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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December 10, 1652

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Dungness, fought on 10 December 1652 (the Gregorian date). This was the only victory of the Dutch over the English in home waters in a battle between the main fleets. The Dutch lost one ship, the Schiedam (for some reason sometimes called the Gelderland) (30 guns) and the English had two ships captured (the Garland and the Anthony Bonaventure). Shortly after the battle, Bastiaan Centsen, in the Haes, chased the hired English ship Hercules. The Hercules was run on shore and was abandoned by the cowardly crew. The Dutch got the Hercules afloat and took her as a prize. The Hercules had 34 guns while the Haes was a small ship with 30 guns.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Maecht van Enckhuijsen on 6 September 1652

I happened to look at a page from a document that is dated 6 September 1652. The document has gun lists for some ships that seem like they reflect what was actually carried on that date and not what was planned or allowed. One such ship is the Enkhuizen Directors' ship Maecht van Enckhuijsen (presumably Maagd van Enkhuizen). The armament includes the 4-bronze klokwijs guns of unspecified shot weight, but presumably heavy, and 4-iron 18pdr guns. The armament listed is consideraly different from that listed in 1653 after the ship was lost in the Three Days Battle and includes a main battery of iron 9pdr guns, which are unique in a day when ships either had 12pdr of 8pdr guns in the main battery.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

30 June 1652

I have this printed page from 1652 that claims to be the list of Tromp's fleet from 30 June 1652. Except for one ship name (Alkmaar) there are only captains and flag officers mentioned. Given the names listed, the actual date would be earlier. Either that or ships that were already lost are included. For example, Adriaen de Zeeuw is listed as is Jan Warnaertsz Capelman. After finding all the men in my list of the fleet from 15 July 1652, I am still not able to make sense of the two names listed in the van: Jacob van Nove and Jan Elbertsz van Enckhuijsen. These are the names mentioned in the 15 July 1652 list that are not obviously in the 30 June 1652 list:
Hendrick Jansz de Munnick        Rotterdam           ship Holland, 30 guns
Corstiaen Corstiaensz de Munnick Rotterdam Directors ship Prins, 38 guns
Joris van der Zaan               Amsterdam           ship Groningen, 40 guns
lt-cdr Nicolaes Marrevelt        Amsterdam           ship Zeelandia, 36 guns
Jan ter Stege                    Amsterdam           ship Keijser, 24 guns
Barent Pietersz Dorrevelt        Amsterdam           ship Amsterdam, 34 guns
Cornelis Hola                    Amsterdam           ship Leiden, 28 guns
Gillis Janszoon                  Zeeland             ship Zeeridder, 28 guns
Claes Jansz Sanger               Zeeland             ship Middelburg, 26 guns
Cornelis Evertsen de Oude        Zeeland             ship Zeeuwsche Leeuw, 28 guns
Adriaen Banckert                 Zeeland             ship Westcappel, 28 guns
Adriaen Kempen                   Zeeland             ship Amsterdam, 30 guns
Lambert Bartelszoon              Zeeland             ship Eendracht, 18 guns
Johannes Michielszoon            Zeeland             ship Haes, 20 guns
Jacob Wolphertszoon              Zeeland             ship Sint Joris, 23 guns
Daniel Cornelisz Brackman        Zeeland             ship Abrahams Offerande, 24 guns
Dingeman Cats                    Zeeland             ship Dolphijn, 24 guns
Reijnst Cornelisz Sevenhuijsen   Noorderkwartier     ship Roode Leeuw, 24 guns
Thys Tijmensz Peereboom          Noorderkwartier     ship Peereboom, 24 guns
Gerrit Munt                      Noorderkwartier     ship Huis van Nassau, 28 guns
There was also Witte de With's squadron, but they were omitted from the fleet list for 30 June.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The ship Hoop, in service in 1652 and 1653

I was looking at a page dating from July 1653, yesterday, that had the armament list for the hired ship Hoop. The gun list is distinctive, because the largest guns are 10pdr, an odd size for 1653. I had thought that the ship Hoop that had fought in the Battle of the Gabbard and the Battle of Scheveningen might have been a different ship from that which Joris Caullerij (sometimes spelled Colerij) commanded in 1652. The gun list, however, as almost identical. The only difference in that the Hoop, in 1653, carried two more 8pdr guns and two fewer 6pdr guns. I had seen a list of ships hired for service in March or April 1653 that had somewhat different dimensions for a ship named Hoop, but I have frequently seen these sort of variations.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Johan Regermorter

The short biography of Johan Regermorter, in Mollema's "Honour Roll" caught my eye today. I imagined that he was the son of Johannes Regermorter, who was killed in the Battle of Portland (the Three Days Battle). Johan's life seems to have been cut short. He had been in Cornelis Mangelaer's crew in the Goes in Brazil in 1650 to 1652. He served through the First Anglo-Dutch War in some unspecified capacity. In 1658, Johan Regermorter had been Adriaan Bankert's luitenant in the Sound. From 1661, he was Adriaan Bankert's flag captain. He died at the age of 32 in 1662, according to Mollema.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jan Fransz Blom in September 1653

The Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654 lists Jan Fransz Blom as the captain of the jacht Haij. I just read a document that mentions him, without naming his ship, on 27 September 1653. He is mentioned, along with captains "Pauwels van den Kerckhove" and "Corstiaen Elderssen". They were all captains of the Admiralty of the Maze (or Rotterdam).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Aert van Nes and the Gelderland in 1652

At the beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch War, the small frigate Gelderland (24 guns) was commanded by Jan Jansz van Nes, the Jonge Boer Jaep. His son, Aert Jansz van Nes was his lieutenant. According to a biographical dictionary I read last night, Jan Jansz van Nes died at Havre de Grace in late August 1652, after the collision with the Sint Nicolaes (24 guns), which was sunk. Aert van Nes commanded the Gelderland for the rest of the war. I have had some confusion, perhaps from misreading Dutch from the dictionary.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Last calculations

