The Spanish Queen sails to La Coruna 1690

Expedition to the Mediterranean
Map of 1690 Mediterranean Expedition
Map part 1: to Cadiz
Date:March - April 1690
Outcome:Positive for Alliance
United Provinces

1 The 'composite' Expedition to the Mediterranean

1.1 Size of the fleet to the Mediterranean

The 1690 expedition to the Mediterranean was a major naval event. There where about 40 warships and 400 merchant ships involved. This meant that the size of this fleet rivaled the size of the Dutch fleet that invaded England. The success or failure of the expedition was of extreme (commercial) importance. Several writers have written some paragraphs about the events, especially because of their connection to the Battle of Beachy head. While trying to fill in some details, I discovered that in many aspects the old descriptions are an over-simplicifation, and often in error.

1.2 Composite character of the fleet

The fleet that sailed to the Mediterranean had a composite character. It served at least 3 goals:

1.3 Relevance of these pages

We'll prove that the whole affair consisted of a much larger number of convoys than previously thought. Furthermore, some details about the convoy system will surface. Filling in details about the numbers of ships involved will also tell something about the relative importance of the destinations. With regard to numbers a now obscure destination like Setúbal seemed just as important as all famous Cadiz. Speaking of Cadiz one might be interested in what the merchant ships sought there. Was it a final destination for getting the goods of the Spanish Indies? Or was Cadiz primarily important as a hub to sail deeper into the Mediterranean; to Smyrna or even to Iskendrun? Getting some details and statistics will tell us.

Having the military details of this expedition's events will complete the strategic naval context before Beachy head. We do have the final word about what ships Admiral Russel and Rear admiral Dik brought back in time for the Battle of Beachy head. We'll solve some details about particular ships, especially on the Dutch side. Finally, the details that surfaced allow us to draw some surprising conclusions about relative Dutch and English involvement.

2 The strategic situation in early 1690

2.1 French control in Ireland

During 1689 King William had been busy securing his hold on the throne. As in 1689, the risk of a French invasion would remain the most significant threat against his new kingdom in 1690. Apart from that, the strong French fleet that made such an invasion possible also supplied a Jacobite army in Ireland. In early 1690 this held all of Ireland except Ulster, and the Jacobite control of its western ports created obvious dangers on the trade route that circumvented England.

However that might be; the French control of the ports in southern Ireland probably made the 1689 and 1690 campaigns unique. In general it narrowed the approaches to the western end of The Channel. Alliance shipping had fewer options on the trip between the Atlantic and Plymouth, and the French could focus on a smaller area while they tried to intercept. On top of that, these ports provided a safe harbour for individual French privateers or squadrons. These could cruise the Celtic Sea without fears of getting forced to enemy shores. The situation in Ireland might be the sole reason why the alliance merchant ships sailed to Spain with such a heavy escort in early 1690, and had only a tiny escort in 1691.

2.2 Royal and commercial Complications

In late 1689 alliance naval strategy was therefore complicated by the fact that the Anglo-Dutch fleet had to provide a very heavy escort for their merchants to the Mediterranean. Another complication came from the Spanish court. King Charles II had married Maria Anne of Neuburg by proxy on 28 August 1689 in Ingolstadt. Now the alliance had to secure the unmolested arrival of the queen in Spain. It was rather obvious that for reasons of economy her trip and that of the merchant fleets would have to be combined.

2.3 Remaining in control of The Channel

The Dutch and English fleets could now operate together against the French fleet, but it was by no means certain that it would defeat the French fleet in open combat. While sending a big fleet south, King William would later require ships and escorts to send a large army to Ireland. All this would make it especially challenging for the alliance navies to remain in control of the Channel. When they were finally challenged by the French, it resulted in a disastrous defeat at Beachy head.

