Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter; 24 March 1607 – 29 April 1676) was a Dutch admiral. He is the most famous and one of the most skilled admirals in Dutch history, most famous for his role in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century. He fought the English and French and scored several major victories against them, the best known probably being the Raid on the Medway. The pious De Ruyter was very much loved by his sailors and soldiers; from them his most significant nickname derived: Bestevaêr (older Dutch for 'grandfather'.)
De Ruyter was born in 1607 in Flushing (Vlissingen) and became a sailor at the age of 11. In 1622 he fought as a musketeer in the Dutch army under Maurice of Nassau against the Spaniards during the relief of Bergen-op-Zoom. That same year he rejoined the Dutch merchant fleet and steadily worked his way up. According to English sources he was active in Dublin between 1623 and 1631 as an agent for the Vlissingen-based merchant house of the Lampsins brothers. He occasionally travelled as supercargo to the Mediterranean or the Barbary Coast. In 1631 he married Maayke Velders. The marriage lasted until the end of the year 1631 when Maayke died after giving birth to a daughter who followed her mother in death three weeks later. In 1633 and 1635 De Ruyter sailed as a navigating officer aboard the ship Groene Leeuw (Green Lion) on whaling expeditions to Jan Mayen. At this point he did not yet have a command of his own. In the summer of 1636 he remarried, this time to a daughter of a wealthy burgher named Neeltje Engels, who gave him four children. One of these died shortly after birth; the others were named Adriaen (1637), Neeltje (1639) and Aelken (1642).
In the midst of this, in 1637, De Ruyter became captain of a private ship meant to hunt for raiders operating from Dunkirk who were preying on Dutch merchant shipping. He fulfilled this task until 1640. After sailing for a while as schipper (skipper) of a merchant vessel named de Vlissinge, he was contacted again by the Zeeland Admiralty to become captain of the Haze, a merchant ship turned man-of-war carrying 26 guns in a fleet under admiral Gijsels fighting the Spanish, teaming up with the Portuguese during their rebellion. A Dutch fleet, with De Ruyter as third in command, beat back a Spanish-Dunkirker fleet in an action off Cape St Vincent on 4 November 1641. After returning he bought his own ship, the Salamander, and between 1642 and 1652, he mainly traded and travelled to Morocco and the West Indies to amass wealth as a merchant. During this time his esteem grew among other Dutch captains as he regularly freed Christian slaves by redeeming them at his own expense. In 1650 De Ruyter's wife, who in 1649 had given him a second son named Engel, unexpectedly died. On 8 January 1652 he married the widow Anna van Gelder and decided the time had come to retire. He bought a house in Flushing, but his blissful family life did not last long.
During the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652–1654), De Ruyter was asked to join the expanding fleet as a subcommander of a Zealandic squadron of "director's ships": privately financed warships. De Ruyter proved his worth under supreme commander Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp, winning the Battle of Plymouth against Vice-Admiral George Ayscue. He also fought at the Battle of Kentish Knock and the Battle of the Gabbard. De Ruyter functioned as a squadron commander, being referred to as a Commodore, which at the time was not an official rank in the Dutch navy. Tromp's death during the Battle of Scheveningen ended the war and De Ruyter declined an emphatic offer from Johan de Witt for supreme command because he considered himself 'unfit' and also feared that bypassing the seniority principle would bring him into conflict with Witte de With and Johan Evertsen. Later De Ruyter and De Witt became personal friends. Colonel Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam then became the new Dutch supreme commander of the confederate fleet. De Ruyter – after refusing to become Obdam's naval 'advisor' – remained in service of the Dutch navy, however, and later accepted an offer from the admiralty of Amsterdam to become their Vice-Admiral on 2 March 1654. He relocated with his family to the city in 1655.
In July 1655 De Ruyter took command of a squadron of eight (of which the Tijdverdrijf (pastime) was his flagship) and set out for the Mediterranean with 55 merchantmen in convoy. His orders were to protect Dutch trade. Meeting an English fleet under Robert Blake along the way, he managed to avoid creating a new flag incident. Operating off the Barbary Coast he captured several infamous corsairs. After negotiating a peace agreement with Salé, De Ruyter returned home May 1656.
The same month the States General, becoming ever more wary of Swedish king Charles X and his expansion plans, decided to intervene in the Northern Wars by sending a fleet to the Baltic Sea. The Swedes controlled this area after Charles had invaded Poland and made himself king there. De Ruyter once again embarked on the Tijdverdrijf arriving in the Sound 8 June; there he waited for Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam to arrive. After Obdam had assumed command De Ruyter and the Dutch fleet sailed to relieve the besieged city of Danzig/Gdańsk on 27 July, without any bloodshed. Peace was signed a month later. Before leaving the Baltic, De Ruyter and other flag officers were granted audience by Frederick III of Denmark. De Ruyter took a liking to the Danish king, who later became a personal friend.
In 1658 the States General sent a fleet to the Baltic Sea to protect the important Baltic trade and to aid the Danes against Swedish aggression, which continued despite a peace settlement. In accordance with the States' balance of power politics, a fleet under Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam was sent, without De Ruyter, who at the time was blockading Lisbon. On 8 November a bloody melee took place: the Battle of the Sound, which resulted in a Dutch victory, relieving Copenhagen. Still the Swedes were far from defeated and the States decided to continue their support. De Ruyter took command of a new expeditionary fleet and managed to liberate Nyborg in 1659. For this he was knighted by the Danish king Frederick III of Denmark From 1661 until 1663 De Ruyter had convoy duty in the Mediterranean. In 1664, a year before the Second Anglo-Dutch War officially began, De Ruyter clashed with the English off the West African coast, where both the English and Dutch had significant slave stations. He retook the Dutch possessions occupied by Robert Holmes and then crossed the Atlantic to raid the English colonies in North America. Arriving off Barbados in the Caribbean at the end of April 1665 aboard his flagship Spiegel (mirror), he led his fleet of thirteen vessels into Carlisle Bay, exchanging fire with the English batteries and destroying many of the vessels anchored there. Unable to silence the English guns and having sustained considerable damage to his own vessels, he retired to French Martinique for repairs. There De Ruyter captured several English vessels and delivered supplies to the Dutch colony at Sint Eustatius. Given the damage he had sustained, he decided against an assault on New York (the former New Amsterdam) to retake New Netherland. He then took off to Newfoundland, capturing some English merchant ships and temporarily taking St. John's before proceeding to Europe. On his return to the Netherlands, De Ruyter learned that Van Wassenaer had been killed in the disastrous Battle of Lowestoft. Many expected Tromp's son Cornelis to take command of the confederate fleet, especially Cornelis Tromp himself, who had already been given a temporary commission. However, Tromp was not acceptable to the regent regime of Johan de Witt because of his support of the Prince of Orange's cause. De Ruyter's popularity had grown after his heroic return and, most importantly, his affiliation lay with the States General and Johan de Witt in particular. He therefore was made commander of the Dutch fleet on 11 August 1665, as Lieutenant-Admiral (a rank he at the time shared with six others) of the Amsterdam admiralty.
In this Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–1667) he won a hard-fought victory in the Four Days Battle (June 1666) but narrowly escaped disaster in the St James's Day Battle (August 1666) which brought him into conflict with Cornelis Tromp, eventually leading to Tromp's dismissal. He then became seriously ill, recovering just in time to take nominal command of the fleet executing the Raid on the Medway in 1667. The Medway raid was a costly and embarrassing defeat for the English, resulting in the loss of the English flagship HMS Royal Charles and bringing the Dutch close to London. A planned Dutch attack on the English anchorage at Harwich led by De Ruyter had to be abandoned after being repelled at Landguard Fort at the close of the war. The peace of Breda however brought the war to its end. Between 1667 and 1671 he was forbidden by De Witt to sail, in order not to endanger his life. In 1669 a failed attempt on his life was made by a Tromp supporter, trying to stab him with a bread knife in the entrance hall of his house.
