Royal Netherlands Navy / Koninklijke Marine – Frigate

F 816   -   HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen



HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen (F 816)

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Frigate – FFG; Kortenaer / Standard - class



Koninklijke Maatschappij De Schelde (KMS), Vlissingen –

(Royal Schelde Shipbuilding, Vlissingen, The Netherlands)



Laid down: August 25, 1978

Launched: May 16, 1981

Commissioned: January 26, 1983

Decommissioned: 1997

Fate: sold in October 1997 to United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) / renamed Abu Dhabi (F 01)




Ship’s Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO >> Frigate – Kortenaer / Standard class



Official Royal Netherlands Navy site


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Abraham Crijnssen

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Information & History

Abraham Crijnssen (? – June 18, 1669):

(or Krijnsen, Krynsen, Querijnsen)

Abraham Crijnssen (born in Vlissingen; died in Paramaribo, Suriname) was a Dutch privateer who left on 30 December 1666 from the harbour of Veere in Zeeland with 7 ships, including three frigates, to the Caribbean. He sailed via the barbary coast to English colony Suriname which he was ordered to attack. To that purpose he had also two hundred soldiers on board the ships. At this time the Dutch Republic was at war with England in what now is called the Second English War (1665 - 1667).

Crijnssen sailed up the river Suriname towards the city. He arrived near the fort Willoughby on 26 February 1667. Commander Crijnssen sent a letter to commander Byam of the fort, in which he demanded his surrender. Byam refused to surrender and on 27 Febraury Crijnssen sailed with 4 of his ships to the fort. He sailed very close to its walls and immediately started to fire the cannons of his ships to provide cover for the landing party. The fort was defended by about 160 men and 21 cannons of which 9 were not yet available for immediate use. After a short battle commander Byam surrendered the fort and was allowed to leave with all his possessions. After its capture the fort was renamed fort Zeelandia, after the vessel of that name of which Crijnssen was the Captain. Lord Willoughby, the Governor of the island of Barbados, was very angry at Byam for "giving up so easily" the colony when he learned of it. Apparantly he felt personally attacked.

When Crijnssen had captured the fort he was in control of Suriname. Later on that day (27 February 1667) he also managed to capture an English merchant ship without much effort when it sailed unsuspecting into the harbour of the fort. Afterwards he set sail again with five of his ships. One of the ships, the fly-boat Aardenburg, sailed for home, laden with sugar. Another ship, the frigate West-Capelle, was left at the mouth of the river Suriname. It waited for two English slave-ships that were expected to arrive soon. One of these ships, the frigate York, sailed, fooled by the English flag that was flying from the mast of the West-Capelle, up the river to the fort. The dutch frigate had followed it up the river to the fort and here it was immediately attacked. After putting up a good fight it was run grounded by its crew after which they surrendered. The York was a rich prize. Its "cargoe" included 270 slaves and 1000 pounds of elephant-teeth. In October 1667 the West-Capelle set sail for the Dutch Republic with the elephant-teeth.

On 1 April 1667 Crijnssen was still near Suriname, because he had to wait for two Dutch vessels that were ordered to join his fleet. One of his ships, under the command of Keuvelaer, he sent ahead to the Dutch colony Berbice. After they were joined by the two ships he sailed to the "Wild Coast". He was ordered to retake the Dutch forts Essequebo and Pomeroon (on the coast of Brazil). They had been attacked and captured by an English fleet, under the command of Major John Scott, that was sent by Governor Francis Willoughby in October 1665. Unbeknownst to Crijnssen these two forts had already been retaken by commander Bergenaer of the fort Nassau.

When captain Keuvelaer arrived at fort Nassau, near Berbice, he met with Bergenaer and tried to convince him to give up the two forts. Bergenaer sailed on 6 april on board the ship of Keuvelaer to have a meeting with Crijnssen at sea. On 20 april they met and afterwards Crijnssen sailed for the island Tobago with the three frigates that were part of his fleet. He intended to recapture Tobago and all other posessions if they had fallen to a "foreign" power In the last few years the colony had been plundered by the English and the French (for a time Tobago had also been a French barony).
On 26 April, late in the evening, Crijnssen arrived at Tobago. When got on land he found that the forts had been destroyed and that the French had left only some months before his arrival. He rebuilt one of the forts and left a garrison of 29 men behind when he left on 4 may 1667.

Crijnssen sailed to Martinique to obtain information. He met with the French ambassador and they agreed to form a combined fleet with which to attack an English fleet that had been in the area. They engaged in a battle near Nevis. Afterwards Crijnssen sailed to Virginia, which he also attacked, before sailing to the Dutch Republic again. When he arrived there he made an official report on 22 September 1667. There were some difficulties with regard to the division of the prizes he had captured on his voyage, but in the end the ship owners and the Captains managed to agree.

In 1668, on 4 February, he left again for Suriname with three frigates. He arrived there on 25 april and immediately demanded that the English, who had recaptured the colony in October 1667, surrender. When the Second English war had ended England had agreed to return all Dutch colonies in the peace treaty. The english occupants surrendered the colony.


HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen (F 816):


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