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stepping stones of maritime history


The unknown shipwreck, which was discovered a few years ago off the coast of Eastbourne in southern England, is a Dutch warship from the 17th century, research shows. This is the Klein Hollandia, a ship of the line built for the admiralty of Rotterdam (Maze) in 1653.

State of service

Sound 1658
The Klein Hollandia took part in the battle in the Sound on October 29, 1658 under Admiral Wassenaar van Opdam. The flag captain of the Klein Hollandia was then Laurens Heemskerk. The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands supported Denmark against the Swedish king Charles X Gustavus who had started an offensive against Denmark. Dutch help arrived just in time. She forced the Swedish fleet to lift the blockade of Copenhagen. The success did have a price. Vice Admiral Witte de With was killed and his flagship Brederode was lost.

The Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667)
At the battle of Lowestoft (June 13, 1665) the Klein Hollandia was flagship of Vice Admiral Johan de Liefde. She was armed with 57 pieces. There were 264 men on board.
The four-day sea battle (June 11-14, 1666). Captain Evert van Gelder. She was armed with 54 pieces. There were 250 men on board (220 sailors and 30 soldiers).

English surprise attack
The Klein Hollandia was an old ship when it was sent out in 1671 in the squadron of Admiral de Haese to escort the Smyrna fleet before sailing into the English Channel. At the Isle of Wight the squadron was attacked by an English squadron under Admiral Holmes (12-15 ships).

A fierce battle broke out on the 2nd day, March 23, the Klein Hollandia was damaged severely. Commander Jan Van Nes was killed in action. The ship was boarded and conquered. But shortly thereafter the Klein Hollandia sank with friend and foe alike.

Royal Museums Greenwich

Holmes attack on the Dutch Smyrna fleet

This provocative and well sustained action by a small squadron under Sir Robert Holmes and Sir Frescheville Holles against the Dutch Smyna convoy returning from the Mediterranean launched the Third Dutch War.


Built: admiralty yard, Rotterdam
Dimensions: 133,5/6 x 32 2/5 x 13 1/4 ft. (Rotterdam feet)

MasterNes, J. Jzn
People on board264
Length144.1 Amsterdam feet (40.8 m)
Width34.6 Amsterdam feet (9.8 m)
Draft14.1 Amsterdam feet (4 m)


Down on 24 April

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