The 1690 Smyrna fleet

Early 1690 Cadiz to Holland Convoy
Map of Smyrna 1690
Cornelis de Bruijn travelled with a Smyrna
convoy in 1678. As an artist, he is famous
for his illustrated 'Voyage au Levant'
Date:1688 - April 1690
Outcome:Alliance Feat
FranceUnited Provinces
N/aPhilip Schrijver
Jan de Jong

1 Composite Convoys

This story is build from 'primary' sources. Telling it involves noting the sparse detail that are known, and then trying to create the story. It soon became clear that it was very difficult to write about a convoy sailing somewhere and then returning. The details prove that there is no such thing as a 'Smyrna Convoy sailing with 20 ships and returning with 18'. Our 20 ship convoys do sail to Smyrna, but along the way 18 ships leave the convoy for all kinds of ports, and on the way back 16 others, that are not necessarily the same, join the convoy.

In the end the most dangerous trip for these convoys was the stretch between Cadiz and England. I therefore ordered this page on the Cadiz to England stretch, and named it for its most important ships, i.e. those from Smyrna.

The final convoy that sailed from Cadiz to Holland in 1690 originated from two separate convoys. One was commanded by Captain Schrijver, the other was led by Captain de Jong. On the way they were joined by the Justitia of Captain Voshol.

2 Three convoys sailing south in 1688

2.1 De Jong's Convoy to Iskendrun

10 January 1688: De Jong's Outbound Smyrna Convoy as it arrived in Cadiz
Ship Captainnext / notes Ship Captain next / notes
Warship MoriaenshooftJan de Jongin Plymouth Koopman van Lissabon Cornelis Reyersz.
Prins Hendrik CasimirHidde de Vriesin Plymouth Herculus Gerrit Rapier
Juffrouw Louisa Jan Jansz. Lootsmanin PlymouthWakende Leeuw Cornelis Bergerboot
St. Francisco Anthony Colomby Armenische Koopman Jan Spangiart
Geertruyd Clement Mulder a ship to Toulon
Alepsche koopman Joost Claesz. Jong
St. Jago Albert Jacobsz. Cramer Abraham Wendelin Plymouth
Vogel Phoenix Jan de Vogel St. Joseph Leendert Plymouth, to Seville
c. 20 others

Captain Jan de Jong 'van Haarlem' commanded the convoy with 'ships for the Strait and Smyrna'. The ships to Smyrna were indeed the most important part of this convoy, but De Jong would sail through to Iskendrun. That's why the paragraph header says 'to Iskendrun'. De Jong intended to sail in the morning of 9 January 1688 OHC 10 Jan 1688 On Saturday 10 January the convoy indeed sailed OHC 13 Jan 1688. For some reason other than bad weather the Convoyer did sail into Plymouth with 4 merchantshipsOHC 16 March 1688.

On 3 February De jong in his warship Moriaenshooft sailed again from Plymouth together with Hidde de Vries and Jan Jansz. Lootsman OHC 14 Feb 1688. They just missed the warship Wapen van Nimwegen of Hartwijck en that of van Laer, who were convoying ships home from Cadiz.

Meanwhile most of the convoy had sailed on without the escort, and arrived in Cadiz on 16 February. The composition is reflected in the outbound table OHC 16 March 1688. On 18 February the Mooriaenshooft also arrived in Cadiz OHC 25 March 1688.

2.2 Schrijver's Convoy to Italy

23 April 1688 Schrijver's Outbound Convoy and that of Stilte
Ship Captainnext / notes Ship Captain next / notes
Warship CorneliaSchrijver
De Vrije Zee Willem Leyto Italy
St. Jan Baptist Joachem Malta
Anna Maria Egbert Jansz. Ackerto Seville Warship Capt. Stilteto Bilbao
De Hoop to Marseille Elisabeth Pieter Grandeto Bilbao
3 French ships to Marseille Maria Michiel Langeto Bilbao
Herderin Claes Lisbon anonymous Jan Schuytto Bilbao
8 Ships to Setúbal Koopman van CorelieJacob Barentsz. WiegeSt. Sebastian

