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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 The prime published source, right now, Vreugdenhil's list from 1938, needs to be superceded.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

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