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Albert Claesz de Graeff

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Albert Claesz de Graeff, also De Graef (around 1620 in Amsterdam - after 1667) was a Dutch admiral during the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–1667).



Albert Claesz came from a politically insignificant branch of the De Graeff family, the patrician citylords of Amsterdam. He was a son of Claes Jansz de Graeff and grandson of Jan Jacobsz Graeff (born around 1570/75), who in turn was a son of Jacob Jansz Graeff (died around 1580).[1] He was a younger brother of the important patricians Lenaert Jansz de Graeff (1525/30–before 1578), a leader of the Sea Beggars, and Dirck Jansz Graeff (1532–1589), mayor of Amsterdam.[2]


Albert Claesz de Graeff entered the service of the Admiralty of Amsterdam as an officer at an early age. During the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652–1654) he was captain of various Dutch ships.[3] In 1652 he took command of the ship Hollandia from Maarten de Graeff.[4] Under Albert de Graeff, the ship had a crew of 90 men and 32 cannons.[5] In the same year he led the Hollandia into the naval Battle of the Kentish Knock, which was costly for the Dutch. In 1653 he was in Admiral Witte de With's squadron and took part in the sea Battle of Scheveningen with the ship (Morgen) Star.[1]

Afterwards De Graeff was under the command of Cornelis Tromp. with whom he sailed to the Shetland Islands. The following year he and his ship Hollandia were again under the command of De Withs. In 1653 De Graeff was stranded with the ship Morgen Star near St. Martin [?].[1] In 1659, his five times removed cousin Cornelis de Graeff sent a fleet under Admiral Michiel de Ruyter to the Baltics to operate against the Swedish naval forces. Albert de Graeff was able to command the ship Marseveen with a crew of around 200 men and 40 cannons in the Second Squadron under De Ruyter as captain.[6]

In the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–1667) De Graeff was in the rank of admiral. On May 24, he embarked in Texel as Schout-bij-nacht (Rear Admiral) in the First Squadron under Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam and Vice Admiral Abraham van der Hulst.[7] He himself commanded the ship Huis Tijdverdrijf with 58 cannons and a crew of 258 and also took part in the subsequent devastating sea battle near Lowestoft.[8][9]


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