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Monday, July 31, 2006

A tidbit: the ship Star commanded by Jacob Paulusz Cort

I receive mail from Prof. Jan Glete, today. It contains data for ships of the Admiralty of Amsterdam, dating from 1652. This is from the listing for the ship Star, commanded by Jacob Paulusz Cort. The dimensions match those that are known, but it includes the height between decks and the list of guns carried:
The ship Star, Captain Cort

Length from stem to sternpost: 120ft
Beam                            28ft
Height between decks             6-1/2ft

28 guns: 
 6 brass guns of  12 lbs
 2 brass drakes of 3 lbs
12 gotelingen of  8 lbs
 8 gotelingen of  6 lbs

The crew was 90 men

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Climatology research in the Caribbean

For a study of 17th Century hurricanes and tropical storms, a researcher is interested in information about merchant and warships that were in the Caribbean and for which log books or journals might exist. Send me any information that you might have and I will pass it on to the researcher. I have also cross post this on the other 17th Century naval history-related blog (Anglo-Dutch Wars).

Peter Padfield on tactics at the Battle of the Kentish Knock

In The Tide of Empires, Peter Padfield writes about the tactics used at the Battle of the Kentish Knock. He says that both sides fought in informal lines of battle. Unlike what Michael Baumber writes about Blake, Peter Padfield says that the English sailed north in a "column some six miles along". He shows that the Dutch sailed to the west-northwest in an informal line, with ships divided as to their squadron commander. As the English tried to turn onto the same tack as the Dutch, the James and the Resolution grounded on the Kentish Knock. They pretty easily got off and went on the other tack. The Dutch had also had to go to the southeast to keep off the Kentish Knock sandbar. The Dutch were divided into four squadrons with De Ruyter's squadron in the van, Witte de With in the center, and Gideon de Wildt in the rear. Cornelis Evertsen's reserve squadron was behind the line. As the Dutch ships took damage, John Mildmay, in the Nonsuch (40 guns) took the Gorcum (30 guns) and apparently, the Maria (30 guns). On 9 October 1652, the next day, the English abandoned the Gorcum, as they thought the ship was "in a sinking condition". The Dutch crew, led by Willem Adriaansz Warmont took the Gorcum back and it was taken back to the Netherlands. One other ship, the Burgh van Alkmaar (24 guns) apparently blew up. Many other ships took considerable damage, as you would expect when a fleet of inferior ships tried to fight in line of battle with an English fleet with at least 7 First and Second rates. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938
  2. Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea, 1989
  3. Peter Padfield, The Tide of Empires: Decisive Naval Campaigns in the Rise of the West, Vol.I, 1979
  4. A. Vreugdenhil, Ships of the United Netherlands 1648-1702, 1938

Witte de With on 8 and 9 October 1652

Witte de With wrote that the wind on 8 October 1652 was from the west-southwest. A galjoot joined inthe morning. The commandeur, Frans Denich, had been sent with dispatches. When he saw that he would be boarded by the English, he threw them overboard. He pretended to be a Hamburger and was let go. The weather had been rough, so the fleet was scattered, as some of the ships had dragged their anchors. They saw the English fleet, commanded by Robert Blake, at noon. The English had 73 ships. The Dutch tried to concentrate their ships. A feature of Witte de With's journals is that he recorded the direction of the sun. The sun was to the southwest by south, and the fleet was concentrated, except for the Prins Willem and the Louise Hendrika, both East Indiamen from the Middelburg Chamber of the VOC. We believe that Witte de With saw that the two great ships were present, and he wanted to be on board a larger ship than the 120ft Prinses Louise (36 guns). He wanted to be on his favorite ship, the Brederode (54 guns), but Tromp's people would not let him aboard. He settled for the 170ft Prins Willem (40 guns), which turned out to be a horrendous sailer. Witte de With and the Prins Willem were in the center of the Dutch fleet. The fleets closed and because the Prins Willem was the closest Dutch ship (they were not in a line), the ship quickly accumulated sail, rigging, and spar damage. Michiel De Ruyter was in the Louise Hendrika, and his ship was also quickly disabled. To Witte de With's chagrin, the ships behind him fired through the Prins Willem ("which, in my opinion, is a great brutality and outrage"). The fleets separated in the night. The Dutch let their ships drift with sails furled all night, as they were to the leeward of the English. In the morning, with the English two miles to the windward, the Dutch held a council of war. Witte de With complained about captains not doing their duty in the battle. With the advice of De Ruyter and Cornelis Evertsen de Oude, they decided that it would be a mistake to close the English in a situation where the wind was very light to calm. The Dutch were now to the windward of the English, beyond range of their guns. Late on the 9th, as the Dutch sailed towards home, several fast English ships fired a few rounds at the rear Dutch ships. This is based on the account in Witte de With's journal, as translated and quoted in The First Dutch War, Vol.II.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mr. Van Dongen's paper about Witte de With

