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Friday, June 01, 2007

The loss of the Jaarsveld off of Livorno in January 1653

Yesterday, I received a photograph of details of the Amsterdam ship Jaarsveld, which was wrecked on an uncharted rock off of Livorno (Leghorn) in January 1653. The Jaarsveld was the flagship of the Dutch Mediterranean fleet up to this time. The Jaarsveld had been built in 1651 and was larger than the normal 40 gun ships. The Jaarsveld was not huge, but was 130ft long. The Jaarsveld had a lower tier of 12pdr guns and an upper tier of 8pdr guns, with a few smaller, probably on the quarterdeck or poop. Also, in the archaic style, the Jaarsveld carried a few larger guns, as well. The style, in the latter 16th Century, would have ships armed with 4 to 6 larger guns, a lower tier of the current heavy gun (the English used 18pdr culverins) and an upper tier of the current ligher gun (for the English, this was the 9pdr demi-culverin). The Dutch still mostly armed their ships this way during the First Anglo-Dutch War, although they already had many Amsterdam ships that had armaments that were more uniform.

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