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Saturday, March 31, 2007

The ship Sint Willeboort of the Hoorn Chamber of the VOC

When I was reading the pages from the outline list of ships at Vlissingen in July 1653, I had seen that there was one ship listed from the Hoorn Chamber of the VOC. I had heard of a ship called the Mars, and wondered if that was the ship. It was only after seeing Witte de With's journal and hearing from Carl Stapel that I knew the name of the ship was the Sint Willeboort, which I had not seen mentioned in the published literature. Yesterday, I received the page that lists six VOC ships that served with the fleet in 1653. One was Pieter de Bitter's ship, the Mercurius and another was a ship of Hoorn. The characteristics were those of the Sint Willeboort, which Carl Stapel had sent me. A striking feature of the Sint Willeboort is that the length-to-beam ration is 5.0, while the length to beam ratio for the Mercurius is just 4.0. Another surprising fact is that the armament is very light, with only six guns of 12pdr and larger. The rest are 8pdr and smaller, down to 2pdr.

Friday, March 30, 2007

More from the Amsterdam Directors' ship list: the Catrina

This list of Amsterdam Directors' ships, dating from about March 1653, lists the ship that is often called the Catarina as the Catrina. The captain's name is given as Jacob Coppen, rather than Cop or Coppe. This was a ship lost at the Battle of the Gabbard in June 1653. These are the details:
The ship Catrina, kapitein Jacob Coppen

Length:  125ft
Beam:     29-1/4ft
Hold:     12-1/2ft
Height:    7ft

28 guns: 12-12pdr, 6-8pdr, 8-6pdr, and 2-3pdr

Crew: 110 men

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The captain of the Amsterdam Directors' ship Faam

I have the photograph of a multi-page list of Amsterdam Directors' ships that defniitely shows that the captain of the Faam (28 guns) was Jacob Cornelisz Swart. The document is in a group of pages dating from late February to early March 1653. That same list suggests to me that Sipke Fockes commanded the Sint Maria (28 guns) at the Three Days Battle (AKA the Battle of Portland).

The Amsterdam ship Omlandia

Jacob Troncquoijs commanded the hired ship Omlandia during the summer of 1652. He was replaced by Boetius Schaeff, by the fall. From the spring of 1653, Boetius Schaeff's father, Maarten Schaeff, commanded the Omlandia, until the Omlandia was sunk at the Battle of Scheveningen on 10 August 1653. Ron van Maanen has the dimensions for the Omlandia: 120ft x 27-1/2ft x 12ft, with a height between decks of 6-3/4ft. From a document, I know that the armament of the Omlandia, during the summer of 1652, was 12-12pdr, 6-8pdr, 10-6pdr, and 2-3pdr guns, for a gotal of 30 guns. The crew was nominally 100 men. Sources:
  1. Ron van Maanen, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Warships 1600-1800", undated but circa 1992

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Kampen drawing at Maritiem Digital

Two Willem van de Velde de Oude drawings of the ship Kampen show up in a search of the Maritiem Digitaal database. The drawing that was done about 1665 is the best of the two. The second, dating from 1672 is so light as to be all but invisible. The drawings available online seem to be very low resolution images, but this, showing the Kampen from the port quarter is acceptable. I found these simply by searching with the term "1652". The 1665 drawing was number 68 of 359 records.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ab Hoving at Texas A&M University

I have exchanged email with Ab Hoving several times in the last 4 years. He is the ship model curator at the Scheepvaart Museum at Amsterdam (which is closed for renovation). About a year ago, Ab Hoving was invited to speak at the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University. Wendy van Duivenvoorde has a page about the visit, with photographs. I knew that Ab Hoving was looking for a publisher for an English translation for his Nicolaes Witsen book, and it would be great if it could be published by the university press at Texas A&M University.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The July 1653 list of ships at Vlissingen: the VOC ship of the "Hoorne" Chamber

The handwritten outline list of ships at Vlissingen in early July 1653, giving the status of ships, most of which are not named, gives the VOC ship from Hoorn (written as "Hoorne") as "unready". That ship was the Sint Willeboort, which is not mentioned in any published source that I have seen. This was a quite long ship, almost 140 Amsterdam feet, that only carried 28 guns and had a crew of 110 men. I am pretty confident that the ship was ready in time for the Battle of Scheveningen on 10 August 1653. The Sint Willeboort had fought in the Battle of the Gabbard ("Nieuwpoort")on 12 and 13 June 1653.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hendrick Croeger's middle name

