Fleet to Setúbal and Cadiz 1690

To Setubal and Cadiz
Map of 1690 Mediterranean Expedition
Map part 1: arriving to Setubal & Cadiz
Date:April - May 1690
United Provinces

1 Killegrew's expedition

1.1 Killegrew's assignment

The great fleet that assembled to sail to the Mediterranean in early 1690 was a composite fleet. One might therefore be tempted to think of its trip as a single event, but in reality there were 3 main voyages. Russel sailing to La Coruna; Killegrew escorting to Cadiz; and Aylmer saling into the Mediterranean. This page is about the fleet sailing to Setúbal and Cadiz under Killegrew.

Russel had been tasked with escorting the fleet against a possible interception by the French main battle fleet, and with escorting the Spanish Bride to Spain. Killegrew would have to ensure the arrival of the fleet to Setubal and Cadiz by protecting it against strong detachments of the French fleet.

1.2 French Mediterranean squadron

The French squadron in the Mediterranean was Killegrew's most likely adversary. The Anglo-Dutch had sent Killegrew with such a strong fleet because they were aware of the danger that it posed to alliance shipping. They were however also aware that sending too much ships ships to the Mediterranean would adversely affect the balance in the Channel. In the ideal scenario Killegrew would bring the French to battle in the Straits, and force them back with significant loss.

The actual result of Killegrew's attempt to intercept Châteaurenault was a complete failure. Châteaurenault would sail to the Channel and add to the French majority in the Battle of Beachy Head. This is one of the reasons that this interception attempt probably deserves a separate page. The other one is that it might have been a rather equal battle.

1.3 Strange end in Plymouth

Killegrew would arrive back in England too late for the Battle of Beachy Head. After his failed interception he probably did not have another choice. He probably had to escort a significant number of ships back to England. His trip ended with his small Anglo_Dutch fleet barricading themselves in Plymouth after the French seized control of the Channel.

2 Portugal

2.1 Porto

Hearing the experiences of the men entering a Coruña one would expect a big disaster in the rest of the fleet. However, the same 29 April paper that published Paeyn's first letter also had the news that Skipper Metaelman (probably Willem Metaelman of the Stad Amsterdam) was together with VA Almonde and 100 mostly Dutch ships OHC 29 April 1690. On 12 May the small Portuguese ship Madre de Deus arriving from Porto in Rotterdam noted that all ships destined for Porto and having been in the Queen's convoy had safely arrived there OHC 13 May 1690.

2.2 Lisbon

On 15 April captains Pieter Hooft, Cornelis Reyndertsz and others arrived in Lisbon. On the 16th the ship Het Witte Lam entered the harbour, and soms ships were noted as missing. The Rode Leeuw of Jacob Kock, destined for Cadiz came in without masts. He probably took some time to repair, he arrived in Cadiz on 17 June. The Papiermolen was noted as not yet arrived. It was said that 2-3 Dutch and 2-3 English had been taken by French Capers OHC 18 May 1690. One of these was that of Hendrik Jappes. Somewhat later (probably 17 April) 50 ships passed Lisbon on their way to Setúbal.

Arrivals in Setúbal
Haen Nachtegaal
Heerlijkheit van Spanbroek3 Gezusters
St. Pieter Printkopers
Prins Lastdrager
Kroon Olijfboom
Kock Het Bonte Kalf
Maria Visser
Raedhuys van JispJan BalckJuffr. Elisabeth
Son Rijsende Son
Petronella Juffr. CatherinaJacob Noortsterment. Ooievaar
Groene KlockDirk SpanjaardBelCornelis Corneliszment. Ooievaar
Vergulde Valck Tijgerment. Ooievaar
Sybrandt GerritszBoomJacob Boomment. Ooievaar
St. Franciscus Geele Hart
Juffr. Johanna Witte ValkMarten Jansz.ment. Ooievaar
Waterland Swarte Raven
Smit Jonge Ojevaerment. Ooievaar
Velthoen De Liefde
Blauwe Pot VaendragerPieter Gerritsz Maetschoenment. Ooievaar
Appelboom De Liefde
Juffr. Alida Stad Rotterdam
Wiltschut Beurs van Dort
Goomen Maegt van Dort
Mastemaker Hoop
Karsenboom TrommelslagerClaes Dirksz. Trommelment. Ooievaar
Witte Leeuw Koek
Blauwe As Vergulde Son
Oude Simeon Overveen
Stad Franeker Baedlandment. Ooievaar
Witte Dolfijn Christoffel
Jonge Daniel Jonge Theodoor
Spaerpot Augenita
Pieter Schagen Wapen van Rotterdam
Lijnbaen Bontekoning
Vinck Rad van Avonturenment. Ooievaar
Bestevaer Ankersmit
Blauwe Sleutel Stad Riga
Vrede Agatha
Hoop o.h. land van belofteHouttuyn
Slot Revel Witte BeerJan Wijck
Stad Stavoren Wapen van Stavoren
Augenis Visser
Jacobus Houtkopers
Jonge Car Concordia
Benijde FortuynHoorn cf. aboveSint Jan
NibbixwoudHoorn cf. above
A buys from Edam
An unknown ship
Swarte Raven
Gekroonde Haring

2.3 Setúbal

While Setúbal might not be such a famous place nowadays, at the time it was known as Saint Hubes. It produced the strategic resource salt in huge quantities. This alone was reason for every north-european state to send a large convoy to Setúbal each year. From Lissabon one noted that the Drie Gezusters, Lastdrager and Bontekalf (this from behind England) and 36 others had arrived in Setúbal.

On 17 April someone in the merchantmen 'Ooievaar' sent a letter from Setúbal: Cornelis van der Sluys had lost his masts. The Papiermolen and the Liefde both from Medemblik were lost, as well as the Blaeuwe Pot with crew. Note that the large list from Setúbal given here contains a Blauwe Pot, and that it was also not on the loss list. The Ooievaar continues: On the 16th arrived: Marten Jansz Valk; Cornelis Cornelisz. Bel; Baadland; the Tyger; Brand van Leek; Pieter Gerritsz. Maetschoen; 't Rad van Avonturen; Bontekoning; Trommelslager; Boom, Jacob Boom ; Jacob Noortstar ; Claes Dirksz.1; Roobol; Jan Pijnappel, Pieter Schagen both stranded. The escort consisted of VA Almonde in the Gelderland (A); Jan Pael with the Vlaardingen (N); and some othersOHC 20 May 1690.

