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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ships in Tromp's squadron on 15 September 1639

Dr. De Boer's book, Tromp en de Armada van 1639, gives Tromp's squadron. I have supplied the missing details:

Adm Ship Guns Crew Commander R Aemilia 57 240 Lt-Adm Tromp R Gelderland 34 120 Willem van Colster A Frederik Hendrik 36 120 Pieter Pietersz de Wint N Sampson 32 120 Claes Cornelisz Ham N Hollandsche Tuin 32 120 Lambert Ijsbrantsz Halffhoorn A Deventer 28 110 Robbert Post A Omlandia 28 80 Jan Gerbrandsz Z Veere 32 110 Cornelis Ringelsz WIC Salamander 40 110 Laurens Pietersz Bachuysen N Groote Christoffel 28 90 Frederik Pietersz F Gideon 24 100 Hendrik Jansz Camp Z Meerminne 28 105 Jan Paulusz on the ship of Jan Jacobsz Vlieger

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Sao Bartholomeu, captured by the Dutch

Does anyone have the dimensions for the ship Sao Bartholomeu, captured by the Dutch in Brazil? There is a question about the fate of this ship after being intercepted by the English while returning from Brazil in 1652.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Noorderkwartier ship Sampson

The Noorderkwartier ship Sampson was one of the ships captured by the English on 22 July 1652. The Staat van Oorlog te Water for the year 1629 said that the Sampson was 220 lasts, but then it also said the the Eenhoorn was 220 lasts. Since we know the exact dimensions for the Eenhoorn, built in 1623 or 1625, we know that the ship was actually 200 lasts. Perhaps the Sampson was also a ship of dimensions 125ft x 29ft x 11-1/2ft x 6-3/4ft, which were the Eenhoorn's dimensions.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Dutch navy in the First Anglo-Dutch War: what we know and sources

When we look at the period of the First Anglo-Dutch War, we can divide up war into segments of time, based on our knowledge and sources. We can characterize the sources as being from the Nationaal Archief, in The Hague, from Notary Archives from the cities, and more obscure sources such as the Riksarkivet in Stockholm. From February 1652 until August 1652, our knowledge is very incomplete. We have fairly good information from this period about ships hired by the Directors of Amsterdam. We also have good information about ships of the Admiralty of Rotterdam (or the Maze). We have some lists, but little actual ship data from this period. From September 1652 until December 1652, we have better ship data for the Admiralty of Amsterdam, the Admiralty of Zeeland, and the Admiralty of Friesland. We have poor information from this period about the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier and the various directors other than Amsterdam. We also do not have much information about the VOC ships employed from July to October 1652. Given that the Vogelstruis served from at least July to February 28, 1653, we have very little information (which seems rather surprising). The period of January 1653 to April 1653 is the least documented period of the war. While we have some information from this period, we really do not have the fundamentals: fleet lists and ship data for the majority of the navy. From April until November 1653, we have much more complete information, although still with gaps. It will take some revelations about obscure sources and privately held papers to change the situation. We can speculate that there is more (and we know this to be true) that is known but is being closely held for now. I would be happy to buy other authors' books, if I can find out the sources that they used. I like having photographs of the original documents, not just information about what was found.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guns from October 1639

One page that I received recently has a gun inventory for one ship and some other gun weights:
Bronze guns

5pdr   1780 lbs
5pdr   1787 lbs
7pdr   2700 lbs
7pdr   2400 lbs

Spanish guns
7pdr   2521 lbs
7pdr   2545 lbs
7pdr   2687 lbs
7pdr   2520 lbs
5pdr   1868 lbs
5pdr   1810 lbs

Iron Gotelingen

6pdr   2040 lbs
6pdr   1980 lbs
6pdr   2220 lbs
6pdr   2270 lbs
6pdr   2910 lbs
4pdr   1770 lbs

These date from early October 1639

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Continued Vreugdenhil commentary: 28-31

This is a continuation of what I started on the other blog:
    Name                  Guns   Adty.       Date   Length   Beam     Depth
28. Griffioen             26*    Z           1620   112*     27*      10.5*
                             the ship commanded by Cornelis Loncke in 1649.
                             Note that these are all estimates (*)

29. Groningen             40-48  A           1641   125      31       12 
                          the Staat van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654
                            gives larger dimensions

