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stepping stones of maritime history


Huis te Nasau was part of a fleet of twelve ships sent to Brasil bij the Dutch in 1647 commanded by Admiral Witte Corneliszoon de With.

Battle of Itaparica

On September the 28th 1648, a flotilla of seven Dutch ships under command of Admiral Witte Corneliszoon de With was raiding along the Brazilian coast, when two Portuguese ships were sighted. Admiral De With quickly moved to attack, steering the flagship Brederode towards the enemy, aided by four other ships. While engaging Nossa Senhorade Rosário, Brederode's rigging got entangled and the Portuguese ship was able to escape.

Rosário's luck was however short-lived. The captains of the fast yacht Utrecht and the Huis van Nassau managed to flank the Portuguese vessel, and prepared to board. In a desperate attempt to avoid capture, the Portuguese set fire to their own ship, hoping to damage the Dutch ships as well. The explosion that followed not only took down the Rosário, along with most of its crew and a group of Portuguese nobles on board, but the Utrecht as well. 400 Portuguese and 150 Dutch sailors lost their lives in the incident.


Type: man-of-war
Built: Amsterdam, 1647
Owner: Admiralty Amsterdam
Complement: 110
Master: Mathijs Gillesz. vice admiraal
Armament: 40


The Utrecht was found and partly excavated. The Nassau was not found her fate is unknown.

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