2.4 Final Setúbal list

The final list for all ships arriving in Setúbal is to the left. It comes from the Oprechte Haerlemse Courant (OHC on this site) of 3 June 1690 and was so long that it only contained the ships' names. By now it might be clear that many names ships had names that were not very distinctive. Names like 'the Liefde' (Dutch for love) or 'Eendracht' (Dutch for Unity) were very popular. Apart from that sailors found it good practice to translate names. So the English 'Duke' was often called 'Hertog' (Dutch for duke). Another peculiarity is naming the ship after the captain in some way. The Trommelslager translates as 'drummer' owned by mister Trommel or 'drum'. One might consider this as an attempt to be funny, but there probably was some solid reasoning behind it.

All this makes it very difficult tot produce an exact and correct list that also identifies (ship and captain) these ships. I'll make attempts to fill in some blanks. By combining e.g. the OHC of 16 March 1688 which has ship/captain names, with the Ooievaar and this list, some details can be filled. I'll list them here: Ooievaar has the Boom of Jacob Boom as in '88; Ooievaar has the Witte Valk of Marten Jansz. as in '88; De Vaendrager is mentioned in '88 and '91 as the ship of Pieter Gerritsz Maetschoen, and he's mentioned by the Ooievaar.

The fragment from which we deduce a Captain Noortstar cf. the note below, leads to connecting the Juffrrouw Catharina with captain Jacob Noort-ster. The Trommelslager mentioned by the Ooievaar is easy, OHC 11 May 1688 has captain Claes Dirksz. Trommel as captain of the Trommelslager. He is not the same men as Claes Dirksz., in the OHC 11 May 1688 he is mentioned separately as captain of the Sophia. The OHC of 22 jun 1688 has Skipper Cornelis Cornelisz. Bel, going from Riga directly to Lissabon. Cornelis Cornelisz. was a very very common name at the time, I assumed this means Cornelis Cornelisz. was captain of the Bel.

For those ships not mentioned by the Ooievaer, or in any other relation to this expedition, we can only make a connection if the ship has a unique name. In 1688 Dirk Spanjaard was captain of the Groene Klok, as he was in Feb '92; Another that can probably be assumed is the Witte Beer of Jan wijck.

One can wonder what the use of all these details is. The simple list provided by the OHC of 3 June 1690 seems to prove that most ships did arrive safely in Setúbal. There are however some solid reasons to fill in the gaps. The picture of the whole expedition can be made complete; The media can be double-checked and mistakes removed; Ships in other messages can be identified with more certainty. The result can be used as research material for convoys in other years.

3 Cadiz: final moves towards the Mediterranean

3.1 Cadiz

Cadiz had the monopoly of trade with the Spanish Indies. It was also a good harbour close to the Strait of Gibraltar. As such it was a destination all by itself, but also a natural location to organize convoys into the Mediterranean. We should therefore expect that part of the expedition returns from Cadiz, while others organize themselves into convoys for Mediterranean ports.

3.2 Seville

Seville had lost its monopoly of trade with the Indies, but was still one of the morst important cities in Spain. From its location inland, it's not so obvious that it was (and is) a port for ocean going ships. Many ships from this convoy and others would sail to both Cadiz and Sevilla. In a convoy system it was logical that ships from Sevilla assembled in Cadiz for the homeward convoy. Next to that, it seems that ships destined to Sevilla were also likely to first sail to Cadiz.

3.3 The Hamburg convoy arrives in Cadiz

15 March Hamburg convoy arrives in Cadiz
ShipCaptainnext / notes ShipCaptainnext / notes
Warship Wapen von HamburgGaspar Taems NeptunusJan Cornelisz.
St. BernardoWillem Anthonisz. SimonJan Cornelisz.
3 GebroedersHendrick Weevers FortuynJan Jansz.
LaviguaJan Didtmer EmanuelAndries Andriesz.
St. SalvatorPieter Freese MarmiroJan Zeeman
La ViudadPieter Harmensz. VredePieter Hor
De LiefdeJan Hartman Vliegende DuyfJan Schroder
Gekroonde LeeuwJan Pietersz. A Ship
st. JanGaspar Rogh

The Bilbao convoy was not the only convoy that sailed before our great Mediterranean expedition sailed. On 15 March the Hamburg convoy had already arrived in CadizOHC 22 April 1690. This Hamburg convoy is mentioned here because after reaching Cadiz the big fleet would extend its trip by sending some warships to Malaga. The Hamburg convoy would join these.

3.4 The Rotterdam convoy arrives in Cadiz

17 March Rotterdam Convoy as it arrived in Cadiz
Ship Captain next / notes Ship Captain next / notes
Warship Schieland (50) Capt. Willem van Eden Munt van Dort Frederik Voscamto Rotterdam
Mercurius Jan Hendricksz. Pijns to Venice Anna en Maria Jan Barentsz Murmanto Rotterdam
Maegt van Dort Adriaen Halfhaek to Rotterdam

From what I can discern the so-called 'Rotterdam Convoy' was a convoy sailing each year, and probably more than once a year. On 21-22 January it was in the Downs, and suffered from a stormohc 31 Jan 1690. On 18 February it left Plymouth with the 'Onderhebbende schepen tot Cadix incluys'OHC 28 Feb. 1690. On 25 February it arrived in Lisbon 'Met haar is het Rotterdams Convoy, te Lissabon binnengelopen, komen zeylen'ohc 28 March 1690. On 17 March it had arrived from Lisbon in Cadiz (cf. the table)OHC 22 April 1690.

On arrival in Cadiz it was listed as to contain: The warship Schieland; The Mercurius of Jan Hendricksz. Pijn, going to Venice; the Maegt van Dort; The Munt van Dort and the Anna Maria bound for Rotterdam. These ships destined to Rotterdam are also positively in the table of those leaving later. That same day also arrived: White Dove, Sebulon Hill; Goed Geluk (probably Providence), both from New England; Luck of London, John Mandray; a ship from Bristol; Seven Star, Artur Momeneb from London, Orange from Falmouth, Captain Badcock from Falmouth; and the Olive Branch Hendrick Hart from Bristol22 april 1690. (note how the paper splits the Captain Babcock's ship into 2 ships).

