet). If the ship were that size in Amsterdam feet, the crew would make sense. However, thanks to De Jonge, we know that she carried a heavy armament rivaling that carried by Tromp's Aemilia. We also know that Witte de With's flagship from 1645 until he returned from Brazil was the Brederode. By 1645, he no longer used the Maecht van Dordrecht as his flagship. The ship had been built for him and was in service by about 1636. Dr. Elias' book De Vlootbouw in Nederland has the details. An appendix to Vol.I of Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, as I have written previously, the armament was 10-24pdr, 14-18pdr, 16-12pdr, and 6-6pdr. She had a complete lower tier of 24pdr and 18pdr guns. For now, her fate is a mystery to me, but I would interested to know what it was.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Dutch Captain: Leendert Haecxwant

Captain Leendert Haexwant's last name is spelled differently in many places. J.C. Mollema spells it "Haecxwant". Hendrick De Raedt's pamphlet from 1652 spells his name as "Haickwandt". I have also seen it spelled as "Haagswant", as the "Staet van Oorlog te water" for 1654 lists his name. In any case, he lived until August 1678. He served the Admiralty of Rotterdam (the Maze). He was a captain as early as 1628 and a Schout-bij-Nacht in 1664.

Mollema has a substantial paragraph about Leendert Haexwant, which I have augmented. In 1627, Leendert Haexwant served as a lieutenant against the Dunkirkers. In 1628, he was a convoy commander. We know that in 1629, he commanded the Vergulden Arent (20 guns and a crew of 75 men). The Vergulden Arent was a ship of 120 lasts. I estimate that a ship of 120 lasts would have dimensions approximately 102ft x 25ft x 9ft-4in. In 1636, he fought against the Dunkirkers. In 1643, he captured two Dunkirkers. we know that he participated in Tromp's expedition to the Shetlands in July and August 1652. During the First Anglo-Dutch War, he commanded the small Rotterdam frigate Utrecht (22 guns and a crew of 90 men). In 1652, he served under Tromp in the Battle of Dungeness, and then was a convoy commander. In 1656, he commanded the Utrecht (42 guns and a crew of 155 men) under Van Wassenaer in the Sound. In 1658, he commanded the Hollandia (64 guns) under Van Wassenaer in the Sound. In 1664, he served under De Ruyter in the Mediterranean Sea and the West Indies as a Schout-bij-Nacht. He commanded the Rotterdam (34 guns and a crew of 123 men). 1665, he asked to leave the service due to illness and his age.

Friday, November 05, 2004

The Four Days Battle and Privateers Bounty

The Four Days Battle is a natural candidate for simulation in Privateers Bounty. The main reason is that we have good OOB's and pretty complete specifications for the ships (except for the English hired ships and Friesland warship armaments). Obviously, the OOB's would need to be scaled to fit into what can be done in Privateers Bounty. The main problems are that the fleets would be unlikely to last for four days, if the solo player were at all aggressive. The other issue would be how to have Prince Rupert's squadron arrive on the fourth day. My theory is that we could expand the playing field to an extreme size and place Prince Rupert's squadron in a far corner. The wind has to be strong to emulate the real situation, so that is likely to hasten Prince Rupert's arrival on the scene.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Blake's squadron at the Gabbard

The Letters of Robert Blake, on page 216, has the list of ships that were in Blake's squadron at the Battle of the Gabbard. They arrived late and provided a convenient reinforcement that turned the battle into a rout:
  • Essex, 48 guns
  • Hampshire, 40 guns
  • William (M), 40 guns (est.)
  • Eagle (M), 22 guns (est.)
  • Culpepper (M), 30 guns
  • Phoenix (M), 34 guns
  • Stork (D), 36 guns
  • Hopeful Luke (M), 34 guns
  • Employment (M), 34 guns (est.)
  • Prosperous (M), 42 guns
  • John and Abigail (M), 32 guns (est.)
  • Swan, 22 guns
  • Tenth Whelp, 20 guns


  • (M) = Hired merchantman
  • (D) = Dutch prize
  • (est.)=estimate

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

De Ruyter's fleet in 1676

This is Lt-Admiral Michiel De Ruyter's fleet, circa 22 April1676:

First Squadron:

  • Spiegel, 70 guns Gilles Schey Amsterdam
  • Groenwijf, 36 guns Jan Noirot Amsterdam
  • Leiden, 36 guns Jan van Abkoude
  • Leeuwen, 50 guns Frans Willem, Graaf van Stierum
  • Eendracht, 76 guns Lt-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter Rotterdam
  • Stad en Lande, 54 guns Joris Andringa Amsterdam
  • Zuiderhuis, 46 guns Pieter Corneliszoon de Sitter Amsterdam
  • Damiaten, 34 guns Isaak Uitterwijk Amsterdam
  • Oosterwijk, 60 guns Jacob Teding van Berkhout Amsterdam
  • Tonijn snauw, 8 guns Philips Melkenbeeke Amsterdam
  • Kreest snauw, 8 guns Wijbrant Barentszoon Amsterdam
  • Ter Goes snauw, 8 guns Abraham Wilmerdonk Zeeland
  • Salm fireship, 4 guns Jan van Kampen
  • Melkmeijse fireship, 4 guns Arent Ruyghaver
  • Zwarte Tas supply ship, 4 guns Jacob Stadtlander

Second Squadron:

  • Steenbergen, 68 guns Schout-bij-Nacht Pieter van Middelland Amsterdam
  • Wakende Boei, 46 guns Cornelis Tijloos Amsterdam
  • Edam, 34 guns Cornelis van der Zaan Amsterdam
  • Kraanvogel, 46 guns Jacob Willemszoon Broeder Amsterdam
  • Gouda, 76 guns Vice-Admiral Jan de Haan
  • Provincie van Utrecht, 60 guns Jan de Jong Amsterdam
  • Vrijheid, 50 guns Adam van Brederode Amsterdam
  • Harderwijk, 46 guns Mattheeus Megank Amsterdam
  • Prinsen Wapen snauw, 8 guns Hendrik Wallop Amsterdam
  • Rouaan snauw, 8 guns Willem Knijf Rotterdam
  • Roos snauw, 8 guns Juriaan Baak Amsterdam
  • Sint Salvador fireship, 6 guns Jan Janszoon Bout
  • Jakob en Anna fireship, 4 guns Dirk Klaaszoon Harney
  • supply ship Adriaan van Esch

Monday, November 01, 2004

The English 3rd Rate Antelope built in 1651

The English 3rd Rate Antelope, built in 1651 at Woolwich, has interested me for a long time. She was big: 828 tons burden. Her dimensions were 120ft x 36ft x 16ft. I estimate her length on the gundeck to have been 150ft. The Commonwealth 3rd Rates had more rake than the 4th Rates. We really know very little about her. We think that she carried 56 guns in 1652, before she was wrecked in a storm off of Denmark. I would guess that she carried demi-cannons (32pdr) on her lower tier. I believe that she was big enough to have had an upper tier of culverins (18pdr). I would guess that she had demi-culverins for the rest (on her quarterdeck). There is a possibility that she had mixed guns on each tier, with only a partial set of demi-cannon on the lower tier, with the rest being culverins and only a partial tier of culverins on the upper tier, with the balance being demi-culverins. We lack good information from this period from the published sources. Frank Fox says that the records probably exist. The problem is that the records are in a jumble, and no one has been ready to take the time to find them. Certainly, there is no funding for such an effort.

Amazon Context Links