• Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

Wreck Identified As Key Dutch Warship After Centuries Underwater


Jan 31, 2023

A Protected Wreck off the coast of Sussex, recognized merely as “Unknown Wreck Off Eastbourne”, now has a reputation. It has been recognized because the Seventeenth-century Dutch warship Klein Hollandia .

Specialists from Historic England have partnered with the Cultural Heritage Company of the Netherlands (RCE) and the Nautical Archaeological Society on the identification, in response to a statement from Historic England . The investigations have put collectively proof gathered by skilled and volunteer divers, archival analysis and dendrochronological (tree ring) evaluation of the wooden samples.

A Important Discover

In response to the Daily Mail , the wreck was found in 2019 by Eastbourne dive operator David Ronnan, who reported his discover to Historic England. It was thought-about so important a discover that it was instantly granted the best degree of safety underneath the Safety of Wrecks Act 1973, that means solely licensed divers have been allowed to dive to the wreck web site, as per the BBC.

The Guardian experiences that the wreck is remarkably properly preserved. Historic England hopes it is going to be a wealthy supply of details about shipbuilding in Seventeenth-century Holland and the warship’s personal last voyage. Duncan Wilson, chief government of Historic England, mentioned:

“Uncovering the story of the warship Klein Hollandia opens up one other fascinating chapter within the already wealthy, shared maritime historical past between the UK and the Netherlands.”

The Klein Hollandia was inbuilt 1656 and was owned by the Admiralty of Rotterdam. It was concerned in all outstanding battles of the second Anglo-Dutch conflict (1665-1667). It sank in 1672 after a shock assault by an English squadron and has lain 32 meters (105 toes) underneath water ever since. It was first noticed as one thing uncommon on the seabed throughout a hydrographic survey in 2015 but it surely was Ronnan who recognized it as a shipwreck in 2019.

The 2 weapons of the lately recognized Dutch warship Klein Hollandia, close to Eastbourne, England. (© Cathy de Lara / Historic England )

The Deadly Final Journey of the Klein Hollandia

In 1672, the Klein Hollandia was a part of the squadron of Admiral de Haese, which was escorting the Smyrna fleet whereas crusing from the Mediterranean into the English Channel, en-route to the Netherlands.

On the Isle of Wight , de Haeses’s squadron got here underneath assault from an English squadron underneath Admiral Holmes. The second day of the engagement, 23 March, noticed fierce motion that resulted in grievous injury to the Klein Hollandia and the commander of the ship, Jan Van Nes, being killed.

The ship was boarded and conquered by the English however sank quickly after, taking each English and Dutch sailors down with it. The English motion by the squadron underneath Sir Robert Holmes and Sir Frecheville Holles performed an element within the begin of the third Anglo-Dutch conflict (1672-1674).

A marble tile found at the wreck site of the 'Klein Hollandia' (© Nautical Archaeology Society)

A marble tile discovered on the wreck web site of the ‘Klein Hollandia’ (© Nautical Archaeology Society )

The Wreck and Its Cargo

A lot of the wood hull of the Klein Hollandia has been discovered on the seabed. Cannons in step with its standing as a warship have additionally been recovered.

The ship was carrying a cargo of Italian marble tiles and Italian pottery. Apparently, petrographic examination (microscopic examination of rock), mineral composition and isotope evaluation of the stone has recognized it as being marble from the quarries of the Apuan Alps near Carrara, dwelling to a number of the best marble in Italy. This makes it seemingly that it was supposed for the houses of the wealthy within the Netherlands.

Bronze gun found at the wreck site.  (© James Clark/ Historic England)

Bronze gun discovered on the wreck web site.  (© James Clark/ Historic England )

Historic England archaeologists carried out conservation work on the marble tiles earlier than investigations began.

English Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson acknowledged, as quoted within the Daily Mail :

“The identification of the Klein Hollandia presents a glimpse again into the Seventeenth century, giving us an opportunity to be taught extra in regards to the maritime historical past of this era and to uncover treasures which have been underwater for a whole bunch of years. I’m more than happy that, due to this partnership between the UK and the Netherlands, now we have been capable of resolve a number of the mysteries linked to this wreck – and to guard it for future generations to proceed to analysis.”

The Guardian quoted Mark Beattie-Edwards, CEO of the Nautical Archaeology Society, who mentioned:

“From our very first dive on the wreck, again in April 2019, now we have been fascinated by the vary of fabric on the seabed. The spectacular quantity of wood hull construction, the ships’ cannon, the superbly minimize marble tiles, in addition to the pottery finds, all level in direction of this being a Dutch ship from the late Seventeenth century getting back from Italy. Now, after 4 years of investigation and analysis, we are able to confidently establish the vessel.”

The identification of the Klein Hollandia greater than three centuries after it sank is a captivating story of cross-national cooperation to uncover the shared historical past of two nations. It presents an intriguing peak into an offensive that ultimately fed right into a a lot bigger conflict.

High picture: A Bellarmine jug discovered on the seabed close to the wreck of the Dutch warship Klein Hollandia, recognized off the coast of Eastbourne, England. Supply: © James Clark

By Sahir Pandey

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