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PICKERING

Postby aukepalmhof » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:01 pm

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When you have this stamp you can see the Dutch flag on the vessel, I was wondering why a US brig was showing the Dutch flag and I think I have found the solution.

By reading the book Geschiedenis van Nederland ter Zee (History of Netherland at Sea) by J.C. Mollema, I found the following information.

On 17 February 1819 a squadron of 3 of the VOC vessels sailed from Batavia, bound for Holland. The PRINS FREDERIK, ADMIRAAL EVERTSEN and the MARIA REIJGERSBERGEN.
Contrary winds delayed the passage of Strait Sunda, first the PRINS FREDERIK passed the Sunda Strait, but the EVERTSEN fouled her anchor, taking about two days to clear it. On the 19th March the EVERTSEN together with the MARIA REIJGERSBERGEN passed the strait.

Two days later the two vessel lost contact and the EVERTSEN sailed alone farther. A few days later the crew of the EVERTSEN discovered a leak, and the crew had to pump day and night, but even with 80 men on the pumps the water was rising in the holds.
In this state it was impossible for the EVERTSEN to reach Mauritius and the Capt, decided to make a call at the Chagos Archipelago, the island of Diego Garcia.

With a lot of luck the EVERTSEN arrived at Diego Garcia on 08 April. When the EVERTSEN arrived near the island she fired her guns, a sign that the vessel was in distress, and needed help.

The American brig PICKERING sailed out and rescued the 340 crew and passengers from the EVERTSEN. When the PICKERING was sailing back to port believing she had rescued all souls from the EVERTSEN she heard a shot on board the EVERTSEN. A gunner who did take to much booze was asleep when the rescue took place, when he woke up he found he was alone on board, so he fired a gun. Thereafter also fire broke out onboard the EVERTSEN.
After picking up the man from the wreck, the PICKERING sailed back with flags flying to tell everybody the crew had been rescued, I believe this is the reason why the Dutch flag is on the brig (at that time the Dutch flag was orange white, and blue and not red with blue as today, so the designer of the stamp has made a mistake.) In reality, I think not any captain will show the foreign flag when he did rescue crew and passengers from a foreign vessel. Also, the fact that the Dutch flag is hoisted up to the peak of the gaff on the mainmast does not. Normally the position as the gaff peak is reserved for the brig’s own country ensign; it appears that the stamp designer has made another mistake.

The first mention of the loss of the Dutch ship in Lloyds appeared in the issue of 31 August 1819; A Dutch 80-gun ship laden with spices is lost on the island of Diego Garcia. An Admiral, a Commissary General, and about 100 men arrived at Mauritius previous to 11 May. About 200 of the crew remain on the island (Diego Garcia).
A second notice concerning the loss of the same ship appeared in Lloyds List of 14 September 1819, it is a report dated, Port Louis, Mauritius, 12th May (1819). The ADMIRAAL EVERTSEN, Dutch Man-of-War, Rear-Admiral Bruskes, experienced a violent hurricane on the night of March 28th in Lat 17 degree S and 85 degrees E, which carried away her masts and the ship sprung a leak on 9 April; the crew took off by the American brig PICKERING, Captain EADES and conveyed to Diego Garcia, which was 5 leagues distant. The officers and part of the crew have been brought by the same brig, which arrived here on the 9th inst. (9 May). The Dutch ship after the crew were out caught fire by some unknown cause; in consequence, nothing further could be saved.

The PICKERING sailed with some of the passengers and crew to Mauritius, making a further trip to get the rest.
From Mauritius the passengers and crew sailed onboard the British transport CADUM to Europe, arriving in the Downs in November.

The PICKERING was built I presume in the United States, most probably after 1800.

I presume it was the same PICKERING, and the same Captain Eades, which arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on 1st June 1810 from Prince Edward’s Islands; later it is given that she arrived in Batavia on 17th October 1810.
25 December 1815 she was under command of Capt. Sargent and arrived in Bengal from Boston; she arrived again in Boston on 10 July 1816 after a passage of 130 days.

There is a good possibility that the PICKERING on the stamp was the brig of that name, which when homeward bound from Gibraltar was captured by HMS BELVIDERA under command of Captain Richard Byron on 26 June 1812. At that time PICKERING was commanded by a Captain Davis (she had arrived at Gibraltar on 20 April from Virginia.) Captain Byron put a prize master and eight men on the brig and ordered her to be taken to Halifax.
After the PICKERING parted from the BELVIDERA, the Americans who had been left onboard aided by four passengers, overpowered the prize crew when within six miles of Halifax light, and succeeded in carrying the brig into the port of Gloucester, Mass. on 6 or 7 July. Incidentally, when the PICKERING arrived at Gloucester she was flying both the American and British flags at half-mast; it appears that one of the men on board did this because he was unhappy about the brig being recaptured.

British Indian Ocean Territory 1991 24p sg116, scott116.

Source: Log Book. Lloyds Register Mr. Hogan.
Last edited by aukepalmhof on Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PICKERING

Postby RvH » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:36 pm

A small correction regarding the flag shown on the gaff peak. The original Dutch state flag always has been red-white-blue. Around 1570, those fighting against the Spanish occupation used the "prinsenvlag", which is orange-white-blue, because they were in support of Willem of Oranje. For a short while it replaced the red-white-blue one.
The Dutch military navy used the "prinsenvlag" between 1588 and 1630, thereafter both flags were in use. From 1663 onwards, only the state flag was used. (The Dutch merchant navy always had used the state flag and never the "prinsenvlag".) The use of the "prinsenvlag" was officially abolished as of Februari 14, 1796. So the colours of the flag on the stamp are actually correct.

Following the rescue by the Pickering, the brig was hired by the Rear Admiral Buyskes, who travelled on the Evertsen. So on the subsequent journey to Mauritius the Dutch flag was shown on the gaff peak. Note, the stamp is based on a drawing made by the lieutenant captain of the Evertsen himself. His name was Quirijn Maurits Rudolph Ver Huell. He was left in charge of the troops at Diego Garcia, when the Pickering made the first trip to Mauritius. He then came along on the 2nd trip with the remainder of the troops. The sketches by Ver Huell can be seen in the Maritime Museum Prins Hendrik (nowadays called Maritiem Museum Rotterdam).
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