De Ruyter saved the situation for the Netherlands in the Third Anglo-Dutch War. His strategic victories over larger Anglo-French fleets at the Battles of Solebay (1672), the double Schooneveld (1673) and Texel (1673) warded off invasion. The new rank of Lieutenant-Admiral-General was created especially for him in February 1673, when the new stadtholder William III of Orange became Admiral-General.
Again taking the battle to the Caribbean, this time against the French, De Ruyter arrived off Martinique aboard his flagship De Zeven Provinciën on 19 July 1674. He led a substantial force of eighteen warships, nine storeships, and fifteen troop transports bearing 3,400 soldiers. When attempting to assault Fort Royal, his fleet was becalmed, allowing the greatly outnumbered French defenders time to solidify their defenses. The next day, newly placed booms prevented De Ruyter from entering the harbor. Nonetheless, the Dutch soldiers went ashore without the support of the fleet's guns, and were badly mauled in their attempt to reach the French fortifications atop the steep cliffs. Within two hours, the soldiers returned to the fleet with 143 killed and 318 wounded, as compared to only 15 French defenders lost. His ambitions thwarted and with the element of surprise lost, De Ruyter sailed north to Dominica and Nevis, then returned to Europe while disease spread aboard his ships.
In 1676 he took command of a combined Dutch-Spanish fleet to help the Spanish suppress the Messina Revolt and fought a French fleet under Duquesne at the Battle of Stromboli and the Battle of Augusta, where he was fatally wounded when a cannonball hit him in the left leg. On 18 March 1677 De Ruyter was given an elaborate state funeral. His body was buried in the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) in Amsterdam. He was succeeded as supreme commander by Cornelis Tromp in 1679.
Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp (23 April 1598 – 10 August 1653) was an officer and later admiral in the Dutch navy. His first name is also spelled as Maerten. Born in Brill, Tromp was the oldest son of Harpert Maertensz, a naval officer who became captain of the Olifantstromp—from the name of this ship the family name "Tromp" probably has been derived, first appearing in documents in 1607. His mother supplemented the family's income as a washerwoman. At the age of nine, Tromp went to sea with his father and was present in a squadron covering the Dutch main fleet fighting the Battle of Gibraltar in 1607.
In 1610, after his father's discharge because of a navy reorganisation, the Tromps were on their way to Guinea on their merchantman when they were attacked by a squadron of seven ships under command of the English pirate Peter Easton. During the fight, Tromp's father was slain by a cannonball. According to legend, the 12-year-old boy rallied the crew of the ship with the cry "Won't you avenge my father's death?", but the pirates seized him and sold him on the slave market of Salé. Two years later, Easton was moved by pity and ordered his redemption. Set free, he supported his mother and three sisters by working in a Rotterdam shipyard. Tromp went to sea again at 19, briefly working for the navy, but he was captured again in 1621 after having rejoined the merchant fleet — this time by Barbary corsairs off Tunis. He was kept as a slave until the age of 24, and by then had so impressed the Bey of Tunis and corsair John Ward with his skills in gunnery and navigation that the latter offered him a position in his fleet. When Tromp refused, the Bey was even more impressed by this show of character and allowed him to leave as a free man.
He joined the Dutch navy as a Lieutenant in July 1622, entering service with the Admiralty of the Maze based in Rotterdam. On 7 May 1624 he married Dignom Cornelisdochter de Haes, the daughter of a merchant; in the same year he became captain of the St. Antonius, an advice yacht (fast-sailing messenger ship). His first distinction was as Lieutenant-Admiral Piet Hein's flag captain on the Vliegende Groene Draeck during the fight with Ostend privateers in 1629 in which Hein was killed. In 1629 and 1630—the year in which he was appointed full captain on initiative of stadtholder Frederick Henry himself—Tromp was very successful in fighting the Dunkirkers as a squadron commander, functioning as a commandeur on the Vliegende Groene Draeck. Despite receiving four honorary golden chains, he was not promoted further. The Vliegende Groene Draeck foundered and new heavy vessels were reserved for the flag officers, while Tromp was relegated to the old Prins Hendrik. In 1634 Tromp's first wife died, and he left the naval service in 1634 in disappointment. He became a deacon, and married Alijth Jacobsdochter Arckenboudt, the daughter of Brill's wealthy schepen and tax collector, on 12 September 1634.
Tromp was promoted from captain to Lieutenant-Admiral of Holland and West Frisia in 1637, when Lieutenant-Admiral Philips van Dorp and other flag officers were removed due to incompetence. Although formally ranking under the Admiral-General Frederick Henry of Orange, he was the de facto supreme commander of the Dutch fleet, as the stadtholders never fought at sea. Tromp was mostly occupied with blockading the privateer port of Dunkirk.
In 1639, during the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain, Tromp defeated a large Spanish fleet bound for Flanders at the Battle of the Downs, marking the end of Spanish naval power. In a preliminary battle, the Action of 18 September 1639, Tromp was the first fleet commander known to deliberately use line of battle tactics. His flagship in this period was the Aemilia.
In the First Anglo-Dutch War of 1652–1653 Tromp commanded the Dutch fleet in the battles of Dover, Dungeness, Portland, the Gabbard and Scheveningen. In the latter, he was killed by a sharpshooter in the rigging of William Penn's ship. His acting flag captain, Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer, on the Brederode kept up fleet morale by not lowering Tromp's standard, pretending Tromp was still alive.
Tromp's death was not only a severe blow to the Dutch navy, but also to the Orangists who sought the defeat of the Commonwealth of England and restoration of the Stuart monarchy; Republican influence strengthened after Scheveningen, which led to peace negotiations with the Commonwealth, culminating in the Treaty of Westminster.
During his career, his main rival was Vice-Admiral Witte de With, who also served the Admiralty of Rotterdam (de Maze) from 1637. De With temporarily replaced him as supreme commander for the Battle of Kentish Knock. Tromp's successor was Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam.
In traditional British histories, Tromp is often wrongly called "Van Tromp". There is also a story that, after his victory at Dungeness, Tromp attached a broom to his mast as a symbol that he had swept the English from the sea. The following year, the English admiral Robert Blake supposedly attached a whip to his mast as a symbol that he had whipped the Dutch off the sea. The legend inspired a song The Admiral's Broom, famously covered by Australian baritone Peter Dawson. This is now regarded by historians as dubious.
Sir Cornelis Maartenszoon Tromp, 1st Baronet (3 September 1629 – 29 May 1691) was a Dutch naval officer. He was the son of Lieutenant Admiral Maarten Tromp. He became Lieutenant Admiral General in the Dutch Navy and briefly Admiral General in the Danish Navy. He fought in the first three Anglo-Dutch Wars and in the Scanian War. He had two full brothers, Harper and Johan. In 1633, when he was only four years old, his mother died. His father remarried in 1634 and again in 1640. The two marriages together brought Tromp four half brothers and five half sisters.In 1642, Cornelis Tromp was sent to Harfleur in France to learn to speak French from a Calvinist preacher.
On 1 September 1643 he joined his father on his flagship the Aemilia. In September 1645 he was appointed as lieutenant. On 22 August 1649 he was made a full captain. He served in the First Anglo-Dutch War, fighting in the Battle of Leghorn. In 1656 he participated in the relief of Gdańsk (Danzig). In 1658 it was discovered he had used his ships to trade in luxury goods; as a result he was fined and not allowed to have an active command until 1662. Just before the Second Anglo-Dutch War he was promoted to Vice-Admiral on 29 January 1665; at the Battle of Lowestoft he prevented total catastrophe by taking over fleet command to allow the escape of the larger part of the fleet. He fought on 6 February 1666, in the Four Days Battle and the St. James's Day Battle. As this failure off Nieuwpoort in August 1666 was imputed to him by De Ruyter he was dismissed, at the same time being under the suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government, but he returned in April 1673, after the Orangists seized power, to fight against the French and English navies in the Third Anglo-Dutch War where he participated in the last three fleet actions under Lieutenant-Admiral-General Michiel de Ruyter, distinguishing himself in the double Battle of Schooneveld and the Battle of Texel in August 1673 fighting out an epic duel with his personal enemy Edward Spragge, who drowned. During this war, his flagship was the Gouden Leeuw, of 82 cannon. He was closely involved in the murder of Johan de Witt and Cornelis de Witt in 1672. In 1675 he was created an English baronet and a Dutch erfridder by Charles II of England but he refused an honorary doctorate when visiting Oxford. On 8 May 1676 he became Admiral-General of the Danish navy and Knight in the Order of the Elephant; in 1677 Count of Sølvesborg (then a Danish nobility title). He defeated the Swedish navy in the Battle of Öland, his only victory as a fleet commander. On 6 February 1679 he became Lieutenant-Admiral-General of the Republic but never fought in that capacity, having become a liability to the new regime of William III. He died in Amsterdam in 1691, his mind broken by alcohol abuse and remorse, still officially commander of the Dutch fleet, after having been for a period replaced by Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest.