After fitting out in Amsterdam, Captain Schrijver and the Cornelia arrived in Texel before 23 April 1688. He was to sail on 1 MayOHC 24 April 1688. Schrijver was commander of a convoy of 16 ships to 'Portugal, Spain and Italy'. It left Holland on 7 May at the same time as Captain Stilte's Convoy to BilbaoAC 11 May 1688. Schrijver's fleet consisted of: De Vrije Zee, Willem Ley to Italy; The St. Jan Baptist, Joachem Fransz. to Malta; The Mariana to Seville; the Dutch ship Hoop (Hope) with masts for Marseille; and three French ships to Marseille. The 'Herderin' of Jan or Claes Erasmus went to Lisbon and 8 ships went to SetúbalOHC 11May 1688.

The convoy to Bilbao, commanded by Captain Stilte, did sail on the same day with 4 merchant shipsOHC 11 May 1688. One might therefore wonder whether Schrijver commanded both convoys till the western end of the English Channel, but this was not the case. Later on the Gouden Leeuw of Pieter Fonteyn (cf. above) reported that he saw the Bilbao convoy near Beachy Head, and that of Schrijver, including the Setúbal ships, between Beachy Head and the SinglesOHC 15May 1688. (Stilte would be back in Texel in July OHC 15 July 1688)

There is a little problem with the name of Schrijver's escort ship (named 'Convoyer' in 17th century Dutch). In March 1690 we have a mention of the warship Cornelia, Commandeur Schrijver. In September 1689 we have the 'Eendracht' of Captain Philips SchrijverOHC 08 oct 1689. The solution seems simple: One can suppose the strange name Cornelia to be a typo for Concordia, French for Eendracht and a very common name for Dutch warships. This is however not correct, the Cornelia was a ship which was also in the Mediterranean in 1685. One should however suppose that the newspaperman made this mistake in October 1689.

2.3 Captain Swart to Portugal, Cadiz and Morocco

Captain Swart was to transport the Moroccan envoy, but also led a convoy to Lisbon, Setubal and Cadiz. He sailed on 8 January 1688 from Texel OHC 10 Jan 1688. Captain Swart arrived before Cadiz on 4 Feb, but immediately continued to Zalee to drop of the Maroccan envoyOHC 16 March 1688. About 20 Feb 1688 the: Huis te Vrede, Dirck Gijsbertsz.; Witte Valck and the Cornelis Pietersz. Smit arrived in Zalee. Swart first arrived in Mamora (4 miles of Zalee) on 10 Feb. Letters that before reaching Porto the Gouden Leeuws lost his masts OHC 16 March 1688. In late February Swart was in Setúbal, where he would remain 3 weeks waiting for merchant ships to join him back to Holland OHC 27 March 1688.

3 Cadiz

3.1 The port of Cadiz

The city of Cadiz is a very good natural harbor, which was very well protected at the time. Cadiz had the monopoly of trade with the Spanish Indies, and the lure of their goods attracted merchants from all over Europe. Cadiz was also close to the plague of North-African piracy. Even though these pirates sometimes ventured as far as the English Channel, their domain truely began east of the strait of Gibraltar. Individual merchants did arm their ships against piracy, but were far more secure when they sailed in convoys. Cadiz was the natural place to form these convoys, and with everybody gathering at Cadiz, this of course generated even more commercial opportunities.

3.2 De Jong leaves Cadiz

On 16 March 1688 De Jong's convoy left Cadiz. It had the: Prins Casimir; Juffrouw Louisa; St. Francisco; Geertruyd; Alepsche koopman; St. Jago; Herculus; and a ship to Toulon; and c. 20 othersOHC 24 April 1688. Its next stop was AlicanteOHC 27 April 1688. One of the ships in the convoy was the Portugesche Handelaar of Cornelis Reynderts going to Toulon, it left the convoy when the Alepsche Koopman unloaded some cargo in MajorcaOHC 22 April 1688.

3.3 Schrijver arrives in Cadiz

On 5 June 1688 Schrijver's convoy arrived in Cadiz. His convoy had been joined by the Anna Sophia of Paulus Dwijn, who was destined for Cadiz. There was also a Buys for Genoa, and two of his ships: St. Francisco and St. Jan Baptist (not that of Jochem Fransz.) were destined for Toulon (these were probably the French)OHC 6 July 1688. In the harbor of Cadiz Schrijver met the warship Orange of Pieterson, who had arrived on 2 JuneOHC 6 July 1688.

