Laid down: August 25, 1978
Launched: May 16, 1981
Commissioned: January 26, 1983
Fate: sold in October 1997 to United
Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) / renamed Abu Dhabi (F 01)
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 -
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
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.