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.