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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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