Perhaps this is an attempt to calculate the "incalculable", but I do it anyway. These are my calculations for lasts for these ships (in round numbers):
Groningen       A       1644      220 lasts
Groningen       F       1666      420 lasts
Gouden Leeuw    A       1652      170 lasts
Gouda           A       1636      180 lasts
Gorcum          R       1639      160 lasts
Mercurius       A-VOC   1653      210 lasts
Middelburg      A      <1652      170 lasts
Brederode       R       1645      350 lasts
Prinses Louise  R       1646      200 lasts
Utrecht         R       1653      260 lasts

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dutch squadrons on 12 and 13 June 1653

The question arose as to what the Dutch squadron organization was at the Battle of the Gabbard on 12 and 13 June 1653. Lacking manuscript sources, I was reduced to using Brandt's biography of De Ruyter, with a little supplementary information:
Tromp in the Brederode, squadron admiral
 Gideon de Wildt in the Vrede, squadron Vice-Admiral
 Abel Roelantsz Verboom in the Prinses Louise, squadron Rear-Admiral

Witte de With in the Vrijheid, squadron admiral
 Jan de Lapper in the Phesant, squadron vice-admiral
 Jacob Kleijdijck in the Prins, squadron rear-admiral (Schout-bij-Nacht)

Johan Evertsen, possibly in the Milde Maerten 
       rather than the Hollandia, squadron admiral
 Cornelis Evertsen de Oude in the Zeeuwsche Leeuw, squadron vice-admiral
 Adriaen Nicolaesz Kempen in the Amsterdam, squadron rear-admiral

de Ruijter's and Florissen's squadrons totaled 35 ships

Michiel de Ruijter in the Lam, squadron admiral
 Adriaen Jansz den Oven in the Neptunus, squadron vice-admiral  (Sunk)
 Marcus Hartman in the Gecroonde Liefde,  squadron rear-admiral

Pieter Florissen in the Monnikendam, squadron admiral
 Gillis Thijssen Campen in the Groningen,  squadron vice-admiral
 Claes Bastiaensz van Jaersvelt in the David en Goliat, squadron rear-admiral

I see what I wrote in 2004 about this topic.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Noorderkwartier ship Samson built circa 1625

The Noorderkwartier ship Samson, built in 1625 or 1627, was a larger ship than the Eenhoorn of 1625. The Samson was variously listed as 240 or 250 lasts. That would be a ship of about 128ft x 30ft x 13ft (or 128ft x 31ft x 12-1/2ft). In 1639, for the Armada campaign that cuminated in the Battle of the Downs on 31 October 1639, the Samson was armed with 32 guns and had a crew of 120 men. Her captain in 1639 was Claes Cornelisz Ham.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A ship of 200 lasts

In a note on page 275 of Vol.I of Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, there is a description of a ship of 200 lasts. The ship was mentioned in a document dated 1630. The dimensions given were 125ft x 29ft x 11-1/2ft x 7ft (the last is the deck height). The dimensions are in Amsterdam feet and pretty much match the dimensions of the Noorderkwartier ship Eenhoorn, built in 1625. The Eenhoorn is usually called a ship of 200 lasts, although one reference gives the size as 220 lasts.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Onstelde-Zee book

My original thoughts about the Onstelde-Zee book, published in 1654, were that the book was not to be trusted. After learning more, I found that the book's description of the Battle of Portland, which the Dutch call the Three Days Battle, is quite accurate. The book mentions the Prins Willem, when referring to the ship usually called the Prins. The Prins must actually be called "Prins Willem te Paard". The Van de Velde drawing of the Battle of Dungeness calls the ship Prins te Paard, as does a letter from Johan Evertsen from mid-August 1652. The book calls Jacob Cleijdijck's ship Meerman, which is correct. Johannes van Regermorter's ship is correctly called the Leeuwin. Abraham van Campen's ship is called by an alternative name "Poort van Troijen", which is what Johan Evertsen called the ship in mid-August 1652. The more usual name was Arke Troijane. One seeming error is the mention of the Groote Sint Lucas being Sipke Fockes' ship. All indications were that Sipke Fockes still commanded the Sint Maria in the battle and that the ship was not captured, although he was killed. We have no explanation, at this date, for the Groot Sint Lucas.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

From 9 June 1652

One thing notable on a page dated 9 June 1652 is the following:

5 die de steden Delff, Rotterdam, Schiedam, @ Enckhuijsen ordinarie equipperden, @ voegen bij s'lants schepen tot bescherminge van de buijssen

In other words, this is trying to cover five ships hired by cities for protection of the fishing busses. These ships were to be part of the fishery protection squadron, along with the ships of the admiralties. Of course, there are only four cities named and there are five ships.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wargaming 1648-1720

Wargaming in the 1648-1720 period is a great challenge, due to the large fleets that were employed during this period. If you insist on fighting fleet actions without the help of a compupter, then you must follow some strategy like that employed by Iain Stanford in "General-at-Sea", where the game mechanisms are simplified and the ships are grouped. There is a slight possibility that if you had large teams of gamers, you might be able to use more detailed rules, but I am doubtful.

One alternative is to fight small actions, either small, independent squadrons or else small parts of larger fleets. If what you really want is to be able to fight the Battle of Portland or the Battle of the Gabbard, you would end up being pretty dissatisfied.

The ultimate would be a simulation game with 3D models that was paced to allow large numbers of ships on each side. Barring that, at least a simulation game that used a plan view map as the display would be adequate. You would want to have some degree of artificial intelligence employed, probably at the ship level, as well as for the squadron commander. I can see such a game written in Smalltalk being possible. The main difficulty is the level of effort involved and the cost to pay developer's time. I suspect that such a game would not be commercially viable, as everyone wants a flashy 3D graphics interface.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nine Amsterdam 40 gun Landsschepen in March 1653?

