122 IN THEE STATES SERVIS of Parliament and poet, wrote 'Our seamen, whom no danger's shape could fright, Unpaid, refuse to mount our ships for spite, Or to their fellows swim on board the Dutch, Which show the tempting metal in their clutch.' 10 Just after the Medway former prisoners of war returning from the Republic report ed that 3,000 English and Scots were in the Dutch fleet, with more signing on every day; because 'they have soe much encouragement there and soe little here'.11 If this figure was anywhere near accurate, then over 10% of Dutch naval crews were British! Was this an isolated case? Was it due to a temporary coincidence of financial fac tors and the presence of a few prominent individuals with professional grievances or ideological axes to grind? No instead, British personnel were present in the Dutch navy throughout all the five wars in the period of study here: during the Anglo-Dutch conflict of the first three and the Anglo-Dutch alliance against France of the latter two.12 Foreign service was especially commonplace in the mer chant sectors. Seamen's work made them intrinsically mobile: interaction was an everyday occurrence in a sphere of common maritime culture and exchange the sea was certainly more of a highway between nations in the early modern period than a barrier - at the same time a conduit of transfer and a battleground for sur vival and supremacy. European maritime labour was fully internationalised.13 One aim of the English Navigation Acts (1651, 1660) was to control the level of for eigners in the English merchant marine and stimulate the numbers of native sea men. With more British seamen needed for the Royal Navy during wartime, for eigners were found to be more necessary, for example, in the east coast coal trade and on the Mediterranean routes. The Dutch case was more pronounced. C.R. Boxer described Dutch success as a 'lodestar' - pulling in foreign migrant poor looking for every kind of work. This was especially the case across the enormous Dutch maritime sector; where traditionally Scandinavians and Germans were the largest foreign groups throughout. Foreigners mainly Germans and Norwegians comprised 57.5% of all maritime bridegrooms at Amsterdam, 1651-1665. 4% of the total were English.14 English seamen could also be found on Rotterdam ships in the Bordeaux wine trade, and when Dutch prizes were finally condemned at Barbados in 1670, it was found that Scots had formed a large proportion of the crews.15 In his study of Zeeland privateering, 1688-1697, J. Francke shows only a microscopic British component (Scots) in the crews - albeit from a small sample with the Southern Netherlands as the largest single foreign component at 4.6%, followed by 3.6% German/Baltic (excluding Scandinavia).16 Nonetheless, when the Dutch privateer The Flying Greyhound (22), was taken by Pembroke in 1666, her commander was revealed to be 'one Ramsay, a Scotsman'.17 An English crew man aboard a Dutch privateer lying off the coast of his birthplace caused comment in 1672: 'one Pouncey', was a bigamous butcher's assistant from Dorset. Born at Dorchester, he had previously worked for a Weymouth butcher; one wife lived in London, the other in Holland.18

Tijdschriftenbank Zeeland

Archief | 2004 | | pagina 124