3 Merchant Preparations

For 18 Dec 1689 we have from Amsterdam that all ships going to Cadiz, Smyrna and elsewhere (in the Med.) had left port OHC 20 Dec 1689. The Hamburg convoy (cf. below) to Cadiz had left its homeport in mid DecemberOHC 20 Dec 1689. Most ships reached Portsmouth without much trouble. But, once assembled, they would have to wait for more than a month for the escorting fleet (and the queen). During this time some of them left for Spain on their own. Meanwhile dozens more ships would join the ones waiting.

Among those leaving on their own were 2 convoys. The Rotterdam convoy left on 18 Feb, and would definitly leave the rest behind. The strong Bilbao convoy of Count van Benthem was at first overtaken by the main fleet, but when both were exiting Torbay and the main fleet could not set course, the Bilbao fleet sailed ahead.

4 The combined fleet sails to the Med.

4.1 Strength of the fleet

OOB of 1690 expedition to the Mediterranean
The English Squadrons
RateShipgunsCaptain Squadron How far south?And then? During Beachy head
3Hope 701st sq. 3 leagues of Coruñasent home early At Beachy head
3Northumberland 703rd sq. 3 leagues of Coruñasent home early
4Plymouth 60? 3 leagues of Coruñasent home early At Beachy head
3Suffolk 702nd sq. A CoruñaReturned with Russel At Beachy head
3Expedition 702nd sq. A CoruñaReturned with Russel At Beachy head
3Berwick 703rd sq. RA A CoruñaReturned with Russel At Beachy head
3Rupert 662nd sq. A CoruñaReturned with Russel At Beachy head
4Deptford** 50? A CoruñaReturned with Russel At Beachy head
2Duke 92Killegrew*2nd Russel & Queen CadizReturned with Killegrew Sailing to Plymouth
3Burford 70Skelton*1st sq. CadizReturned with Killegrew Sailing to Plymouth
3Resolution 70Stanley*1st VA KillegrewCadizReturned with Killegrew Sailing to Plymouth
3Eagle 70Lacke*3rd sq. CadizReturned with Killegrew Sailing to Plymouth
3Montague 66Leigton*3rd sq. CadizReturned with Killegrew Sailing to Plymouth
-Burner Half Moon - Hales*2nd sq. CadizReturned with Killegrew Sailing to Plymouth
4Happy Return 52Bockenham**2nd sq. CadizMalaga Convoy In the Med.
5Saphire 36Captain Killegrew**1st sq.CadizMalaga Convoy In the Med.
4Newcastle 521st sq. Cadizchange masts at CadizIn the Med.
4Oxford 52Mijns*1st sq. CadizIn the Med.
4Greenwich 52Eduard*1st sq. CadizIn the Med.
4Portland 50Legs*2nd sq. CadizMed. sq. in MayIn the Med.
4Tiger 52Cole*3rd sq. CadizMed. sq. in MayIn the Med.
4Falcon 50Ward*3rd sq. CadizMed. sq. in MayIn the Med.
* On sailing from Cadiz OHC 29 July 1690
** On sailing to Malaga and Alicante
*** cf the text

The fleet counted about 36 warships and 400 merchantships under the overall command of Admiral Russel; his prime objective was to let the fleet safely cross to A Coruña, and to drop off the Queen of Spain. For that he directly commanded the first part of the fleet: 16 warships transporting only the queen.

The second part was composed of the escort to Cadiz and big convoys of about 300 ships to Setúbal, Cadiz and lesser places. As regards warships; the English and Dutch squadrons of Killegrew and Almonde, with Killegrew leading. He was responsible for getting the fleet to Cadiz, and also to possibly intercept the French Mediterranean squadron.

The third part were the 10 warships and about 70 merchant ships destined for the Mediterranean.