I am back to trying to fill in the details that match J. C. De Jonge's appendix XXII to Vol.I of Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen. This is the table entitled "Staat der Nederlandsche Zeemagt, in Maart des Jaars 1653". One nagging problem involves finding nine Amsterdam 40-gun Landsschepen. Finding eight is easy:
Graaf Willem
Vereenigde Provinciën

The question is, what is the ninth ship? The natural ship to list as the one 40-gun hired ship would be the Aartsengel Michiel. Interestingly, that is listed as being funded by the 40-ships of 1648 appropriation in a list from 28 November 1652. I thought it would be possible, then, to include the Aartsengel Michiel as the ninth 40-gun ship. That leaves us with having to find the 40-gun hired ship somewhere else. The only possibility that I could think of would be to use the Vogelstruis as the hired ship. That is more satisfying then using it as a Landsschip. The Vogelstruis was the ship hired from the Amsterdam Chamber of the East India Company (the VOC). I am doubtful that any of this is a reasonable thing to do, but then, what else can you do? We would have to be able to go back in our time machine and ask Johan Cornelisz de Jonge what he meant to resolve the problem, otherwise.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Rotterdam ship Prinses Louise, built in 1646

The Rotterdam ship Prinses Louise was vice-admiraal Witte de With's flagship in 1652. I as looking at the van de Velde drawing of the Prinses Louise and was counting gun ports. There are ten ports on a side on the lower tier. The upper tier is incomplete, with an unarmed waist. There are two guns on a side forward and four on a side aft. There are also four guns at the level above this. The lower tier almost certainly consisted of the 4-bronze 24pdr guns and 16-12pdr guns. The upper tier would have been 12-12pdr guns. At the next level (the poop), there were the 4-bronze chambered 5pdr guns. Of the lower tier, the bronze 24pdr guns were not chambered, apparently. By November, the 24pdr guns were reduced to two and two more 12pdr guns replaced them. Presumably, that was to lighten the ship.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ships in the Three Days Battle (the Battle of Portland)

The question I have is whether there is any documentary support for these ships being at the Three Days Battle (what the English called the Battle of Portland) from 28 February 1653 until 2 March 1653 (new style dates):
Adm    Ship                      Guns Crew Commander
A      Graef Willem              40   140  kapitein Jan Gideonsz Verburgh
A      Zeelandia                 34   120  luitenant-commandeur 
                                             Nicolaes Marrevelt
A      Zutphen                   26   100  kapitein Ewout Jeroensz de Moij
A      Amsterdam                 30   100  kapitein Sijmon van der Aeck
A-Dir  Sint Matheeus             34   125  kapitein Cornelis Naeuoogh
Z      Eendracht                 24    80  kapitein Andries Fortuijn
N      Wapen van Enkhuizen       32   120  kapitein Herman Munneckes
N      Lastdrager                32   110  kapitein Volckert Schram
N      Monnick                   28    95  kapitein Arent Dirckszoon
N      Prins Maurits             32    97  kapitein Cornelis Pietersz Taenman
Mo-Dir Swarte Beer               30   115  kapitein Jacob Claesz Boot
Ed-Dir Vergulde Halve Maen       30   110  kapitein Jan Fredericksz Hoeckboot
Ho-Dir Samson                    30   110  kapitein Jacob Hoeck
F      Breda                     28   110  kapitein Adriaen Bruijnsvelt
F      Graef Hendrick            30   110  kapitein Jan Reijndersz Wagenaer
F      Hector van Troijen        24    70  kapitein Laurens Hermansz Degelencamp
F      Princesse Albertijna      26    90  kapitein Rombout van der Parre
F      Sara                      24    80  luitenant Hessel Franszoon
F      Sevenwolden               36   140  kapitein Frederick Stellingwerff
F      Wapen van Nassau          36   130  kapitein Hendrick Jansz Camp
Ha-Dir Sint Vincent              28   105  kapitein Andries Douwesz Pascaert

I want better support than appearing on De Sneuper website or being listed in Dr. Ballhausen's book. Preferably, I would like two have at least two sources per ship to prove that the ship and captain fought in the battle. The admiralties follow my usual abbreviation system.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Job Forant

I have a copy of the letter of marque from Charles II for Job Forant on the ship Fortune. The letter is dated 1652, so Anderson's date is wrong. We knew that Job Forant was in Brazil until mid-1649, so the 1649 date listed by Anderson was questionable.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Job Forant in 1649 or there abouts

I see the listing in R.C. Anderson's book about English captains in the period of 162 to 1660 where Job Forant (or Foran) is named as a Royalist captain in about 1649. He is listed as the captain of the Fortune.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Captain Belevelt

In his journal, Witte de With mentions a captain Belvelt who commanded a Friesland ship with the fleet in September 1652. The ship has neither guns nor crew mentioned. Carl Stapel had seen a reference from March 1653 that said that Captain Belvelt commanded a ship named Omlandia. There seems to have been an available ship named Omlandia, that built in 1628 and mentioned in July 1654 and then again in 1655.

One problem with this is that we know of the Omlandia from 1652 to 1653. We have many lists of Friesland ships and the ship built in 1628 is totally absent. All other Friesland ships are listed. So that is a concern, but given the list from July 1654, we might conclude that the Omlandia was simply employed outside of home waters and would be omitted from a list of ships based in the Netherlands. There was a Noorderkwartier ship Enkhuizen, which is a similar case.

