[in the margins]
Eight nickels stamp
14th of March 1763
S.S.S. van Middelhoven
On the 25th of March, 1763, the following persons presented themselves to me: Marinus Smijtegeld, public notary employed by the Noble Court of Holland, Zeeland, and West-Friesland, residing in Middelburg, Zeeland: Jan Minkenveld, captain; Daniël Prumelaar, chief mate; Johan Frantz Schutz, second mate; Adriaan de Puijt, third mate; Pieter Pietersen, boatswain; Otto Westman, boatswain’s mate; Isaäck de Vos; cooper’s mate Pieter Gerol, main carpenter; and Jacobus Ranken and Cornelis the Hond, sailors. All of them were sailing on the ship D’Eenigheijd, employed by the directors of the Commercie Compagnie. They declared that the ship and its cargo was in perfect condition when they left Rio Demerarij on the 18th of Decemer, 1762 to sail back to the Netherlands. During this journey back, they experienced bad weather. From the 27th until the 31th of December 1762, the sea was very high, which led them to sail with double reefed topsails and sometimes with fixed topsails. Furthermore, a lot of water entered the ship. From the 4th until the 9th of January 1763, the weather was as before. On the 11th and the 12th of January, the wind was between a double reefed topsail breeze and a lower sail breeze. On the 20th and the 21st of January the wind was a stiff double reefed topsail breeze. They experienced a lot of heavy wind with heavy showers and a high sea. They attached the topsails. On the 23rd and the 24th the wind was a double reefed topsail breeze with heavy showers, and also sometimes a lower sail breeze. The sea was high. The 25th and 26th they pumped water out of the ship before the foresail, since there were heavy showers and storm. On the 30th of January they experienced a heavy storm with a wind that was between a double reefed topsail breeze and a lower sail breeze. A lot of water streamed to the pumps, which led them to pump throughout the night. The managed to get the water out before the wind, but not to get the ship running downwind. They put down the main staysail and were navigating without any sails. They experienced a heavy storm from between the NNW and the NW, with a high sea, which caused one of the three cannons to fall overboard. On the 31st of January they were sailing only with the lower sails with heavy showers of rain, wind, and hail, and a strong lightning. The 1st and the 2nd of February they pumped water out of the ship before the foresail, and there was a heavy storm. From the 6th until the 13th of February they sometimes had their lower sail put up, also their double reefed topsails (?). in the night from the 14th to the 15th of February, while being in the Canal, they started to become trapped along a lee shore. At first light they found themselves between the harbor of Playmouth and the lighthouse named Eddystone. They managed to enter the harbor of Playmoth, while the storm was raging on. Also all the other ships that had been sailing around them, managed to enter the harbor. The 2nd of March, they left the harbor of Playmouth, but were forced to re-enter it immediately and to stay their until the 20th of March, the day that they left again. On the 23rd of March, before the entering of Deurloo, they bumped into the [rassen?] due to a miscalculation or recklessness of the pilot named Thomas Broad. They had 10 inches of water at the pumps. The rudder was saved, but had still become unusable. They managed to remove the sloop and the boat out of the ship to make it less heavy. However, in doing this, the sloop reversed, which caused the death of three people: the cook Thomas Dithmas, the main cooper Adriaan Hillebrand, an a certain Jacobus van de Putte, who sailed as a passenger while helping out as a sailor. The boat drifted away. Thanks to good steering of the captain the ship gained some speed and reached a depth of water of 7 fathoms. They dropped the anchor and fired some cannon shots. A steigerschuit came from Vlissingen around 2 o’clock. They broke the rope of the anchor and got it out of the water. At 6 o’clock in the evening the ship anchored in Vlissingen. In the night they got southern of the Plaat. On the 24th they stayed there. A few carpenters came on board to repair the rudder and fix it again. At 3 o’clock in the morning of the 25th of March, they raised anchor. At 5 o’clock they arrived in Rammekens. They had between ten and twelve inches water at the pumps.
Furthermore, all the persons present declare that all disasters that occurred to them were caused by weather and wind, and thus not by the captain or any of his colleagues. All of them have used proper seaman’s skills, with the exception of the pilot as mentioned before [Thomas Broad].
Passed Rammekens in the ship D’Eenigheijd, in the presence of Pieter Both and Marinus Smijtegelt junior as witnesses.
These minutes are properly noted on a stamp worthy of 8 shillings.
Quod attestor (signed) Marinus Smijtegelt, notaris publicus
We, mayors and schepens of the city of Middelburg, Zeeland, hereby declare that Jan Minkenveld, captain; Daniël Prumelaar, chief mate; Johan Frantz Schutz, second mate; Adriaan de Puijt, third mate; Pieter Pietersen, boatswain; Otto Westman, boatswain’s mate; Isaäck de Vos, cooper’s mate; Pieter Gerol, main carpenter; and Jacobus Ranken and Cornelis the Hond, sailors, were present. They have all sworn that they told the truth.
These minutes have been signed by one of our secretaries and sealed with the contra stamp of this city on the 2nd of April 1763.
25 March 1763
S.S.S. van Middelhoven
On the 25th of March 1763 Marinus Smijtegelt, public soliciter admitted to the Edelen Hove of Holland, Zeeland and West-Vriesland and residing in Middelburg in Zeeland, had captain Jan Minkenfelt, recently repatriated with the ship The Unity in service of the Honourable Gentlemen Directors of the Commertie Compagnie appear before me here in the presence of the witnesses named below. He let us know that the deponent came from Rio Demeraij on the 18th of December 1762 and arrived this morning before the roadstead of Rammekens. Throughout the journey home, the deponent experienced heavy weather several times, where water came onboard, the anchors, boat and rowboat were lost and even the rudder was knocked off.
This is apparent from the declaration passed today by the appearing party and other ship’s officers before me, the soliciter, and the witnesses, to which this one is referenced; that the appearing party is anxious to show that the previously described disasters may have damaged ship or goods, why the appearing party, before opening his hatchways or last te breken, hereby declares a protest against the damage which the injuries of the sea may have causes, requesting that an document be made by me, the soliciter, which is this one, to serve there where it is proper.
Thus protested at the roadstead of Rammekens, in the presence of Pieter Both & Marinus Smijtegelt junior as witnesses.
The minute [?] has been properly drawn on a seal of eight pennies.
Documents concerning storm and damages to the ship – Zeeland Archives, Archives of the MCC, inv.no. 375.3; 389.3
Transcription made by Paleografie in Zeeland (PaiZ)
Translation made by students of University College Roosevelt