Willem Joseph baron van Ghent tot Drakenburgh (16 May 1626 – 7 June 1672) was a Dutch admiral born in Castle Gendt in the Betuwe. Being a noble by birth, he made a career in the army from 1645 onwards; he started in the regiment of the Count of Hoorne; in 1648, he was promoted to the rank of captain, serving in said regiment. He first became connected to the navy when during the Northern Wars against Sweden in 1659, he executed a landing on the Danish island of Funen under command of Vice-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter. During this campaign, there was a large emphasis on and development of amphibious operations. In August 1665, Van Ghent was present on De Ruyter's fleet relieving the Dutch treasure fleet at Bergen after the Battle of Vågen. The same year, he advised the leading politician of the Dutch Republic, Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, to found a special marine corps, the Regiment de Marine, which was established on 10 December 1665. This is often seen as a precursor of the Dutch Royal Marine Corps. Van Ghent was to be its first commander, carrying the rank of colonel. In May 1667, Van Ghent could finally take part in 'his' amphibious landing, the Raid on the Medway, the success of which was mainly due to his merit.During this Third Anglo-Dutch War Van Ghent first from 24 to 26 May made an attempt to repeat his earlier success at Chatham, but it soon became clear that the English coast had been sufficiently reinforced to repel any attacks. He then participated in the first major sea fight of the war, the Battle of Solebay. Commanding the Dutch vanguard on the Dolphijn, he attacked the Royal James, flagship of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich commanding the squadron of the blue. Standing on deck Van Ghent was hit by a canister shot that cut off his lower left leg below the knee and penetrated his torso at five places. He tumbled forward, as his flag captain Michiel Kindt put it in his log, "utterly dead". Eventually the Royal James was burnt and Montagu drowned
Joost van Trappen Banckert (c.1597 – 12 September 1647) was a Dutch Vice Admiral who worked most of his sailing life for the admiralty of Zeeland.
He was born at Vlissingen in 1597 or 1599. Early in his career he was active against the Dunkirkers and was promoted to captain in 1624. That year he took service for the Zeeland Chamber of the Dutch West India Company (WIC), remaining there until 1636.He defeated four Spanish Galleons in 1626 when commander of a squadron of three ships taking or sinking three of them, he also repeatedly defeated the Dunkirk corsairs Banckert often fought together with Piet Hein with whom he attacked and captured the Portuguese settlement Salvador on the coast of Brazil in 1624 and as a Vice Admiral helped capture the Spanish treasure fleet in the Bay of Matanzas in 1628. Thanks to these and other feats he earned the nicknames "Scourge of the Marranos" (the latter word then being used as a pejorative nickname for the Spanish in general) and "Terror of the Portuguese".
Having rejoined the navy he was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 3 May 1637, being a Vice-Admiral in the WIC not entailing an equivalent rank in the navy. From 1 October 1637 to 11 January 1638 he was a temporary Vice-Admiral. In 1639, again Rear-Admiral, he served under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp and was present at the first skirmish (the Action of 18 September 1639) against a large Spanish fleet in the English Channel and the subsequent Battle of the Downs. He again came into the service of the WIC from 1645 until his death. He again attained the navy rank of temporary Vice-Admiral on 10 December 1646. In 1647 he once again set sail for the coast of Brazil and on the return voyage suddenly fell ill and died at sea. He was married to Adriana Janssen. One of his sons was the later famous Lieutenant-Admiral Adriaen Banckert, another captain Joost Banckert de Jonge who was killed at the Battle of Portland, a third captain Jan Banckert who was killed on the Delft in the Battle of Lowestoft.
Adriaen van Trappen Banckert (c.1615 – 22 April 1684) was a Dutch admiral. Van Trappen was the original family name, but the family was also and better known under the name of Banckert. In the 17th century Netherlands such a situation was solved by combining the two names.He was born, probably in Vlissingen), somewhere between 1615 and 1620 as the second and middle son of Rear-Admiral Joost van Trappen Banckert and Adriana Jansen. Both his brothers were navy captains, serving the Admiralty of Zealand, also.Adriaen started his career on the ship of his father, fighting the Dunkirkers. In 1639, at the Battle of the Downs, Adriaen was master on that ship. In 1642 he became a captain himself. During the First Anglo-Dutch War Adriaen was flagcaptain of the Zealandic Vice-Admiral Johan Evertsen on the Hollandia. In the Battle of Portland in 1653 his elder brother Joost was killed; he himself was taken prisoner the same year when his ship foundered during the Battle of Scheveningen. During the Northern Wars he fought in 1658 against the Swedish fleet in the Battle of the Sound as captain of the Seeridder and subcommander of the squadron of Vice-Admiral Witte de With. Though the battle was a Dutch victory, Adriaen because of adverse currents failed to assist De With when the Brederode was grounded and surrounded. De With was fatally wounded. During the winter campaign of 1659, the Seeridder lost all her anchors by a storm, grounded and then was frozen solid near Hven. The Swedish army tried to exploit this situation by sending a company of soldiers over the ice to destroy the ship, but Banckert beat off all attacks for three days, until he could work his ship free. Banckert was granted a special audience by Frederick III of Denmark who personally thanked him for the courage shown. The Admiralty of Zealand honoured him with a golden chain worth a hundred golden dollars. When in 1664 the Second Anglo-Dutch War threatened, the five Dutch admiralties appointed many new flag officers. Banckert was made Rear-Admiral of the Zealandic admiralty on 16 December 1664 and soon after temporary Vice-Admiral. After the Battle of Lowestoft in which his younger brother Johan was killed, he was appointed Vice-Admiral on 15 July 1665. In 1666 he participated in the Four Days Battle; in the St James' Day Battle his ship the Thoolen sank and he was forced to move his flag to the Ter Veere. He managed to cover the retreat of the Dutch fleet on the second day of the battle. In that fight Zealandic Lieutenant-Admiral Johan Evertsen was killed and Banckert was appointed as Lieutenant-Admiral of Zealand on 5 September 1666, and thus held the highest navy rank of that province. In 1667 because of recruiting problems, Banckert was too late with his squadron to participate in the actual Raid on the Medway. In the four naval battles of the Third Anglo-Dutch War Banckert played an important role, especially by fighting the French squadron within the combined Anglo-French fleet. At the Battle of Solebay Banckert managed to lure away the French fleet allowing the main Dutch force under Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter to attack the English fleet with some parity. In the first action of the double Battle of Schooneveld the French fleet broke formation to attack Banckert's squadron, which allowed Lieutenant-Admiral-General De Ruyter to split the French squadron and outmanoeuvre the allies. In the second action Banckert's attack drove the French away. In the Battle of Texel Banckert managed to prevent a joining of the French and English fleet, again allowing De Ruyter to fight the English with more equal forces. Because of the crucial part he played in these battles Banckert's fame among the French and English was assured; ironically in The Netherlands his importance wasn't understood by the larger part of the population, also because most writers were Hollandic and felt little inclination to honour a Zealandic hero. In 1674, he joined with Hollandic Lieutenant-Admirals Cornelis Tromp and Aert Jansse van Nes in the expedition against the French coast, in which the island of Noirmoutier was taken and devastated. When Tromp took his squadron to join the Spanish, the command of the remainder of the Dutch fleet was given to Van Nes, although Banckert had seniority. Banckert didn't show his discontent with this situation to his friend Van Nes, but did express his offended feelings in a letter to the Zealandic admiralty. They shared his opinion and decided never again to send out their Lieutenant-Admiral in a confederate expedition, to make sure he wouldn't be humiliated by the Hollanders. This way Banckert left active service on 3 December 1674, though remaining commander of the Zealandic fleet. In 1678 he joined the admiralty council, which was exceptional for a navy officer. He died in Middelburg, where he was buried in St Peter's Church.