I am skeptical that the Omlandia mentioned in March 1653 was the Stad Groningen en Ommelanden and that Captain Belvelt was actually Joost Bulter. I would have to see hard evidence before I would believe that. Otherwise, we are just guessing.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


I was interested to see that Google Book Search, at least what is available in the United States, has the volume Catalogus van de Pamfletten-Verzameling Berustende in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek, by Dr. Knuttel. They have the volume that covers 1649 to 1667, or at least the Second Volume, First Part.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Having 1671 and 1672 ship information sure is nice

I hadn't guessed how nice it would be to actually have some ship data from 1671 and 1672. I received some yesterday, all about ships of the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier. The 1671 information has length and beam, while the 1672 only has ship name, captain, number of guns, sailors and soldiers.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Corstiaen Eldertszoon (more name information)

The captain of the Rotterdam hired ship Roscam is usually called Corstiaen Eldertszoon. I found a little bit of information while searching online: "kapitein Cristiaen Eldersz Groendal" of the ship "de Vergulde Roscam". Corstiaen and Christiaen seem interchangable. This makes it appear that Groendal is the captain's real last name, while he is just the "son of Elder".

Writing Projects

I have three related writing projects about Dutch ships from 1600 to 1780's and the First Anglo-Dutch War. While there is still much information to find and learn, I presently know more and have more information. The challenge is to find time to write and complete what I have in work. I keep looking for a way to be able to go full time doing research and writing, but there is no obvious way to achieve that situation. In the mid-1990's, I would have said that this sort of information did not exist. However it does, and I would like to be one of the authors who publish some of it. There should be more, I would hope, as there are several researchers who know and either are or could write about it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dimension conversion

I thought of making an Excel spreadsheet to convert from Maas feet and inches to Amsterdam feet and inches. At lunchtime today, I implemented it. It makes the process of converting from Maas feet (308mm divided into 12 inches) into Amsterdam feet (283mm of 11 inches) a simple task.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The hired ships Pelicaen and Gouden Reael

I had forgotten that I had dimensions for the Amsterdam hired ships Pelicaen and Gouden Reael. Those two ships were hired in mid-1653 and served up through the voyage to Norway from September to November 1653. Both ships survived the storm off the Texel, as I recall. Many of the hired ships were long and narrow. Despite what David K. Brown wrote in his article about the speed and form of sailing ships. His thesis was that the form of sailing ships was irrelevant, due to the low speed-length ratio (speed in knots/sqrt(length in feet)). That is a valid assertion, but the length-to-beam ratio is still important for speed. Short wide ships have more resistance than long narrow ships. This is really intuitive and based on our experience. All you have to do is experiment with a short, wide, piece of wood. Push it in the water and see how fast it moves. Then try the same experiment with a long, narrow piece of wood. Even though both have flat ends, the long, narrow one will move faster and with less effort. Both the Pelicaen (24 guns) and the Gouden Reael (28 guns) had length-to-beam ratios above 4.0.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wargame pieces

I finally made a tiny bit of progress towards having a new style of Dutch ship wargame piece. I started with a pencil drawing that I inked. I scanned it and put it into a Dutch ship sheet. I tried digitally adding color, but with the tools that I have, the time cost is prohibitive. I just copied it, pasted it, and printed. I will use colored pencils and rescan. Then I will have do some digital editing to put back what I will lose in the printing and scanning process. I started with a 120ft ship, as there were so many.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The right base and chase diameters for guns?

So I got my Smalltalk code for computing the weights of Dutch guns written and working, to a limited extent. One immediate issue that is really critical is how to choose appropriate chase and base diameters for a gun of a particular weight and shot weight. I am probably not using the correct terminology. My program needs the diameter of the gun at the muzzle end and the breech end. Both have rings that are of specific diameter. Naval guns generally flare to the muzzle, while army guns have a ring around the muzzle. The sizes determine how much metal is in the gun and there must have been design rules used by gun manufacturers that they had developed over time through experience and knowledge of what was common practice.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My current short project: program to calculate Dutch gun weight

My current short project is to write Smalltalk code to calculate Dutch gun weights, based on the volume of metal and density. I hope to be able to estimate the actual metal density used, once I get this working.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Nico Brinck's bronze 24pdr gun drawing

Nico Brinck gave me his bronze 24pdr gun drawing that shows a Dutch gun from 1632. This gun is 10.7 Amsterdam feet long, so that would mean that the guns are more lightly constructed than I have thought. Now, I go back to the spreadsheet and do some more adjusting.

Dutch gun analysis

I thought that after having some idea about Dutch gun weights, that I could apply my analysis tool to what I learned. The idea is to look at some basic relationships:
D^3 x L x K = gun weight in pounds
I had time this morning to try my hand at Dutch bronze 36pdr and 24pdr guns:
Material Shot wt Length (Ft)  Length (Cal.)  Gun Wt   K
bronze   36pdr   10ft         18.2           6635 lbs 1.2658
bronze   36pdr    9.5ft       17.3           6282 lbs 1.2608
bronze   24pdr    9.5ft       19.8           4879 lbs 1.2835
bronze   24pdr    8.75ft      18.2           4414 lbs 1.2634
bronze   24pdr    8.25ft      17.2           4171 lbs 1.2633

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Heavily armed, relatively small Dutch ships

One phenomenon that has my interest is that of the numerous 120ft to 123ft long ship armed with 36 or 38 guns in 1652 and 1653. A prominent early example was the Zeeland ship Hollandia that served as Johan Evertsen's flagship for the first part of the war. Other examples include the Wapen van der Veere (38 guns), the Zevenwolden (38 guns), the Stad Groningen en Ommelanden (38 guns), the Leewarden (36 guns), the Monnikendam (36 or 38 guns), probably the Rotterdam Directors' ship Prins or Prins te Paard (38 guns), and the other Rotterdam Directors' ship Jonas, commanded by Jan Evertsz de Liefde up until August 1652.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I trying my hand, again, at wargame pieces