30. Haarlem               36-44  A           1644   128      31-1/2   12

    Name                  Guns   Adty.       Date   Length   Beam     Depth
31. Hollandsche Tuin      32-36  N           1632   128*     29*      11-1/4*
                  This was the ship commanded by Lambert Ysbrantsz Halffhoorn in 1639
                    and Jan Adriaansz Backer in 1652

Monday, May 24, 2010

Continued Vreugdenhil commentary

This is a continuation of what I started on the other blog:
    Name                  Guns  Adty.       Date   Length   Beam     Depth
20. Frisia (frigate)      12    F           1637*  78*      17-1/2*
                  If this is the same vessel as that listed in the Staat van Oorlog
                    te Water for the year 1654, then the dimensions are exact.
                    Joost Bulter was listed as captain in 1648, where the vessel
                    was called a frigate, not a smack

21. Gekroonde Liefde     23    Z                   110       23-1/2 
                  This was the ship commanded by Dingeman Cats from after the 
                   Battle of the Kentish Knock until at least November 1653.
                   The Gekroonde Liefde survived the storm off the Texel
                   after returning from Norway with Witte de With's fleet.

22. Gelderland           40    M            1632   128-8/11  30-6/11 13-7/11
                  This ship served in the Mediterranean Sea during 
                    the First Anglo-Dutch War. The captain was Michiel Fransz
                    van der Bergh. Vreugdenhil gave the dimensions in Maas feet,
                    while these are in Amsterdam feet

    Name                  Guns  Adty.       Date   Length   Beam     Depth
23. Gelderland           24    M            1636   109-1/11 25-1/11  8-8/11
                  This was the ship commanded by Aert van Nes from the fall of
                  1652 until the end of the First Anglo-Dutch War. Vreugdenhil
                  gives the dimensions in Maas feet. The Staat van Oorlog te Water
                  for the year 1654 gives the wrong dimensions (those for the 
                  larger ships, such as the Gorcum and Rotterdam)

The Achilles

In the fall of 2006, Prof. Jan Glete had sent me a copy of a document from the Riksarkivet that listed all the ship hired by the Admiralty of Amsterdam in 1652. When I examined the list, I immediately saw that the the ship Achilles that Dirk Scheij commanded was the 131ft ship and that the ship carried but 28 guns. As we accumulated more information about the First Anglo-Dutch War, from the Nationaal Archief, I noticed that the Achilles was not mentioned after the Battle of Portland. Yes, the Staat van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654 and a list from 1655 mentioned the Achilles, but the ship seems to have not been employed after the Battle of Portland. The last mention is the list that is reproduced in Vol.IV of The First Dutch War that lists all Amsterdam ships. (NOTE: I just looked at J.C. De Jonge's notes for 1654, and he credits the Achilles with 32 guns at that date, which explains Vreugdenhil).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A little Vreugdenhil commentary

I would do some updates to Vreugdenhil's list as follows:
    Name               Guns      Adty.      Date     Length    Beam      Depth
1.  Achilles            28-32     A         1630*    131       29        13
        This was the ship commanded by Dirk Schey in 1652 and early 1653.
        J.C. De Jonge, in his notes for 1654, credits the Achilles with 32 guns.

(2. Achilles is a mistake. There was no second Achilles)

3.  Bommel              30-34     A         1645*    120       28-3/4    11-3/4
       This was the ship commanded by Pieter van Brakel in 1652-1653

4.  Breda               28-32     F         1637     120       29        11-1/2
       This was the ship commanded by Hendrik Jansz Camp in Brazil up to 1652
       and by Adriaan Bruynsvelt in 1652-1653

5.  Brederode           54-59     M         1644     144       35-3/11   14-2/11
       The corresponding dimensions in Maas feet were 132ft x 32-1/4ft x 13ft

6.  Burcht van Alkmaar  24-28     N         1645*
       This was the ship commanded by Gerrit Nobel in 1652. The ship was also 
       called the Wapen van Alkmaar

7.  Dolfijn             30-32     A         1633     120       28        10-1/2
      The dimensions in the Staat van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654
      were incorrect, even though lists in 1652-1653 had the correct dimensions