Pieter Pietersen Heyn (Hein) (25 November 1577 – 18 June 1629) was a Dutch admiral and privateer for the Dutch Republic during the Eighty Years' War between the United Provinces and Spain. Hein was born in Delfshaven (now part of Rotterdam), the son of a sea captain, and he became a sailor while he was still a teenager. In his twenties, he was captured by the Spanish, and served as a galley slave for about four years, probably between 1598 and 1602, when he was traded for Spanish prisoners. Between 1603 and 1607 he was again held captive by the Spanish, when captured near Cuba.
In 1607, he joined the Dutch East India Company and left for Asia, returning with the rank of captain (of the Hollandia) five years later. He married Anneke Claesdochter de Reus and settled in Rotterdam. In 1618, when he was captain of the Neptunus, both he and his ship were pressed into service by Venice. In 1621 he left his vessel behind and traveled overland to the Netherlands. For a year in 1622 he was a member of the local government of Rotterdam, although he didn't even have citizenship of this city: the cousin of his wife, one of the three burgomasters, made this possible.
In 1623, he became vice-admiral of the new Dutch West India Company (WIC) and sailed to the West Indies the following year. In Brazil, he briefly captured the Portuguese settlement of Salvador, personally leading the assault on the sea fortress of that town. In August with a small and undermanned fleet he sailed for the African west coast and attacked a Portuguese fleet in the strongly defended bay of Luanda but failed to capture any ships. He then crossed the Atlantic ocean again to try and capture merchant ships at the city of Vitória, but was defeated by a resistance organized by the local citizenry with the assistance of the Portuguese garrison. After finding that Salvador had been recaptured by a large Spanish-Portuguese fleet Hein returned home. The Dutch West India Company, pleased with Hein's leadership qualities, placed him in command of a new squadron in 1626. In subsequent raids during 1627 at Salvador, he attacked and captured over thirty richly laden Portuguese merchant ships before returning to the United Provinces. Modern historians today often classify Hein as a pirate, though he was more properly a privateer; the Dutch Republic was locked in mortal combat with the Habsburgs and Hein was among the most successful and famous commanders it employed during the Eighty Years' War. While many privateers behaved no better than common pirates, Hein was a strict disciplinarian who discouraged unruly conduct among his crews and had rather enlightened views for the times about "Indian" tribes, slaves and members of other religions. Also, he never was an individual privateer but rather commanded entire fleets of warships.
In 1628, Admiral Hein, with Witte de With as his flag captain, sailed out to capture a Spanish treasure fleet loaded with silver from their American colonies and the Philippines. With him was Admiral Hendrick Lonck and he was later joined by a squadron of Vice-Admiral Joost Banckert, as well as by the pirate Moses Cohen Henriques. Part of the Spanish fleet in Venezuela had been warned because a Dutch cabin boy had lost his way on Blanquilla and was captured, betraying the plan, but the other half from Mexico continued its voyage, unaware of the threat. Sixteen Spanish ships were intercepted; one galleon was taken after a surprise encounter during the night, nine smaller merchants were talked into a surrender; two small ships were taken at sea fleeing, four fleeing galleons were trapped on the Cuban coast in the Bay of Matanzas.
After some musket volleys from Dutch sloops the crews of the galleons also surrendered and Hein captured 11,509,524 guilders of booty in gold, silver, and other expensive trade goods, such as indigo and cochineal, without any bloodshed. The Dutch didn't take prisoners: they gave the Spanish crews ample supplies for a march to Havana. The released were surprised to hear the admiral personally giving them directions in fluent Spanish; Hein after all was well acquainted with the region as he had been confined to it during his internment after 1603. The capture of the treasure fleet was the company's greatest victory in the Caribbean.
As a result, the money funded the Dutch army for eight months (and as a direct consequence, allowing it to capture the fortress 's-Hertogenbosch), and the shareholders enjoyed a cash dividend of 50% for that year. Hein returned to the Netherlands in 1629, where he was hailed as a hero. Watching the crowds cheering him as he stood on the balcony of the town hall of Leyden he remarked to the burgomaster: "Now they praise me because I gained riches without the least danger; but earlier when I risked my life in full combat they didn't even know I existed...". Hein was the first and the last to capture such a large part of a Spanish "silver fleet" from America.
He became, after a conflict with the WIC about policy and payment, Lieutenant-Admiral of Holland and West Frisia on 26 March 1629, and thus factual supreme commander of the confederate Dutch fleet, taking as flag captain Maarten Tromp. He died the same year, in a campaign against the Dunkirkers, the highly effective fleet of Habsburg commerce raiders and privateers operating from Dunkirk. As it happened his flotilla intercepted three privateers from Ostend. He deliberately moved his flagship in between two enemy ships to give them both simultaneous broadsides. After half an hour he was hit in the left shoulder by a cannonball and was killed instantly. He is buried in the Oude Kerk in Delft.
Witte Corneliszoon de With (28 March 1599 – 8 November 1658) was a famous Dutch naval officer of the 17th century. De With was born on a farmstead in the hamlet of Hoogendijk near Brielle or Brill, the very town in which Maarten Tromp had been born a year earlier. His father died in 1602, leaving behind three sons, besides Witte also Abraham and Andries, and a daughter Catharina. The De With family were Mennonites and strict pacifists; in 1610 Witte, as an anabaptist not yet baptised, obtained a baptism by a Calvinist preacher so that he would no longer feel constrained in using violence as he was by nature not a peace-seeking boy. He went on his first sea voyage to the Dutch East Indies on 21 January 1616 when he was sixteen, as a cabin boy on Captain Geen Huygen Schapenham's ship the Gouden Leeuw, part of a Dutch East India Company (VOC) fleet of five vessels. He arrived at Bantam on 13 November 1616. Until October 1617 he participated in two trade voyages to Coromandel in India. Afterwards he became manservant of governor Jan Pieterszoon Coen. He served as a corporal during the siege of Jakarta in 1618. On 8 October 1618 he sailed home on the Gouden Leeuw, returning to Brill on 23 May 1619. On 20 August 1620 he took service with the Admiralty of the Maze as a schipper (then the highest NCO rank), still under Schapenham on the Gelderland. From December 1620 the Gelderland participated in an expedition by Admiral Willem de Zoete against the Barbary Corsairs, returning in August 1621. In the Spring of 1622 De With was appointed lieutenant on Schapenham's vessel. When the latter became ill, De With functioned as commandeur, acting captain, of the Gelderland during convoy duty in the Baltic. When Schapenham recovered, De With served for a short period on the Maurits to protect the herring fleet.
In July 1622 De With became flag captain of Delft of now Vice-Admiral Schapenham, who from 29 April 1623 carried out the spectacular raid organised by the Admiralty of Amsterdam, sending the so-called "Nassau fleet" against the Spanish possessions on the west coast of America; this fleet rounded Cape Horn in March 1624. On his first voyage as a captain, De With already showed he was the strict disciplinarian of later legend: on 13 April six of his men deserted his ship, and the constant beatings and floggings, to flee to the uninhabited island of Juan Fernández. Until October the fleet attacked Spanish shipping and settlements; during one of the actions De With was wounded by a musket bullet. Then it crossed the Pacific, sailing via the Mariana Islands to the Indies. Reaching Ternate in the Spice Islands on 5 March 1625, De With himself on request of the governor of Ambon in a punitive action laid waste to island, destroying by his own count 90,000 clove trees of the inhabitants, to increase the price of this commodity. He departed for the Republic on 6 February 1626, after the death of Schapenham, as Vice-Admiral (in service of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) of a Spice Fleet of four ships, then worth five million guilders. He returned on 22 September 1626, thus having circumnavigated the globe, a feat in which he took much personal pride. On his return he learned that his mother and sister had died; he remained on shore for one and a half years.