I have enjoyed reading Mr. Antoine van Dongen's paper about the life of Witte de With. Witte de With had been Piet Hein's flag captain for the capture of the Spanish silverfleet, but when Piet Hein was appointed as luitenant-admiraal, he chose Maarten Tromp as his flag captain. It was on the Groene Draeck (26 guns) that Piet Hein was killed in action by a 6pdr shot in an action with Spanish Dunkirkers during 1629. After Piet Hein was killed, both Witte de With and Maarten Tromp left the navy for a period. Witte de With was successful with a fish business, while Tromp was "director of a ship's wharf". When Witte de With returned to the navy in 1637, he found that Tromp had been appointed as luitenant-admiraal. Very soon, after Witte de With had been blockading Dunkirk, Tromp had him brought before a courtmartial, in a proceeding where the witnesses committed perjury. Witte de With was acquitted, and it could not have helped the relationship in the future. Sources:
  1. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Ships 1600-1700", 2005
  2. Antoine Francois van Dongen, "Making Waves": the life and times of Admiral Witte de With (1599-1658), 2005

Friday, July 28, 2006

English Naval Officer: John Baker

John Baker served in the navy in the late 17th and early 18th Centuries. He was appointed as a Lieutenant on 14 November 1688. He was promoted to Captain on 12 October 1691. He commanded the Newcastle (46 guns) in the Convoy for the Smyrna Fleet in June 1693, and fought in the defence of the convoy. In 1694, he commanded the Monmouth (66 guns) in a squadron dispatched to the Mediterranean Sea to attack "a large French convoy". In the event, the English staged a boat attack and caused great damage. On 12 October 1702, he fought in the action in Vigo Bay, where he commanded the Monmouth. He again commanded the Monmouth (70 guns) in the captured of Gibraltar in 1704. He also fought in the Battle of Velez Malaga on 13 August 1704, where he was again in the Monmouth (70 guns). On 17 January 1708, he was appointed as Rear-Admiral of the White. He was sent to Ostende to bring back troops to reinforce northern Britain. On 21 December 1708, he was appointed as Rear-Admiral of the Red. He was dispatched to Cadiz with a convoy of transports, but did not arrive in time, causing the attack to be abandoned. In 1710, he commanded a small squadron which chased an took some French ships in the Mediterranean. In 1712, he commanded a squadron cruising off Portugal. From 3 June 1713 until 1714, he was a member of parliament for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis. From 1715 until 10 November 1716, he was member of parliament for the same constituancy. On 15 June 1716, he was appointed as Vice-Admiral of the White. He died on 10 November 1716. Sources:
  1. William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol.II, 1898
  2. David Syrett, R. L. DiNardo, The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, 1994

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More about Isaac Sweers' ship than you wanted to know

I can't leave the topic of Isaac Sweers' ship alone. The issue is that the only Amsterdam ship named Engel Gabriel known to have been hired at a time when he could commanded it was the 28-gun ship on 19 June 1652. Isaac Sweers seems to have taken command in July, if I understand correctly. The problem is that a document, published in The First Dutch War, Vol.II gives the ship as having a crew of 130 men. This is the same as the entry in the list published on pages 308 to 310 in The First Dutch War, Vol.IV, where the Engel Gabriel was said to have carried 36 guns and had a crew of 130 men. Not only that, but I realized that in De Jonge's list of ships in service in March 1653, that the loss of the Engel Gabriel is mentioned in the form of the 36-gun ship sunk in the Three Days Battle. I think it unlikely that the 28-gun ship was upgunned to 36 guns, although it is not totally impossible. More like, there was another ship hired, named Engel Gabriel, which is either not recorded in information that has been seen, or has not been discovered, yet. There is only one example of a ship that has been radically upgunned to this extent, and that was Michiel De Ruyter's flagship, Jan Thyssen's ship, the Witte Lam. The Witte Lam was a Vlissingen Directors' ship that started the war with 32 guns and was eventually upgunned to 40 guns. The Witte Lam must have been a substantial ship, as the Witte Lam repeatedly took heavy damage, survived, and was repaired.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

English Naval Officer: Sir David Mitchell

Sir David Mithcell served in the English Navy from the late 17th to the early 18th Centuries. He was appointed as a Lieutenant on 16 January 1678. He was promoted to Captain on 1 October 1683. He was flag captain to Admiral Herbert at the Battle of Bantry Bay on 1 May 1689. He commanded the Elizabeth (70 guns). He also commanded the Elizabeth in the Battle of Beach Head in 1690. At the Battle of Barfleur in 1692, he was flag captain to Admiral Russell on the Britannia. On 7 February 1693, he was appointed as Rear-Admiral of the Blue. ON 4 July 1693, he was appointed as Vice-Admiral of the Blue. He was knighted in 1694. He commanded a squadron left by Admiral Russell at Cadiz, until Russell returned. There are some other dates, which I am think mean that on 26 October 1691, he was appointed as a Major of Foot in the Marine Regiment and on 14 October 1695, he was appointed as Lieutenant-Colonel of Foot in the Marine Regiment. From 31 May 1699, he was appointed as a Commissioner on the Admiralty Council. On 28 January 1702, he was appointed as Vice-Admiral of the White. He died on 1 June 1710. Sources:
  1. William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol.II, 1898
  2. David Syrett, R. L. DiNardo, The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, 1994

