Dutch ship Brederode

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De Vlieger, Brederode off Hellevoetsluis.jpg
Dutch Navy EnsignDutch Republic
Name: Brederode
Builder: Jan Salomonszoon van den Tempel, Rotterdam
Launched: 1644
Fate: Sunk by the Swedish ship Wismar in the battle of the Sound.
General characteristics
Class and type: 53-59 gun ship of the line
Length: 132 ft (40 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Depth of hold: 13.5 ft (4.1 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
  • 53-59 guns:
    • Gundeck:
      • 4 × 36-pounders
      • 12 × 24-pounders
      • 8 × 18-pounders
    • Upper gundeck:
      • 20 × 12-pounders
    • Quarterdeck, Forecastle & Poop deck:
      • 10-12 × 6-pounders

Brederode was a ship of the line of the navy of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and the flagship of the Dutch fleet in the First Anglo-Dutch War. Throughout her career, she carried from 53-59 guns. She was named after Johan Wolfert van Brederode, the brother-in-law of stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange.


The Brederode was, in Maas feet, about 132 ft (40 m). long by about 32 ft (9.8 m). wide by approximately 13.5 ft (4.1 m). deep. The English dimensions were very close to those figures. The published dimensions are in Maas feet of 308 mm, divided into 12 inches (300 mm).[1]

The Brederode was initially armed with 49 guns, increasing to 54 from 1652. These comprised 4 36-pounders, 12 24-pounders, and 8 18-pounders on the lower deck, 20 12-pounders on the upper deck, and 10-12 6-pounders on the forecastle, quarterdeck, and poop deck. All of her guns were bronze-cast except four of the 12-pounders which were Swedish-made and cast in iron.[1]

Crew numbers varied considerably over Bredereode's sailing career. In September 1652 her complement was 175 sailors, rising to 260 in June 1653 before falling back to 113 in 1656. Between 40 and 175 soldiers were also accommodated aboard.[1]

Ship history[edit]

Launched at Rotterdam in 1644, and a design of shipwright Jan Salomonszoon van den Tempel, she was the flagship of Vice-Admiral Witte Corneliszoon de With from May 1645 until 1647 when she was assigned to Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp. The same year however, she again became De With's flagship for his expedition to Dutch Brazil. De With delegated actual command of the vessel to Lieutenant Jan Janszoon Quack, who remained in that role after the expedition returned to Holland in 1647. Only in 1652 would Tromp sail for the first time with his flag on the Brederode, during an attack against royalist privateers operating from the Scilly Islands.[1]

In the First Anglo-Dutch War Brederode was present under Tromp's command at the Battle of Goodwin Sands on 29 May 1652. After Tromp's failure to bring the English to battle off the Shetland Islands in July, Tromp was relieved and Michiel de Ruyter took over command. When De Ruyter was subordinated to De With in September, Brederode's crew refused to let the latter come on board to take command, so he had to content himself with the Prins Willem. Under De Ruyter, Brederode fought at the Battle of the Kentish Knock on 8 October 1652.

The Battle of the Gabbard, 12 June 1653 by Heerman Witmont, shows the Dutch flagship Brederode, right, in action with the English ship Resolution, the temporary name of HMS Prince Royal

With Tromp back in command, Brederode fought at the Battle of Dungeness on 10 December 1652 where she came close to being captured, but was instrumental in that victory over the English. She fought again on 18 February 1653 at the Battle of Portland and on 12 June 1653 at the Battle of the Gabbard, where she fought an exhausting but inconclusive duel with William Penn's flagship James. On that day, the first day of the battle, Tromp's men boarded the English ship but were beaten back; boarded in turn by the English, Tromp was only able to dislodge the boarders by blowing up Brederode's deck. On 13 June the English were joined by a squadron under Admiral Robert Blake and the Dutch were scattered in defeat.

Brederode fought in the last major engagement of the war, the Battle of Scheveningen on 26 July 1653, when Tromp was killed. The acting flag captain (later Admiral) Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer kept Tromp's standard raised after his death to keep up morale.

In the Northern Wars the United Provinces sent an expeditionary force to support Denmark in the war against Charles X of Sweden. In the Battle of the Sound on 8 November 1658 the Dutch fleet, commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam, defeated a Swedish fleet and relieved the siege of Copenhagen. Van Wassenaer's flagship was Eendracht; De With commanded the van in Brederode; attacking the enemy without proper knowledge of the shoals he grounded his ship (after damaging Leoparden so much that this enemy vessel subsequently was lost by fire) and was surrounded; after many hours of fighting, Brederode was boarded by Wismar and De With mortally wounded. The partially burnt wreck was deemed unsalvagable.


  1. ^ a b c d Bender 2014, pp. 148-49


Bender, James (2014). Dutch Warships in the Age of Sail, 1600-1714. Seaforth. ISBN 9781848321571. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Lincoln Paxton Paine, Ships of the World: an Historical Encyclopedia, Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
  • List of ships of the Admiralty of Rotterdam, dated 26 February 1652, from the Nationaal Archief in The Hague

Coordinates: 56°00′59″N 12°36′34″E / 56.0164°N 12.6094°E / 56.0164; 12.6094