Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer

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Lieutenant-Admiral Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer by Bartholomeus van der Helst, painted 1660

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.

Lieutenant-Admiral Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer (after a painting by Isaac Mijtens)

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:

Kortenaer's grave memorial
The Hero of the Maas, bereft of eye
and his right hand
Yet of the Wheel the Eye, Fist of
the Fatherland
KORTENAER the Great, the terror
of foe's fleets
the forcer of the Sound by this grave
his country greets

HNLMS Kortenaer[edit]

Several ships of the Dutch navy have been named Kortenaer after the admiral,