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Saturday, March 25, 2006

I am increasingly confident that Abraham van Hulst commanded the Sampson (26 guns) in 1652

I can only make an estimate based on analysis, but I am pretty certain that Abraham van der Hulst commanded the 26-gun ship Sampson in 1652. In early 1653, the ship was definitely commmanded by Hendrick Adriaanszoon. In May 1653, he was operating under then command of Evert Anthonissen Marre's small squadron operating in the Vlie, providing convoying and local defense. The ship commanded by Abraham van der Hulst had 26 guns and a crew of 100 men. In 1653, the Sampson had 26 guns and a crew of 90 men. Abraham van der Hulst had done well enough that he was given better ships to command. At some point in 1653, he seems to have commanded the 40-gun ship Groningen and was Witte de With's flag captain in the 46-gun ship Vrijheid. He was Witte de With's flag captain at the Battles of the Gabbard and Schevingengen in June and August 1653. The reason that I am pretty confident about the identity of Abraham van der Hulst's ship is that the ships owned and hired by the Admiralty of Amsterdam are very well-known. During my work, still incomplete, on the list of Dutch ships in service in March 1653, it became increasingly obvious that there were no mystery ships and therefore, the only plausible candidate was the Sampson. The only unanswered question is the list of captains on pages 388-389 of Vol.I of The First Dutch War. In that list, Hendrick Adriaanszoon is said to have had a ship and was waiting for a convoy to leave for the Baltic under the command of Augustijn Balck in the Vrijheid. This dates from 6 August 1652 (new style).

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