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I suspect that the real date for the list of Dutch warships in The First Dutch War and Hollandsche Mercurius is later than June 1652

I suspect that the real date for the list in Vol.I of The First Dutch War, which is derived from a list in the Hollandsche Mercurius, is later than June. There are a number of reasons to think that, several being the Rotterdam Directors' ship situation and partly because of the ship that probably is that of Pieter Adriaansz van Blocker. If I am correct, his ship was hired by the Hoorn Directors on 19 July 1652. I just have circumstantial evidence to back me up: the other Hoorn Directors' ship is one we know, the Sampson (30 guns and a crew of 110 men), the ship of Jan Pietersz Houck.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Another comment about the "Wapen van der Vere"

The handwriting on the document from the Zeeuws Archief clearly is "Wapen van der Vere". The city is usually writen as Veere, and "van der Vere" is not the current usage. However, in the US, at least, there are many people with "van der" in their name. There is a web page by Steve Vandiver (probably derived from Van der Veere) that says, among other things:

Origins of the Van Der Veer Name

The name itself means of the ferry or of the village of Veere. Dutch dictionaries also list veer as meaning feather, but I have seen no surname references using it in that context. Veere, Zeeland, The Netherlands, which was once the location of a Roman fort and is now named for a ferry that was established at it's present location. This village is commonly associated with the Van Der Veer name. De Kampveersche Toren or The Campveere Tower is pictured at right [go to Steve's link to see it] and named after Campveere, as Veere was known as in 1281 for a ferry that sailed to Campum on the other side of the lake. I visited Veere in Sept 2001, a definite must see for anyone traveling to The Netherlands.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Which Engel Gabriel did Isaac Sweers command in 1652 and 1653?

One question is which ship named Engel Gabriel did Isaac Sweers command in 1652 and 1653? The First Dutch War, Vol.IV, on page 310 gives the ship as carrying 36 guns and having a crew of 130 men. Ship number 108 in Vreugdenhil's list matches that description (at least the guns and being lost in 1653). There is another list, this time of ships that served in De Ruyter's fleet in July to September 1652, and Isaac Sweers is included. His ship's name is omitted as is the number of guns. His crew is given as 130 men. Vreugdenhil apparently thought that ship number 16 in his list was the Engel Gabriel commanded by Adriaan van den Bosch in 1653. The number of guns is not specified but only that the ship was built in 1636 and was a States' ship. We happen to know, thanks to Carl Stapel, that a ship named Engel Gabriel, with 28 guns, was hired on 19 June 1652 in Amsterdam. We apparently have to accept this ship as the one commanded by Isaac Sweers and which was sunk by gunfire in the first day of the Three Days' Battle, on 28 February 1653. The 28 gun Engel Gabriel is about the same size as Pieter Florissen's ship, the Monnikendam, which was eventually armed with 36 guns and had a crew of 138 men. The Engel Gabriel is somewhat smaller, but not by a lot. If the ship had its armament increased to 36 guns, they could have been rather light. I am not particularly comfortable with this assessment, but there is no real other option.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I am converting documents to 7.5pt font and adding the day of the month

In my current work, where I have entries that are like notes with a date, I had only been using month and year (although in the largest list, I do occasionally use the day of the month, a well). I decided that I needed to add the day of the month, as I want to add the date that ships were hired.

I have long wanted to use a smaller font size than 8pt in Word, but the selection list only goes down to 8pt. I learned that you can type in sizes like 7pt or 7.5pt. 7.5pt is still readable, while 7pt is probably too small (at least to read the Word document, not printed). I am in the process of converting the documents that I am currently updating to use the 7.5pt font size. This allows more room for things like more precise dates.

Cornelis Tromp only arrived back in the Netherlands in late 1653

While Cornelis Tromp had left Cadiz for home on 27 August 1653, he did not actually reach home until later. He arrived at the Isle of RĂ© on 18 September. The situation was such that he was asked to stay with the ships he had in company and wait until his chances of returning safely were better. He waited amonth, and he sailed, arriving back in the Netherlands in November 1653.

The Dutch had left 10 hired merchantment in the Mediterranean Sea to protectt shipping. They were commanded by Adriaan Rodenhaes. He stayed in the Mediterranean Sea until early 1654. He was ordered to pay off the hired ships, and no Dutch warships or hired merchantmen remained in the Mediterranean Sea. Adriaan Rodenhaes had received the order to pay off the ships on 9 February 1654.

