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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Dutch Naval Officer: Jan Gerrit van Wassenaer

Luc Eekhout has only a very small entry for Jan Gerrit van Wassenaer. In his other lists we find that he was a Luitenant-Admiraal of the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier and West-Friesland from 1709 to 1711. From 1711 until 1723, he was Luitenant-Admiraal for the Admiralty of Amsterdam. He lived from 1672 to 1723. There is a painting of Jan Gerrit as a child on a page about "Tentoonstelling Duivenvoorde". There is also a listing of his appointments on a page of "W" names. Carl Stapel pointed out De Jonge, so I went there for information. The topic originally had come up due to a communication from LCOL Bruce Adams, MC, USA, as he has a medical paper on the subject. In 1682, Jan Gerrit was appointed as midshipman or naval cadet at the Admiralty of Amsterdam. In 1686, he was a luitenant. From 1688 to 1690, he was flag captain of Philips van Almonde. He fought in the Battle of Beachy Head in 1690. The Koning-Stadthouder Willem III appointed him as extra-ordinaris kapitein in 1690. In 1692, he fought in the Battle of La Hougue. When Lodewijk Graaf van Nassau died, Jan Gerrit was promoted to Schout-bij-Nacht for the Admiralty of Amsterdam. He became the squadron commander in the Channel. In 1702 he fought at Cadiz and Vigo Bay. He seems to have been wounded at the former battle. In 1704, he was at the capture of Gibraltar by Rooke. He also fought in the Battle of Malaga. Later in 1704, he was promoted to Vice-Admiraal of Amsterdam, seemingly through political influence. In 1705, his flagship was the Unie (92 guns), and he was present at the capture of Barcelona. In 1706, he was at the relief of Barcelona and the captures of Alicante, Carthagena, and Majorca. In 1707, he commanded the Dutch fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. Mr. Stapel points out a reference in Prof. J. R. Bruijn's book from 1993 that says that Jan Gerrit spoke excellent English, and that promoted his rapid advancement. Even though Jan Gerrit never went to sea again, from 1709 to 1711, he was luitenant-admiraal of the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier and West-Friesland. From 1711 until his death, he was luitenant-admiraal of the Admiralty of Amsterdam. This account depends heavily on the paper by Mr. Stapel about Jan Gerrit van Wassenaer. Sources:
  1. Jaap R. Bruijn, The Dutch Navy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 1993.
  2. Jaap R. Bruijn, Varend Verleden: De Nederlandse Oorlogsvloot in de 17de en 18de eeuw, 1998.
  3. Luc Eekhout, Het Admiralenboek: De Vlagofficieren van de Nederlandse marine 1382-1991, 1992.
  4. J. C. De Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, Vol.IV, 1861.
  5. communication from Mr. Carl Stapel.

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