The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 52.369998, 4.889999

4 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

Amsterdam - major seaport in Holland

"Amsterdam began as a fishing village in the in the late 12th century. According to legend Amsterdam was founded by two Frisian fishermen, who landed on the shores of the Amstel in a small boat with their dog. The damming of the river Amstel gave it its name (in Dutch: Amstelredam 'Dam in the Amstel', turned into Amsterdam in the course of time). The traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam is October 27, 1275, when the inhabitants living around the Amstel dam were granted freedom from paying the tolls associated with the locks and bridges of Holland. It was given city rights in 1300 or 1301. From the 14th century on, Amsterdam flourished, largely on the basis of trade with the cities of the Hanseatic League.

"In the 16th century the Dutch rebelled against Philip II of Spain and his successors. The revolt escalated into the Eighty Years' War which ultimately led to Dutch independence. After the break with Spain the Dutch Republic became known for its relative religious tolerance. Jews from Spain and Portugal, prosperous merchants from Antwerp (economic and religious refugees from the part of the Low Countries still controlled by Spain), Huguenots from France (persecuted for their religion) sought safety in Amsterdam.

"The 17th century is considered Amsterdam's "Golden Age". In the early 17th century Amsterdam became one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Ships sailed from Amsterdam to the Baltic Sea, North America, Africa and present-day Indonesia and Brazil and formed the basis of a worldwide trading network. Amsterdam's merchants had the biggest share in the VOC and WIC. These companies acquired the overseas possessions which formed the seeds of the later Dutch colonies. Amsterdam was the most important point for the trans-shipment of goods in Europe and it was the leading financial centre of the world. Amsterdam's stock exchange was the first to trade continuously."…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link…

An account of the Dutch Admiralty:

"The Dutch constitution shaped the Dutch navy. With no central government there was no single national navy, but five provincial admiralties; nominally federal institutions, though in practice dominated by provincial interests. The Admiralty of Amsterdam was the wealthiest and politically most influential, but its rival the Admiralty of the Maze at Rotterdam was the senior. Next in importance was the Admiralty of Zeland, with its headquarters at Middleburg and its naval yard at Flushing. There was a third Holland Admiralty, that of the "North Quarter," which alternated its establishment every six months between Hoorn and Enkhuizen, and finally the little admiralty of Friesland at Harlingen. Each of these admiralties had its own fleet and naval establishments, supported by its own revenues, but they did not exhaust the Republic's naval resources.

The two great joint stock companies, the East and West India Companies each owned substantial fleets of well-armed ships which could, by negotiation, be made available to the Republic."

"The Dutch fleet organization ... reflected political rather than operational priorities. Rivalry between the admiralties had generated a plethora of flag-officers, to accommodate whom the fleet was divided into seven squadrons, each with three admirals or commodores. Most of the squadrons were made up of ships from mixed admiralties, commanded in many cases by admirals unknown to their subordinates, and there was no established order of seniority between them. Nor was there any arrangement of the squadrons in a line of battle, which the Dutch had not yet adopted ..." -- N. A. M. Rodger The Command of the Ocean A Naval History of Britain, 1649 - 1815 NY: 2005 (London: 2004) pp. 9-10, 69.

Third Reading

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.