  1. R. C. Anderson, "The First Dutch War in the Mediterranean," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.49, No.4, November 1963
  2. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930

Friday, July 21, 2006

A research project about captured Dutch ships

There is a research project being pursued to look at correpondence taken from Dutch ships captured by the English. This is the link to the page. A longtime reader sent me an email about this project. I would be particularly interested in seeing information about Dutch ships taken in the First Anglo-Dutch War, which served in the English navy.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What if the English report was correct, and Sipke Fockes' ship on 29 May 1652 carried 37 guns?

I know that Sipke Fockes' ship in 1652 and early 1653 was the Sint Maria, which carried 28 guns. This is quite at odds with the English report that they took a ship of 37 guns on 29 May 1652, but abandoned it, as it appeared to be about to sink. The Dutch recovered the ship and towed it in, in a dismasted condition. Thanks to Carl Stapel, we have wind of a Sint Maria of larger dimensions that could have carried 37 guns. I hope to have access to the document to assess the information.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Leading up to Dungness in December 1652

Jan Evertsen's journal, as transcribed and translated in The First Dutch War, Vol.III, is interesting to me. I have copies of the original, in handwritten Dutch, to compare with points that seem to possibly be wrong, such as the list of captains at C.T. Atkinson had misread (he read "Hermes Mumincx", instead of the correct "Herman Munnick"). Jan Evertsen's journal is a convenient way to know the days of the week that corresponded to dates. Jan Evertsen also gives the wind direction:
30 November 1652  Saturday   Wind slight, E and E by SE, overcast
 1 December       Sunday     Wind SE and SSE, overcast and sprinkles of rain
 2 December       Monday     Wind SE and SE by E, thick, drizzling rain
 3 December       Tuesday    Wind slight, SSE, overcast
 4 December       Wednesday  Fair weather at daybreak, wind NW, and NNW, 
                                 backing to SW, the fleet sailing NW by W, and WNW
 5 December       Thursday   Half gale and rain, wind SSW, fleet sailing to SE
 6 December       Friday     Strong wind from SW and SSW, sailing to the SE
 7 December       Saturday   Fair weather, the wind from SW, SSW, and S
 8 December       Sunday     Thick weather, the wind from WSW and W
 9 December       Monday     Overcast and very cold, the wind from WNW and W
10 December       Tuesday    The Battle of Dungeness, wind NNW and NW by W

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dutch hired ship armaments

The one Dutch hired ship for which I have so far seen an armament for 1652 had a mix of 12pdrs and 6pdrs on the lower tier, 4pdrs on the quarterdeck (I am guessing), and 2-3pdr, either on the forecastle or the poop. I have seen hired ships, but they were all Directors' ships. They often carried a standard armament, probably with a mix of 12pdrs and 8pdrs on the lower tier, 6pdrs on the quarterdeck, and the same 2-pdrs.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Zeeland Directors' ships in March 1653

This is my attempt at listing the Zeeland Directors' ships in service in mid-March 1653:
Directors’ ships of Middelburg

Rank      Name                          Adm/Dir  guns crew Ship            Sources
kapitein  Jan Penssen                   Mi-Dir   30   110  Goude Leeuw     1DW1, 1DW2,1DW6
kapitein  formerly Johannes Regermorter Mi-Dir   30   105  ?               1DW1, raedt                                      
kapitein  Claes Janszoon Gaeuw          Mi-Dir   30   105  Leeuwin                    

Directors’ ships of Vlissingen

Rank      Name                          Adm/Dir  guns crew Ship            Sources
kapitein  Jan Thijssen                  Vli-Dir  40   145  Witte Lam       1DW1, ball, salt
kapitein  Cornelis Evertsen de Jonge    Vli-Dir  26   110  Vlissingen      raedt, 1DW1, 1DW2
kapitein  luitenant Teunis Poort        Vli-Dir  26   110  Dubbele Arend   raedt, 1DW1, schet3
kapitein  Bastiaan Centen               Vli-Dir  30   108  Haes in ’t Veld     

Directors’ ship of Zierikzee

Rank      Name                          Adm/Dir  guns crew Ship            Sources
kapitein  schipper Crijn Mangelaer      Zi-Dir   34   110  Liefde          raedt, 1DW1, ball

Directors’ ship of Veere

Rank      Name                          Adm/Dir  guns crew Ship            Sources
kapitein  Jan Olivierszoon              Ve-Dir   38   125  Wapen ter Veere raedt, zdir            

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ships named Amsterdam in 1653