I decided that I should make another attempt at digitally drawn ships for use as war game pieces. I started with one of my hybrid sheets that was based on hand-drawn ships and then was digitally edited. I will post some of the results if and when I have something suitable.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cornelis Tiebij's ship in July 1653

I just read a page that said that Cornelis Tiebij's English ship lay at Ter Veere. The date of the list that contains this entry is 23 July 1653. Most people are probably not so deep into this that they would see the interesting point. Another page says that the Bonaventura was lying at Veere. This was the captured English ship Anthony Bonaventure, which was taken at the Battle of Dungeness. A different page says that the ship of Cornelis Tiebij carried 37 guns and had a crew of 130 men. Of course, this page is dated 19 September 1653, more than a month after the Battle of Scheveningen. A list compiled on 11 August 1653, just one day after the battle includes the name of Cornelis Tiebij under the category of the Directors of Zeeland. A list dated 14/16 August 1653 gives his ship as having 37 guns and a crew of 134 men. A list from a few days before the battle omits Cornelis Tiebij's ship name and details, but his name is still under the category of ships of the Directors of Zeeland. One list from Witte de With's journal from the October timeframe calls the ship the "Luijpert". His ship is elsewhere called the "Luijpaert". Was this the same ship as the English ship? It would have been a ship hired by the Directors of Middelburg and was not the English 3rd Rate Leopard.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dutch ships at the Battle of Portland

I have my working list of Dutch ships at the Battle of Portland (the Three Days Battle), but I already see a potential problem. On page 69, a Captain "Willem Aryens" is mentioned in the battle, and I think that this would be a reference to Willem Ariensz Warmont, who was captain of the Rotterdam ship Gorcum (30 guns). I do not have that ship in my list.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The hired ship Hollandsche Tuin

Any doubt that the hired 24-gun ship that was commanded by Joris Block in 1653 was the same ship as that which had served in 1652 were removed with I looked at the gun list. The list from September 1652 and the list from 23 June 1653 are indentical. The dimensions are similar, which is good, as the list from 23 June 1653 has dimensions that often vary from what we believe to be accurate.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Dutch after the Battle of Portland

While the Battle of Portland, or as the Dutch called, the Three Days Battle, was hard fought, it was not as intense as the Four Days' Battle in June 1666. In the Battle of Portland, the hard fighting took place on the first day. Already, after the first day, the Dutch were running short of gun powder and shot. The Dutch acquired a new interest in the status of ships and how much gun powder, in particular, that they carried. They always had been interested in the status of victuals and water carried.

One consequence of the Battle of Portland was that the Dutch largely rearmed their ships. The fleet flagship Brederode had, by the time of the Battle of the Gabbard, a complete lower tier of 24pdr and 36pdr guns. Prior to that, there were still some 18pdr guns on the lower tier. The overall effect was to increase the broadside weight of many ships. After the Battle of the Gabbard, they often included inventories of shot carried for the guns, as they gathered more status information after the battle.

The Dutch did their best to learn from "the last battle", at least what they saw the problems to be. One consequence of the Battle of the Kentish Knock on 8 October 1652 was to start building new and larger ships for the fleet. The first had joined the fleet for the Battle of Scheveningen, but they did not join the fleet in larger numbers until after that battle. At this time, the Dutch had difficulty in providing guns for the new ships.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Amsterdam ship Overijssel in 1655

By May of 1655, the 112ft Amsterdam ship Overijssel carried a much lighter armament than it had previously. Initially, the Overijssel carried a lower tier of 10pdr guns. By 1655, the armament was now mixed, with six 12pdr and the rest 8pdr guns. The 6pdr guns seem to have been retained and there were two "drakes", which could have been the original 3pdr drakes. The new broadside was about 111 pounds while the original broadside weight was 147 pounds. We could imagine that the 10pdr gun was now non-standard and there could have been a desire to move to the standard shot weights. The ship would probably have carried a lighter armament, although we would have to know the weights of the guns to be sure. Of course, we don't have those figures.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A bothersome fact about 17th Century Dutch ship data

I just received the photographs for pages showing Amsterdam ship specifications, dating from 1655. The bothersome feature is that while they are consistent with what was published by Vreugdenhil in 1938, they differ considerably from lists dating from 1652 and 1653. I knew that this was the case, but the dimensions for many Amsterdam ships are what is different. In one case, the length is shown as five feet shorter (for the Maeght van Enkhuizen).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Friesland ship in 1655 named Omlandia

I am now receiving photographs of documents from 1655. There is one page that shows a ship of the Admiralty of Friesland that is named Omlandia. This is a ship of approximately the dimensions of the Zevenwolden that was sunk at the Battle of Scheveningen. The Omlandia was also 122ft long. The Omlandia only carried 30 guns, unlike the Zevenwolden, which carried between 34 and 38 guns at different dates. The ship in this document doesn't match other listing that I have seen for a Friesland Omlandia in service in 1655.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

La armada invencible by Cesáreo Fernández Duro

I suddenly thought of looking to see if La armada invencible By Cesáreo Fernández Duro might be available through Google Books, and it was. I just downloaded the PDF file. I had despaired of ever finding the book and now I (sort of) have it. This is an important source book, from the Spanish perspective, about the Spanish Armada. The book is reportedly based on a cache of documents discovered in an old Spanish castle, back in the latter 19th Century.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fort Rammekens in Google Earth

In Google Earth, I can see Fort Rammekens and the sandy beaches nearby where ships could be beached and careened. The picture is copyrighted by the Aerodata International Surveys, so you probably just need to get Google Earth and go the area east of Vlissingen.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Aitzema" in Google Books

It is amazing, but Google Books has Lieuwe van Aitzema's work Historie of Verhael van Saken van Staet en Oorlogh In / ende omtrent de VEREENIGHDE NEDERLANDEN. I am not sure if they have the entire work or just part, but they may have the entire thing. It is heavy going, but if you have references that point into the work, you can find interesting passages.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More Vlissingen