8.  Dolfijn             32        M         1631     120       27-9/11   13-7/11
      The dimensions in the Staat van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654
      were incorrect, even though lists in 1652-1653 had the correct dimensions.
      The correct dimensions in Maas feet were 110ft x 25-1/2ft x 12-1/2ft

9.  Maagd van Dordrecht 42-46     M         1631     141-9/11* 34-10/11* 14-2*
       Discarded prior to 1645

10. Drente (jacht)      16*       A         1637     88*       22*       9

Note that all these dimensions are in Amsterdam feet of 283mm and divided into 11 inches. One problem with Vreugdenhil's list is that the earlier Rotterdam ships (Admiralty of the Maze) actually have the dimensions in Maas feet (308mm divided into 12 inches) shown.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

How mismatched were the Shannon and Chesapeake?

My attention was taken to the fight between the British frigate Shannon and the American frigate Chesapeake, during the War of 1812. I wondered just how mismatched the two ships were. This is the data for the Shannon:
LGD: 150ft-1-1/2in
LK:  125ft-2-7/8in
B:    39ft-9in
D:    13ft-9in

Guns: 28-18pdr, 10-9pdr, 8-32pdr carronades

This is the data for the Chesapeake:
LGD: 151ft
LK:  126ft-7in
B:    40ft-11in
D:    13ft-9in

Guns: 28-18pdr, 2-9pdr, 16-32pdr carronades

On paper, they seem pretty well matched, although the Chesapeake had the disadvantage of so many carronades, so that an enemy might fight beyond their range. The Chesapeake was said to have a crew of new recruits, while the Shannon was commanded by Philip Broke, a premier British frigate captain.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some Hollandsche Mercurius years are available in Google Book Search

A correspondent of mine pointed out that Google Book Search now has some Hollandsche Mercurius years available as full view items. I hope that they eventually will have full coverage. I happen to have the 17th Century publications for 1650-1658 and 1665-1671, although what I have lacks the nice Reinier Nooms illustrations of the original. The Hollandsche Mercurius is a useful source, although it does not replace what original archival sources that still exist. I would also like to see the Ontstelde-Zee (1654), by "Jodocus Hondius" (apparently a pseudonym) appear in Google Books. The James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota holds a copy. Copies may be more freely available in Europe than here.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Amsterdam ship Zeeland in 1631

From the list of ships dated 4 July 1631 that I received recently, there is the ship Zeeland, commanded by Joris van Cats. This was a ship of 225 lasts, which might have been built to the standard 125ft x 31ft x 12ft x 7ft dimensions. The Zeeland had a crew of 95 men and was armed with the following guns:
4-bronze 18pdr
2-bronze 8pdr
6-iron 12pdr
10-iron 8pdr
4-iron 5pdr
2-bronze 3pdr bases

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The hired ship Postpaert

You will see the hired ship Postpaert mentioned in The First Dutch War book. The Postpaert was hired by the Admiralty of Friesland in 1652 and served through at least late 1653. The Postpaert was armed with 30 guns: 10-12pdr, 8-8pdr, 8-6pdr, and 4-4pdr guns. The Postpaert had dimensions of 118ft x 28ft x 13ft x 7ft. For most of the First Anglo-Dutch War, Isaac Codde was the Postpaert's captain.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Witte de With and the Battle of the Kentish Knock

I continue to be interested in Witte de With and the Battle of the Kentish Knock. I have letters and journals for Witte de With, but I do not have the good journals from 1652 that have been partially included in The First Dutch War, Vol. II. I am particularly interested in the report of the status of ships that was prepared on 10 October 1652 (as I understand it). I have assumed that it is comparable to the report prepared on 23 June 1653, following the Battle of the Gabbard. That latter report is very useful, even though the information is incomplete. For example, there are dimensions and a gun list for Cornelis Pietersz Taenman's ship Prins Maurits that was later sunk off the mouth of the Meuse at the end of the Battle of Scheveningen. Nico Brinck had told me that he had helped raise guns from this ship, although they had a different guess as to the name of the ship.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Pieter de Bitter and the Mercurius