3.5 The big fleet arrives on 18 April

Arrivals in Cadiz
ShipCaptainnext / notes ShipCaptainnext / notes
St. AnnaLeendert van Egmontsailed alone to Alicante, 35 guns 60 menHerne (en)
EendrachtCornelis van Holen21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam Poply (en)
ZeelandiaCornelis Heynseto Oostende 14 June Grade (en)
Het Wapen van SivilienGerrit Conet21 July Cadiz to AmsterdamDavid (en)
St FranciscusMeyndert Heremijt21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam Maria (en)
Arce NoaGerrit Nieuwstat Convoy to Italy Merchant of Velos (en)
AgathaCornelis de Jagerto Oostende 14 June Douwyk (en)
De MaenJan Hartmanto Oostende 14 June Adventure (en)
De Generale VredeAdriaen Marteniz May Pole (en)
De SonJan Bons Friendship
Wapen van AmsterdamPieter Uylenburg Cathrina and Maria
PostillionHuybert Petit Convoy to ItalyAnna?21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam?
Stad AmsterdamWillem Metaelman Convoy to ItalySt Martin Joris Koster Reached Malaga by himself
St Jan BaptistJochem Fransz Convoy to ItalySt. Pedro Dirk Reynaertsz to Oostende 14 June
ConstantiaJacob Hoek St. Joseph Jan Medemblik to Oostende 14 June
De ParelJan Sybrantsz Boone21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam Juffr. Bettina Cornelius Blau 21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam
De RachelFrans Cornelisz21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam Maria Adriaen Gouwenaar Convoy to Italy
De Engel St MichaelWillem Reyguewould return from Zalee 29 JulySt. PauloCornelis Cramer
De Generale VredeChristiaan Vlies Convoy to ItalyOutvaderJan Koster Captured near TexelOHC 28 Sep. 1690 and recaptured
Fluit St AnnaPieter Martensz.Malaga 29 April VriendschapJames
Catharina ChristinaJan n.(prob. Noortstar)St. ClairScottish
Wapen van PortugalPieter Jansz. Expedition (en)Charles King Convoy to Italy
BruynvisDirk Gerritsz.to Oostende 14 June Admiraal de RuyterJan Payn Convoy to Italy
St. PieterP. KeyserOostende or Amsterdam Gouden LeeuwPieter Fontein Convoy to Italy
St. JorisJan Bogaert Convoy to Italy HollandiaFrans Bernards Convoy to Italy
AnnaPaulus Philipsz to Oostende 14 June St. JosephLeendert Jansz 21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam
Witte RoosDirk Frederiksz. Convoy to Italy ConstantinopelHendrik Opmeer Convoy to Italy
LeeuwinCornelis de Witto Oostende 14 June Ringenberg Pieter Verdonk 21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam
RachelCornelis Roelofsz De BoerPaulus Pietersz. to Oostende 14 June
St. JosephAris Domme to Oostende 14 June
Caesar(32)7 May 3 GebroedersJan Salomons to Oostende 14 June
City of Cadiz(28)7 May De Witte EngelMiguel Peene (Oostende) to Oostende 14 June
Merchant of Santa Cruz(30)7 May
MercuriusJan Hendricksz. Pijns Arr. 17 March
Koning SalomonNicolaes Bruyns 21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam

On 18 April these ships arrived: St. Anna, Leendert van Egmont 35 guns 60 men; Eendracht, Cornelis van Holen, Zeelandia, Cornelis Heynse; Het Wapen van Sivilien, Gerrit Conet; St Franciscus, Meyndert Heremijt; Arcana, Gerrit Nieuwstat; Agatha, Cornelis de Jager; De Maen, Jan Hartman; De Generale Vrede, Adriaen Marteniz; De Son, Jan Bons; Wapen van Amsterdam, Pieter Uylenburg; Postillion Huybert Petit; Stad Amsterdam, Willem Metaelman; St Jan Baptist, Jochem Fransz; Constantia, Jacob Hoek; De Parel, Jan Sybrantsz Boone; De Rachel, Frans Cornelisz; De Engel St Michael, Willem Reygue; De Generale Vrede, Christiaan Vlies; St Anna, Pieter Martensz.; Catharina Christina, Jan n.; Wapen van Portugal, Pieter Jansz.; Bruynvis, Dirk Gerritsz.; St. Pieter, P. Keyser; St. Joris, Jan Bogaert; Anna, Paulus Philipsz; Witte Roos, Dirk Frederiksz.; Leeuwin, Cornelis de Wit; Rachel, Cornelis Roelofsz20 May 1690. Note all these in the left column of the arrivals in Cadiz table.

These were the warships under Killegrew arriving with the main part of the fleet on 18 April: Resolution; Burford; Greenwich; Oxford; Newcastle; Tyger; Portland; Falcon; Unity Ketch; Gelderland; Amsterdam; Haerlem; Eenhoorn; Vlaardingen, and 1 more Dutch, as well as a big fleet of English and Dutch merchants London Gazette 29 May 1690.

3.6 other arrivals in Cadiz

On the 26th came in RA Evertsen with the Zierikzee; St Martin, Joris Koster; St. Pedro Dirk Reynaertsz; St. Joseph, Jan Medemblik; Juffr. Bettina, Cornelius Blau; Maria, Adriaen Gouwenaar; St. Paulo Cornelis Cramer; De Omot, vader Jan Koster; Vriendschap, James; St. Clair, Scottish; Expedition, Charles King (english). On the 30th the St Martin of Joris Koster continued to Malaga. On 27 April the warship Falcon(50) Capt. Ward left for the coast of Africa, but returned soon.

3.7 Ships from A Coruna arrive in Cadiz

On 30 April the ships we left in Coruña came in: De Vrede(52) van Laar; Admiraal de Ruyter, Jan Payn; Gouden Leeuw, Pieter Fontein; Hollandia, Frans Bernards; St. Joseph, Leendert Jansz; Constantinopel, Hendrik Opmeer; Ringenberg, Pieter Verdonk; De Boer, Paulus Pietersz.; St. Joseph, Aris Domme; 3 Gebroeders, Jan Salomons; De Witte Engel, Miguel Peene (Oostende). These English warships also arrived: Duke; Hangmast?; Montague and Saphire. (from the 29 May LG we have: Duke; Montague and 2 English Frigates, so we should look for the Hangmast frigate. Possibly created by an English ship " "-Galley written as gallow, Dutch Galg / Hangmast).

