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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654

Vreugdenhil, when he compiled his list published in 1938, had clearly seen the Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654. The curious thing about the list is just how poor and incomplete it is, compared to the information that we have seen in documents dating from 1652 to 1654. Some of the best information that we have is for Zeeland ships up to June 1653. Yet, the information for Zeeland ships in the Staet is sparse and incomplete at best. It was also the case that there were multiple versions of the Staet. I have copies of several versions, one of which is quite incomplete, up to the one which seems to have been most widely distributed, which seems to be the one which Vreugdenhil saw.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The ship hired by the Groningen Directors in 1652

I concede that the Friesland lists of ships with dimensions and gun lists would lead you to believe that the ship Graaf Hendrick, commanded by Jan Reijndersz Wagenaer in late 1652 and all of 1653 was a ship hired by the Admiralty of Friesland. However, there are some other, independent lists, that label that ship as a ship hired by the Groningen Directors.

In a list from 18 May 1652, Joost Bulter was listed as commanding a Groningen Directors' ship. My working theory, which seems more plausible now, is that Joost Bulter commanded the Graaf Hendrick up until July 1652 or so, when Jan Reijndersz Wagenaer was appointed in his place. Joost Bulter was nominated as the captain of a new ship purchased for the Admiralty of Friesland which was eventually named the Stad Groningen en Ommelanden.

I now have seen three unrelated lists that show that the Graaf Hendrick was employed by the Groningen Directors in November and December 1652. It remains to be seen if in fact Joost Bulter commanded the ship or if he was just listed as potentially commanding a ship. As for the Graaf Hendrick, the lists of dimensions and guns usually say that it was a ship of Groningen and leaves ambiguous whether it was employed by the Groningen Directors or by the Admiralty of Friesland. I expanded upon what I originally wrote after receiving some comments.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Lastdrager

The Lastdrager seems to have been hired by the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier in late 1652. I have a gun list for the ship from mid-July 1653. I have an idea that this ship was rather large, such as 126ft x 32ft x 12ft x 7-1/4ft or even 130ft x 32ft x 12ft x 7-1/4ft. I could be wrong, but I had that impression. I am not sure what the initial armament was. It might have been something like 10-8pdr, 10-6pdr, 6-4pdr, and 2-3pdr guns. The crew was supposed to be 110 men, at least by July 1653. The Lastdrager was originally commanded by Volckert Schram, but was later commanded by Gerrit Munt.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The ship Campen, from 23 June 1653

The list dated 23 June 1653 has some rather extraordinary dimensions for the 40 gun ship Campen. The Campen was employed by the Admiralty of Amsterdam. At this date, Willem van der Zaan had replaced his late brother Joris as captain. The dimensions listed are 133ft x 32ft x ? x 7ft. What I believe to be the "real dimensions" are somewhat different: 128ft x 32ft x 13ft x 7ft. The ship had a lower tier armed with 12pdr guns and an upper tier armed with 6pdr guns. The lower tier also had 4-bronze 18pdr guns.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Laurens Degelcamp

One thing that I learned was that Laurens Degelcamp's full name was Laurens Hermanszoon Degelcamp. The First Dutch War, Vol.VI, page 157, lists his ship as the Gelderland, but we think that he actually commanded the Groninger Nicolaes (also called the Groningen Sint Nicolaes, or some variation of that name). One cause for concern is that Brandt's biography, on page 26, mentions Captain Degelcamp and a ship named Gelderland. If that is in fact an independent source, we have two sources for Laurens Degelcamp commanding a ship named Gelderland (spelled Gelderlandt in 17th Century Dutch).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Stad Groningen en Ommelanden

I started looking again at what references that I had for the Stad Groningen en Ommelanden, the ship commanded by Joost Bulter that was sunk by gunfire at the Battle of the Gabbard. The list of 23 June 1653 just says that the captain was Joost Bulter and was a ship of the Stad en Lande. A list dated 20 May 1653 includes the ship and says that the Stad Groningen en Ommelanden carried 38 guns and had a crew of 110 men. A list of 26 May says that the captain was Joost Bulter and that the ship was a private ship of Groningen.

