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stepping stones of maritime history


The Bul van Hoorn was one of four wrecked ships that belonged to the Dutch West India Company (WIC) fleet of admiral Cornelis 'Wooden Leg' Jol. When a hurricane raged through the area, the ship went down with all its cannons, taking with it the lives of a hundred men. Only 22 crew members made it to shore alive, where they were immediately arrested by the Spanish.

Admiral Jol himself remained unharmed as he was on board a different ship. Jol was commissioned by the WIC to conquer the Spanish Silver Fleet bound for Havana. Throughout the 1630s, Jol chased down many Spanish ships whilst hoping to catch the biggest prize: the Silver Fleet. While he never managed to conquer the Silver Fleet, his efforts would continue to instil fear into the hearts and minds of the Spanish inhabitants of Cuba for many years.


The Bul van Hoorn was an armed merchant ship of the urca type. It was armed with 19 guns, six of which were made of bronze.

People on board122
Tonnage400 ton (200 last)




  • Reference: ARCHIVO GENERAL DE INDIAS. AUDIENCIA DE SANTO DOMINGO. Legajo: 101. No.: 143B. Fecha: 11 de septiembre de 1640. I. Wright II, p.63.

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