On 4 May the Happy Return came in with a French Caper. It was the Nostra Signora de Grace of Captain Bauchesne Gomn from St Malo. It had cruised the Portuguese coast for quite some time and had made many prizes. It lost 15 killed and many wounded in its battle against the Happy Return, which had anly 4-5 killed and few wounded. In the ship were found 30,000 pesos in cash AC 03 June 1690.

3.8 Late arrivals in Cadiz

In late April a small convoy had left Plymouth for Cadiz. It consisted of a 3rd rate warship, the City of Cadiz(28), Friston(30), and Caesar(32) and 2 others. The Plymouth letters of 29 April that noted the departure were unsure of the Friston OHC 9 May 1690. On 7 May the english Caesar, City of Cadiz and Merchant of Santa Cruz arrived in Cadiz AC 03 June 1690.

On 13 May the warship Portland of Captain Leigh came in. From Gibraltar the Tyger, Captain Cole and Falcon, Captain Ward came in. On 27 May the Dutch Juffr. Maria came in from NorwayOHC 1 july 1690. On 30 May the Coning Salomon, Nicolaes Bruyns arrived from TexelOHC 1 july 1690. On 17 May the St. Anna Leendert van Egmont and the Mercurius of C. Pijns left for Venice. The Hopewell and Mayflower went to Malaga, all OHC 20 june.

On 30 May the St. Paulus, Cornelis Kramer; The Patriarch, Jan Coster; and the Pastora went to Seville. Seville was a sea harbour (as it is now). Moving the monopoly of the trade with the Indies to Cadiz had obviously not eliminated some of the other trade of Sevilla.

4 Convoy to Malaga

4.1 Hamburg convoy continues to Malaga

On 23 April the warships: Burford Capt. Schelton; Oxford(52) Capt. Lacke; Greenwich(52) capt. Eduard; Amsterdam(64) Capt. Count of Nassau; Haerlem(64) Capt. Manart; Eenhoorn(52) Capt. Muys were dispatched from Cadiz, ostensibly to look for ships that might be smuggling near MalagaOHC 1 June 1690. That same day the English merchants: Herne, Poply, Grade, David, Maria, Merchant of Velos, Douwijk, Adventure, Meyboom and Friendship and the Dutch merchants Catharina and Maria, and AnnaAC 03 June 1690. The logical conclusion from this is that a small convoy was sailing to Malaga.

Letters from Gibraltar of 23 April had the arrival of the Hamburg convoy from Cadiz OHC 23 May 1690. Shortly after there was a message from Malaga that the Amsterdam, Haarlem and Eenhoorn had arrived, as well as the Hamburg convoy. Later arrivals were: On 29 April the fluyt St. Anna of Pieter Martsz Groot from Cadiz; on 1 June the Maria Reynier Weyman from Gibraltar, and on 2 June the St. Martin of Joris de Koster (had left Cadiz 30 April), who had sailed ahead from Cadiz OHC 23 May 1690.

4.2 Ships from Genua join

Meanwhile the St. Anna of Pieter Klinkert arrived in Alicante from Venice. The Hamburg ship 3 Patriarchs and 3 other Hamburgers came in from Genua, and continued to Cadiz on 1 May OHC 03 June 1690. These were probably part of: Wapen van Hamburg and Koopman van Hamburg, which had sailed from Archangel and had arrived in Cadiz in early January 1690, and Propheet Daniel, St Anna and Patriarch, leaving Cadiz to Italy that same month OHC 14 feb 1690 In late May the Hamburg convoy 3 Patriarchen Carsten Lou was reported to have left Genua OHC 13 May 1690 On 17 March the Hamburg Prophet Daniel of Carsten Louw and under its escort the Anna of George Noard had arrived in Livorno, 4 days from Genua OH 15 April 1690 On c 6 June the Propheet Daniel and 1 Hamburg merchant under its convoy arrived in Alicante OHC 01 July 1690. These Hamburgers would later turn up in the homeward Hamburg conovy

5 Chateau-Renault vs Killegrew

5.1 French Activity

Paris letters of 18 April said that Chateau-Renault was ready to sail with 4 ships from Toulon. He would embark 1,000 soldiers for the galleys at Rochefort. 4,000 other sailors and officers had left to Rochefort via the Canal royal en Languedoc. M. de Goutres and de Blenac were expected from Algiers OHC 22 April 1690. Paris letter of 6 May had that the Marquis de Blenac had returned to Toulon. He had been to Algiers with 2 ships to make peace there and had received back 320 slaves to serve as crew OHC 16 May 1690 On 3 May Chateauregnault left Toulon with 6 big ships, 3 burners and some others OHC 20 May 1690

5.2 Looking for the Toulon fleet

On 19 May Killegrew and Almonde received messages that the Toulon fleet was sailing. This was commanded by Châteaurenault and for a long estimated as 8-10 ships strong, including a first rate ship. Their obvious intention would be to join the ships in Brest. As it got closer, Châteaurenault's squadron was sighted by multiple ships and reported as having the Dauphin with 110 guns; 2 ships with 90 guns; 3 fourth rates and 3 fireships. Finally 9 ships were sighted from the top of the rock of Gibraltar, and report reached Cadiz.

The alliance fleet decided to prevent Châteaurenault passing the Straits. The merchantmen sent 600 of their men as volunteers on board of the Men of War. Having put their sick men on board the Resolution, a small alliance battlefleet sailed to the Straits with a westerly wind on the 20th (London Gazette 16 june 1690). The composition of this fleet was: Duke (VA Killegrew); Gelderland (VA Almonde); Zierikzee (RA Evertsz); Eagle; Montague, capt. Leighton; Happy return, capt. Bockenham; Portland, capt. Leigh; Falcon Capt. Ward; Tyger Capt. Cole; Saphire, CAPTAIN Killegrew and Richmond (probably picked up in the area), the burner mount Sion as well as 2 burners and 2 ketches. It was to join by the Gibraltar forces of three Dutch and three English ships, then at Girbaltar (cf. above), bringing the total to 17 ships of the line. The Resolution and Newcastle remained in Cadiz to set new Main-masts.

