Ship: Princess - Princess Amelia

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Princess Amelia was a Dutch merchant ship of 38 guns and 600 tons (bm) built in 1634 and wrecked off Swansea, Bristol Channel, in 1647. She served the Dutch West India Company and was one of the largest merchant ships of her day with 38 guns.[1]

During her 1647 arrival to and departure from New Netherland, her captain was Jan Claesen Bol, who was 28 at the time. The ship carried Petrus Stuyvesant, the new Director-General of New Netherland, his wife Judith Bayard, and Stuyvesant’s councilors to Manhattan, where they landed May 1647. During her time in port, Captain Bol sat in council with Stuyvesant and others in New Amsterdam.[1]

When she sailed from Manhattan to Amsterdam on 16 August 1647, she was loaded with 200,000 pounds of dyewood from Curaçao and around 14,000 beaver pelts. It was also carrying 107 passengers and crew, including the recently fired Director Willem Kieft for his return to Amsterdam. He was returning to defend himself against the charges leveled by among others, the Rev. Everardus Bogardus (the colony’s principal Dutch Reformed dominie), and banished colonists Jochem Pietersen Kuyter and Cornelis Melyn, who would also have to answer charges of insubordination for their role in Kieft’s ouster. The other passengers included numerous Dutch West India Company soldiers who had recently arrived in Manhattan from Brazil and the Caribbean.

On 27 September 1647, Captain Bol mistook the Bristol Channel for the English Channel and ran Princess Amelia aground off Mumbles Point, Wales, near Swansea, Wales, (51.573°N 3.9992°W) where she broke apart.[1] Twenty-one of the 107 passengers survived, including Kuyter and Melyn, who later reported that Kieft had acknowledged his administrative mistakes before drowning. The Rev. Bogardus, Melyn's son, and most of the soldiers also drowned.[2]