OOB of 1690 expedition to the Mediterranean
the Dutch Squadrons
RateShipgunsCaptainSquadron How far south? And then?During Beachy head
3Noord Holland (N)70RA Dik 4th sq.3 leagues of Coruña sent home earlyAt Beachy head
4Elswout (A) 50Nieuburg 4th sq.3 leagues of Coruña sent home earlyAt Beachy head
4Ter Veere (M) 60Mosselman 6th sq.3 leagues of Coruña sent home earlyAt Beachy head
4Schattershoef (A)46Van der Goes 5th sq.3 leagues of Coruña sent home earlyCaptain present, ship in UP
4Gaasterland (A) 52Taalman 5th sq.3 leagues of Coruña sent home earlyCaptain present, ship in UP
3Ridderschap (M) 66De Liefde 4th sq.Near Coruña Sunk in storm 28 MarchN/a
3Vrijheid (M) 72Barent Rees 6th sq.Near Coruña beached in storm 28 March?
3Hollandia (A) 70Tol 4th sq.A Coruña Returned with RusselAt Beachy head
4Wapen van Hoorn(N)*52Jan Muys 4th sq.Cadiz Returned with KillegrewSailing to Plymouth
3Haarlem (A) 64Manard 5th sq.Cadiz Returned with KillegrewSailing to Plymouth
3Gelderland (A) 72VA van Almonde 5th sq.Cadiz Returned with KillegrewSailing to Plymouth
3Amsterdam (A) 64Graaf van Nassau 5th sq.Cadiz Returned with KillegrewSailing to Plymouth
3Zierikzee (Z) 62RA Geleyn Evertsen**6th sq.Cadiz Returned with KillegrewSailing to Plymouth
-Burner Vesuvius (A)-Com. du Pon 5th sq. Returned with Killegrew?Sailing to Plymouth?
4Vlaardingen (N) 46Paal 6th sq.Cadiz Med. sq. in MayIn the Med.
4De Vrede (A) 52Van Laar 6th sq.Cadiz Med. sq. in MayIn the Med.
*The arms (Wapen) of Hoorn are held by a Unicorn (Dutch: 'Eenhoorn'), which explains the ship was also called Eenhoorn / unicorn.
**RA Geleyn Evertsen was a younger brother of LA Cornelis Evertsen known from Beachy head

With some 36 warships present it might look as if a substantial part of the main battle fleet of the Sea Powers had sailed. With regard to numbers this was correct, but on avarage the ships were rather light. Some 16 ships were only there to ensure the fleet made it as far a A Coruña, and would normally indeed be part of the main battle fleet. About 12 ships were destined to counter any threat by the French Mediterranean squadron, and would otherwise also be part of the alliance main battle fleet.

The difference is in the light and the heavy ships of a main battle fleet. The fleet used at Beachy head contained 4 English ships of less than 60 guns. Our relatively smaller Mediterranean big fleet had 8! English warships with less than 60 guns. With regard to heavy ships only 1 (the Duke) of our 36 ships was a three-decker. At Beachy head 10 of the 56 Alliance ships were three-deckers. The reason for not employing heavy ships might be in the dangers of sailing these in winter.

The conclusion is that this fleet was significantly less powerful than its numbers would suggest. On the other hand the French fleet was probably not yet equipped when this fleet sailed. There was a small fact in favor of our convoy, and that was that about 40 of the merchants were able to defend themselves.

It might have had to do something with the long delays, but fact is that in late January, the expedition's orders where on the street. Rumors are that 20 English and Dutch warships will escort the queen to Spain; 14 will continue with the fleet to Cadiz, and then cruise in the Mediterranean. The 4 English and 2 Dutch warships that will be left will escort the merchant ships to SmyrnaOHC 28 January 1690. What is most surprising about these orders is that they would still be carried out roughly as written.