5.3 ChâteauRenault reaches the Ocean

For Killegrew and Almonde's attempt to intercept Chateau-Renault, I will rely on Burchett(cf. sources), who seems to be qouting from a primary source.

The 10th (i.e. 20 May N.S.) at 11 PM, the wind was W.N.W., and the squadron had then Cape Trafalgar E. and by N. about 4 leagues (8km) off. At 4 the next morning (21 May N.S.) they steer'd away for the Streights Mouth and had Cape Spartel S.W. distant about 6 leagues, at which time the Admiral detached the Portland to Girbaltar, with directions to Captain Skelton to get ready and join him. About one afternoon (21 May) he got into the Bay, but continued plying in till the other ships could get up their anchors; and at this time their came on board him three Spanish Gentlemen from the Governor of Gibraltar, with advice from the Commander in Chief at Ceuta, a Spanish garrison on the Barabary coast, that there had been seen the night before 14 ships at anchor in Tetuan Bay. The whole squadron now under sail, consisting of one second rate, three thirds, six fourths, two fifths, and two fireships of the English, and five ships of the States General, they stood over for Ceuta point, with a fair gale at West, and their lay by all night.
The next morning (22 May) early, the admiral stood for the Bay of Tetuan, where he found only two ships, the one at anchor in the west part of the bay, the other under sail about 2 leagues eastward of her. The latter got away, and put aboard the colours of Algier; but the other, being imbayed, was taken by Vice-Admiral Almonde, and proved to be a French ship bound to Antegoa.
The wind shifting to the E.S.E. a small gale, our squadron stood over for the Spanish shore, and having Ceuta point W.N.W. about 2 leagues off, the men at the mast-head saw 10 ships to the north, lying with their heads eastward. Notice of this was given to monsieur Almonde, who could not so soon discern them, because he was about 2 leagues southward of our ships, and in a very little time after the whole squadron stretched over for Girbaltar hill, the Montague being sent ahead to observe and give notice of the enemy. At eleven o'clock she fell astern, her captain having discovered, and given notice that 4 ships were under his lee, so that all endeavours were used to get up with them, and about one o'clock, they were not above 2 miles off; and it being then discerned that they run for't our squadron set their top-gallant sails, and crowded after them as much as 'twas possible;
but the French ships had the better heels, for they were just cleaned, whereas some of ours had been 7 months off of the ground. The chase was continued till ten next day (23 May), and then the French were about 4 leagues ahead, and the Dutch, with several of the English ships, near Hull to astern; insomuch that the admiral had only the Duke, Montague, Eagle and Portland near him. Notwithstanding this, monsieur Chateau Renault kept on his way, having 13 ships with him viz. 6 men of war, 3 fireships, a Tartane, and 3 merchant ships, and there being no prospect of coming up with them; the chase was given over; but, between 9 and 10 in the morning (24 May), the Richmond and the Tiger put one of the merchant ships on shore, westward of Tarifa, and with great labour got her off. The admiral lay by till 3 PM (24 May), and then, the rest of his squadron coming up, he bore away for Cadiz. But, by reason of contrary winds, could not reach that place till the 21st (31 May).

The failed interception near Tetuan is confirmedOHC of 1 july 1690. Other reports from the Straits mentioned that the Alliance fleet captured 3 French frigates. One each of 30, 24 and 12 pieces. Later on it becomes clear that this probably includes the two ships above. The OHC1 July 1690 had: In Gibraltar 3 ships where brought in: a merchant ship with soap and oil captured on the river of Tetuan; One with parcel cargo captured on the Barbary coast, and a frigate of 16 pieces captured near Tarifa. Apart from that I could find very little about Chateau-Renault's escape In the Anglo-Dutch press

From the French side we have that Chateau Renault used the Prudent as a recon and from it found out where the enemy was. He next ordered his fleet with his 3 burners in the vanguard, and 6 warships following. The whole day he was in the Straits in sight of the alliance fleet. When the tide turned to his advantage he then set sail, passing them before the alliance ships started to pursue. His ships were the better sailing ones, and could not be overtaken OHC 06 July 1690.

While one can argue about the general significance of 6 ships of the line reaching the Atlantic, it's rather hard to dismiss its actual significance for the Battle of Beachy Head. Its significance was probably that it aggravated the defeat of Beachy Head. Take out some of Chateau-Renault's ships, and the Dutch would probably have lost less. The cause of the disastrous outcome of Beachy head was however not in numbers, but in the behavior of certain commanders.

6 Convoys are sent into the Mediterranean

6.1 Sequence of convoys from Cadiz

The general descriptions of events describe a scenario that starts with sending the convoys to the Mediterranean, and ends with Killegrew and Almonde leaving Cadiz. The exact sequencs of events is however a bit different. First the Malaga and Alicante convoy left; then the homebound Oostende convoy, then Killegrew and Almonde, and only later the Smyrna and Iskendrun convoys. The starting point of all this is of course the return of the fleet to Cadiz. According to the Burchett's source above this was on May 31st. According to the OHC 1 July this was on 1 June.

7 Convoys are sent north from Cadiz

7.1 The Rotterdam Convoy goes home

25 April Homeward Rotterdam Convoy leaves Cadiz
Ship Captainnext / notes Ship Captain next / notes
Warship Schieland (50) Capt. van Edenarr. in Cadiz 17 March Seven Stars Arthur MoneniesFrom London, arr. in Cadiz 17/3
Maegt van Dort Adriaen Halfhaekarr. in Cadiz 17 March The Orange Gervasio BabcockFrom Falmouth arr. in Cadiz 17/3
Munt van Dort Frederik Voscamarr. in Cadiz 17 March La Balanera (= Yacht) Isabella Guillermo Bocke
Anna en Maria Jan Barentsz Murmanarr. in Cadiz 17 March Providence Daniel TaylerFrom New England, arr. in Cadiz 17/3
Koningin Maria Adriaen Eeling Princessa del Cielo Manuel Fernandes Vera
Bordeaux Merchant only in the OHC

The so-called 'Rotterdam Convoy' left Cadiz on 25 April, way ahead of the others, but at first it only sailed to Setúbal, and therefore others would catch up with it. It contained: Warship Schieland (50), Capt. Willem van Eden(same as in 1688) ; Maegt van Dort, Adriaen Halfkaek; Munt van Dort Frederik Voscam; Anna en Maria, Jan Barentsz Murman; Koningin Maria, Adriaen Eeling; and the English: Seven Stars, Arthur Monenies; The Orange, Gervasio Babcock; La Balanera Isabella, Guillermo Bocke; Providence, Daniel Tayler; Princessa del Cielo, Manuel Fernandes Vera. Obviously this marks some ships with strange names as English... AC 3 june 1690. What is notable about these two paragraphs is that the composition of the Rotterdam convoy seems to change according to the ships that accidently join it. (also note that the OHC has the convoy arriving on 25 April, the AC has it leaving).

