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Monday, October 23, 2006

The Dutch navy at the outbreak of the First Anglo-Dutch War

Dr. Elias said that there were 87 Dutch ships in service in early 1652. These included 41 convoyers, 10 ships in Brazil, and 36 cruisers funded in 1651. The convoyers nominally included the 40 ships funded in 1648 for service at the end of the War of Independence against Spain. About March, another 150 ships to be hired were also funded. These included 50 ships to be hired by the Directors of the various port cities and 100 ships to be hired by the five admiralties. 38 of these were to come from North Holland.

The ships were divided as follows:

10 ships in Brazil

40 ships of 1648

Rotterdam        8 ships
Amsterdam       16 ships
Zeeland          8 ships
Noorderkwartier  8 ships

36 ships of 1651

Rotterdam        7 ships
Amsterdam       14 ships
Zeeland          7 ships
Noorderkwartier  7 ships
Friesland        1 ship

100 ships of 1652

Rotterdam       16-1/2 ships
Amsterdam       33 ships
Zeeland         16-1/2 ships
Noorderkwartier 16-1/2 ships
Friesland       16-1/2 ships

50 Directors ships of 1652

Rotterdam                      7 ships
Amsterdam                     24 ships
Zeeland                        9 ships
Cities of the Noorderkwartier  7 ships
Friesland                      2 ships
Groningen                      1 ship

In addition, the VOC (the East India Company) would provide 6 ships

The 50 Directors' ships were all hired fairly quickly. Of the 100 ships, initially, there were only 38 hired. Very quickly, at the outbreak of the war, four ships in English harbors were taken. Of the ships returning from Brazil, two were sunk. Right before the outbreak of the war, on 23 May 1652, the old Overijssel (28 guns) and the Nassau (36 guns) were sold. The Nassau was a substantial ship built in 1636 (132ft x 32ft). The Overijssel was probably 120ft long, from my reading of Ron van Maanen's list. The Prinses Roijaal Marie was the best of the ships taken in English harbors, and was quite large (124ft x 29-1/2ft x 13ft). The Prinses Roijaal Marie apparently served the English navy during the war as the Princess Maria (38 guns). This was such a good ship that she served until 1658, when she was wrecked. Sources:
  1. H. T. Colenbrander, Bescheiden uit vreemde archieven omtrent de groote Nederlandsche zeeoorlogen 1652-1676, 1919
  2. Johan E. Elias, De Vlootbouw in Nederland 1596-1655, 1933
  3. Ron van Maanen, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Warships 1600-1800", undated, but circa 1992

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