I would like to show the Google Maps satellite view of Vlissingen, but I probably should let you go and look, yourself, due to "rights" issues. One nice thing is that Wikipedia has a picture of Fort Rammekens, near Vlissingen. There was a sandy area near there where ships could be beached, repaired, and have their bottoms cleaned. That was how the Rammekens was used after the Battle of the Gabbard, when about two-thirds of the Dutch fleet anchored off of Vlissingen. The Wikipedia page is in Dutch.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My concept of a compact Dutch ship of the line

In a picture book of ships that I had, there was a picture of a Dutch warship from the early 1600's. The ship had fewer than 20 guns, but the lower tier might have been 18pdr guns. When I later saw that Michiel De Ruyter's flagship during the summer of 1652 had only 28 guns, I imagined that the Neptunus was armed in a similar fashion. I was wrong, of course. His ship was just very weak. The only ship that I have seen described has having an armament like what I had seen was the Rotterdam ship named Rotterdam, which was said to have a lower tier of 18pdr guns, with a gun total of 30 guns. In June 1653, the Rotterdam had a more conventional armament, but the Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654 had the 18pdr lower tier, as did lists from 1652.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Deployment of Amsterdam ships in June 1652 (Revised)

While reading documents that I received a year ago, I found some answers to how to fill in the outline of how Amsterdam ships were deployed in June 1652, but the letter with the list dates from December 1652. The list only has the names of captains, but I think that I can fill in ship names:
In the Mediterranean Sea

Commandeur Joris van Cats        Jaarsveld              44 guns
kapitein Anthonis van Salingen   Zon                    40 guns
kapitein David Jansz Bont        Maan                   40 guns
kapitein Hendrick Claesz Swart   Vereenigde Provincien  40 guns
kapitein Dirck Quirijnen Verveen Haarlem                40 guns
kapitein Jan Uijttenhout         Zutphen                34 guns
kapitein Cornelis Tromp          Maeght van Enkhuizen   34 guns

Cruising off Cape St. Vincent

Commandeur Gideon de Wildt          Vrede               42 guns
kapitein Cornelis van Velsen        Gelderland          28 guns
kapitein Jan Jansz Boermans         Prins Willem        28 guns
kapitein Govert Reael               Leeuwarden          34 guns
luitenant-commandeur Jan van Campen Windhond            18 guns

I had thought that there was a problem with the Overijssel and Jan van Campen and Abraham van der Hulst, but I saw the notes derived from Isaac Sweers' journal, and that explained these five ships. I revised this as soon as I saw it in my book draft this morning.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Adrian Caruana said: "One casualty of the First Dutch War was the brass drake"

In his book about English naval guns from 1523 to 1715, Adrian Caruana made the statement that "One casualty of the First Dutch War was the brass drake". Since the 1st Rate Sovereign was armed with Brass drakes, he says that the guns were largely "shot out". Iron drakes apparently fared better and continued in use. What the English called "brass" (which Nico Brinck says is bronze) was too soft and the gun walls were too thin for the heavy use given in the first war with the Dutch. The English captured many Dutch guns in the war and there was widespread confusion caused by the lack of specificity of Dutch versus English weight. Adrian Caruana says that in 1586, the Dutch pound weighed 1.14 times the English pound.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My "expanded" Dutch ship list

I am slightly more than half way through reformatting my "expanded" Dutch ship list. The majority of the information is from archival sources, although there is a modest amount from published sources. I have hopes of actually getting the sources from after 1655 so that I will have archival sources for that 1660-1678 period, as well. Frank Fox thinks that there is a need for even something that is little more than a Dutch ship list. The prime published source, right now, Vreugdenhil's list from 1938, needs to be superceded. Perhaps there will be something in Dutch much sooner than I can be ready with a work in English.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A question: Joris van Cats' five ships off the coast of Spain

The plan had been to send Maarten Tromp to command a fleet of 15 Dutch warships in the Mediterranean Sea to protect Dutch commerce. When Tromp became ill, Joris van Cats was sent without Tromp. Before entering the Mediterranean Sea, he cruised off the coast of Spain. In his article about the First Anglo-Dutch War in the Mediterranean Sea, R. C. Anderson said that Joris van Cats, with five ships under his command, cruised near Cadiz before entering the Mediterranean Sea. This sounded a lot like what one list says, except the list says that the five ships cruised off Cape St. Vincent, which is on the coast of Portugal, a long ways from Cadiz. Anderson does not say what ships were under Joris van Cats' command. My question is: which five ships were they? I assume that they were all from the Admiralty of Amsterdam.

R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938.

The Wikipedia "Battle of the Downs", in English

The English version of the Wikipedia entry for the Battle of the Downs (1639) is well done and very interesting. While it is necessarily incomplete, there is a great deal of information there for study. Can anyone say how accurate it is? I don't have enough information to know, but I can recognize some correct details.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Amsterdam ships convoying the fishing busses in July 1652

I have a document showing the employment of Amsterdam ships in home waters on 29 July 1652. The list shows that the following ships were convoying the fishing busses in July 1652 prior to the English attack on 22 July:
the ship Engel          kapitein Maerten Schaeff     28 guns and a crew of 80 men
the ship Marcus Curtius kapitein Hendrick Kroeger    24 guns and a crew of 70 men
the ship Patientia      kapitein Adriaen van Loenen  24 guns and a crew of 70 men
the ship Catharina      kapitein Dirck Bogaert       24 guns and a crew of 70 men

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rotterdam ships in "The Plan" of 9 June 1652