4 De Jong's convoy in the Mediterranean

4.1 De Jong's convoy in Marseille and Genoa

In April 1688 De Jong's convoy passed Marseille, where the Moriaenshooft; Alepsche Koopman, Joost Claesz. Jong; Prins Casemier and St. Jago, Adriaen Jacosz. Kramer entered the harbour on 15 AprilAC 29 April 1688. The rest of the convoy sailed on to GenoaOHC 8 May 1688. The ships of Jan Jansz. Lootsman, Clement Mulder, Jan de Vogel, Anthony Colomby, Jan Spanjaert had arrived there, and also the Wakende Leeuw of Cornelis Bergerboot arrived in GenoaAC 29 April 1688. When De Jong next arrived in Genoa, his convoy met the homebound Smyrna fleetOHC 29 May 1688.

4.2 Five ships of De Jong's convoy leave Livorno

The convoy also did not make the trip to Livorno in one piece. Five ships arrived in Livorno on 3 May: The Phoenix, captain 'Vualghel' (for Dutch 'Vogel' / bird) who had left Amsterdam on 10 January, Cadiz on 16 March, Alicante 2 April, and Genoa on 28 April was together with: the Juffrouw Louise, Jan Jansz.; St, Franciscus, Anthony Colombeau; Armeensche Koopman, Jan Spangiaert; Juffrouw Geertruyd, Clement Mulder. All these had cargo for Naples, Messina and SmyrnaOHC 22 may 1688.

On 31 May the 5 ships left Livorno to sail further southOHC 19 June 1688. On 8 June these 5 came before the harbor of NaplesOHC 3 July 1688. On 5 June the infamous earthquake of 1688 happened there, and flattened large stretches of the city. On 15 June Anthony Colombeau wrote from Naples, that most of the population had fled to the planes, and was not open to commerceOHC 10 July 1688. The 5 Smyrna ships then left Naples on 19 June for MessinaOHC 17 july 1688.

4.3 De Jong enters Livorno

On 21 May Jan de Jong with the Moriaenshooft entered the harbor of LivornoOHC 10 june 1688. He had with him: the Koopman van Aleppo; the St Jacob; and the Prins CasimirOHC 10 june 1688. While there, the harbor's owner the Grand-Duke of Tuscany, hired the Prince Casimir to serve in his fleetOHC 26 june 1688. The goods of Hidde's ship were transferred to the Alepse KoopmanOHC 10 July 1688. (NOTE: The Prince Casimir would return to Livorno in November 1688

OHC 11 Dec 1688) The Moriaenshooft and the Koopman van Aleppo were to leave Livorno on c. 10 JuneOHC 3 July 1688. They did visit Palermo31 July 1688, but skipped Messina(cf. below).

4.4 5 Ships to Smyrna

On 27 June 'Skipper' Anthony Colomby of the St. Franciscus destined to Smyrna wrote that he and his company had left Naples on 20 June, and had arrived in Messina on 23 June. There they had brought ashore the cargo for that place, and so they were ready to continue their journey. On hearing that 4 Tripoli and 5 Tunis privateers were cruising of Messina they did decide to wait somewhatOHC 31 July 1688. Later on these pirates were said to be from Tripoli; one of 60 guns, one of 48, two of 44, and one smaller vessel28 Sep 1688 On 2 July the Smyrna fleet indeed sailed7 aug 1688.

Messina, 2 July: Today we understood from pilots that the Iskendrun Convoy of Captain de Jong, coming from Palermo, passed this city last night. It had the ships: Alpesche (i.e. Aleppo) Koopman, Joost Claesz. Jongh to Iskendrun; and St. Jago, Adriaen Kramer to Venice. Had it been daylight; the 5 Smyrna ships, that are still here, could have sailed with it to the latitude of Cythera 'Santen'. They will however folow today, because the Turks of Tripoli and Tunis, which had been noted near Cape Spartivento, have not shown themselves anymoreOHC 31 July 1688.

