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Prins Wilhems (Dutch - 1651)

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The "PRINS WILHEM" was probably the largest ship belonging to the Dutch Company of the East Indies. Built at Middleburg during 1649-1650, under the direction of the carpenter cornelis Spendernieuw, the "PRINS WILHEM" set sail on her maiden voyage towards Batavia on 5th May 1651, with a crew of 276 men and women and children. On the return, the ship was temporarily loaned to the General States which had entered into conflict with Great Britain. For a short period, the "PRINS WILHEM" served as flagship to the famous Admiral Witt; in October 1652 it took part in the battle of Dunis where it was considerably damaged. Handed back to the company, the ship sailed on the commercial routes to the Indies from 1653 to 1660. On 23rd December 1661, the "PRINS WILHEM" with other ships, commanded by Arnold de Vlaming VanDudshorn, Governor of Ambon headed for the Low Countries. The small fleet never reached its destination, perhaps due to a violent storm, the ship was wrecked near the island of Brandon.


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