I have photographs of a document from 9 June 1652 that gives the plan for how ships were deployed and funded. One part of the list says that there were two ships of the 36 ships from Rotterdam "in the Mediterranean Sea". I believe that the second ship was the Brederode, which was planned to be sent but did not actually go. The ship that actually was in the Mediterranean Sea was the Gelderland (40 guns), commanded by Michiel Fransz van den Bergh.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another look at the 10 Dutch ships in Brazil in early 1652

I was looking at a document dated 9 June 1652, today, that showed ten ships in Brazil. By 9 June, they were actually returning home. So what were the ten ships listed in the document?
Rotterdam       Nijmegen, 26 guns          Paulus van den Kerckhoff  lost 10 June
Rotterdam       Dolphijn, 32 guns          Marinus de Clercq
Amsterdam       Gewapende Ruiter, 36 guns  Boetius Schaeff           lost 18 June
Amsterdam       Prinses Aemilia, 28 guns   Floris van Oyen
Amsterdam       Westfriesland, 28 guns     kapitein Boonacker
Amsterdam       Graef Willem, 38 guns      kapitein Tas
Zeeland         ?                          Cornelis Loncke
Zeeland         ?                          Cornelis Mangelaer
Friesland       Frisia, 28 guns            Tjaart de Groot
Friesland       ?                          Hendrick Jansz Camp
Noorderkwartier Eenhoorn, 28 guns          Allert Tamessen
Noorderkwartier Hollandsche Tuin, 36 guns  ?
I know a bit more than this, but I don't know that I am authorized to say what it is.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

J. C. De Jonge's list from March 1653

When I have tried, in the past, to fill in the names of ships into the list from J. C. De Jonge's outline of ships in the Dutch navy in March 1653, I always have had trouble. The main trouble has been with the Amsterdam ships. I now think that the problems there are caused by some odd ships being considered hired and at least one ship not considered hired that seems to have been hired. You also have to include the VOC ship Vogelstruis, which is reasonable, as the Amsterdam hired 40 gun ship, not the Aartsengel Michiel. I don't like having to defend that, but there is at least one list that includes the Aartsengel Michiel under the landsschip list for the 40 convoyers funded in 1648.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The list of ships in De Ruyter's fleet probably from late July 1652

Today, I received a photograph of two pages from De Ruyter's journal from the summer of 1652 (probably late July) that shows that Laurens Degelcamp was captain of a ship named Gelderland (24 guns and a crew of 80 men). I think that it is telling that the Sint Nicolaes and the Gelderland both have a plus and an X to the left of the entry. I am more convinced than ever that I lost some photographs back in February to March 2007 when I ran out of storage space in Gmail, before they were selling increased storage. I am certain that I saw a photograph that showed Laurens Degelcamp as captain of a ship named Gelderland.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Dutch guns

What I would like to be able to do is to look at a Dutch gun's shot weight and the weight of the piece, in Amsterdam pounds, and be able to estimate the gun weight. I have an idea that might not be too easy. I imagine that guns were probably not cast to the ideal thickness of metal, but were both lighter and heavier than that. We would also need to take into account that a gun was a drake or klokwijs (with a bell-shaped chamber). You also have guns that were "metael" or "ijser" (bronze or iron).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Some Friesland ship questions

I have seen a summary document that ascribes two convoyers of 1648 and two cruisers of 1651 to the Admiralty of Friesland in 1652. I had forgotten that the second "convoyer" was probably the jacht Graaf Willem (12 guns) built in 1644 (according to Vreugdenhil's list). I am not surprised that the two Frisian smacks, the Frisia (8 guns) and the Koning David (2 guns), are not included in the counts, as they were small vessels. One other remaining question is ship number 48 from Vreugdenhil's list: the Omlandia, said to be built in 1628 with dimensions 122ft x 26-1/2ft x 13ft, carrying 30 guns. I have not seen that ship obviously mentioned in any document that I have seen. The only possible candidate would be the mysterious ship commanded by Captain Belevelt, in Vice-Admiraal Witte de With's journal in September 1652. There is also the mention, by December 1652, of the ship Stad Groningen en Ommelanden with only 28 guns, with Joost Bulter as captain. By early 1653, the Stad Groningen en Ommelanden is mentioned with either 34 or 38 guns.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I am back to working on my book project

I am back to working on my book project, although there is a great deal to do. I am going with my original outline for a book about the Dutch navy, ships, and naval officers in the First Anglo-Dutch War. At least, I am now using information almost exclusively from archival sources, rather than rehashing previously published information. I have my usual handicaps. I have limited time. I am not a native Dutch speaker. I do not have easy access to the archives. I expect that we will see related publications in Dutch quite a while before you will see mine in English. I would like to think that I have a different focus and perspective. I have been studying the subject for about fifteen years.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Salamander

In August to November 1653 Pieter Marcuszoon commanded the Zeeland ship Salamander, including in the Battle of Scheveningen. The question that I have is if this was the same ship that Jacob Christoffelsz Duijm commanded through 1652 up to after the Three Days Battle? That Salamander towed Michiel De Ruyter's ship Lam from later in the first day up until they arrived in the Netherlands.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

So, just how large was the Vogelstruis?

The Dutch East Indiaman Vogelstruis was captured by the English at the Battle of Portland on 28 February 1653. I have not seen Dutch dimensions in Amsterdam feet but we do have the dimensions measured by the English in their style. The English length is that of the keel. The beam is the beam measured outside the hull planking. The depth is the height between the keel and the underside of the main deck, measured on the centerline, approximately at the middle of the ship. Here are my "back of the envelope calculations":
          English      Calc. Dutch   My est. of the Dutch
Length    116ft        151ft         155ft
Beam       36ft-3in     40ft          38ft
Hold       17ft         19ft          18ft

My usual system does not work well for this ship. My factor for length is 1.33. The factor for the depth of hold and beam is 1.13. It totally breaks down in this case.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My approximate "lasts" formula

I have a spreadsheet that I use for generating proportions for drawing Dutch ships from the period of 1628 to 1678. One of the figures that I calculate is just for information: the size of the ship in lasts. There is a VOC-related page that gives the formula: length x beam x depth / 200. My Excel formula is somewhat different: =ROUND(BN6*BN8*BN9/210,-1). I am using 218 for the divisor and round the result. For the approximate dimensions, in Amsterdam feet, for the Dutch flagship Brederode, the size is calculated to be 350 lasten (lasts).