4.2 The journey as one fleet

The fleet sailed from Portsmouth for Spain on 1 - 2 March 1690. This first attempt to go to Spain failed due to contrary winds. The fleet was blown back and choose to anchor at Torbay on 3-6 March OHC 21 March 1690. Note that this is no coincidence; Torbay is a sheltered bay where a large fleet can safely anchor without actually entering a harbor (as did William III in 1688). On 7 March the fleet attempted to sail from Torbay, but was driven back againOHC 21 March 1690. The Bilbao convoy with its 3 escorts did not return to Torbay. The fleet finally left Torbay on 17 March 1690 (7 March O.S). At first it was driven back to the Goutstart' (Start Point), but on the 19th it finally sailed to Spain.

We have a list of the composition of this fleet when it left Portsmouth, but it might be slightly different from the composition it had when it finally left Torbay1. The Deptford(50) is not in the original list, but it is mentioned in a letter written on 26 March from the Duke. Next it is mentioned in the London Gazette as returning with Russel from Coruña cf. below. Both circumstances together are enought to put it on the list. More or less the same for the Plymouth, which seems to have sailed till a few of miles of Coruña.

4.3 A Squadron sent home before Coruña

After writing about three-quarters of this page, I was not satisified with the Hope and Northumberland being in the OOB printed by the Mercurius, but seemingly disappearing after that. At first I thougth there was every reason to assume that these ships were not with this fleet, but I decided to do some research first. As it turned out; Burchett and others completely overlooked the fact that a sizeable part of the fleet was sent back to England just before it reached A Coruña, a circumstance that is rather significant for judging the alliance strategy prior to Beachy head.

The story begins in Falmouth on 1 April: a Dutch warship of 54 guns arrived there, separated from 3 English and 4 Dutch men of War, who parted on the 26 March from the fleet under Admiral Russel, as they were going with the Queen of Spain in to the Groyne; as the Streights Squadron commanded by VA Killegrew, with the merchant ships under their convoy, did at the same time. This day(i.e. 3 April, the day of the message) arrived here another of the Dutch Men of War with a French prize laden with salt and brandy. And there are now several great ships off of this harbour, which it's believed, are the rest of their companyLG of 27 March 1690. We have from Plymouth on 4 April: 'Their majesties' ship the Plymouth and a Dutch men of war, are since my last arrived in this port. They parted together with the Hope and Northumberland, and 4 Dutch men of war more, on the 16th instant (i.e. 26 March) from the fleet commanded by Admiral RusselLG of 27 March 1690.

From Falmouth 6 April we have: 'Yesterday (26 March O.S., 5 April N.S.) came in here their majesties ships the Northumberland, having been separated from the rest of their company in their return from the Groyne (Coruña)LG of 31 March. Then Plymouth 7 April: 'Yesterday arrived here their majesties ship the Hope, and four Dutch men of War, having together with the other ships mentioned in my last, left the fleet under the command of Admiral Russel within 3 leagues of the Groyne. In their return they met with a ship that came from Boston in New England, having on board the late governor and his family. etc.LG of 31 March. There is a message from London 7 April OHC 13 April: The ship Plymouth and a Dutch warship arrived the 3rd in Plymouth, and two Dutch warships in Falmouth. These 4 and 4 others sailed east from Falmouth on 9 AprilLG 3 april On 11 April the Hope and the Plymouth arrived in Spithead together with 4 Dutch warships commanded by a rear admiralLG of 3 april. On 12 April the Northumberland and another Dutch warship joined theseLG of 3 april.

To sum it up: On the 26th the Plymouth, Hope and Northumberland, as well as 5 Dutch warships left the fleet when it was about 3 leagues from a Coruña. Now to identfy the Dutch ships.