On 2 August 1688 the five ships arrived in Smyrna: Vogel Phoenix; St Francisco; Armenische Koopman; Juffrouw Louisa; and the Geertruy. The Vogel Phoenix intended to unload and then to continue to Constantinopel.

4.5 the Smyrna Earthquake

From the ship Devonshire, Captain John Ogle in Ancona 8 August: We are 23 days from Smyrna. There, on the last of June O.S. (10 July) in the afternoon a strong earthquake significantly damaged the French street (might mean the Christian quarter), a large part of the city. Three hours after the quake a fire erupted from below the ruins and crossed from the French street to the rest of the city. Meanwhile more quakes succeeded, so we conclude that most of Smyrna is now in ruins. Sir Catter and some other English merchants have died when their houses fell. Misters Bernardisson and Perej, missing for 14 hours, are assumed to be buried beneath the ruins of their homes. Mister Stehens has been found dead. The frigate Zara is about to leave as soon as the English and what they can save are on boardohc 28 Aug 1688.

On 15 July 1688 the new Dutch consul for Smyrna Daniel Jean de Hochepied, arrived in Constantinopel from Venice, in an English shipOHC 14 Sep 1688. He had his family with him and they would remain in Smyrna for generations.

5 Schrijver's convoy in the Mediterranean

5.1 Schrijver in Marseille

From Cadiz Schrijver's convoy salied to the Straigths on 16 June OHC17July1688. Schrijver's convoy left Cartagena on 21 June 1688, and left Alicante on 27 June 1688OHC 17 july 1688. On 4 July 1688 Captain Schrijver did arrive in 'Marsielje'. Under his convoy were: De vrije Zee, Willem Ley; St. Jan Baptist, Capt. Jochem Fransz.; and St. Franciscus, Capt. Moutet which continued to Toulon.OHC 17 july 1688.

5.2 Schrijver in Genoa and Livorno

Schrijver was next expected in GenoaOHC 31 July 1688, where he was sighted in front of the harbour on 17 JulyOHC 7 aug 1688. On 21 July Philips Schrijver and his ship the 'Cornelia' arrived in Livorno. He was said to have come from Amsterdam in two and a half months; 5 weeks from Cadiz; 3 weeks from Alicante and 9 days from Marseille. He convoyed the St. Jan Baptist, Jochem Fransz. Celderi destined for Malta and Smyrna OHC 14 aug 1688.The Vrye Zee of Willem Ley did make a stop in GenoaOHC 14 aug 1688, and only arrived in Livorno on 6 AugustOHC 28 Aug 1688. In Livorno the warship Catharina of Rudolf Swaen with the Rosendael of Cornelis van Beveren and the Nieuw Livorno of Cornelis Swerver also arrived in early August 1688, they all came from Akssandrette, and had also taken in salt on CyprusOHC 28 Aug 1688.

5.3 Schrijver goes to Tripoli and Smyrna

On 23 August 1688 Schrijver reached Malta with the St Jan BaptistOHC 2 Oct 1688. On 15 September they reached Tripoli de Barberia (Libya) after a 10 day journeyOHC 23 Oct 1688. They then somehow got separated, with Schrijver getting tasked to convoy the 5 ships to Smyrna. While De Jong escorted the ship to Iskendrun (cf. below). The St Jan sailed north on its own.

6 War between France and the United Provinces

6.1 St Jan vs Dodon

In the morning of 18 October 1688 a privateer from Toulon attacked the St Jan Baptist. The fight lasted for three hours, but eventually the privateer retreated, even though it had 24 guns and 150 men, and the St Jan Baptist had only 40 men. (but the St. Jan probably had at least 24 guns, and some perhaps heavier than the French ship had1). Afterwards the St Jan entered the harbor triumphantly with only minor damage to the woodwork and sails, and without anyone killed or woundedOHC 6 Nov 1688. Later on the story was a bit more precise:

The St. Jan had passed 2 'Turkish' and 2 French privateers near Elba. One French privateer followed the ship till it entered the harbor of Livorno. In the evening of 17 October Jochem Fransz. wanted to continue his trip to Genoa, but was attacked by the privateer. They fired four broad-sides at each other. On the fifth the privateer tried to board, but failed with heavy casualties. Then 3 more broad sides followed, and another failed attempt to board. In the morning the privateer broke contactOHC 6 November 1688. The French captain was said to be captain 'Dodon'. He was wounded and had 40 killed and wounded and his ship was severely damagedOHC 25 November 1688.