We had thought that the ship Amsterdam commanded by Paulus Egbertsz Sonck at the Battle of Scheveningen was the new ship completed in 1653 that carried 50 guns. The reason to doubt this is that after the Battle of Scheveningen, the ship Amsterdam was listed as having carried 5,000 lbs. of gunpowder (50 barrels) and as having 1,900 lbs. remaining. This is quite out of line with a 50 gun ship. The Campen, a 40-gun ship, had started the battle with 94 barrels of gunpowder (9,400 lbs.) and ended the battle with 66 barrels (6,600 lbs). More likely, the Amsterdam was the ship previously commanded by Sijmon van der Aeck, carrying 30 guns and having a crew of 100 men. We now believe that Jan Gidionsz Verburch (or Verburgh) commanded the new Amsterdam (50 guns and a crew of 170 men) on Witte de With's voyage to Norway to convoy back merchants ships stranded there by the English blockade. Certainly, Jan Gidionsz Verburch commanded the Amsterdam built in 1653 in July 1654 and in 1658, where he fought in the Battle of the Sound. Sources:
  1. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.V, 1912
  2. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930
  3. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Ships 1600-1700", 2005
  4. Johan E. Elias, Schetsen uit de geschiedenis van ons zeewezen, Vol.VI, 1930
  5. G. L. Grove, Journalen van de Admiralen Van Wassenaer-Obdam (1658/59) en De Ruyter (1659/60), 1907

English Captain: James Coppin

James Coppin served in the Commonwealth navy. In 1649, he commanded the Seaflower ketch. From 1650 until 1651, he commanded the Margaret ketch. Both of the ketches were hired merchantmen. From 1651 until 1652, he commanded the Hart, a 6th Rate (14 guns and a crew of 60 men). He was killed in action with the Dutch, along with 8 of his men. His ship was captured, probably in August 1652, although the exact date is uncertain. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964
  2. Dr. S.R. Gardiner, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.I, 1898

Saturday, July 15, 2006

English Captain: William Wheatley

William Wheatly served in the Commonwealth navy. In 1649, he commanded a small vessel, the Warspite (not the old ship, now hulked). This Warspite was in service from about 1646 until 1650. He was appointed to command the Warspite in April 1649 by Robert Blake and Richard Deane. In 1650, William Wheatly commanded the Cygnet fireship. He seems to have not served after 1650. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964
  2. J. R. Powell, Ed., The Letters of Robert Blake, 1937

Friday, July 14, 2006

My current estimate of Zeeland ships in service in mid-March 1653

I keep refining and doing more analysis in support of my list that attempts to fill in details to De Jonge's outline for March 1653. The date appears to be into March, after the The Three Days Battle (Portland) and before they had received word in the Netherlands about the results of the Battle of Livorno. This represents my current thinking about ships in service for the Admiralty of Zeeland. The biggest news is my estimate of Jan Duijm's ship. This is the list:
Admiralty of Zeeland

States’ ships

Rank               Name                             Adm/Dir  guns Sailors Soldiers Ship                  Sources
vice-admiraal      Jan Evertsen                     Z        36   116     ?        Hollandia             1DW1, 1DW2, jonge1
                   flag captain Adriaan Bankert

kapitein           Jacob Wolfertszoon               Z        34   100     ?        Meermin               jonge1
kapitein           Adriaan Nicolaesz Kempen         Z        32   100     ?        Wapen van Zeeland     jonge1, schet5, paintings

kapitein           Joost Willemsz Block             Z        32    85     ?        Wapen van Zeeland     jonge1

kapitein           Frans Krijnsz Mangelaer          Z        28   111     ?        Liefde                vreug, 1DW2, 1DW6, jonge1
commandeur         Cornelis Evertsen de Oude        Z        28   111     ?        Wapen van Zeeland     
kapitein           Adriaan Jansz den Oven           Z        28   111     ?        Neptunus              
kapitein           Gillis Janszoon                  Z        28    85     ?        Zeeridder             jonge1
kapitein           Joost Bankert’s luitenant        Z        26    85     ?        Liefde                jonge1, 1DW2
kapitein           Claes Jansz Sanger               Z        26    85     ?        West Capelle          
kapitein           formerly Cornelis Kuijper        Z        26    85     ?        Ter Goes              
kapitein           Jan Duijm                        Z        26?   85     ?        Sint Jan?              
kapitein           Claes Jansz Sanger               Z        26    85     ?        West Cappelle         
kapitein           Dingeman Cats                    Z        24    85     ?        Gekroonde Liefde      jonge1, vreug, 1DW4

kapitein           Pieter Gorcum                    Z        17    50?    ?        Dordrecht             jonge1, staet54, 1DW2           

kapitein           Cornelis Kuiper                  Z        14    40     ?        Jager(Gloeyenden Oven)jonge1, schet3

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More about "Charters"

The Dutch referred to a warship specification as a "Charter". These are some examples that seem charter-like, using Amsterdam feet as the measure:
250 lasts   128 feet long   
200 lasts   125 feet long
200 lasts   120 feet long
170 lasts   116 feet long
More formerly, were the ships built in the First Anglo-Dutch War building program. There were three official charters, but there was wide variation from them:
Large  150ft x 38ft x 15ft
Medium 136ft x 36ft x 14ft
Small  130ft x 32ft x 13.5ft
The reality was that many of of the 130ft ships, such as the Noorderkwartier ship Jupiter, were built to a variation of those dimensions: 130ft x 32ft x 12ft. Armament seem to have not been specified by Charters. Armament were more driven by the availibility of guns, at least in the 1650's and 1660's. Frank Fox says that the Dutch had solved their gun supply problem by the 1670's, so that the Zeven Provinciën could have a complete lower tier of 36pdrs. A good source on Charters is Dr. Elias's book De Vlootbouw in Nederland.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Classic dimensions