A document dated 27 April 1652 gives Hendrik Kroeger's name as "Hendrick Evertsz Croeger". I have not seen his middle name, Evertszoon, mentioned before. This sort of name is usually abbreviated down to Evertsz (ommitting the period that we would put there, writing "Evertsz."). You might also see names like this called Evertssen, although it could be Evertsen, like the famous Zeeland family. By the way, Hendrick Kroeger commanded the convoyer Marcus Curtius (24 guns) up until 22 July 1652, when the English attacked the fishing protection squadron, of which the Marcus Curtius was part. He commanded the ship Leiden (28 guns) during 1653.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gerrit Munth was Willem Ham's lieutenant in April 1652

I was reading copies, this morning, from the Collection Johan de Witt, and looked a page that listed captains and their lieutenants in April 1652 for the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier. I had seen this before, but had forgotten that in April 1652, Gerrit Munth was Captain Ham's lieutenant. I presume that this meant Willem Ham, who commanded the Noorderkwartier ship Sampson at the beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch War. Fairly early, Gerrit Munth was appointed as captain of the 28-gun ship Huis van Nassau. By May 1653, he commanded the 32-gun ship Lastdrager and did so up to at least November 1653.

Friday, March 23, 2007


I have revived my analysis document about Amsterdam ships that I had started in December 2006. I still am interested in seeing if I can guess which ship that Abraham van der Hulst commanded. I assume that this was a "landsschip" and that the ship was one that we know about. If that is true, then by having a comprehensive list that shows who commanded ships, by date, we should be able to find which ship was that commanded by Abraham van der Hulst. The list of ships is too well-defined for his ship to be a "mystery ship". I must admit that our experience with Zeeland ships in 1652 ought to inspire some caution on this, as there were a number of Zeeland ships in service that were not mentioned in published sources.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The reason why Abraham van der Hulst's ship in 1652 could be a previously unknown ship

There is a small chance that Abraham van der Hulst's 26-gun ship in 1652 could be a previously unknown ship is that figuring out what ship he commanded, by analysis, has not been possible. You would think that if he commanded a ship that we knew about and that we have accurate information about which captains commanded which ships, then we could find the ship by analysis. I think that the chances of the ship being an unknown ship (a "mystery ship") are small, but they are a real possibility. Another possibility is that the ship was one that had served in the 1630s and 1640s, was damaged in the storm in the Shetlands and was finally discarded. We just don't know of any plausible ships.

Abraham van der Hulst's ship in the summer of 1652

I decided to look at the options, again, for Abraham van der Hulst's ship in June to August 1652. I assume that his ship was one of the well-known ships built as a warship. If that is true, then we should be able to make an educated guess as to the ship's identity by knowing, for all the Amsterdam ships, what captains commanded them during this period. I had thought, again, that the ship might be the klein Zutphen, but Ewout Jeroenszoon de Moy seems to have commanded the Zutphen from June, if not earlier.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I have wondered at the seeming mistakes in the outline list of the Dutch fleet, dating from early July 1653, when the fleet was mostly near Vlissingen (Flushing). The issue is about the assignment of ships to particular directors, from some seaports. The ship Halve Maen, is said to be with the Directors of Monnikendam, whch we actually think that the ship was hired by the Directors of Edam. The ship Vergulde Zon, or Schellinkhout, seems to have been hired by the Directors of Enkhuizen, but there are several lists, including the one from early July, that say that the ship was hired by the Directors of Edam. The fact that there are several, unrelated lists with these assignments is curious. Were they all wrong? My supposition is that they were all wrong, and that they are based on some common source that gave the assignments incorrectly.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Amsterdam ship Gaasterland, built in 1688

The ship Gaasterland was built by Hendrik Cardinaal at Amsterdam in 1688. The Gaasterland was built for the Admiralty of Amsterdam, and was considered to be a poor ship as the gunports were too low to the water. The French captured the Gaasterland in 1703. The dimensions for the Gaasterland were 135ft x 35ft x 14ft. The main battery consisted of 18pdr guns. The armament was 22-18pdr, 22-8pdr, and 8-4pdr guns. Ron van Maanen describes the Gaasterland as a "4th Rate". The Gaasterland was usually armed with between 46 and 52 guns and had a crew that varied between 190 and 210 men. Sources:
  1. Ron van Maanen, unpublished manuscript "ZEELAND", undated