From a fleet that left Setubal under 2 Swedish escorts on 9 May the message was that the Rotterdam Convoy had not yet arrived in LisbonOHC 17 06 1690. Lisbon letters of 30 May noted that the Rotterdam Convoy had still not arrived. A ship that sailed ahead said it was delayed due to a ship that sailed very badly, and that the escort was forced to stay with it OHC 29 06 1690. A later message from Lisbon had that the Rotterdam Convoy had arrived that it would continue in 8 days, but not when it had arrived OHC 01 July 1690.

(We'll step out of the chronology here) On 12 June letters from Lisbon noted that the Rotterdam Convoy would leave for home on 14 June. Its obvious course would be to sail around England OHC 13 July 1690. That the Rotterdam convoy to stay quite some extra time in Setúbal in order to give ships the opportunity to join. Later on notes about Setúbal ships sailing with the Rotterdam convoy confirm this. One such is about the Gekroonde Anna of Jan Prauws, which had sailed with the Rotterdam convoy from LisbonOHC 17 Oct. 1690.

While sailing to England captain van Eden of the escort died before the convoy reached Plymouth. Berkhout, Bontekalf and one other opted to circumvent EnglandOHC 27 July 1690. In August the Rotterdam Convoy was still in Plymouth, and said bound to circumvent EnglandOHC 3 August 1690. The reason is obvious: the French were in control of the Channel. To all appearances however, the merchants of this convoy and others waited in Plymouth, and only sailed on the 28th, when Killegrew and Almonde finally sailed to the main fleet. It's possible that meanwhile the deceased captain van Eden had been replaced by De Liefde. (De Liefde had previously lost his ship Ridderschap, and might have repatriated with Almonde. De Liefde was also of the Meuse admiralty, Barent Rees of the Meuse admiralty was blamed for events on the Vrijheid, and less likely to replace Van Eden.) All this to explain the arrival on 13 September of Captain de Liefde with 24 merchants from Cadiz, Lisbon and Setúbal in Goeree / RotterdamOHC 16 Sep. 1690. At about the same moment came the confirmation that most ships sailing with Almonde had arrived in Texel.

Berkhout, Bontekalf and Mattheus came from Setúbal with the Rotterdam convoy and had indeed opted to circumvent England. This became clear when they were captured west of Ireland by 3 French Navy ships. They were subsequently brought to BrestOHC 28 Sep. 1690. At the end of September or early October, a skipper of one of these ships arrived from Brest, having walked most of the way. He told that they were taken by three French Navy ships of 22, 26 and 28 guns, 55 miles north of Ireland. The ships were next taken to Kinsale and our reporting captain later to Brest, where he saw the French ships disarmingOHC 3 Oct 1690.

Obviously the ships got caught up in the conquest of Cork and Kinsale. The Groenlandsche Visserij; the Bonte Calf and Juffrouw Catharina, skipper Claes Jansz. Berkhout, attempting to sail to France, were taken by the English. The Bonte Calf was brought to Cork, and the others to England. Most of the cargo was still in the shipsOHC 14 Nov 1690. (Which is not strange, because the French would doubtlessly get a better price outside Ireland).

7.2 Homeward Oostende Convoy

14 June: Homeward Oostende Convoy
'English' shipsOther and 'Dutch'
Goede wil der koopliednBenj. Morley La ConceptionTellogro
CoronationFrancis Boswell Las Animas
Richard and MaryDransfielt St. Miguel
PelicanNic. Follet Ventura Riba
JamesChatwold Nostra Signora de la AntiguaSalvador de Breu
Olive branchHenry Honzylsprob. from R'Dam 17/3
RachelCap Prue The Dutch:
SarahJohn Bradil ZeelandiaCornelis Lijnsz. had arrived 18 April
EssexJohn Hudson Wassende MaenJan Hartman had arrived 18 April
ParragonJohn Filmore St. AnnaDaniel Philips had arrived 18 April
JoannaThomas Read AgathaCornelis Jansz. Roele had arrived 18 April
GeorgeJohn Payne St. PieterPieter Keyser had arrived 18 April
Josef of TomsonIsak Clare Wakende LeeuwCorn. Witte had arrived 18 April
WilliamJohn Richart Maria ElisabethBroer Alkes
Whitehall NoortstarReynier Gerbrantsz.
MargaretaStephen Sowers BruynvisDirk Heertjens had arrived 18 April
an unnamed St. PieterDirk Reyniersz had arrived 18 April
St JeanJohn Acheron St. JosephJan Medemblik had arrived 18 April
GeorgeAlexander Ferries BoerDirk Pietersz. had arrived 18 April
l'Amitie James Santelay 3 GebroedersJan Salomonsz. had arrived 18 April
St. JosephAry Domine had arrived 18 April
St. Jago de la Vittoria*Nicolas de Ridderwarship a Dutch Fluit
St. Paulus
Maegt van Gent
St. Jan Francisco
Stad Oostende
St. Lorenzo
Marquis de Gastanagaused for cruising in Sep. 14 other English ships went
De Witte EngelMiguel Peenehad arrived 18 Aprilhome with this convoy
La ciudad de Oostendetranslates as stad
St. Agatha
* OHC 7-1-1687 calls the St Jago an Oostende warship, also with Nicolaes de Ridder as captain.

