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Henssen, Ralph - Trompetters en tamboers in de Zeeuwse zeevaart ten tijde van de Republiek Plichten en Praktijken.

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Afbeelding: Henssen, Ralph - Trompetters en tamboers in de Zeeuwse zeevaart ten tijde van de Republiek Plichten en Praktijken.
Schrijver: Henssen, Ralph
Titel: Trompetters en tamboers in de Zeeuwse zeevaart ten tijde van de Republiek Plichten en Praktijken.
ISBN: 978909025
Uitgever: Ridderkerk: eigen beheer
Bijzonderheid: 2011, gebonden, soft cover, 357 pp., zw/ en kleuren ills., perfecte staat
Prijs: € 10,00
Meer info Dissertatie, samenvatting in het Engels.

The main objective of the research was to clarify the duties and responsibilities of ship’s trumpeters and drummers. They were mainly employed to provide signals to coordinate on board activities. In addition they performed at ceremonies and entertained the officers and crew. Trumpet signals were also used as a means of communication with other vessels or strangers on shore.
The reason to focus on Zeeland is that here three organisations left behind a large part of the crew data that has been looked into. They were: the Chamber of Zeeland of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), the Middelburgsche Commercie Compagnie (MCC) and the Admiralty of Zeeland. Zeeland was rather isolated geographically and the province was the base for most of the Republic’s naval activities.

The VOC tried to supply every large ship with a trumpeter. For want of trumpeters a large number of VOC ships were supplied with drummers. Between 1700 and 1780 about 92% of outward bound VOC vessels employed signal players. Muster rolls of ships of the MCC also mention trumpeters and drummers. However considerably fewer MCC ships employed trumpeters or drummers. Between 1575 and 1796 the Admiralty of Zeeland employed well over six hundred single trumpeters and almost ninety drummers. Drummers were put to work on war ships, trumpeters were found on war ships, caravels, guard ships and troop ships. The duration of service of trumpeters and drummers differed clearly. VOC trumpeters served for three years, drummers five, not counting the length of the voyages. MCC drummers and trumpeters served considerably shorter terms. The Admiralty made a distinction between a contract with indefinite length of service (“ordinaris”) and a service for the duration of an expedition (“extra ordinaris”). The majority of trumpeters as well as drummers were employed by the Admiralty between one and two years. Ship trumpeters’ pay with the VOC, MCC and the Admiralty were similar and differed no more than twelve to twenty guilders per month. Drummers earned less, equalling the pay of sailors.
In particular among trumpeters and drummers who worked for the VOC there was a remarkable difference in their countries of origin. Trumpeters came from all over Western Europe. More than a third of them were German nationals. The percentage of German trumpeters with the Admiralty was significantly lower. Drummers generally came from present-day Benelux. The brass trumpets used were mostly made in Nuremberg and bought at the many Nuremberg shops in the Republic. Also most trumpets found in the wrecks of lost VOC ships were Nuremberg instruments. The Admiralty also used silver trumpets, which were decorated with braids and banners. From an entry of purchase, it can be concluded that these instruments were made in the Republic. After the “Glorious Revolution” and until 1705 some war ships employed fife players besides drummers, thus following the English practice. At the close of the eighteenth century ship trumpeters left the warships and their position was taken by drummers and fife players. What signals ship trumpeters and drummers gave, remains unknown.
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