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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.

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