For these ships it's certain they were at Beachy head later on: Noort-Holland/Noorderkwartier(70) of RA Dik; Hollandia(70) of captain Tol; Elswout(52) of Nieuburg/Noorthey; Veere(60) of Mosselman. (The Nieuburg/Noorthey change on the Elswout is by Captain van der Nieuburg (mentioned in our OOB) dying in England AC 30 May 1690.) This does however give us only 4 ships. Furthermore, it might be certain the Hollandia(70) of captain Tol was at Beachy head later on, but that does not mean we have to count him for the 5. The message that Tol arrived in A Coruña on 11 April makes him the logical and only candidate to be the 70 gun ship that returned with Russel. The ultimate reason for that is that Tol came into Coruña without masts 'Masteloos' Hop to Heinsius 21 April 1690

All this leaves us with having to fill the names of 2 ships returning to England early. In this story, Captains van der Goes and Taalman are nowhere to be found after their mention in the OOB. In the OOB and after action reports of Beachy head, they are however very present, but with different ships. So, what is it? A mistaken or obsolete OOB? Van der Goes and Taelman returning to England first, and then boarding another ship?

In the Beachy head after action reports Goes has the (sunk) Friesland(68). Taalman has the Stad en Lande(52). While trying to establish this, I find a message from Amsterdam on 26 May that 'Two more ships of this college, given to the captains Van Gendere and to Van der Goes' and that of Taelman ('who will board another ship') will go to EnglandOHC of 27 May 1690. While there where indeed multiple captains named Van der Goes, there was only one, named Philip van der Goes, employed by the Amsterdam Admiralty, and finding the two captains together this way its telling. Conclusion: Taelman and van der Goes returned from the Mediterranean, continued to Holland, switched ships and returned to Beachy head. Proof: C. 25 June Captain van der Goes left Amsterdam for Texel. This either in order to board the West-Friesland, or to leave in company of this ship. The paper is not that clear hereohc 29 June 1690, but there is only one explanation. The West-Friesland(N) was VA Callenburgh's ship, commanded by Callenburgh at Beachy head. There Van der Goes, serving the Amsterdam Admiralty had the 'Friesland'(A) a new ship of the Amsterdam Admiralty. Therefore a simple mix-up of the Friesland(A) with the West-Friesland(N).

5 The 1690 Great Storm of Galicia

5.1 a Naval disaster

There can be little doubt that the storm that hit the fleet off the coast of Galicia was very severe. It sunk 10 merchant ships and 2 warships. Any severe storm could sink such numbers of ships by smashing them to pieces against the shore. In this case however, the losses occurred on open sea. Some of the ships were simply shattered by the force of the waves alone and / or became so leaky that they could not be kept dry.

In the accounts mentioned below, the captains point out that this storm was a thing none of their crew had seen before. Therefore something unlike the storms that tend to happen a few times a year. I thought of a suitable classification and name for the event. We do not know of any special characteristics like funnels, and from the fact that it sunk a warship sailing with a convoy in the other direction we know that it covered a large area. I could not come up with anything else than naming it the '1690 Great Storm of Galicia'.

5.2 the queen escapes

At about the latitude of Poitiers the fleet split up. An English squadron under Russel with the new queen of Spain on board left the main force on 21 March. It was to sail to Coruña, where the welcome committee was waiting. Strong contrary winds made that it suffered difficulties on its course. It then met a pilot sent from shore. He warned for a gathering storm, and guided the squadron into the harbour of Ferrol on 26 March. Apart from the Duke 6-7 3rd rates also entered this port.

At Ferrol Anne dispatched a message to Charles II about where she should disembark. Charles replied by sending her the Queen-mother, the Marquis de Leganes and two Grandees. They complimented her and told Anne to disembark wherever she liked. Thus Anne landed in Spain, and the Habsburgs and Spain thanked god for her safe arrival.

5.3 Some ships go to Bilbao

The big fleet also contained some ships that were destined to Bilbao, and had not sailed with the convoy that had sailed ahead to that place. These were also affected by the storm, even though they were probably hundreds of kilometers to the east. One English ship was sunk before Bilbao, another had lost its masts, and the ship Kroon had lost its anchors. Apart from that: 'All merchant ships sailing with the big convoy and the queen of Spain had arrived(i.e. in Bilbao)OHC 20 April 1690

5.4 the great storm hits the fleet

On 21 March the rest of the fleet plotted a south south-west course in order to round Spanish Cape Finisterra. A storm from the south started on the 25th and continued on the 26th, but the fleet continued to sail in good order. On the 27th this changed. On a latitude of 44:46 (south of Bordeaux) the wind reached such speed that it forced ships to: 'take in all their sails, floating where the mercy of god pleased'. Some of the ships entered into a Coruña, from whence their captain's accounts.