In 1627 De With married for the first time, with his second cousin Maria de With from Nieuwenhoorn. In April 1628 their first child, Cornelis, died. The same year De With, entering the service of the WIC, became flag captain on the Amsterdam to Admiral Piet Heyn during an expedition from 20 May to capture the Spanish treasure fleet. In September this attack was successful near Cuba. On 10 January 1629 the fleet returned to the Republic. Out of the bounty of eleven million guilders De With was granted about 500 guilders, with which he was very dissatisfied, as he imputed to himself a crucial role in the capture by taking a barque in August, the crew of which provided essential information regarding the whereabouts of the treasure fleet. In 1629 the five Dutch admiralties refused to allow Heyn, effectively their new supreme commander, to enlarge his staff with a special tactical-operational officer, for which function Heyn had De With in mind. De With now hoped to be appointed flag captain on the Vlieghende Groene Draeck but Maerten Tromp was chosen instead. De With was made captain of the Prins Hendrik in June; the same month Heyn was killed in action. Disappointed and despairing of ever being promoted, De With left the direct navy service in November. In September his daughter Cornelia had been born. From May 1630 until end 1633 De With was Commodore of the Grote Visserij, the administrative body controlling and militarily protecting the Herring Fleet. This change however, was largely a formality as regular warships were used for this task: De With remained captain of the Prins Hendrik and functioned as flag captain whenever admirals had to make use of this vessel. In May 1631 his first wife died. In August he remarried the eighteen-year-old Hillegonda van Goch, the daughter of a Rotterdam patrician. In 1633 his second son Cornelis was born but the boy died in July 1634. Early 1634 De With for four months rejoined the navy when Lieutenant-Admiral Philips van Dorp used the Prins Hendrik as his flagship for an expedition in the Gulf of Biscay. During the voyage it became clear that Vice-Admiral Jasper Liefhebber resented the domineering attitude of De With. Tensions between the two men became unbearable and De With left his ship, and thus the navy, in the middle of the campaign. From October 1635 till October 1636 he was schepen in Brill; in 1636 also his fourth child was born, Maria. In October 1637 he was appointed deacon in Brill. During this period De With mainly lived from what renting out the land inherited from his parents earned him. Also he had a share in a river fishing vessel.
Not only De With but also Tromp had left the navy after a conflict with Van Dorp. The fact that the two most talented Dutch navy officers had been side-tracked was caused by an attempt by stadtholder Frederick Henry to centralise the cumbersome Dutch naval administration with its five admiralties. Both Van Dorp and Liefhebber were brave men but poor managers. Overworked by the many difficulties and political strife the reorganisation brought with it, they had feared to be replaced by the younger and more competent Tromp and De With. Their removal however, only delayed the inevitable. In the summer of 1637 the fleet supply system collapsed, bringing the hungry and thirsty sailors on the brink of a general mutiny. The Dunkirkers repeatedly broke through the Dutch blockade of Dunkirk to attack Dutch shipping. Charles I of England exploited the crisis to force Dutch North Sea herring fishers to pay for fishing permits. All this caused such an outcry that when Van Dorp offered his resignation Frederick Henry was forced to accept it, also firing Liefhebber, replacing them on 29 October with Tromp and De With. However De With was again to be severely disappointed when he was refused supreme command; as Vice-Admiral of Holland and West Frisia he was second in command under Lieutenant-Admiral Tromp. In the Eighty Years' War against the Spanish, De With fought at the Battle of the Downs (1639). De With became very jealous of Tromp's popularity after his destruction of the Spanish fleet in The Downs. In the same battle he made an enemy of Zealandic Vice-Admiral Johan Evertsen by accusing him of cowardice and avarice.
In 1640 De With was brought to trial when, his fleet having been dispersed by a storm, he had returned to Hellevoetsluis alone. The court martial was presided by Tromp and though he was acquitted, De With had the compulsive notion that Tromp had tried to influence witnesses against him. Both in 1644 and 1645 De With, along with an enormous convoy of merchantmen — 702 on the return voyage of the latter year — forced the Sound against the Danes, who had tried to impose higher toll rates. In 1647 De With was sent with a poorly equipped fleet to assist the Dutch colony of Brazil from attack by the Portuguese. He refused to cooperate with the Council of Brazil and, after many months of conflict during which his fleet deteriorated through lack of supplies, he returned against orders with the two remaining seaworthy ships to the Netherlands in November 1649. On his return he went to the States-General to complain about the policy of the colony of Brazil but was himself arrested, charged of insubordination and desertion on 259 points and nearly condemned to decapitation, only saved from this by the intervention of the States of Holland pointing out they had the exclusive right to condemn their admirals to death. In February 1651 he was acquitted of most charges, the punishment reduced to a loss of wages for the period involved; in September 1651 De With was again on convoy duty.
In the First Anglo-Dutch War against the Commonwealth of England, when Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp in the autumn of 1652 fell in disgrace with the States-General, De With commanded the Dutch fleet at the Battle of the Kentish Knock but failed in his mission. Morally broken, he remained ill at home for many months, while Tromp replaced him for the Battle of Dungeness and the Battle of Portland. On 8 May Tromp officially became supreme commander again and De With fought as subcommander under Tromp in the subsequent actions: the Battle of the Gabbard and the final Battle of Scheveningen in which Tromp died. De With was temporary commander between 14 August and 22 September but was denied permanent command of the Dutch fleet because of his difficult personality in favour of Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam. Between 1654 and 1656 he was inactive, only sailing again for the relief of Danzig.
He fell in November 1658 in the Battle of the Sound, during the Northern Wars, commanding the vanguard of the Dutch fleet relieving Copenhagen from the Swedish, when his ship Brederode was grounded and surrounded by the enemy at Oresund. He was first shot through the left thigh by a musket ball and hours later through the breast. When Swedish soldiers boarded the ship he refused to surrender his sword, wrestling with two of them on his knees and exclaiming: "I have faithfully wielded this sword so many years for Holland, so I won't give it up now to some common soldiers!". He collapsed, was brought to his cabin to recover, insisted on walking by himself over the gangplank to the Swedish ship, there collapsed again and died. His body was balmed on orders of Charles X of Sweden and displayed as a war trophy in the town hall of Elsinore by the Swedes, who January 1659 delivered his body to the Danish court in Copenhagen; after the Danes had paid their homage, it was transported to the Netherlands and buried with great pomp in Rotterdam on 7 October, in the church of St Lawrence, where the marble grave memorial, restored after being damaged by the German bombardment of 14 May 1940, can still be seen.
He had a lifelong rivalry with Admiral Maarten Tromp. De With was feared and hated by his inferiors – on several occasions crews refused to let him on board to use their ship as flagship – shunned by his equals and always full of insubordination against his superiors. He was also seen as courageous, competent and an excellent sailor. He was embittered by the neglect of the fleet between 1639 and 1650. One of the more remarkable aspects of De With's personality was his being a notorious pamphleteer, publishing many booklets, anonymously or under the name of friends, in which he sometimes praised but more often ridiculed or even insulted his fellow officers. Tromp was a favourite subject for all three categories.
Johan Evertsen (Vlissingen, 1 February 1600 – 5 August 1666) was a Dutch admiral during the 17th century. Johan was the eldest surviving son of Johan Evertsen, known as Captain Jan, who died in 1617 fighting near La Rochelle against a French corsair. As gratitude for his services rendered, all five sons of Captain Jan were named lieutenants by the Admiralty of Zeeland. Johan is already at the age of 18 reported as captain of a ship. He fights near La Rochelle in 1625 under Willem de Zoete and in 1626 and 1627 in a campaign against the Barbary Coast under Laurens Reael.