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Sint Mattheus

I have been confused by the Sint Mattheeus, because there were two sets of dimensions referenced in different places. I had finally become convinced that there was only one ship, and that was captured by the English at the Battle of the Gabbard in June 1653. Ron van Maanen has two entries in his "Zeeland" document, one for the larger dimensions and one for the smaller. I cannot be sure if he was just documenting the two sets of dimensions or if he actually thought that there were two ships. Documents dating from March 1652 give the dimensions as 140ft x 34ft x 15ft, with a height between decks of 7-1/3ft. The only exceptions to those dimensions were the list prepared by David de Wildt in February 1652 that listed dimensions of 144ft x 36ft x 15ft. The 144ft x 36ft were the dimensions mentioned in Dr. Weber's book about the Four Days' Battle. Ron van Maanen says that the 7-1/3ft is actually the height below the orlogdeck, which is a rather different proposition. I see some of these different heights mentioned, but the same sort of dimension is used in every case where there is a deck height listed and they are consistent. The documents often don't say what the height is, but they author simply assumed that everyone knew that it was the height between decks.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Was Adriaen Vermeulen Johannes van Regermorter's lieutenant?

Adriaen Vermeulen commanded the Middelburg Directors' ship Leeuwinne on the voyage to Norway in September to November 1653. The original commander, Johannes van Regermorter was killed at the Three Days' Battle, on the first day, 28 February 1653. The Leeuwinne (or Gouden Leeuwinne) was a 120ft-long ship with a main battery of 8pdr guns. The Leeuwinne was equipped, however, with 4-bronze 24pdr guns. Sources:
  1. a page dated 11 February 1653 from Lias Admiraliteiten at the Nationaal Archief
  2. Ron van Maanen, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Warships 1600-1800", undated, but circa 1992
  3. Witte de With, journals from 1652 to 1658, Archive E8812 from the Riksarkivet, Stockholm

Saturday, March 17, 2007

More interesting pages

I received some more interesting pages today. One has the dimensions, gun list, and crew details for Jan Le Sage's ship, the Gouden Haen and Jacob Pensen's ship Gouden Leeuw. Both ships had "main batteries" of 8pdr guns, but the Gouden Haen had 8-18pdr guns, so that the ship was one of a handful of Dutch ships to carry 8-18pdr guns. Pieter Florissen's ship, the Monnikendam, was another ship so armed.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Looking for Zeeland ships during 1700 to 1800

I am browsing Ron van Maanen's largest document, looking for Zeeland ships during the period of 1700 to 1800. I am up to "Dolfijn" and all I have seen are many vessels of the type "uitlegger". I found the "Naval Sailing Warfare History 1650-1850" Wiki, and saw that there were at least some large Zeeland ships during this period. For example, after I saw the Wiki, I was able to find Ron's reference to the Zierikzee, built in 1733 and last mentioned in 1782:
The ship Zierikzee, built in 1733, rebuilt in 1743

Dimensions: 156ft x 44ft x 18-1/2ft

  1. Ron van Maanen, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Warships 1600-1800", undated but circa 1992

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Captain of the Hector van Troijen in December 1652

One document that in photographs that I received two days ago list Friesland captains and their ship, apparently from 7 December 1652. The page with the date is indistinct, so the date is certainly in December 1652, but the exact day is unclear. In any case, the only change that I especially noticed is that Laurens Harmensz Degelencamp (as this document calls him) was now captain of the ship Hector van Troijen. Reiner Sekema (or Siccema) had been removed and would face courtmartial. The Hector van Troijen was a rather small 24-gun ship that had fought at the Battle of Plymouth in August and the Battle of the Kentish Knock in October. I usually seen the captain's name written as Laurens Degelcamp, but I have seen him simply called Laurens Hermanszoon. A descendent of his or distant relative told me that his name really was Laurens Degelencamp.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Wikipedia De Ruyter page

I just checked the De Ruyter Wikipedia page and it seems to have at least some of the information from new books published as we come up to the anniversary of Michiel de Ruyter's birth (1607), four hundred years ago.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yesterday, I received photographs of the document with Zeeland Directors' ships from December 1652

