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Friday, October 06, 2006

Ships and captains in the First Anglo-Dutch War

What I am finding, increasingly, is that you cannot make assumptions about a Dutch captain commanding one ship through the entire First Anglo-Dutch War. You also cannot assume that one ship was commanded by a particular captain through the war, either. We are also finding that at least some of what is mentioned in the published literature is also wrong, especially some of what Dr. Ballhausen wrote in his book. For example, Dr. Ballhausen had Witte de With using the ship Jonas (a Rotterdam Directors' ship) as his flagship in November 1652, when I believe he was still using the Rotterdam ship Prinses Louise. The Jonas had been commanded by Johan de Liefde, but the ship was apparently so damaged in the storm near the Shetlands that the ship was paid off on returning home. There are also cases of ships and captains that are never mentioned in the published literature. Frequently, the captain is mentioned, along with the guns carried and the crew size, and the ship name is never mentioned. If the ship name is mentioned, it is only in Dr. Elias's book, Schetsen uit de geschiedenis van ons zeewezen, which has not been seen by many English-speaking people. Thre is apparently a great deal of information that has not yet been published on ships and captains of the Dutch navy in the period of 1652 to 1654 (and somewhat before and after those dates).

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