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Ship plan identification

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As the title suggests, i'm in need of some help when it comes to identifying a ship plan which is stored in the Dutch National Archive. Link: http://www.gahetna.nl/collectie/archief/inventaris/inleiding/eadid/4.MST/inventarisnr/46/level/file/scan-index/1/foto/NL-HaNA_4.MST_46_deelopname01/fotouuid/638eda03-5258-9972-93c2-d51bd1898fed

How come you need help to identfy it you ask? Is it because it is stored there with no name? Well, not exactly. The problem lies in the fact that she is marked as a certain ship of which i have become rather certain she could not be. Allow me to present my case.

I present to you the Dutch Prins Willem 1687 (according to the archive):



Now, for the more initiated this should strike as odd to be marked as typical Dutch. Some smaller details such as the lack of a crowned lion as a figurehead, and the most obvious in your face detail being the stern and the shape of the side galleries. In my eyes this vessel screams british all over and perhaps not the right time period but this remains a question for me.

Which made me curious to learn if my assumption of it being non-dutch was correct or not. I recalled seeing pictures of dutch threedeckers in one of my books, which i pulled up and are posted below:


Which bears the description Prins Willem 1687. Now that is proper dutch looking and right for the period in which she was build. Dutch ships still carried (albeit to a lesser extend) imagery on their stern. From 1690 til 1700 that would gradually change into a more modern 2 deck window structure. Given this information, i wanted to check the source of this image, to get a better understanding of what was depicted here was correct. So the british archives kindly provided the answer to that:


This is the original painting from which the book took a snap. On the stern, on the banner, it reads "Prins Willem 1687". Alright, so we have determined the source and how it was estrablished that she is the 1687 Prins Willem. To further elaborate into this, it should be mentioned that the Prins Willem was part of a building program initiated in an attempt to match the firepower which england and france were able to field. So 15-threedeckers were commissioned to be build in a collective effort by the admiralities. Here are all 15 and their dimensions:


Armed with this knowledge i delved into the Dutch archives and their ship model collection, which ofcourse yielded some nice results. May i present to you the model of the 1690 "Beschermer" (meaning: protector)






When we compare this model to the ship plans provided by the archive, i am more and more confident in rejecting the ship plan description. But, you might say, maybe the admiralities didn't all build their ships according to the same design. You'd be right to make that statement. The model presented belonged to the Noorderkwartier, whilst the Prins Willem belonged to the Maze. So i present an image of the Zeven Provincien of 1694, build by the Maze:


As can be seen the stern and side galleries are very similar to the build of the Noorderkwartier. Given that this ship was launched roughly 7 years after the Prins willem, it is not unthinkable that the Prins Willem would still carry imagery on it's stern.

To give a final depiction of how the sterns and galleries looked like around 1695, i present the famous ship model of the William Rex. A non-existing ship, but a model build for the soly purpose of showing of how our warships looked like:



So with my argument out of the way that i think the presented plans are not the Prins Willem of 1687 as she is marked as, it is time to move onto the identification. My best guess would be is that she is of british origin first half of the 18th. Intriqued knowledge of the british i do not have and therefore home some of you can help me on my way.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

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A while ago i visited the archive and mentioned this case to them. Unfortunately the person responsable for this section wasn't present, which led to me forgetting about this.

Soon i will be visiting again, and i am intending to atleast bring some credible suggestions to their attention to strenghten my case.

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2 hours ago, DeRuyter said:

@SteelSandwich Is that model in the Rijksmuseum? Looks like the gallery with all the Van de Velde paintings.

I agree with you on the plans, clearly a different design. Not sure which nationality though.

the last one (william rex) is indeed in the rijks. A wonderfull model to look at. The earlier one is in the maritime museum (beschermer).

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You don't need to visit them, jand even if you do they might be very busy.

Just drop them an email.

I have occasional dealings with various museums sometimes and everyone i know i very friendly and passionate about their specialty. You will likely find an attentive audience.

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