Both the English and Dutch navies in the 17th Centuries built ships to "classic dimensions". Admittedly, over time, they altered somewhat. For the Dutch, as the century progressed, the beam of Dutch warships increased. In the 1620's and 1630's, Dutch warships tended to have narrow beams. In the case of the Maecht van Dordrecht, built for the Admiralty of Rotterdam (or, the Maze), I have expected that he dimensions, when converted to Amsterdam feet, would be something like 143ft x 35ft x 14.5ft. The ship was built to Maas feet of 308mm (12 inches per foot), so we can only guess what the actual measurements, as built, were in Amsterdam feet of 283mm (11 inches per foot). The Maecht van Dordrecht fought in the campaign leading up to the Battle of the Downs, in 1639, and was Witte de With's flagship. The Maecht van Dordrecht was the second largest Dutch warship, after Tromp's flagship, the Aemilia, and also carried the second heaviest armament: 10-24pdr, 14-18pdr, 16-12pdr, and 6-6pdr. Sources:
  1. Johan E. Elias, De Vlootbouw in Nederland 1596-1655, 1933
  2. J. C. De Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, Vol.I, 1858

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Amsterdam Directors' ship Elias

I imagine that the Amsterdam Directors' ship Elias was hired sometime in March 1652, as were the bulk of the Directors' ships. The Elias was quite a large ship, having dimensions of 132.5ft x 30ft x 13ft, with 6.5ft between the main deck and the upper deck. Her armament on 8 November 1652 consisted of 4-brass 24pdr, 14-12pdr, 10-8pdr, 4-6pdr, and 2-3pdr guns. Her crew varied from 112 men up to at least 120 men. This is a summary of the Elias's service:
Note=Note Date
A-Dir=Amsterdam Directors

Adm   Name Guns Crew Date St Note   Commander                 Ship Fate  Captain  Note
A-Dir Elias 34  112  1652 h  5/1652 Jacob Sievertsz Spanheijm                     Battle of Dover
                             8/1652 Jacob Sievertsz Spanheijm                     Voyage to the Shetlands
                            12/1652 Jacob Sievertsz Spanheijm                     in Pieter Florissen's squadron
                            12/1652 Jacob Sievertsz Spanheijm                     Battle of Dungeness
                             2/1653 Jacob Sievertsz Spahheijm                     With the fleet, ship leaky
                             3/1653 Jacob Sievertsz Spanheijm            killed   The Three Days Battle
                             6/1653 Frans Fransz Sluyter       captured  prisoner Battle of the Gabbard

Monday, July 10, 2006

War losses of the Admiralty of the Maze (Rotterdam) as of March 1653

I have made a good deal of progress on my version of De Jonge's list of ships in service in March 1653. For Rotterdam and Amsterdam, he lists war losses, as well. This is my attempt at a list of the Rotterdam war losses up to mid-March 1653:
Rank               Name                             Adm   guns Sailors Soldiers Ship                  Date  Type Sources
kapitein           Willem Joosten van Colster       R      36                   Prinses Roijael Marie 1643  b    vreug, jonge1, 1DW1
kapitein           Jan Evertsz de Liefde            R      26                   Dordrecht                        schet2, 26feb52
kapitein           Jacob van Boshuijsen             R      26                   Wapen van Rotterdam              26feb52, schet2


Rank               Name                             Adm   guns Sailors Soldiers Ship                  Date  Type Sources
Kapitein           Dirk Juynbol                     R      30                   Gelderland            1652*  ?   1DW2, schet3
Kapitein           Hendrick Jansz de Munnick        R      26                   Wapen van Rotterdam   1652*  b   1DW3, 26feb52
Kapitein           Paulus van den Kerckhoff         R      26                   Nijmegen              1645   p   schet2, 26feb52
The key for all sources, including many not referenced here:


1DW1 = The First Dutch War, Vol.I
1DW2 = The First Dutch War, Vol.II
1DW3 = The First Dutch War, Vol.III
1DW4 = The First Dutch War, Vol.IV
1DW5 = The First Dutch War, Vol.V
1DW6 = The First Dutch War, Vol.VI
ball    = Dr. Ballhausen’s book
rdhb  = Rotterdamsche Historiebladen
schet2 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.II
schet3 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.III
schet4 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.IV
schet5 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.V
schet6 = Schetsen uit de Geschiedens van ons Zeewezen, Vol.VI
vloot = De Vlootbouw in Nederland
vreug = A. Vreugdenhil, Ships of the United Netherlands 1648-1702
glete = Jan Glete’s notes on Directors’ ships 
dir    = Director’s ship documents from the Nationaal Archief from 1652 and 1653
     1-undated but from March 1652 or later with a table
     2-12 March 1652
     3-27 March 1652
     4-30 March 1652
     5-8 November 1652
     6-10 January 1653
     7-27 January 1653
     8-28 January 1653
     9-30 January 1653
     10-8 February 1653
     11-18 March 1653
     12-undated but from early 1653
     13-4 April 1653

