Monday, April 27, 2015

Two Dutch hired ships in the period of 1639 to 1654

The Dutch custom during early to mid-Seventeenth Century was to hire suitable private ships for use as warships. Sometimes, they were even hired by other countries. We only have to look to Louis de Geer and Sweden for an example of that situation. There are several ships that served in the First Anglo-Dutch War and for which we do not have dimensions. One was the ship Prins. The ship was also called Prins te Paard and Prins Frederick. Our theory was that this ship might be the same one which served in 1641. We know the dimensions of that ship: 142ft x 32-1/2ft x 14ft x 7ft. We also know the armament of the Prins in 1653: 4-24pdr, 2-18pdr, 4-12pdr, 2-10pdr, 10-8pdr, 12-6pdr, and 4-3pdr. The crew in June 1653 consisted of 137 sailors and 29 soldiers.

Another ship that we might know something was the Sint Laurens, a Middelburg Directors' ship captured by the English at Dover on 29 May 1652. We think that this might be the same ship that served in the campaign leading up to the Battle of the Downs in 1639. Strangely, Lt-Admiral Tromp wrote the dimensions of the Sint Laurens in his journal. The dimensions given for the Sint Laurens were 137ft x 29ft x 14ft. We do not know the deck height. At Dover, we think that the Sint Laurens carried 30 guns and had a crew of 105 men. This is just an estimate, but the gun list seems plausible. This is the gun list for another 30-gun Middelburg Directors' ship: 4-bronze 24pdr, 4-bronze 12pdr, 14-iron 8pdr, 6-iron 6pdr, and 2-iron 4pdr guns. There were many ships armed with smaller guns, rather than a uniform lower tier of 12-pounder guns. We know that the Prins, another long and narrow ship, was armed in that manner. The sources for this information are Ron van Maanen's article about the Dutch fleet in the Battle of Cape St. Vincent in 1641, my document "Dutch Ships Ordered By Captain", and "A Researcher’s Friend: An Archival Source Guide for Dutch Warships In the 17th and 18th Centuries". We also used the list from 23/06/1653 from the Sekrete Loketkas, Inv. Nr. 12561-26.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Dutch ship Vrijheid on 21 June 1653

I have the inventory for the Dutch warship Vrijheid, dated 21 June 1653. The thing that caught my eye was that I had thought that the Vrijheid carried 52 guns on that date, but I was wrong, the Vrijheid had 50 guns:
Lower Deck

Upper Deck

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dingeman Cats in 1652 to 1653

Dingeman Cats served as a captain for the Admiralty of Zeeland in 1652 and 1653. At the beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch War, he commanded a hired ship, the Dolphijn. The Dolphijn was quite small with dimensions of 105ft x 24ft x ? x 5-1/2ft. The Dolphijn was armed with 14-8pdr, 8-4pdr, and 2-3pdr. A report on 6 December 1652 gave the crew as 73 sailors and 25 sailors. That was actually after the Dolphijn had been discarded. Dingeman Cats was appointed to command a larger ship, the Liefde (sometimes called the Gecroonde Liefde). The definitive information that we have about the Liefde is from the same report from 6 December 1652. That document gives the dimensions as being 110ft x 23-1/2ft x ? x 5ft. The armament given there was 12-8pdr, 6-4pdr, and 5-3pdr. The list compiled on 23 June 1653 gives the armament on that date as 12-8pdr, 7-4pdr, and 4-3pdr. The crew was nominally 94 men in September and October 1653.

Friday, September 05, 2014

What we know about the Gecroonde Liefde, Marcus Hartman's ship, in 1653

Captain Marcus Hartman commanded the Middelburg Directors' ship Gecroonde Liefde in 1653. Early in the year, Michiel De Ruyter used the ship as his temporary flagship. After that, the Gecroonde Liefde continued to serve in his squadron. The Gecroonde Liefde was one of the ships that was lost in the storm off the Texel on about 9 November 1653. We know the dimensions of the Gecroonde Liefde: 136ft x 29ft x ? x 6-1/2ft. The we don't know the exact armament, but we are close: 4-18pdr, 2-12pdr, 20-8pdr and 9pdr, 8-6pdr, and 2-4pdr. In April 1653, the crew was 145 men. That must have been a nominal number, because the number is too exact. The Gecroonde Liefde was very long and narrow and is similar to Straatsvaarders that were designed for speed for service in the Mediterranean Sea. This is another ship with a large number of 8 pounder guns, although there was actually a mix of 8 pounder and 9 pounder guns. We always suspect that 9 pounder guns were of English manufacture. This information is partly from documents from the Nationaal Archief and information supplied to me by Carl Stapel.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Zeven Provincien on 3 March 1672

We have a handwritten list that includes the details for the Zeven Provincien (the Dutch fleet flagship) as of 3 March 1672:

Name:  Zeven Provincien
Admiralty: Admiralty of the Maze or Rotterdam
Built: 1665
Length in Amsterdam feet: 163 feet
Beam in Amsterdam feet:    43 feet
Hold in Amsterdam feet:    16-1/2 feet
Deck height in Amsterdam feet: 7-1/2 feet
4-clockwise 6pdr

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book: Dutch Ships in Various Operations in the First Anglo-Dutch War

I have had this book project, Dutch Ships in Various Operations in the First Anglo-Dutch War, in work for more than a decade. I would like to push to complete this as a Kindle book. I am in the process of doing the necessary reformatting. I have the information needed, although some analysis remains to be done.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dutch warship inventories

There must be a way to exploit the inventories for Dutch warships. The largest number date from around 23 June 1653, after the Battle of the Gabbard. A typical report after a battle in the Seventeenth Century included an inventory for each ship. The inventories from 1638 and 1640 just seem to have been made as part of normal reporting. The best inventories are in great detail and might include a gun inventory with the weight of each piece. Some inventories were very shot and were only made to satisfy the requirement, although not what was wanted. Leendert Haexwant's inventory for the Overijssel from 23 June 1653 was neatly written and very complete, although it did not give the ship's dimensions or the gun weights. The next inventory in my photograph collection is for the Brederode and was signed by Maerten Harpertszoon Tromp, the fleet commander. I was just looking again at inventories this morning, and they are very much on my mind.

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