Later I found a November 1688 list of the Toulon part of the French Navy AC 16 Nov 1688. It had the 'Regel' (24) under Deudon, probably translating as La Règle. With the number of guns matching there is little doubt that this was the French ship.

6.2 the Gerechtigheid

Meanwhile the ship Gerechtigheid also known as Justitia was on its business in the Mediterranean. On 18 June it had left Smyrna, and on 15 July it had sailed from Cythera ('Zanten'). It next arrived in Venice on 5 AugustOHC 21 aug 1688. In early August the Gerechtigheid was to sail with ammunition from Venice to Negroponte9 Oct. 1688.

6.3 In Iskendrun

On 19 September 1688 the Alepsche Koopman and the Moriaenshooft sailed from Accra to Alexandrette2 Dec. 1688.

6.4 the Smyrna convoy hears of the war

In Smyrna: On 5 November 1688 Anthony Colombo of the St Franciscus wrote that on 2 November a barque from Marseille sent word that the king of France had allowed privateering against Dutch ships. That the 3 merchant ships and the convoyer had agreed to sail home on 1 December, but now decided to stay till 1 January 1689OHC 19 feb 1689. Letters of 22 December later confirmed this resolution and said that all the French merchants, 70 English and one Dutch Merchant 'Duyts' had diedOHC 7 April 1689


This note about the convoyer indicates that Schrijver somehow joined the ships at Smyrna. We have a stray note that Colombeau was released on bailOHC 19 feb 1689. So he seems to have been captured somewhere

7 Back in Messina

7.1 the Iskendrun ships reach Messina

On 24 November 1688 the Alepsche Koopman and her escort (Moriaenshooft) sailed from Cyprus with destination Zanten (the Greek Island Cythera)25 Jan 1689. In January 1689 news reached Holland of 2 Dutch ships figthing 3 French near Stromboli. One feared that this were these 2 ships, which not having stopped in Messina, were not aware of the war25 Jan 1689. Others said they had been in Messina, and had been warned by the Dutch Consul, but had sailed anyway, and got under attack 3 hours later.

7.2 the Moriaenshooft fights the French

Anyway, shortly after passing Messina, De Jong's convoy was attacked. In a three hour fight De Jong lost both his main and mizzen masts. The story is that on seeing that he was lost, because he could not maneuver anymore2, De Jong wanted to light the powder in his ship. A lieutenant Sweerts (son of the late VA Sweerts) and others had prevented him.

We also have the French relation of the action: On 20 December 1689 two of the king's ships commanded by Des Francs and De Septeme took two Dutch ships between Messina and Livorno. One a warship and the other a merchant both coming from Alexandrette. The merchant was loaded with 1300 packs of silk and other valuables estimated at over 250,000 livres. Le sieur de Septeme first took the merchant and lost only one man. The warship defended itself for 3 hours against the Aguilon of Des Francs. It was taken after it lost all its masts. La gazette de Renaudot

Whatever the truth of this, both ships were captured. One of the French remained with the MoriaenshooftOHC 1 Feb 1689 near Stromboli, and the other towed the Alepsche Koopman into MessinaOHC 27 Jan 1689. On 1 January 1689 the Alepsche Koopman was still in Messina with 2 French warships. They were expecting their vice-Admiral and the captured Moriaenshooft to join them shortlyOHC 12 Feb 1689.

On 10 February 2 English warships and a merchantship from Cythera and Genoa. The merchant captain told that near Sicily he had seen three French frigates of 70 pieces each conducting the Moriaenshooft and Alepsche Koopman. On 12 February the Moriaanshooft of Jan de Jong was brought to ToulonOHC 3 March 1689. Captain de Jong, his lieutenant Hunthout, Jonker Sweerts and Ravanal were brought ashore and were allowed to freely walk the city under escort of a French captain or Lieutenant. They were also splendidly received by Chateau-Renault and many senior officers3 March 1689. The Alepsche Koopman had been brought to Marseille on 17 February24 Feb 1689. On 19 April the cargo of the Alepsche Koopman was to be sold in Marseille21 April 1689. The ship Alepsche Koopman was sold to the Genovese, and it arrived in Genoa in July or August20 Aug 1689.