ont = Onstelde-Zee
raedt = Pamphlet of Hendrik de Raedt (about the voyage to the Shetlands)
26Feb52 = Admiralty of Rotterdam, 26 February 1652
zdir = Zeeland Directors ships pages from the Zeeuws Archief
fleet1 = list of the fleet 15/24 July 1652 from the Nationaal Archief
fleet2 = list of the fleet 19/20 September 1652 from the Nationaal Archief
staet54 = Staet van Oorlog te Water for 1654
paintings = Michael Robinson, Van de Velde Paintings
cs = communication from Carl Stapel
salt = Francis Vere, Salt in their Blood: The Lives of the Famous Dutch Admirals, 1955.
jonge1 = J. C. De Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, Vol.I

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I am having trouble accounting for Jan Duijm in early 1653

Jan Duijm appears twice in early 1653. On 15 January 1653, his ship was one of four Zeeland warships convoying some merchantmen and West Indiamen from "the islands". The four ships included the ships of Joannes Michielszoon, Claes Janszoon, Cornelis Mangelaer, and Jan Duijm. At the Three Days Battle (or Battle of Portland), his ship towed Michiel De Ruyter's flagship for the last two days or more of the battle. Jan Duijm reappeared in 1658, at the Battle of the Sound. One possible candidate ship is the Sint Jan (26 guns), commanded by Laurens Pensier in the summer of 1652. Another might be the Wapen van Zwieten, commanded by Jan Sichelszoon in August 1652, as well. Without more information, we are just guessing. Sources:
  1. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.IV, 1910
  2. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930
  3. Dr. S.R. Gardiner, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.II, 1900

46 guns on the Prinses Louise in late 1652

I have been studying the Van de Velde drawing of the Prinses Louise to see how she might have been upgunned to 46 guns. The ship seems to have had 20 guns on the lower tier (4-24pdr and 16-12pdr), 4-12pdr under the forecastle, and 10-12pdr under the quarterdeck. There were also 4-5pdr on the quarterdeck. I am not sure what size guns were used, but there was room to arm the waist with 6 guns and add 4 guns forward on the quarterdeck. Unless temporary sides were added, they probably were unprotected except for "arming cloths". Sources:
  1. Johan E. Elias, Schetsen uit de geschiedenis van ons zeewezen, Vol.V, 1928
  2. Johan E. Elias, De Vlootbouw in Nederland 1596-1655, 1933
  3. Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654, 1654

Saturday, July 08, 2006

From analysis of De Jonge's list for March 1653

Based on my analysis of De Jonge's list for March 1653, I would make the following estimates for the Zeeland hired ships in service after the Three Days' Battle (Portland):
rank     commander                 guns crew Ship
kapitein Lambert Bartelszoon       28    85  some ship
kapitein Daniel Cornelisz Brackman 26    85  some ship
kapitein Andries Fortuijn          24    85  Eendracht
The real news is the guns and crew for Daniel Cornelisz Brackman's ship. The question, though, is if the Eendracht was the hired 24-gun ship, of it was Daniel Cornelisz Brackman's ship. If it was, then we would wonder what ship was the hired 26-gun ship. Sources:
  1. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.IV, 1910
  2. Dr. S.R. Gardiner, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.II, 1900
  3. J. C. De Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, Vol.I, 1858
  4. Hendrik de Raedt, Lyste van de schepen van Oorloge onder het beleyt Admirael Marten Harpersz. Tromp, 1652

6 December 1652

In The First Dutch War, Vol.III, page 227, there is an entry in Jan Evertsen's journal saying that Witte took his sick men to Lijbe. I looked at the handwritten copy of Jan Evertsen's journal and found the entry. The copy of the journal is hard to read, as in the actual journal, the ink from the other side has bled through the page. The place name does actually seem to be Lijbe (the published text says Lybe). I had hoped to find which ship Witte de With used as his flagship on Friday, 6 December 1652. A usually unreliable source, Dr. Ballhausen says it was Jan Evertsz de Liefde's ship, the Jonas (36 guns). We know that cannot be true, as on 7 December 1652, Jan Evertsz de Liefde was Jan Evertsen's Schout-bij-Nacht. Michiel De Ruyter was appointed to command Witte de With's squadron in his absence.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Michiel De Ruyter

I had not realized that in early December 1652, Michiel De Ruyter was Jan Evertsen's vice-admiraal. De Ruyter flew his flag on Jan Thyssen Matheeus's ship, the Vlissingen Directors' ship Witte Lam. I understand that when Witte de With left the fleet, prior to the Battle of Dungness on 10 December, De Ruyter was appointed to command Witte de With's squadron. The fleet was organized into four squadrons at this time. One was commanded by Lt-Admiraal Tromp, another by Jan Evertsen, another by Witte de With, and the fourth squadron by Pieter Florissen Blom. Of the lesser flag officers, De Ruyter was the most trusted of them to lead a squadron in battle.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The First Dutch War, Vol.V: "Jan Eckersen"