Between 1628 and 1636, he distinguished himself while fighting the Dunkirk corsairs. His greatest successes were in 1628 preventing the interception by the Dunkirkers of the captured treasure fleet of Piet Heyn and in 1636 the capture of the famous corsair Jacob Collaert. He also played an important part in the Dutch victory in the Battle of the Slaak against the Spanish. In 1637 he becomes Vice-Admiral and commands in 1639 a squadron in the Battle of the Downs in which he destroys the Portuguese Admiralship Santa Teresa, killing 800 of the 1000 men crew. In the wake of this battle, he gets into conflict with Witte Corneliszoon de With, and doesn't receive any more important commands for the next years. In those years he develops a friendship with stadtholders Frederick Henry and William II.
At the outbreak of the First Anglo-Dutch War, Johan Evertsen was still left aside by Witte de With, who considered him an orangist. But after de With's defeat in the Battle of the Kentish Knock and his replacement by Maarten Tromp, Johan Evertsen was reinstated as squadron commander and helped achieve victory in the Battle of Dungeness, extricating Tromp's flagship from an English attack. He then fought in 1653 in the lost Battle of Portland and Battle of the Gabbard. The final Battle of Scheveningen was also lost and Tromp was killed in battle. Evertsen's ship was so badly damaged that he had to withdraw and leave the command to Witte de With. Evertsen was again blamed by de With to be a coward, and he didn't receive any command for the next 5 years. Only in May 1659, after the death of de With, he sailed under Michiel de Ruyter in the fleet that assisted Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam in reconquering the Danish islands after the victory in the Battle of the Sound, in which de With was killed.
Despite his age, Johan Evertsen became third in command of the fleet that faced the English in the Battle of Lowestoft. The battle went horribly wrong for the Dutch, and the first and second in command, Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam and Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer, were killed. Evertsen now took command, but the confusion in the Dutch fleet was so great, that Cornelius Tromp did the same. By the evening the Dutch fleet was in full flight. Johan Evertsen was summoned to The Hague. When he travelled there, he was dragged from his carriage by an angry mob, mistreated, and thrown into the water, hands and feet tied. He saved himself by clinging on to the stem of a ship. He had to be escorted for his protection by an armed detachment to Den Helder, where he would be trailed for cowardice. But the commanders of the fleet spoke out in his favour, and when it became clear that Evertsen had prevented worst by covering the retreat of the fleet, receiving 150 bullet impacts in his ship, he was released from prison. When his brother Cornelis Evertsen the Elder was killed in the Four Days' Battle, Johan joined as yet the fleet and took command of the vanguard of De Ruyter. He was killed on the first day of the St James's Day Battle. Both brothers were, after much conflict between the Admiralty and the family over the costs, in 1681 buried in the Abbey of Middelburg, where their shared grave memorial is still to be seen. Johan married Maayken Gorcum (1600–1671). They had five children: Johan Evertsen, the younger (1624–1649) Cornelis Evertsen the Younger (1628–1679), vice-admiral three daughters
Cornelis Evertsen the Elder (4 August 1610 – 11 June 1666) was a Dutch admiral.
Cornelis Evertsen the Elder was the son of Johan Evertsen and Maayken Jans; grandson of Evert Heindricxsen, a Watergeus, both commanders of men-of-war of the navy of Zealand.
When his father was killed in battle in 1617, the Admiralty of Zealand appointed all five of his sons as Lieutenant, including Cornelis (or Kees) and his oldest brother Johan, despite their young age. This exceptional favour was granted in recognition of the great merits of the father and of course prevented his family from becoming destitute.
In 1626 Cornelis is first mentioned as actually serving on sea, during a privateering raid. On 25 August 1636 he was appointed captain. In the Battle of the Downs in 1639 he captured a galleon.
During the First Anglo-Dutch War Cornelis functioned as a Vice-Commodore in the Zealandic navy; he was appointed on a confederate level to the equivalent rank of temporary Rear-Admiral on 1 May 1652. In the Battle of Scheveningen his ship sank and he, wounded, was prisoner of the English for three months.
On 14 March 1654 he was appointed Rear-Admiral. During the Northern Wars he was in 1659 subcommander of the fleet of Michiel de Ruyter and liberated Nyborg from the Swedish. In 1661 he was third in command of the Dutch Mediterranean fleet under De Ruyter, executing punitive actions against the corsairs of Algiers. He and De Ruyter were close personal friends.
When the Second Anglo-Dutch War threatened, he was made Vice-Admiral of Zealand, while his brother Johan Evertsen was promoted to the first Lieutenant-Admiral that province ever had. Cornelis Evertsen took part in the Battle of Lowestoft (13 June 1665); his elder brother was after the fight much criticised for his behaviour and had to resign as commander, though keeping his rank. Cornelis was now promoted to Lieutenant-Admiral also, so that for a time the Dutch navy had seven officers of this rank.
When the next major naval battle was fought with England in June 1666, the Four Days Battle, Cornelis the Elder was killed on the first day on the Walcheren, cut in two by the parting shot of the escaping Henry.
His brother Johan Evertsen decided first to stay ashore, but when Cornelis was killed, he joined as yet the fleet and took command of the vanguard of De Ruyter. He was killed on the first day of the St. James's Day Battle, in August 1666. Both brothers were, after much conflict between the Admiralty and the family over the costs, in 1681 buried in the Abbey of Middelburg, where their shared grave memorial is still to be seen.
Cornelis Evertsen the Elder got blessed with fourteen children from his first marriage in 1640 with Johanna van Gorcum, five of which died as infants. Two of them would become flag officers as well: his second child, named after him, Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest (1642–1706) and the tenth son Lieutenant-Admiral Geleyn Evertsen (1655–1711). Both would be supreme commanders of the confederate Dutch fleet. All three men shared the same cantankerous character. After the death of his first wife in 1657 Cornelis remarried in 1659; from this marriage another two children were born. On his death he left a heritage worth 45,000 guilders.
Cornelis Evertsen the Younger (Flushing, 16 April 1628 – Flushing, 20 September 1679) was a Dutch Admiral from the 17th century. Cornelis was the son of Lieutenant-Admiral Johan Evertsen and the nephew of Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Evertsen the Elder. He is not to be confused with his cousin Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest. Cornelis became master on his father's flagship the Hollandia in 1648; in 1651 he was for a time in the rank of lieutenant acting captain on the same vessel. He became captain of the Vlissingen in 1652, during the First Anglo–Dutch War. In 1653 he was wounded while being his father's flag captain in the Battle of Scheveningen. In 1659 he became a full captain. In 1661 he sailed in the Mediterranean as captain of the Delft.
In July 1665, after the Battle of Lowestoft during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, he was appointed Rear-Admiral with the Admiralty of Zealand. He fought on the Zierikzee in the Four Days Battle. He became Vice-Admiral of Zealand on 5 September 1666, the year in which his father and uncle were killed. He did not participate in the Raid on the Medway in 1667, because the Zealandic fleet wasn't ready in time.
He fought in all battles of the Third Anglo-Dutch War on his flagship, the Zierikzee.
In the Franco-Dutch war he participated in the failed attack against Martinique in 1674 under De Ruyter. In 1676 he fought for Denmark under Admiral-General Cornelis Tromp, then the Danish supreme commander, against Sweden. And in 1678 he operated against the French fleet in the Mediterranean and before the French West coast. Cornelis was an educated man who twice married wives from wealthy families; he died of an illness in Flushing.
Engel Michielszoon de Ruyter (2 May 1649 – 27 February 1683) was a Dutch vice-admiral.
