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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.


sainsbury said...

Dear Jim,
I am a swedish archaeologist that is interested in dutch apployment in sweish marine cour in the 17th century. I am especially looking for a dutch captain called Albertus Blauvelt (or Bluefields)active in the Caribbean in 1630-1650's. He ws also working for the Providence Island Company during this time. I have searched and searched for him in swedish archive but only know according to the puritan documents that he for some time worked for the swedish. Would like to hear more about him. Do you have any information to share. Thank you for your help,
regards Gunhild Eriksdotter

Jim said...

Dear Gunhild,

If you would send me an email at, I can forward it to a couple of historical researchers who might be able to help. I have corresponded with Jan Glete, who is in Stockholm, but I am not sure that this is the sort of thing that he would know about. Regards, Jim Bender

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