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Cornelis Jacobsz from Enkhuizen

Peter Swart - 27th July 2022 - 0 comments

Cornelis Jacobsz from the Dutch town of Enkhuizen was second gunner on the frigate Huis te Warmelo. Together with the first gunner and the gunner´s mates, he supervised the cannons and ammunition, including the gunpowder in stock, an important task on a war ship.
Cornelis Jacobsz is a poor starting point for finding this crew members’ name in the archives. Around 1715 more men with an identical name lived in Enkhuizen. But a clue in the frigate’s payment register puts us on a trail.


25th August 1715

The register lists a certain Christina Jans as recipient of the remaining wages of Cornelis Jacobsz. Via the index of names of the West Frisian Archives, the combination of these two names leads to the baptismal registration of Marretje. This girl was baptised in the Lutheran church in Enkhuizen on 25th August 1715. According to the baptismal register, Cornelis Jacobsz Bruin and Margrietje Jans were Marretje’s parents. Christina Jans is recorded as one of the witnesses.(1)
The christening date is remarkable. It is the same as the date of the sinking of the Huis te Warmelo. If Cornelis Jacobsz Bruin is indeed the second constable, he was not present at his daughter’s baptism in any case. This situation must have been common in seafaring communities. Two sailors from the town of Medemblik had previously been found to be absent at their child’s baptism.(2)



Cornelis Jacobsz and Margrietje Jans married on 12nd January 1710. Three separate registrations have been found of their betrothal and marriage.(3) Here, only the groom’s first name and patronymic are recorded. His surname Bruin is just known from the baptismal registration of 1715.
The three registrations have interesting information about Cornelis Jacobsz.
First, they show a foreign origin. The groom had been born in Denmark. The registration of the marriage announcement mentions that Cornelis Jacobsz was from Graudiep. This refers to the coastal region near Esbjerg. The member and marriage register of the Lutheran congregation in Enkhuizen is more specific and mentions the Danish town of Ribe as place of origin.
Cornelis Jacobsz had not been married before. According to the marriage announcement register, he married Margrietje Jans as a young man. The couple paid 6 guilders for tax on marriage, putting Cornelis and Margrietje in the second lowest tax bracket. Their marriage did not fall into the category of impecunious.


Margrietje Jans

Margrietje Jans lived on the Nieuwe Haven in the town of Enkhuizen. Just before her marriage to Cornelis Jacobsz, she became a professed member of the Lutheran church.(4) She was certainly born in Enkhuizen. A good candidate is Margrietje, baptised in 1685, daughter of Jan Thomasz and … Christina Jans.(5) The latter is a familiar name from the payment register of the Huis te Warmelo!
The marriage registers of Enkhuizen reveal Margrietje Jans married once more. As widow of Cornelis Jacobsz , she and her fellow townsman Daniel Davidsz tied the knot on 6th September 1716. Her second husband was also a widower and had two children from an earlier marriage.(6) The time span between the sinking of the Huis te Warmelo and the marriage to Daniel Davidsz is only one year. As no death of Cornelis Jacobsz has been found in the burial and tax registers of Enkhuizen, he must have passed away elsewhere around 1715. This Danish immigrant died in the Gulf of Finland on the day his daughter Marretje was baptised in Enkhuizen.


Figure: Page of the baptismal register of the Lutheran congregation in Enkhuizen. The second entry from below shows the baptism of Marretje, daughter of Cornelis Jacobsz Bruin and Margrietje Jans. Thanks to the mention of witness Christina Jans, a relationship can be set up with the second gunner of the frigate Huis te Warmelo. (Westfries Archief)


(1) Westfries Archief (WFA), DTB Enkhuizen, no. 38, 25th August 1715.
(2) Peter Swart, ‘Fregat Huis te Warmelo. Een Westfries oorlogsschip in Finse wateren’, in: West-Friesland Oud & Nieuw 88e jaarboek, Hoorn, 2021, p. 79-80. Look here for the article (NL).
(3) WFA, DTB Enkhuizen, no. 40, 29th December 1709, no. 52, 28th December 1709 and
no. 98, 27th December 1709.
(4) WFA, DTB Enkhuizen, no. 40, 17th December 1709.
(5) WFA, DTB Enkhuizen, no. 37, 11th November 1685.
(6) See among others WFA, DTB Enkhuizen, no. 40, 23rd August 1716. Daniel Davidsz visited the notary on 12th August to record the maternal share of his two children. WFA, Notarieel Archief Enkhuizen, no. 1226, deed 63.