De Ruyter was born in Vlissingen, the son of lieutenant admiral Michiel de Ruyter and his second wife Cornelia Engels. He began his naval service on board his father's ship on his expeditions in 1664 and 1665. Captains often had their sons serve with them, so that they learned their trade while their wages were paid by the Admiralty. In 1666, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, Engel was a midshipman in the Admiralty of Amsterdam. He served in the St. James's Day Battle on board Willem van der Zaen's ship, the Gouda. In 1667 he rose to lieutenant-commander. On 1 April 1668 he became captain-extraordinary and in 1669 a captain in ordinary, a permanent post. In 1670 he served under lieutenant-admiral Willem Joseph van Ghent in the expedition against the privateers of Algiers, receiving a reward for his service on that expedition.
During the Third Anglo-Dutch War he fought in the battle of Solebay as captain of the Deventer and was wounded in the chest by a splinter. In the winter of 1672/73 he also commanded a company of "landmatrozen" on the Dutch Water Line as a major. In 1673 he was captain of the Waesdorp in the two battles at the Schooneveld and at the Battle of Texel. His change of command was lucky, since the Deventer went out of service after an accident in the First Battle of the Schooneveld. On 6 October 1673 he was promoted to schout-bij-nacht. During the Franco-Dutch War he was on the 70-gun Spieghel in 1674 during the failed expedition against Martinique. In 1675 he served on convoy escort duty in the Mediterranean and in 1676 he fought in the fleet sent to help Denmark against the Swedes in the Scanian War. On 19 October 1678 he was made vice-admiral and commanded a squadron in the fleet under Cornelis Evertsen de Jonge which was sent to help Spain, fighting the French admiral Chateaurenault.
Not as grave as his father, Engel commissioned a biography of him from Gerard Brandt in 1681 and made his father's logbooks more accessible by writing summaries of them. Like his father, he was promoted within the Danish and Spanish nobility, rising to junker and later baron - in the Netherlands he was also known as ridder. In 1680 he bought an estate in Breukelen, naming it the Ruytervegt. He never married and died childless.
Aert Jansse van Nes (Rotterdam, ged. 13 april 1626 - aldaar, 13 of 14 september 1693) was een Nederlandse marineofficier uit de 17e eeuw. Aert werd in 1626 geboren als zoon van de marinekapitein Jan Jacobse van Nes de Jonge (bijgenaamd "De Jonge Boer Jaap") en gedoopt op 13 april. Hij was de kleinzoon van marinekapitein Jacob Jansen van Nes, de neef van Jan Jacobse van Nes de Oude ("De Oude Boer Jaap") met wie hij nog wel eens verward wordt en de oudere broer van vice-admiraal Jan Jansse van Nes (1631-1680) en luitenant-ter-zee Cornelis Jansse van Nes. Aert zelf werd kennelijk ook de "Jonge Boer" genoemd, maar kreeg later in lofdichten de krijgshaftiger bijnaam "De Hollandse Ajax".
Aert ging op zijn elfde naar zee. Bij het begin van de Eerste Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog van 1652-1653 had Van Nes zich opgewerkt tot schipper (de hoogste onderofficier) van een gewapende koopvaarder onder bevel van zijn vader. Op 23 augustus 1652 werd Van Nes door de Staten van Holland als directe vervanger van zijn overleden vader tot kapitein van de Gelderland benoemd, toen dat schip enige tijd door de Fransen geïnterneerd was in de haven van La Rochelle. Hij vocht in de Driedaagse Zeeslag, de Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort en de Slag bij Ter Heijde. Ook deed hij mee aan het ontzet van Danzig in 1656 en aan de expeditie tegen Portugal in 1657. Daarbij won hij twee 'prijzen', dat wil zeggen dat hij twee schepen buitmaakte.
Tijdens de Noordse Oorlog vocht hij in 1658 en 1659 op de Wapen van Rotterdam tegen Zweden, waarbij hij zich onderscheidde tijdens de Slag in de Sont. In het voorjaar van 1661 voegde hij zich bij de Middellandsezeevloot. Op 3 maart 1662 werd hij bij afwezigheid benoemd tot schout-bij-nacht bij de Admiraliteit van de Maze te Rotterdam. In 1664, in de aanloop naar de Tweede Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog, deed hij op de Prinses Louise mee aan de beroemde strafexpeditie van Michiel de Ruyter tegen de Engelsen langs de kust van West-Afrika en vervolgens de oostkust van Amerika. Dit leidde, na wat bijgelegde aanvankelijke ruzies, tot een langdurige hechte vriendschap en samenwerking tussen de twee mannen. Beiden hadden een kalm karakter gemeen, maar terwijl de gewetensvolle De Ruyter vaak diep gebukt ging onder de zware last van zijn verantwoordelijkheid, bleef de schrandere Van Nes steeds optimistisch en stond altijd klaar om met een kwinkslag zijn melancholische bevelhebber het positieve van een situatie te laten zien. Toen De Ruyter in 1665 bevelhebber van 's-lands vloot werd, verkoos hij dan ook Van Nes als zijn tweede persoon. Dit was alleen mogelijk doordat Van Nes al tijdens zijn afwezigheid op 29 januari 1665 tot viceadmiraal benoemd was. Het kwam hem op de antipathie van luitenant-admiraal Cornelis Tromp te staan, die het al moeilijk kon verdragen dat hij zijn voorlopige bevelhebberschap niet had kunnen voortzetten en zich nog eens extra vernederd voelde dat hij ook voor het directe onderbevel gepasseerd werd. Van Nes zou ook bekend worden, doordat hij als viceadmiraal de eerste commandant was van de zware oorlogsbodem De Zeven Provinciën die gebouwd was in 1665, het latere vlaggenschip van opperbevelhebber De Ruyter. Op 24 februari 1666 (juliaanse kalender) volgde voor Van Nes de benoeming tot luitenant-admiraal van de Maze, nadat Tromp zich in januari naar de Admiraliteit van Amsterdam had laten overplaatsen.
Tijdens de Vierdaagse Zeeslag bleek al meteen dat Van Nes ook als luitenant-admiraal de nodige capaciteiten bezat: toen in het midden van de tweede dag De Ruyter De Zeven Provinciën uit de slaglinie terugtrok voor reparaties nam Van Nes probleemloos de leiding over en dreef de Engelsen op de vlucht; hij bleef het bevel voeren tijdens de achtervolging totdat De Ruyter pas aan het eind van de derde dag de touwtjes weer in handen nam. Tijdens de Tweedaagse Zeeslag kreeg De Ruyter in de morgen van de tweede dag door de schijnbaar hopeloze situatie van de vloot een tijdelijke zenuwinzinking. Van Nes bleef rustig en nam de feitelijke leiding over totdat de kritieke toestand bij zijn superieur en de vloot voorbij was. Toen daarop De Ruyter voor ruim een half jaar ernstig ziek was, werd Van Nes tijdelijk opperbevelhebber van de vloot tot de Tocht naar Chatham. Toen De Ruyter al weer teruggekeerd was, sloeg hij nog tweemaal Engelse aanvallen met branders op de vloot af.
Geertruida den Dubbelde (Bartholomeus van der Helst, 1668) In de vredesperiode hierna hertrouwde Van Nes met de veel jongere Geertruida den Dubbelde; er bestaat nog een beroemd pendant van beiden, geschilderd door Bartholomeus van der Helst met medewerking van Ludolf Bakhuysen voor de scheepstaferelen op de achtergrond. Hij kocht in 1668 een huis op de Spaanse kade voor 15.150 guldens. In de Derde Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog kreeg Aert van Nes een nog belangrijker positie: De Ruyter liet het commando van het eskader waarin zijn vlaggenschip verbleef nu permanent in handen van Van Nes die op de nieuwe Eendragt voer. Hierdoor wordt het wat moeilijk om te bepalen aan wie de briljante manoeuvres tijdens de Eerste Slag bij het Schooneveld of de Slag bij Kijkduin precies moeten worden toegeschreven. Als beloning voor zijn optreden tijdens de Slag bij Solebay werd hem een rentebrief toegekend. In de winter van 1673 had hij het bevel over de landverdediging van Rotterdam tegen de Fransen. Na 1674, toen hij tijdens een aanval op Frankrijk een conflict had met de Zeeuwse luitenant-admiraal Adriaen Banckert, bleef Van Nes aan wal; de marine werd verwaarloosd en het nieuwe regime van stadhouder Willem III van Oranje-Nassau wilde de rol van zeehelden in het algemeen en van de politiek wat onbetrouwbaar geachte Van Nes in het bijzonder, zo veel mogelijk beperken tot die van levende legende. Hij werd gepensioneerd in april 1693 met behoud van wedde. Van Nes zou vooral de geschiedenis ingaan als één van de weinige Nederlandse zeehelden die de bloedbaden tijdens de zeeslagen tegen de Engelsen van de Eerste, Tweede en Derde Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog en de Hollandse Oorlog tegen de Fransen overleefde en gewoon thuis in bed overleed. Hij stierf op 13 of 14 september 1693 en is begraven in de St.Laurenskerk te Rotterdam. Zijn eenvoudige graf — praalgraven waren voorbehouden aan hen die in de strijd sneuvelden — ging verloren door het Duits bombardement van 1940.
