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.