I received the two photographs from a document that gives the gun lists and crews for three Zeeland Directors' ships: Jan Thijssen's ship Witte Lam, Bastiaen Centen's ship the Haes, and Allert Janszoon/Teunis Post's ship, the Arend (or Dubbele Arend). The Lam or Witte Lam had been Michiel De Ruyter's flagship from late 1652 until the late summer of 1653, and was heavily engaged. The Haes and Dubbele Arend both took part in the voyage to Norway and back in September to November 1653. Perhaps there would be some interest in knowing that in December 1652, the Lam carried 34 guns, of which four were 24pdr and two were 18pdr. The Lam had an odd collection of guns: bronze 24pdr, 18pdr, 12pdr, and 6pdr guns and iron 12pdr and 8pdr guns. The largest number were iron 8pdr guns.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ron van Maanen says that there were fireships in 1665 fitted with "bangmakers"

Ron van Maanen lists a fireship Walvis that served in 1665 for the Admiralty of Zeeland. The ship had dimensions 91ft x 21-1/2ft x 11ft. The Walvis carried two guns and had a crew of 12 men. Interestingly, Ron says that the Walvis was fitted with "bangmakers". That is the only reference to "bangmakers" that I could find in his largest document. I need to look at Frank Fox's book, A Distant Storm, to see if he mentions "bangmakers".

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Today, I received a list of Amsterdam ships from about

I received photographs of a list of Amsterdam ships, giving their crews and lists of guns. This only covered the ships still in service, as those that were already lost had only summary information. The striking thing is that the better ships all had large numbers of 12pdr guns, with the remainder being 6pdr. The lesser ships only had a smaller number of 12pdr guns, with more 8pdr, with 6pdr and smaller guns, as well.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I have this page dated 24 May 1652

There is a page dated 24 May 1652. There had been a date of 29 April 1652, but a line is drawn through it. The page has a list of seven Rotterdam captains:
Dirck Claesz van Dongen
Isaack de Jongh
Jacob van Cleijdijck
Sijmon Cornelisz van der Meer
Ruth Jacobsz Buijs
Arien Cornelisz de Zeeuw

We could play a game of "what name seems to not belong here?". The name that is "out of place" is Dirck Claesz van Dongen. The others commanded Rotterdam Directors' ships, but he commanded a ship involved in fishery protection. Does anyone have an explanation?

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Noorderkwartier ship Lastdrager (1652-1653)

Although not mentioned by name, the ship Lastdrager initially appeared in late 1652, under the command of Volckert Schram (according to Carl Stapel). By the spring of 1653, Gerrit Munt commanded the Lastdrager, which apparently was an East Indiaman. There is an undated page, but likely from June 1652, that mentions the ship and Gerrit Munt as the captain. The ship is listed, although not by name, as having 32 guns and a crew of 110 men in August 1653. In September 1653, the ship is mentioned by name, along with Gerrit Munt as the captain, in a list of ships with Witte de With's fleet on the voyage to Norway. This is from Witte de With's journal.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Prior to the Battle of the Kentish Knock, some of the Amsterdam Directors' ships were upgunned

Apparently, the figures usually seen for the Amsterdam Directors' ships armaments in 1652 were just nominal figures, or what was planned. What I am seeing from September 1652 are actual guns on board, which is apparently something unusual. The ships in this document all have 4pdr guns and some have more guns than the nominal numbers. I had no idea that Sipke Fockes' ship, the Sint Maria, carried 31 guns at the Battle of the Kentish Knock. I believe that it was the Gideon that had as many as 37 guns. The Mauritius had her nominal 34 guns, but had 12pdr guns substituted for lesser guns.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Gideon in September 1652

I received better photographs of a document, dating from September 1652, that has armaments listed for some ship, including the Amsterdam Directors' ship Gideon, commanded by Hector Bardesius at this date. A number of ships were armed with "half-cartouwen" 24pdr guns. The Gideon carried 4 bronze 24pdr guns of this type. While nominally carrying 34 guns, the Burgh actually seems to have had 37 guns: 4-24pdr, 14-12pdr, 8-8pdr, 5-6pdr, 2-4pdr, 4-3pdr. From other sources, we know that the Gideon had dimensions of 132-1/2ft x 29-1/4ft x 13-1/2ft, with a height between decks of 6-1/2ft.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I see that the latest Rotterdam list from 1652 is of the fleet "under the flag of Vice-Admiral De With"