Jan Jansse van Nes (Rotterdam, april 1631 - aldaar, juni 1680) was een Nederlands admiraal uit de 17e eeuw.
Jan van Nes werd op 23 april 1631 te Rotterdam gedoopt als zoon van kapitein Jan Jacobse van Nes de Jongere ofwel "De Jonge Boer Jaap", zelf weer de broer van kapitein Jan Jacobse van Nes de Oudere, "De Oude Boer Jaap".
Samen met zijn broer Aert Jansse diende hij in 1652 op het schip van hun vader, de Gelderland, sinds 6 januari in de rang van luitenant, toen het door de Fransen bij het begin van de Eerste Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog in de haven van La Rochelle geïnterneerd werd. In augustus stierf de vader en zijn broer werd kapitein. Jan maakte echter gedurende die hele oorlog geen promotie.
Tijdens de Noordse oorlog werd Jan op 16 april 1658, nog steeds in de rang van luitenant, aangesteld op de Eendragt, het vlaggenschip van luitenant-admiraal Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam. Op 10 december 1659 werd hij, toen men Egbert Bartolomeusz Kortenaer tot viceadmiraal bevorderde, in plaats van hem vlaggenkapitein, maar hij werd al snel overgeplaatst naar een ander schip.
In 1664 maakte Jan van Nes samen met zijn broer deel uit van de vloot van Michiel de Ruyter die de factorijen in West-Afrika heroverde op de Britten en de oceaan overstak voor een strafexpeditie in Noord-Amerika. Beide broers zouden persoonlijke vrienden van De Ruyter worden. Tijdens de hieropvolgende Tweede Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog werd hij op 24 februari 1666 benoemd tot schout-bij-nacht door de admiraliteit van de Maze. Hij had als vlaggenschip de Delft en als vlaggekapitein Laurens Kerseboom. Hiermee vocht hij in de Vierdaagse Zeeslag, maar al op de eerste dag moest hij zijn vlag overbrengen op de Groot Hollandia. Hij deed ook mee aan de Tocht naar Chatham.
Net als zijn broer kocht Jan een duur huis in Rotterdam en liet zich afbeelden door societyschilder Bartholomeus van der Helst.
Tijdens de Derde Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog vocht Jan van Nes op de Ridderschap van Holland in de Slag bij Solebay. In de winter van 1673 deed hij mee aan de organisatie van de landverdediging van Rotterdam tegen de Fransen in de gelijktijdige Hollandse Oorlog. Na het sneuvelen van viceadmiraal Johan de Liefde in de Slag bij Kijkduin nam Jan van Nes op de Maagd van Dordrecht — zijn vlaggenschip sinds de Slagen bij Schooneveld — tijdens het gevecht het onderbevel van het eskader van zijn broer, de luitenant-admiraal Van Nes, over; op 24 oktober werd hij als opvolger van De Liefde benoemd tot viceadmiraal. De Staten van Holland gaven hem als beloning voor bewezen diensten een rentebrief. Hij is op 6 juni 1680 begraven in de Grote Kerk te Rotterdam.
Johan (or Jan) Evertsen de Liefde (circa 1619, in Rotterdam – 21 August 1673) was a Dutch naval commander who served as vice admiral of Holland and West Frisia within the Admiralty of Rotterdam. His elder brother Cornelis de Liefde was also a naval commander. Johan was killed at the Battle of Texel.
De Liefde was born in Rotterdam, probably in 1619. On 16 June 1644, he became a captain with the Admiralty of the Maze based in Rotterdam. In the same year he sailed with the Dutch Mediterranean fleet combating the Barbary corsairs; his ship took a corsair. Shortly afterwards, De Liefde took a ship of the Dunkirkers.
During the First Anglo-Dutch War, De Liefde in 1652 again took service, first as captain of Jonas, a ship of the municipality fleet of the city, and subsequently as a commander of the admiralty vessel Dordrecht. In the Battle of Dungeness, De Liefde functioned as temporary squadron subcommander, or commandeur, under Johan Evertsen, when Michiel de Ruyter replaced Witte de With during the latter's absence. De Liefde, still in the rank of captain, was also present at the relief of Gdansk on the ship Hollandia in 1656. On 4 November 1657, part of the fleet of Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam blockading Lisbon, De Liefde captured a ship of the Portuguese Sugar Fleet returning from Brazil, the prize gaining him much personal wealth. In 1658 he fought in the Battle of the Sound against the Swedes, on the Dordrecht.
At the onset of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, on 29 January 1665, De Liefde, having returned to service the Admiralty of the Maze, replaced Aert Jansse van Nes as acting rear-admiral. On 15 June 1665, he was officially appointed in this rank and function. Shortly afterwards, using Klein Hollandia as his flagship, he fought at the Battle of Lowestoft as subcommander of the second squadron, commanded by Johan Evertsen. On 24 February he became an acting Vice Admiral, again succeeding Van Nes. He distinguished himself fighting on the Ridderschap van Holland in the Four Days Battle, especially on the fourth day. For his conduct he received a golden chain from the States General. He was made a Vice Admiral on 5 September 1666.
He participated in all major battles of the third Anglo-Dutch war and was mortally wounded in the last, the Battle of Texel. De Liefde was given a grave memorial in the Great Church of Rotterdam
Egbert Bartholomeuszoon Kortenaer or Egbert Meussen Cortenaer (1604 – 13 June 1665) was an admiral of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. His second name is also given as Bartolomeuszoon or Meeuwiszoon. All of these are variations on the patronym "Son of Bartholomew".
Kortenaer was born in 1604 in Groningen of humble origins. In 1626 he was made boatswain, in 1636 second mate. In the First Anglo-Dutch War he served as first mate in 1652 on the Dutch flagship, Brederode. In the Battle of Dungeness he lost his right hand and eye. On 10 April 1653 he was made commandeur to replace flag captain Abel Roelants when Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp used Brederode as his flagship. In the Battle of Scheveningen Tromp was killed. Kortenaer kept Tromp's standard raised to keep up morale (this was habitual for the Dutch on such occasions) and took command of his squadron. On 21 October 1653 Kortenaer was promoted to captain. In the years after the war he often commanded squadrons as commodore when flag officers were absent.
In the Battle of the Sound (8 November 1658), serving as flag captain on Eendragt, he beat off every Swedish attack while his commanding officer Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam was debilitated by gout. After this heroic conduct against the Swedish, Kortenaer was promoted to Vice-Admiral on 8 May 1659 and knighted by Frederick III of Denmark in the Order of the Elephant. On 29 January 1665, shortly before the Second Anglo-Dutch War, he was made Lieutenant-Admiral of the Admiralty of de Maze. He wasn't given command of the confederate Dutch fleet because he was a supporter of the House of Orange. A British intelligence report stated: "He is the best man they have".
During the Battle of Lowestoft on 13 June 1665 Kortenaer commanded the van and was second in overall command behind Van Wassenaer. He was fatally wounded early in the battle on Groot Hollandia by a cannonball hitting his hip and buried in Rotterdam in a marble grave memorial engraved by a poem of Gerard Brandt.