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Dutch navy and ships in the First Anglo-Dutch War

I find the fact that there is so much information available about the Dutch ships in the First Anglo-Dutch War, with dimensions and lists of guns, to be quite amazing. I would venture a guess that the amount of ship data does not exist for the second and third wars. The third war is a special case, with the combination of the French invasion and the coup d'etat that put Willem III into power. Both greatly disrupted the sort of record keeping that had happened previously. I am less sure about the second war, but there seems to be less ship data available than in the first war. I look forward to getting what exists, eventually, but I am currently focused on the first war, because there is so much data available. There is also a considerable amount of information about the composition of the main fleet. Sadly, almost all of what I have seen does not show the organization into squadrons. I hope that eventually, I might see the fleet organizations for all of the battles in the first war. They do exist for the second war and have been published by Frank Fox. Less complete information has been published about the Dutch fleet in the third war. All this research takes time and is costly when you have to pay to have it done, rather than be able to do it yourself.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

An answer to a question that no one but me wants to ask

The question is: "so, how many round shot and how much gunpowder did the Amsterdam Directors' ship Moor have on board after the Battle of the Gabbard?" The Moor carried 6-18pdr, 14-10pdr, 12-6pdr, and 2-3pdr guns. The answer is that the ship had 150 18pdr shot, 350 10pdr shot, 240 6pdr shot, and 4 3pdr shot. The ship also had on board 4500 lbs of gunpowder. There may be numbers of expanding bar shot, but I can't be sure that is correct, because I can't find the word in a dictionary. It looks like "kemepels". By the way, the captain signed his name as "Adrijaen Cornelissen". I otherwise know him as Adriaen Cornelisz van Ackersloot.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The ships that sailed to Danzig in 1656

I have the listing published in the Hollandsche Mercurius for 1656 and I have a page from Witte de With's journal from July 1656 (Riksarkivet E8812). I had also seen this list published in Dr. Ballhausen's book. I was comforted to see that the lists matched, despite the fact that the ships commanded by captains often did not match the ships that they commanded when they were not part of this operation in the Baltic.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I looked at my copy of the recent book by Doeke Roos about the Evertsen family: Twee eeuwen varen en vechten 1550-1750. Het admiralengeslacht Evertsen. I had hoped that he might have had information about Johan Evertsen and Cornelis Evertsen de Jonge in the Battle of Scheveningen, but he did not. I also think that he may have several mistakes in the book, as well. The book indicates that Cornelis Evertsen de Jonge was captain of the hired ship Vlissingen in May 1652, but all indications are that he was captain of the Vlissingen Directors' ship Haes (30 guns) from May to July 1652. He also calls Cornelis Evertsen de Oude's ship, that was lost at the Battle of Scheveningen, the Wapen van Zeeland. All the original documentary evidence that I have indicates that the ship was commonly called the Zeeuwsche Leeuw (28 guns). In Vol.V of Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen, Dr. Elias calls the ship the Zeeusche Leeuw, which is the name that I would expect to see.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Another good Google Book Search full view book

This is very hard to find in Google Book Search. To my mind, it is too hard. With a considerable effort, I was able to confirm that the booklet by Julian S. Corbett can be downloaded as a PDF file. This is the small work about the drawings in the possession of the Earl of Dartmouth: NOTE ON THE DRAWINGS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE EARL OF DARTMOUTH ILLUSTRATING Battle of Solebay MAY 28, 1672 AND Battle of the Texel AUGUST 11, 1673 BY JULIAN S. CORBETT. This was publshed by the Navy Records Society in 1908.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The hired ship Hoop

I have a page that I saw today that dates from early August 1653. The page lists a few ships and gives their gun lists. One is for the Amsterdam hired ship Hoop, commanded by Captain Dirck Pater. I have not seen the gun list for this ship before, so it was a good find. The Hoop had four 10pdr guns as the largest guns. The rest were a few 8pdr, many 6pdr, and a number of 3pdr guns, with a pair of 2pdr guns bringing the total to 28 guns. This does seem to be the same ship that was commanded by Joris Collerij in the summer of 1652, based on the gun list.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ron van Maanen's translation of Cornelis Adriaensz Cruijck's statement

Ron van Maanen kindly provided me his translation of the statement made by the captain of the captured ship Vogelstruis that he made in 1655. This clearly shows that he was not killed in the the Battle of Portland, as was reported by some sources. I have attempted to do a bit of editing on Ron's text. Ron has also provided a correction to my editing:

Statement for notary Dirck van der Mast at Schiedam dated 13 november 1655 by captain Cornelis Aedriaensz Cruijck former captain of the Vogelstruis of the E.I.C. in naval service. Stated for his lieutenant Frerijck Frerijck, born in Amsterdam, what happened when Frerijck was on board of the ship when Cruijck commanded it. Frerijck served as a brave, pious or true, wise sailor and a good soldier in the battle against the British. He especially showed that he was a good officer and soldier in the last battle when the ship fought under the flag of the dead admiral Maerten Harpertsz Tromp on 28 February 1653. Cruijck stated that he had been fighting until his ship was shot powerless, and until a lot of his crew were killed, and they had to surrender. The rumors that Frerijck had torn a white table-cloth in two pieces and during the fight had put out it at the stern where not true. On the contrary Cruijck stated that his lieutenant fought as a true, vigilant man.

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