r\ 1 Y^4 IN THEE STAITS SERVIS 133 J.R. Bruijn has pointed out that Dutch able seamen's wages fluctuated between \2fl and 15 fl during most of the wars of our period, the general upper limit was 15 fl, and it was only during wartime that wages were increased.85 But as seamen lived precariously on subsistence levels, even this 25% pay differential entailed a continual and deeply embedded background economic motivation for British to seek Dutch naval service during wartime; other factors excepted. Yet the Dutch rates sometimes rose so high that the differential sometimes exceeded 50 or even 80% (see Figure 2). Peacetime Dutch rates could also exceed British pay: in 1683 able seamen received 15^aboard the North Quarter warship Het Wapen van West- Vriesland (82).86 The advantage of Dutch naval service over British is clearly shown in Figure 2.87 Figure 2. Dutch and British naval wages; able seamen, 1621-1725 Dutch I British 50- y Even if these wartime differentials did not attract long-term service then they might provide a useful means for those caught in the Republic to get cash for pas sage home: some British seamen enlisted at greatly increased pay rates; taking the wage advance, they promptly deserted and returned to England!88 Moreover, at Rotterdam in 1673 the unskilled might earn the equivalent of 28 shillings - more than skilled Royal Navy seamen.89 Professional Motivation Some British personnel entered the Dutch navy because they had suffered various career setbacks in Britain. The Irishman Tobiaszoon was a former Royalist priva teer lieutenant with Sir Edward Spragge in the West Indies. It is highly unlikely, therefore, that his Dutch service was motivated at the root by intrinsic opposition to the Stuart regime. James, Duke of York, Lord High Admiral, told Pepys that after the Restoration Tobiaszoon 'offered his service with no higher demand than that of being a lieutenant'. His offer was refused by James' secretary, Sir William Coventry: almost certainly because of his Catholicism. Thus denied, he emigrat ed to Holland and was immediately given a command - despite his religion. Tobiaszoon became a close confidant of admirals De Ruyter and Cornells Tromp (the Younger). Tobiaszoon was Tromp's flag captain aboard Gouden Leeuw (82) in 1673; their respective sons also served together on the lower deck as able seamen.

Tijdschriftenbank Zeeland

Archief | 2004 | | pagina 135