On 14 June the so-called Oostende Convoy left Cadiz, escorted by the Oostende warship St. Jago de la Vittoria. From the note it becomes clear that it was indeed destined to Oostende. The composition is interesting, because we can link most of the Dutch ships to ships arriving in Cadiz with the great fleet. For the details a remark about the Stad/Ciudad Oostende is useful: On 2 June came from Seville 2 ships named Stad Oostende, captains Peley and CrapeOHC 1 july 1690. In July the Oostende convoy arrived in Plymouth, where the Rotterdam convoy also wasOHC 27 July 1690. On 20 September or shortly before the Oostende convoy had arrived back in Oostende, having sailed the last stretch through the Channel with AlmondeOHC 21 Sep 1690.

7.3 Killegrew and Almonde return home

Killegrew and Almonde set sail for England on 19 June. They left 6 English and 2 Dutch warships, of these 4 each for the Smyrna and Iskendrun convoysOHC 15 july. After a 35 day journey the Duke, four 3rd rates, the Half Moon, the Virgin prize and 6 Dutch warships arrived in Plymouth. According to Burchett: he heard of the disaster of Beachy Head upon arriving in Plymouth. He then held a council of war with Almonde and Evertsen as well as Cloudesley Shovel present, and it decided to retreat up the river Tamar. According to De Jonge Killegrew and Almonde remained at Cadiz till 19 June and did not arrive in Plymouth before 23 July. He notes this to underscore that they had not yet arrived in Plymouth when the 10 July battle of Beachy Head took place. In this he does not contradict Burchett, but he does contradict Dalrymple.

There is a list of Killegrew and Almonde's ships as they left Cadiz. That of VA Killegrew; Burford, Capt. Skelton; Montague, Capt. Leigton; Eagle, Capt. Lacke; Resolution, Capt. Stanley; Burner Half Moon, Capt. Hales; 2 Bylanders; Loyalty, Richard Clarke with provisions; Bachiller, Capt. Ayles; Bonaventure, Roger Meyers; Virgen de Gracia prize; Gelderland, VA Almonde; Zierikzee, Capt. Ervertsz.; Amsterdam, Count of Nassau; Haarlem, Capt. Mainard; Captain Jan Dircksz Nuys (prob. Jan Muys).

7.4 All Arrive in Plymouth

Meanwhile the English had taken measures to counter mishaps. On 15 July Admiral Shovel arrived in Plymouth with the Monk and the Experiment, and on the 16th the St. Albans. Fifteen frigates, the Mary Galley and Hazewint were cruising the Channel in order to prevent Killegrew and Almonde from getting intercepted, or running into the French fleetOHC 27 July 1690.

On 23 July Killegrew and Almonde arrived in Plymouth with the Duke; Burford; Resolution; Eagle and other warshipsOHC 1 Aug 1690. From Plymouth Almonde sent a letter, but the only part the Mercurius thought interesting was that the fleet had met the English East-India ships Resolution and Williamson outside the Channel, and escorted these to Plymouth. What is relevant is that the Mercurius stated that Almonde and Killegrew brougth with them a large number of merchant ships returning from Spain. On 25 July or shortly before an express from Plymouth came to London, notifying their arrival. It had the names of the East India ships as Williamson of Bonkola from Sumatra and the Resolution of BataviaOHC 1 Aug 1690.

On 22 aug the fleets would try to continue to the east, but this failedOHC 31 Aug 1690. On 28 August Killegrew and Almonde sailed from Plymouth with all transport and merchant ships, Killegrew would continue to the Downs with 5 warshipsOHC 12 Sep 1690.

8 Later convoys from Cadiz

8.1 Homeward Hamburg Convoy

14 June Hamburg convoy arrives in Cadiz from Malaga
ShipCaptainnext / notes Ship Captainnext / notes
Warship Wapen von HamburgGaspar TaemsSt. Anna
3 GebroedersHendrick Weevers Catharina
Gekroonde Liefde Maria
Sampson A ShipJan Gouter
FortuynJan Jansz.
3 Patriarchen
Wapen van Hamburg 4 English warshipsFrom Gibraltar
Koopman van Hamburg 2 GebroedersEnglish
St. Martin Cornelis & LambertEnglish

The Hamburg convoy returned back in Cadiz from Malaga on 14 June OHC 15 July 1690. On 25 June the Hamburg convoy left Cadiz with: Commandeur Gaspar Taems; St Salvador; Emanuel; Charité; Matelot; Concorde, Neptunus; Rebecca; 3 gebroeders; Gekroond Liefde; Fortuyn; 3 Patriarchen; Wapen van Hamburg; Koopman van Hamburg; St Jan; St. Bernard; and the Dutch: St Maarten; St Anna; Catharina & Maria; Maria, and the Portuguese NS de la Assumzion. The Prophet Daniel of Carsten Lou and the Anna of Joris Norden arrived in Cadiz at about the same timeOHC 29 July 1690.

On 13 July this Hamburg Convoy sailed from Lisbon with destination HamburgOHC 26 Aug 1690. On 22 August there were messages that in Amsterdam 5 ships had arrived from Malaga and Cadiz, and in Hamburg 8 all having circumvented EnglandOHC 22 Aug 1690. The Hamburg ships getting sighted, but not attacked by Jean Bart. On 28 August the escort by Tam was expected to arrive in HamburgOHC 28 Aug 1690 and OHC 31 Aug 1690. Somewhat later the arrival of Tam and his 16 merchant ships was confirmed. After unloading the valuables, Tam would try and fight Jan Bart, who was cruising before HamburgOHC 2 Sep 1690

8.2 A homeward Convoy from Cadiz

21 July Cadiz to Amsterdam fleet
EendrachtCornelis van Holenhad arr. in Cadiz 18/04 St. PietroPieter Keyserhad arr. in Cadiz 18/04
DiamantGerrit van Leeuwen St. AnnaPieter Klinkertcould be P. Marstensz. Klinkert
ParelJan Sybrantsz. Boonhad arr. in Cadiz 18/04 St. Jan BaptistAdriaen Klaver?
Wapen van SevillaDaniel Couverthad arr. in Cadiz 18/04 Stad PamplonaCornleis Nebbesz.?
St. FranciscoMeyndert Eremijthad arr. in Cadiz 18/04 Nostra Sign. de ReglaJan Rog?
RachelFrans Cornelisz.had arr. in Cadiz 18/04 JulianoAbraham Leendertsz.?
Juffr. BettinaCornelis Blauhad arr. in Cadiz 26/04 Noortse LeeuwDirk Pietersz.to Copenhagen
St. JosephLeendert Jansz.had arr. in Cadiz 30/04 Sint LaurensRudolf Jansz.arr. from Faro 18/7, to Hamburg
Huys te RingelenbergPieter Verdonkhad arr. in Cadiz 30/04
Coning SalomonNicolaes Bruynin Cadiz from Texel 30 May
AnnaRodrigo Paulson?