6 Accounts from A Coruña

Ships arriving in A Coruña
Merchant ships
Ship CaptainDuring the stormNotes
Saint Joseph Leendert Jansz*Heavily damaged would arrive in Cadiz
Admiral de Ruyter Jan Paeyn*Threw 14 guns of one side overboardwould arrive in Cadiz
Saint Jan Noted by Jansz
Constantinopolen Hendrik Opmeerwould arrive in Cadiz
Gouden Leeuw Pieter Fonteinwould arrive in Cadiz
Huys te Ringenberg Pieter Verdonkwould arrive in Cadiz
Eendracht of Enkhuizen
Young Elias
Pieter Pauw
Brand de VisserLost main mast
NoppenLost main and jibmast
Hollandia Frans BernartsLost the rudderwould arrive in Cadiz
Nibbikswout Claes Jacobsz Veen in 1693 (7-11-93)*From Hoorn
Dirk SamerensFrom Hoorn
Benyde Fortuin Without mastsFrom Hoorn
Eendracht driven agroundFrom Hoorn
Arke Noë Gerrit NieustadtEntered Ribadeocontinued to Med.
Generale Vrede Christiaan VliesEntered Ribadeocontinued to Med.
War ships
Vreede(A)(52)Capt. van Laar
Vrijheid(M)(72)Reeslost masts, arrived at Cariño
*These captains left accounts of the events

6.1 The Storm by captain Leendert Janszoon of the Saint Joseph

There are several eye-witness accounts of this storm, and in particular one of the captain of the merchantship Saint Joseph2. He reported that in the storm of the 27th he lost the front of his ship, and had to stop the gaps with sails. Next he lost the superstructure on the port side, and took in a tremendous amount of water, which took a long time to finally pump out.

For the 28th the captain of Saint Joseph noted nice wheather. It saw the English RA of the red and sailed towards it. There it saw the Ridderschap (M) of Captain de Liefde. It had lost all of its masts, and it sunk shortly after the crew had been evacuated. The 'Maegt van Dordt of Barent Rees' with 70 pieces had only its mizzenmast left. Most of its crew was evacuated, but the captain and 69 men remained in the ship3.

The Saint Joseph then saw about 90 ships, thereof 12 without masts. In the evening the storm from the south regained strength. On the 29th the weather continued. On the 30th there was a strong wind from the northwest. The Saint Joseph used only a tiny sail. It encountered the Vreede of Captain van Laar, and some other ships, because it noted that they were with 4.

On the 31st these met the Wapen van Hoorn (54) of Jan Muys and the merchants Admiral de Ruyter captain Jan Pyn without main mast; the Saint Jan, and 2 fluyts. These 2 warships and 7 merchantmen continued on a southwest course. On 1 April the wind was ssw. The Wapen van Hoorn chased a ship and was not seen by the group afterwards. On 2 April this group entered a Coruña.

In Coruña the Saint Joseph spent 10 days in carpentry to repair the damage as well as possible. There it saw the arrival of: The Constantinopolen of Hendrik Opmeer; The Gouden Leeuw of Pieter Fontein; the Huys te Ringenberg of Pieter Verdonk. The captain also noted that the queen was cheerfully welcomed in Coruna on 8 April.