On page 2 of J.C.M. Warnsinck's book De Retourvloot van Pieter de Bitter 1664-1665, he states that Pieter de Bitter's ship, the Mercurius, sunk at the Battle of Scheveningen, had 40 guns and a crew of 200 men. Sadly, both figures are wrong. The Mercurius was a fairly small ship, of 122-1/2ft x 30ft x 12ft x 6-1/4 or 6-1/2ft. This was a vessel of about 220 lasts. The Mercurius carried 36 guns: 6-18pdr, 4-12pdr, 10-8pdr, 6-6pdr, 6-4pdr, 2-3pdr, and 2-2pdr guns. The crew varied in size, but often was somewhere between 100 and 120 men. At Scheveningen, the crew may have been 110 men. This is based on documents from April 1653 to August 1653 from several archives.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some ships hired by Amsterdam in 1653 in the Mediterranean Sea

There is a document dating from 1652 that lists ships either hired, or considered for hiring by the Admiralty of Amsterdam in the Mediterranean Sea. There are no guns listed but there are partial dimensions:
Port     Ship            Schipper                    Dimensions
Livorno  Sint Pieter     Pieter van Breen            130ft x 30ft x ? x 6-1/4ft
Venice   Sint Philippo   Foppe Gerritsen             136ft x 30ft x ? x 6-1/2ft
Naples   Suzanne         Daniel Jansz de Vries       133ft x 29ft x ? x 6-1/4ft
Venice   Morgensterre    Hendrick Govertssen         125ft x 28ft x ? x 6-1/2ft
Venice   Venetia         Cornelis Schellinger        130ft x 28ft x ? x 6-1/2ft
Venice   Swarten Arent   (Pieter Jansz Bonttebotter) 130ft x 28ft x (13ft) x 6-1/2ft
Venice   Sint Marc       ?                           130ft x 30ft x ? x 6-1/2ft
Livorno  Witte Oliphant  Seijbrant Jansz Mol         134ft x 29ft x ? x 6-1/2ft
Zemia ?  Salomons Ordeel Meijndert Teunisz OostWout  141ft x 31ft x ? x 7ft
Venice   Jupiter         Cornelis Jansz              130ft x 30ft x ? x 7ft
Naples   Sint Andries    Anthonij Claesz van Woglom  136ft x 29-1/2ft x ? x 6-1/4ft
Venice   Arent           Claes Cornelisz Roos        132ft x 29ft x ? X 6-1/2ft
Naples   Pellicaen       Cornelis Danielsz           136ft x 29-1/4ft x ? x 6-1/4ft

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sint Matheeus

For a while in the 2007 timeframe, we believed that there must be two ships named Sint Matheeus. The reason for that is that there seemed to be two sets of dimensions for a ship named Sint Matheeus. One is the ship with length and beam quoted in Vreudenhil's list (144ft x 36ft x 15ft x 7ft) and the other was the ship with dimensions listed in lists of Amsterdam Directors' ships (140ft x 34ft x 15ft x 7-1/3ft). I think that we assumed that the 50 gun ship was the larger of the two. We knew that the 140ft ship initially carried 34 guns. By May 1653, that ship carried 42 guns. In fact, there was only one ship and that was the one captured by the English in the Battle of the Gabbard on 12-13 June 1653. This was the ship that Tromp fretted about in January 1653, when the ship was missing after a storm. Tromp feared that the Sint Matheeus had been captured by the English. He was concerned, because he expected that the Sint Matheeus was large enough that the English would arm the ship with 60 guns. In fact, in the Four Days' Battle in June 1666, the Mathias (as the Sint Matheeus was called by the English) was armed with 54 guns.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Vrijheid in early June 1653

The Amsterdam ship Vrijheid was one of the best Dutch ships serving with the main fleet in early June 1653. Like some other ships, the Vrijheid had been up-gunned after the Battle of Portland (the Driedaagse Zeeslag). The Vrijheid carried 50 guns in the Battle of the Gabbard and for the rest of the First Anglo-Dutch War. They consisted of: 4-24pdr, 22-12pdr, 20-8pdr, 2-6pdr, and 2-3pdr guns. The Vrijheid had carried 46 guns in late 1652: 4-24pdr, 24-12pdr, 16-8pdr, and 2-6pdr guns. This was a very substantial ship for the time: 134ft x 34ft x 13-1/4ft x 7ft and had a crew of 210 men by the fall of 1653. Captain Augustijn Balck had commanded the Vrijheid up until the Battle of Portland, when he was killed. Abraham van der Hulst commanded the Vrijheid for the rest of the war, starting with the Battle of the Gabbard in June 1653.

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