7.3 the Smyrna ships reach Messina

As stated above, the Smyrna ships had ample warning of the war. The French were also waiting for them. C. 7 French warships were cruising near MaltaOHC 26 Feb 1689. On 22 March 1689 (i.e. months after the Moriaenshooft) Schrijver arrived back in Messina with 5 Dutch and 2 English Merchant ships. They had sailed from Smyrna to Messina in 27 days. Obviously their voyage was deemed so risky that upon arrival the Dutch consul in Messina sent an (expensive!) express message, arriving in Amsterdam on 8 AprilOHC 9 april 1689, which is consistent with a later statement that it had left Smyrna on 23 February. The Siamse Koopman went from Smyrna to Venice and the Jusititia of Adriaen Voshol went from Negroponte to Dagosto near TrapaniOHC 16 april 1689. The 2 English merchants continued alone to LivornoOHC 30 april 1689 (remember that the English were not yet under French attack).

8 From Messina to Livorno

8.1 Bottled up in Messina

After arriving in Messina on 22 March 1689 the convoy's voyage came to a halt. In April Pieterson's Rotterdam convoy with the warship Orangie also came to Messina, and joined the wait. Messina was quite well fortified against French aggression, and apparently the risks of crossing the Western Mediterranean were deemed to be too high. This changed when the French Mediterranean squadron left to join the French fleet at Brest. On 29 June it passed CadizOHC 28july 1689, and it was probably the confirmation of its arrival in Brest that set the Dutch in Messina to making a new plan.

8.2 The Dutch convoys split

One would expect Schrijver and Pieterson to join up and sail a strong convoy to Cadiz, but this did not happen. Pieterson sailed to Spain, and - incredibly - Schrijver went north with his convoy. On 4 September the convoy left Messina8 oct 1689 for Livorno.

8.3 Schrijver arrives in Livorno

on 19 September the convoy arrived in Livorno with: Cornelia Ph. Schrijver; Juffrouw Geertruyd, Clemens Mulder; Louisa, Jan Jansz. Lootsman; Armenische Koopman, Jan Spangiaert; St. Franciscus, Anthony Colombo; Vogel Phoenix, Jan Vogel8 oct 1689.

8.4 Encounter with French galleys

On Monday evening 19 September the Dutch Smyrna ships went 'cruising' between Livorno and Gorgona. On Tuesday they met 28 French galleys transporting the French cardinals to Rome. On approaching them these fled to shore, and so 'escaped' to Cittavechia. The Dutch returned to Livorno on the 21st, and the Italians wondered about the lack of fighting spirit shown by the French15 oct 1689. (I do not yet know how to interpret this 'cruising'thing by merchants, but it's not unique, it also happened at Cadiz.)

8.5 No trip to Genoa

In October Schrijver was still believed to continue his trip to GenoaOHC 29 Oct 1689. Later on it became clear that the convoy would sail straight to Alicante, 12 ships in company of an English warship of 50 pieces and over 100 crew, they 'were not worried about an encounter with the enemy'OHC 5 Nov 1689. Other details were that 7 English ships were defendableOHC 10 Nov 1689. By the time it was ready to sail, this convoy had Schrijver's warship; the Smyrna ships and some English, making 13 in total. On 19 October this convoy left Livorno for AlicanteOHC 12 Nov 1689

9 Schrijver's convoy in Spain

9.1 Alicante and Malaga

On 30 October 1689 11 ships were seen when they passed Mallorca. There was little doubt that it was Schrijver's convoy1 Dec 1689. On 7 November multiple ships were seen in Alicante and these were supposed to be Schrijver's convoy17 Dec 1689. On 22 November 1689 one was expecting the convoy back in Alicante17 Dec 1689. It seemed the convoy arrived in Alicante and then sailed to the 'Salinas', from where it was expected back in Alicante on 24 November, it would then continue to Malaga. Contrary to these expectations the convoy arrived back in Alicante on 3 December 16893 Jan 1690. Later the convoy stopped in Gibraltar17 Jan 1690.

