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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.

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