An alternative theory about Joost Bulter

Let us suppose that both the list dated 16 May 1652 and 28 November 1652 are correct. The 16 May list says that Joost Bulter commanded a ship hired by the Groningen Directors (Directors of Stad en Lande). The 28 November list says that the ship Prins Hendrick was a Directors ship from Friesland or Groningen. The other two ships listed were definitely hired by the Directors at Harlingen in Friesland, so that would mean that the Prins Hendrick was hired by the Groningen Directors. By August 1652, Jan Reijndersz Wagenaer commanded the Prins Hendrick. Suppose that in July, the Prins Hendrick was one of the ships which were assigned new captains. That could allow Joost Bulter to have commanded the ship in May. By December 1652, he was listed as captain the ship Stad Groningen en Ommelanden. To go even further in theorizing, suppose that the Stad Groningen en Ommelanden was originally named Kameel as a merchant ship and was renamed on being purchased by the Admiralty of Friesland. That could mean that the picture on the tafferel was still a camel. My theory about the origin of the name in the published literature is that there is a drawing by Willem van de Velde de Oude that mentions the Kameel as the name of Joost Bulter's ship and that the origin was the picture on the tafferel. I just wanted a plausible story that might explain the evidence that we have. I don't particularly think that my explanation is the answer, but I thought that I would add it to the discussion.

The ship of the Directors of the Stad en Lande

The lists that define the fifty Directors' ships show that there were two ships to be hired by the Harlingen Directors in Friesland. The lists also say that the Directors of Groningen or the Stad en Lande should hire one ship in 1652. The list of captains from 16 May 1652 gives Joost Bulter as the captain of the ship hired by the Stad en Lande. A list from late 1652 gives the three ships of the Friesland and Groningen Directors as the Vergulde Pelicaen, the Sint Vincent, and the Prins Hendrick. The accuracy of these lists is in dispute, so you would have to form your own opinion on the subject. If Witte de With's mention of a kapitein Belevelt in September 1652 actually refers to Joost Bulter, then that is a further complication. Witte de With's journal dated 17 September 1652 lists kapitein Belevelt with the ships of the Admiralty of Friesland. We also know that kapitein Wagenaer commanded the Prins Hendrick with De Ruyter's fleet in the Channel in August and September 1652. Sadly, we just need to find more information or the right source to unravel the mystery.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A mystery to me that I just realized that I had

I was reading a document today from May 1652 that said that Joost Bulter commanded a Directors' ship of the Stad en Lande (Groningen). All the lists say that there was one ship hired by them among the fifty Directors's ships hired in 1652. The question is which ship that was as far back as May 1652. Was it the Stad Groningen en Ommelanden with what seems to have been the original 28 guns or was it a different ship?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Amsterdam small ships in September 1652

I have one list, dating from 21 September 1652, of Amsterdam ships that includes small ships, including those that the English call "Watt Convoyers". The name actually refers to the small ships that were convoyers in the Wadden Zee, the protected Dutch coastal waters. These are the ships listed (for some reason, I am having trouble reading the men's names, so I am likely to have them wrong):
Ship               Commander         Guns Crew
Orangeboom         Bomven Goet        8   34
Princes            Adriaen van Veede 12   24
Adelaer            Arent Warnaerdtsz 12   24

Ylst               Willem de Veer    10   26
Valck              Roelof de Veer    10   18
Huijs te Raephorst Bitter van Reede  10   18
Prins Willem       Roelof Schut      10   13

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Odd 12pdr guns

Two of the guns carried by the 38-gun Zeeland ship Hollandia in late March 1653 were abnormally light bronze 12pdr guns. There is no indication that they were chambered, but perhaps they were, as they weighed only 634 and 651 pounds.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Three Days Battle references

I was looking in Vol.IV of Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen for references to the Three Days Battle. I had hoped to see references to the Lias Admiraliteiten or something else that would be recognizable. Almost all the references are to The First Dutch War, Vol.IV, or to the Hollandsche Mercurius for 1653. There were no references prefixed by "L.A.", which is Dr. Elias's notation for references to the Lias Admiraliteiten. There are a few references to "Brandt" and to the "Hare Hoog Mogenden", with dates. I also know that the Onstelde-Zee has a description of the battle with some accurate names of ships that are not otherwise published. For example, the names of Johannes Regermorter's ship (Leeuwinne) and to Jacob Cleijdijck's ship (Meerman).

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