From 15 September 1690 there is a note that the Saint Joseph of Leendert Janszoon arrived at Texel in the evening of the 13th, 8 weeks after leaving Cadiz. That's how we know ship and skipper. The same message goes for the Huis Ringenburg of Pieter Verdonck

6.2 The Storm by the Captain Paeyn of the Admiraal de Ruyter

We next give word to Jan Paeyn (cf above)AC 26 April 1690: He stated that after the queen left there were about 340 ships left. While on a latitude of 45 degrees on the 25th the temperature went down and all ships took in their jibs. On the 26th the storm continued, but the fleet remained in good order. On Monday 27 March the storm did gain a force that forced the De Ruyter to take in all sails. Its stern was destroyed, as well as some of the superstructure and all windows. In 2-3 hours the ship became so leaky that it threatened to sink with over 4 feet of water in the hull. The captain next tried to make sail before the wind (in order to take in less water), but this failed, the sails ripping just as soon as they were hoised.

With one side of the ship in the water the captian shouted: 'we still live!', and ordered emergency measures. The main mast was cut and thrown overboard. 14 guns of one side (leeward) where thrown overboard, as well as the main anchors. 24 crew worked both pumps while the rest stopped gaps with sails and skins. At 3 AM in the night the crew had wun and the ship was dry again.

The next morning Paeyn saw captain De Liefde of the Ridderschap floating without masts. The English Tyger evacuated the Ridderschap's crew, and then the Ridderschap sunk. Paeyn also noted Captain Rees without masts, 4 English warships without main mast, and the VA of the red without main mast, and 3 English merchantmen without main mast.

Paeyn noted that the merchant Goudeman of captain de Liefde was lost. On the 29th the wind was fierce and he noted the English VA as 'lost'. On 2 April the De Ruyter entered Coruña. Paeyn noted 'just behind captain van Laar (of the Vreede). Furthermore: Leendert Jansz. , the Fortuyn from Hoorn without masts, and the Eendracht so leaky it was run on the ground, and probably lost. He noted that of Leendert Jansz's ship the stern was broken. It also met the Young Elias and the Eendracht of Enkhuizen. Paeyn noted the arrival of captain Opmeer on the 5th, as well as those of Pieter Fontein, Pieter Verdonk and Pieter Pauw.

Paeyn noted that other ships were in Ribadeo, St. Anthony and Gijon. He himself hoped to get a new mast and anchor and then to continue his course with the warship of captain van Laar.

Later on Paeyn wrote a second letterAC 16 May 1690. He had made some provisional repairs, but was not able to get a new mast in Coruña. He noted that captain Frans Bernaarts had come in without a rudder. He furthermore noted that the Vryheid(72) of Barent Rees had been brought ashore in Cariño near Cabo Ortegal by two English merchantmen. 'Rees' was dead on his bed. The crew of about 70 that had stayed in the ship was led by Lieutenant Poort.

6.3 The Storm by the captain of the Nibbikswout from Hoorn

This captain wrote from Coruña. He noted that the ship 'De Liefde of skipper Lieuwrik?' from Medemblik lost. He also noted seeing the Goudeman of captain Focke Janckes sinking, but its crew saved. He noted captain Brand de Visser having lost his main mast. Noppen's new ship having lost its main mast and the jibmast. The beached Eendracht taking and losing water with the tide. He did not know the faith of the Papiermolen of Floris Botterhoek. He noted there were 4 Hoorn ships in La Coruña: That of Dirk Samerens; the Eendracht; the Benyde Fortuin and the Nibbikswout itselfOHC 29 April 1690.

6.4 By Alexander Stanhope

The british envoy to Spain Alexander Stanhope (father of:), also wrote some letters from A Coruña. He noted that on entering the harbor of Ferrol, some ships had collided and the admiral's ship had been grounded. Which was all due to the 'ignorance' of the Spanish pilot. Stanhope noted that the storm had been 'very violent', but sailing with the queen, he had of course not been in this storm. He also noted that the officers of the fleet were all dissatisfied with their presents and the manner of reception.

6.5 Other news from Coruña

From another letter we know that 'all' English warships, and the Hollandia (70) of captain Tol arrived on 11 April.