On 21 july a homeward bound convoy left Cadiz; apparently without escort ? and destined to circumvent the British Isles. I named it 21 July 'Cadiz to Amsterdam fleet'. On 13 September this arrived from behind England in Texel. Ships: Eendracht; Rachel; Anna of Pieter Klinkert; Diamant; St. Joseph; Wapen van Seville; Huys Ringenburg; St. Franciscus; Nostra Signora Regla; Harderin, Adriaen Martensse; Parel; Stad Pamplona; and others.OHC 16 Sep. 1690

8.3 Homeward Malaga Convoy from Cadiz

On 31 August the homeward Malaga convoy sailed with the Happy Return, Saphire and Richmond

8.4 Setúbal homeward

The ships at Setúbal had sent letters to Almonde at Cadiz, asking for homeward convoy. Sadly these had been captured by Moors, and so the captains at Setúbal were irresolute about their next movesAC 17 Aug 1690.

8.5 Small convoy

10 November 1690 Cadiz to Amsterdam fleet
Maria Fidelia John Stocker English
Tomaseen Eduard Milberg English
St Jan Baptista Augustijn Boone Dutch
Roode Leeuw Jacob Cock Dutch
Falcon Symon Bruynenberg Danish

In late October the Jan Baptist, Augusteyn Boone; Constantia(20), Jacob Hoeck; and Nostra Signora de Milagros, Barent Vinck were expected to leave CadizAC 21 Nov 1690. On 1 November the 'small ship' De Los Milagros, Barent Vinck; The Roo Leeuw, Jacob Kock (From Malaga); and the Danish Falcon, Symon van den Burg left the Bay of Cadiz. Outside the bay they linked with the English: Ceasar, Robert Sanderson; and the Tamasoen, Eduard Milbort. All planned to circumvent EnglandOHC 2 Dec. 1690.

On 27 November the NS de Milagros arrived in AmsterdamAC 28 Nov 1690, except for the Ceasar, it seems all others were blown back. On 5 November the Roo Leeuw was blown back into portOHC 2 Dec. 1690. It was not the only one, because on 10 November a small bunch of ships left for England and Texel: Maria Fidelia, John Stocker; Tomaseen, Eduard Milberg; St Jan Baptist, Augustijn Boone; Roode Leeuw, Jacob Cock; and the Danish Fluyt Falcon, Symon Bruynenberg. So, just a small table.

9 Conclusions

The 1690 big fleet to Cadiz was surrounded with multiple smaller convoys. The Bilbao fleet did not wait for the big fleet. The Hamburg convoy sailed ahead. The Rotterdam convoy sailed ahead. The Oostende convoys probably also sailed ahead. On the way back a similar pattern emerges. The convoys do not seem to wait for the big fleet.

The convoy system provided escort to any alliance ship willing to join. One could arrive with the big fleet, and return home with the Oostende convoy. One could be a captain from New England and join the Rotterdam convoy to get to England. It seems as if the system provided enough escorts for merchants to make their plans dependent on the expectation that an escort would show up.

In general an Atlantic convoy required only 1 Man of War. This might seem a strange conclusion, but it's what we see. The Oostende, Hamburg and Rotterdam convoy did not see any problem to sail in a convoy with just one warship. So, what could have made this safe? The most numerous enemies of the convoys were privateers. These were fast sailing ships with more guns than most merchants. For capturing merchants however, they relied on boarding and using their superior number of men to quickly overpower a merchant's crew. It's clear that such tactics don't work with a warship present that outguns the privateer and generally had the same number of crew.

A logical step for privateers woud be to operate in couples or squadrons. However, a little thought experiment will show that this will not overpower a single escort. Indeed privateer A can fight our escort and give privateers B - E the opportunity to capture the merchants. However, the big question is who will be on board privateer A? He will have no chance of loot and a big chance to get killed or captured. In the latter case one can imagine that all crew of privateer A will be held to ransom for the amount he allowed his comrades to capture.

It therefore seems logical that all battles against a convoy seem to start with a fight between the privateers and the escort(s). However, a closer look at such encounters shows that these were hardly ever fought between privateers and escorts. In the cases we know of, the 'privateers' engaging escorting warships were (small) ships of the line, not privateering frigates. For the risk of attacking a small ship of the line with 2 smaller frigates, one can consider the battle Jean Bart and Forbin lost against the Nonsuch.

The third conclusion is that: Convoys provided excellent protection in 1690. Some ships indeed got captured, but this was always after they strayed from their convoy.

10 Sources

For Killegrew's original orders and his attempts to intercept Chateau-Renault, I relied on Memoirs of transactions at sea by Josiah Burchett, printed 1703.

On the Dutch side De Jonge does not pay much attention, but did see some original papers regarding the events. Of course we also have the Mercurius for 1690 First for the OOB of the expedition, next for those present at Beachy Head etc.

Direct sources are the London Gazette, and Dutch newspapers, especially the Oprechte Haerlemse Courant (OHC).

11 Notes

1) The Ooievaar letter as printed by the OHC for 20 May has some nasty punctuation problems: "JacobBoom, Jacob Noortstar, Claes Dirksz. Roobol:" some research reveals that both before and after 1690 there was a ship 'Boom' captain Jacob Boom, and later on the Noortstar of capt. Claes Dirksz is mentioned in 1693. On the other hand there is also mention of the Juffrouw Catharina of 'Jacob Noortster'. In the OHC of 16-3-1688 we have the Juffrouw Sophia of Claes Dirksz, as well as the Juffrrouw Catharina with Jacob Noort-ster on one page. The obvious conclusion is that the Ooievaar was indeed listing the names of some captains. The final proof for that is that there is no ship Noortstar in the big list, but the ship Juffrouw Catharina is. The OHC of 19 Sep 1690 had the Catharina of Jacob Noordster sunk near Texel.