On page 135 of The First Dutch War, Vol.V, in the excerpt from Michiel De Ruyter's Journal for 6 June 1653, he mentions sending an advice-yacht to Cape Gris-Nez, "directing" "Jan Eckersen", Lambert Bartelszoon, and Cornelis Evertsen de Jonge "to join the fleet". At first, I could not tell who was meant by "Jan Eckersen", so I searched my comprehensive list. I suspect that "Jan Eckersen" is a reference to Jan Egbertszoon (Egbertssen) Ooms, who commanded the Amsterdam ship Gouda (28 guns). He had previously operated under De Ruyter's command, and was probably was then, as well. Lambert Bartelszoon, from Zeeland, had served with the fleet in since early in the war, and commanded a ship whose name has remained a mystery.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Are Jan Matthijssen and Jan Thyssen the same man?

In De Ruyter's journal, as reproduced in The First Dutch War, Vol.V, De Ruyter writes that captains Jan "Matyssen" (Matthijssen), Dingeman Cats, and Jacob Penssen joined the fleet. I looked at my comprehensive list and see a Jan Matthijszoon who served during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, for the Admiralty of Zeeland. Thyssen or Tijssen could well be a shortened form of Matthijssen or Matthijszoon. If they were not the same, then there would be a "mystery captain" in command of an unknown ship. Jan Thyssen commanded the Vlissingen Directors' ship Witte Lam (40 guns and a crew of 145 men) for most, if not all, the war. He was often De Ruyter's flag captain after late 1652.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

An example of the notes I am taking: Cornelis van Velsen and the Gelderland

I am working on a comprehensive document for the First Anglo-Dutch War, that involves taking notes from the various published sources, documents, and input from Carl Stapel. The entry for Cornelis van Velsen, whose ship was the Gelderland, is an example:

A=Admiralty of Amsterdam
Acq=Acquisition date
Type=hired, purchased, built, captured
Note=Note date

Adm  Ship       Guns Crew Acq Type Note   Commander           Ship    Capt    Note
A    Gelderland   28 100  1652 h   8/1652 Cornelis van Velsen                 at the Wielingen rendezvous
                                   8/1652 Cornelis van Velsen                 De Ruyter's fleet
                                   8/1652 Cornelis van Velsen                 Battle of Plymouth
                                   3/1653 Cornelis van Velsen                 The Three Days Battle
                                   3/1653 Cornelis van Velsen                 Sailed from Amsterdam
                                   4/1653 Cornelis van Velsen                 Lying in the Texel roads
                                   6/1653 Cornelis van Velsen blown up killed Battle of the Gabbard

Monday, July 03, 2006

Jan Duijm in the Three Days Battle (Portland)

I had originally assumed that the Jan Duijm, whose ship towed Michiel De Ruyter's ship for most of the Three Days Battle was actually Jacob Duijm, captain of the Enkhuizen Directors' ship Vergulde Zon. However, I became persuaded that this was really the Zeeland naval officer Jan Duijm, and that he must have commanded some "mystery" Zeeland ship in the battle. After studying the list of 17 Zeeland ships that survived the battle and which sailed to Vlissingen together I think that either my original assumption was, in fact, correct, or that Jan Duijm was lieutenant of a Zeeland ship whose captain was either absent or who had been killed in the battle.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A confusing piece of information

In Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen, there is a notation that Joost Bankert's ship was captured after he was killed. In a letter dated 3 March 1653, there is a notation that Joost Bankert was dead, but his ship was with the 17 Zeeland ships, which I believe were heading for Vlissingen after the Three Days Battle (the Battle of Portland).

Among the mysteries that remain

Several of the mysteries that remain to be resolved are the name of Abraham van der Hulst's ship in the summer of 1652. Given that I have two lists of Amsterdam ships that claim to be comprehensive for 1652 and early 1653, the existence of an unknown mystery ship seems unlikely. Another mystery is why two ships involved in fishery protection, and which were taken by the English on 22 July 1652 are listed, but the Zwaan, listed in the Hollandsche Mercurius and other places is not shown. These other sources call the ship the Zwaan van Amsterdam, and the implication is that the ship was hired by the Admiralty of Amsterdam.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A piece of trivia: Cornelis Jansz Brouwer's ship was called Vergulde Valck in a September 1652 manuscript

A handwritten document from September 1652 gives Cornelis Jansz Brouwer's ship's name as the Vergulde Valck. He commanded an Amsterdam Directors' ship that was long and slender: 132.5ft x 26ft-2in x 12.75ft. The ship carried 28 guns and in 1652 had a crew of 105 men. The armament consisted of 12-12pdr, 8-8pdr, 6-6pdr, and 2-3pdr guns.

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