6.6 From ports near a Coruña

From letters sent from a Coruña on 5 April we have that the Vergulde Klock van Edam, bound for St. Hubes, had arrived in the port of Andrea (unknown, probably St. Ander/Santander) without mastsOHC 9 May 1690. The Arke Noë of Gerrit Nieustadt and the Generale Vrede of Christiaan Vlies where said to have docked in Ribadeo with very little damage4

The Oostende Frigate St. Franciscus of Willem Bestenbuttel had sailed with the Count of Egmont in company of the large fleet. On the west end of the Channel he and the frigate O.L. vrouwe van Gratie, Capt. Guillaume van Beyeren (with a colonel on board), had both left the fleet, hoping to be the first to bring the news of the Queen's arrival to Madrid. On 22 March Bestenbuttel entered the harbor of Ribadeo, and put the Count of Egmont on shore, who left for Madrid. Van Beyeren went more to the east.

On 31 March Bestenbuttel saw the Witte Engel van Brugge, destined for Cadiz, coming into Ribadeo with heavy damage. He also saw 2 Dutch ships (cf. above), one English, and that of Joseph Calcho Fragolo, which had left Oostende for Lisbon on 20 February. Bestenbüttel next continued to Coruña, where he left on 2 April. On 12 April he arrived back in OostendeOHC 20 april 1690.

6.7 Loss List for the storm

Loss list for the Storm
GoudemanFecke Janckesreported sunk, but crew saved
Juffrouw Johanna
Koningin MariaDirk DikOHC 3 jun 1690 for Dirk Dik
De Liefde captain Dirck Leeurickmentioned in '88from Medemblik
PapiermolenFloris Botterhoekfaith unknownfrom Medemblik
Schellinghouter Kerk
A Buys
A ship from Zeeland
An English ship before Bilbaofrom other messenges

There was a kind of final loss list in the Amsterdamse Courant of 3 Juni. It also noted the arrival of the Eendracht of Teeuwes Stant from a Coruña. Resolving which Eendracht is a nice piece of work. Anyhow; the final loss list does not seem that serious.

7 Russel returns to Plymouth

On 5 May these ships arrived in Plymouth from a Coruña OHC 16 May 1690: Suffolk(70), Rupert(66) ('Robert'), Berwick(70), Expedition(70) and Deptford(50) as well as a Dutch ship of 70. One can note that the first 4 where indeed ships that had sailed to the Mediterranean with the queen. Admiral Russel was on the Suffolk13 May 1690. In the London Gazette the message was: On the 25th instant (i.e. 5 May N.S), Admiral Russel in the Suffolk, with the Rupert, the Berwick, the Deptford, the Expedition and a Dutch Man of War of 70 guns, arrived here from the Groyne, whence they parted on the 11th instant, i.e. 21st April N.S.5. From the above we can be rather certain that the Dutch man of war was the Hollandia(70) of captain Tol.

8 Conclusions

These will be under the To Setubal and Cadiz chapter.

9 Sources

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).

Meanwhile French activity was low. Sue has only an expedition to Ireland.

10 Notes

1) Europische Mercurius under February 1690, page 160 and Hollandse Mercurius page 158, for the composition of the March 1690 fleet to the Mediterranean
2) Europische Mercurius under March 1690, page 217 for the account of the St. Joseph and others.
3) Europische Mercurius under March 1690, page 218: in his account the captain of the St. Joseph states the ship of Barent Rees to be the Maagt van Dort of 70 guns. This is probably a mistake as the Maagt van Dort was a 60 gun ship that would fight at Beachy head. The Vrijheid of 70 guns had been listed as Barent Rees' ship.
4) OHC ohc 29 April for the Arc Noë and the Generale Vreede in Ribadeo. It does not mention the names of the captains, but these were deduced from the two ships being together again later on, and then mentioning these names.
5) London Gazette for Russel's arrival.