Friday, December 22, 2006
Abraham van der Hulst's ship in the spring and summer of 1652
After looking at the options, I suspect that Abraham van der Hulst's ship from June to August 1652 was the old Amsterdam ship Overijssel. My current thinking is that there was no Achilles built in 1644, as listed in Vreugdenhil's last as ship number 2. The only Achilles was ship number 1, which was still in existence up to 1655. Ron van Maanen lists both ships, but the dimensions for the ship supposedly built in 1644 are the same as the other ship, except for the length. Since we have not seen any evidence of two ships named Achilles, I suspect that the ship supposedly built in 1644 did not exist. The old ship Overijssel, sold sometime in 1652, seems like the most obvious candidate to me. Abraham van der Hulst commanded a Landsschip, which the Overijssel was. A likely scenario was that the ship was damaged in the storm off the Shetlands and was sold afterwards, as not being worth repairing. Many ships either foundered, were wrecked, or were heavily damaged and discarded after the storm. Perhaps this would have been the reason that the ship was sold. The Overijssel (28 guns) had been in service since at least the 1630's and had spent time operating off Brazil, from the latter 1640's. The Overijssel had fought in the Battle of the Downs in 1639, and had continued in service. I find the listing of Abraham van der Hulst's ship as having 26 guns and a crew of 100 men consistent with what we know about the Overijssel. Ron van Maanen says that the ship was 120ft long, so the ship was substantial. The only problem is that we have not been able to find any references that give the name of Abraham van der Hulst's ship during this period. By September, he was captain of the 40 gun ship Groningen and was with Witte de With. Carl Stapel had suggested the Overijssel, and that seems very plausible, as I was thinking along similar lines.