I had wondered about yet another list of ships of the Admiralty of Rotterdam, dating from 1652. I looked at the title on the first page, and this list is of the fleet under the flag of Vice-Admiral Witte de With. In the list, the crew of the Brederode is listed as 175 sailors and 75 soldiers. The crew of Witte de With's flagship Prinses Louise was 121 sailors and 41 soldiers. The list actually includes all Rotterdam ships, as Michiel Fransz van den Bergh's ship, the 40-gun Gelderland, which was in the Mediterranean Sea is included. The Gelderland had a crew of 110 sailors and 30 soldiers. The small frigate Gelderland, commanded by the famous Aert Jansz van Nes, had a large crew, consisting of 80 sailors and 20 soldiers. Paulus van den Kerckhoff's ship, the Dolphijn, had a crew of 109 sailors and 31 soldiers.

Monday, March 05, 2007

An interesting two page document

On 2 March 2007, I received more photographs of documents. These included a two page document that has ship names, captains, crew, and lists of guns. There is an entry for the "Jeronimus", commanded by Jan Pietersz Een arm, but the entry only gives the crew as 100 men and the armament as 30 guns, with no guns listed (sadly). The other entries all list guns, by shot weight, except for the ship commanded by kapitein Ham. This was the Tobias, but the name is not even included. The list is dated 6 September 1652.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Willem Folkertszoon's ship the Swarte Bul

Willem Folkertszoon commanded a ship belonging to the Middelburg Chamber of the VOC (the Dutch East Indies Company) in the summer of 1653. Witte de With's journal says that in August, the Swarte Bul (presumably, also named Edam) carried 36 guns and had a crew of 139 men. At this date, the Swarte Bul carried victuals for 12 weeks. None of the published sources have even the number of guns for any of these VOC ships serving with the fleet. The dimensions for the Swarte Bul (Edam) may exist. I have just not seen them, yet. The Swarte Bul took part in the voyage to Norway in September to November 1653, in Witte de With's fleet. The Swarte Bul's captain at this time was Abraham Arenszoon, who had been the luitenent-commandeur. Sources:
  1. Witte de With, journals from 1652 to 1658, Archive E8812 from the Riksarkivet, Stockholm

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Another list that confirms that the Campen, Westfriesland, Star, and others were hired!

The document from the Wrangell Collection that Jan Glete had sent me had Amsterdam ships hired in 1652. We had a hard time with it, because we had considerable reason to believe that the Campen, Westfriesland, Star, Edam, and other ships, were "Landsschepen" and belonged to the Admiralty of Amsterdam rather than being hired ("gehuurd"). I received photographs of a list, today, that confirm that these ships were listed as "hired". My attempt at an explanation is that these ships were funded by the "100 ships", and were considered to be "hired". Another explanation is that they were actually hired, after being discarded at the peace in 1648. I have assumed that these ships were simply put into reserve, in 1648, available to be returned to service when needed.

Friday, March 02, 2007

I have inventories for Friesland ships in 1652

One interesting thing that I received in the last few days were photographs of inventories for hired Friesland ships in 1652. They don't have the weights of guns, but they are detailed inventories, which could be useful for analysis of ships characteristics. They could also help to estimate values for ships for which we don't have inventories. One little nugget is the the hired ship Schaepharder seems to have been built in 1643 and had a main battery of just 6pdr guns. The ship carried nothing larger.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Numbers of Dutch ships in 1652

The numbers of Dutch ships funded by the various acts of the Staten Generaal seem to be treated in the published literature, including by Dr. Elias, as absolute numbers. There were the 40 convoyers funded at the peace treaty with Spain in 1648. These were supplemented by 36 cruisers in 1651. In early 1652, another 150 ships were "added", fifty provided by the Directors of the various seaports and 100 by the five admiralties. Those numbers total to 226 ships, which some authors expect to be meaningful. In fact, there were fewer than 40 convoyers left by early 1652, although the number 41 is sometimes mentioned, to further confuse the issue. The "36 Ships" is in different sources also said to be 35 or 37 ships. Of the 150 ships, the fifty Directors' ships were in fact hired and in service, however briefly, before losses occurred. Of the 100 ships, there were never 100 ships in service, and they were not just hired ships, but new construction and warships activated from the reserve.

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