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Monday, February 13, 2006

Dutch Captain: Pieter Constant

Pieter Constant served the Admiralty of Amsterdam. He was appointed captain in 1676. He set sail on 16 March 1676 from the Texel, headed for Cayenne under the command of Jacob Binckes. Pieter Constant commanded the Zeelandia (44 guns). The Zeelandia was the ship commanded by Jacob Huyrluyt and then Nicolaes Marrevelt in the First Anglo-Dutch War. On 5 May, he took part in the capture of Cayenne. On 31 May, Binckes ships removed the populace from the island Marie Galante. On 15 July, they took 7 prizes. On 26 September, they attacked Tobago. On 3 March 1677, the French squadron under the command of D'Estrees attacked Tobago, and the Zeelandia was stranded and burnt by the French. De Jonge has a good map of the battle. Pieter Constant was severely wounded, to the bone, a wound that took years to heal. In 1682, he commanded the Cornelia (46 guns) which was employed as a convoyer in the Mediterranean Sea. On 17 November 1683, he sailed to Algiers, in the Cornelia, to liberate slaves by buying their freedom. This account relies heavily on my translation of Carl Stapel's document. Sources:
  1. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Ships 1600-1700", 2005.
  2. J. C. De Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, Vol.II, 1859.
  3. Carl Stapel, unpublished manuscript "Pieter Constant", 2005.

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