9.2 Arrival in Cadiz

On 31 December 1689 Schrijver's convoy arrived in Cadiz with: Warship catherina; Phoenix; Armenische Koopman; St. Francisco; Louisa; Geertruyd, and having joined: the Hollandia of Pieter Brand; and the ship of Frans Voshol; and 2 English ships. This kind of matches with the number sighted from Mallorca. One day before 9 English ships arrived in Cadiz, sad to be from Cythera: the Bonaventura; Viudad; El Sante; Britannia; Venetian; Meynard; Valentine; Province and Tyger. Perhaps these might have sailed via LivornoOHC 31 Jan 1690

10 Cadiz to Holland

10.1 Leaving Cadiz

On 8 March 1690 left from Cadiz: Warship Cornelia, Commandeur Schrijver; Louisa; Phoenix; Armeense Koopman; Geertruyt; St. Francisco; Hollandia; Gerechtigheit, all to Amsterdam; Jesus Maria Joseph to Amsterdam and Oostende, Jonge Jan to Rotterdam; Jonge Willem to Zeeland; The Cardinael to Hamburg, and many English ships to London and other harborsOHC 08041690.

10.2 Hurricane near Galicia

Near Galicia the convoy ran into a hurricane3 on 27 March. This was the same hurricane that wreaked havoc in the 1690 fleet sailing towards Cadiz in the same area. The fleet to Cadiz lost 9 merchant ships as well as the Ridderschap(66) sunk and the Vrijheid(72) beached and probably lost. What is less known is that this storm also sunk Schrijver's warship Cornelia.

Afterwards witnesses stated that having left Cadiz they suffered a heavy gale from the West North West on the Atlantic on 27 March, the English having set a different course the day before. The stern of the convoyer Cornelia became so loose that the pumps could not keep the ship dry. Captain Schrijver and his 200 men, as well as all the silver were rescued and divided over the merchant ships. Furthermore that there was lack of rations, and so (these 5?) sailed through the Channel instead of circumventing the British Isles.

10.3 Arrival in England

Of the 16 English ships, 9 entered the Channel, and of these 3 entered Falmouth, and 5 came to Portsmouth, and 1 was still missing. 7 other English ships went north with the Dutch.

10.4 Arrival in Holland

On c. 17 April 5 ships of the Smyrna fleet arrived in the Vlie (between the Frisian Islands)OHC 18 April 1690. The arriving ships said that Captains Voshol, Brant and Vinck went astray somewhere in the Atlantic. The ship Nostra Signora de los Milagros of Barent Vinck arrived in Amsterdam on 19 April. Voshol and Brant still missing at that timeOHC 20 April 1690.

11 The Justitia is captured

The hurricane left the Gerechtigheid very leaky. Captain Voshol therefore decided to leave the convoy in order to go to the nearest English port. On 3 April in the afternoon, while still in the Atlantic, 80 miles north east of the Sorles, the Justitia met 3 French privateers from St. Malo. Having 40 guns and 14 swivel guns, the Justitia defended itself till dusk and lost its mizzen mast. The next day the fight continued, and Voshol lost his main mast as well as half of the 'verdeck', making the guns on top of it unusable. 8 of his sailors were killed, and 8 mortally wounded, he suffered shots below the waterline, and all his swivel guns sprung because of usage. After 22 hours of fighting Voshol's ship was capturedOHC 27 April 1690.

Messages from France conveyed that the Ship Gerechtigheid of Captain Adriaen Voshol, with a very rich cargo and 60,000 pieces of eight, had been brought into St. MaloOHC 22 April 1690. The Mercurius for 1690 had the story on page 23.

12 Notes

1) Due to regulations by the Levantsche Handel, most Dutch merchants had to have at least 24 guns of 5 pound. More if a ship was larger. For a frigate like that of Dodon it was usual to have 6-pounders as heaviest guns.
2) For being lost one can compare other fights where a single warship lost his masts. It probably meant that his adversaries could fire broadsides on him, while he could only respond with a few for or aft guns.
3) I chose to classify this heavy storm as a hurricane in order to make a clear distinction with a 'regular' storm.