Marc A. van Alphen

Contacts between the Netherlands and Russia date from the first half of the eleventh century1 . Ever since the Middle Ages Dutch captains have been sailing the trade route to the Baltic Sea from towns like Deventer and Kampen. The most important Russian market town was Novgorod. The merchantmen brought salt and herring and took as their return cargo grain and timber in particular. Also during the oppression of the Russian Baltic Sea area by the Mongols and Tartars (about 1240-1480) this trade with Novgorod continued to exist.
In the sixteenth century the trade to the Baltic was moved from the above mentioned towns on the river IJssel to Amsterdam, Medemblik, Enkhuizen and Hoorn in the maritime province Holland. The mercantile relations between the Dutch Republic and Muscovy changed too. After Russia had lost her access to the Baltic in 1583, the Dutch moved their trade route to the White Sea. The trade to Northern Russia was seasonal. Before the frost set in, merchantmen had to leave the White Sea. Since the hibernation of the Dutch navigator and cartographer Willem Barentsz on Nova Zembla in 1596-1597 it was common knowledge in the Republic how fierce a Russian winter in these parts could be.
The captains and merchants from the Lowlands who faced the extreme circumstances of the high north in the sixteenth century, laid the foundation for the close relation between the Dutch Republic and the Muscovy state in the seventeenth century. For Russia as well as for the Netherlands the mutual relations were of the utmost importance. The Lowlands aimed at extention of trade privileges; Russia for her part was extremely interested in the nautical-technological knowledge of the Republic, which was the principal maritime power in Europe at the time.
Tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725) played a leading role in strengthening and maintaining the friendly relations. In 1697, traveling incognito with a large Russian delegation - the so-called Grand Embassy - , he visited the Netherlands to study the latest inventions, especially in shipbuilding. Thanks to the mediation of Nicolaas Witsen, mayor of Amsterdam and expert on Russia par excellence, the tsar was given the opportunity to gain practical experience in the largest private shipyard in the world, belonging to the Dutch East India Company in Amsterdam, for a period of four months. The tsar helped with the construction of an Eastindiaman especially laid down for him: Peter and Paul. During his stay in the Netherlands the tsar engaged, with the help of Russian and Dutch assistants, many skilled workers such as builders of locks, fortresses, shipwrights and seamen. They had to help him with his `westernization' of Russia. The best-known sailor who made the journey from the Netherlands to Russia was Cornelis Cruys (1655/57-1727). Cruys accepted the tsar's generous offer to enter into his service as vice-admiral. He emigrated to Russia in 1698 and became the tsar's most important advisor in maritime affairs. Cruys performed so well that he can be regarded as the architect of the Russian Navy.

Recruitment in Amsterdam for the Russian Navy (1697-1698)
Till the end of the seventeenth century Dutch naval personnel seldom sailed to Russia. If they went to Archangel it was not for an official visit or showing the flag but only to pick up or deliver Russian or Dutch envoys with their delegations2 . In 1697 however, after many years of domination by Dutch trade-activities, the maritime relations between Russia and the Netherlands changed and became much more navy-minded 3. During the visit of the Grand Embassy to the Netherlands, leading participants of this delegation, like admiral-general François Lefort, and local people who acted as intermediaries, started to recruit shipwrights and seamen in Amsterdam for the Russian Navy. The tsar needed these men for his war against the Ottoman Empire. This war started when Peter the Great tried to conquer the Turkish fortress of Azov to get an entrance to the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. His first campaign against Azov in 1695 failed, but his second attempt the next year led to victory. To keep Azov in his possession and hold off the Turkish Navy, the tsar ordered to expand his small during the winter of 1695-96 built war fleet. For manning this growing so-called Azov Fleet the tsar needed hundreds of sailors who were recruited in Amsterdam in 1697-98.
However, the Azov Fleet did not only require skilled sailors and petty officers. The tsar also needed experienced naval officers. The Dutch vice-admiral Gilles Schey who was in charge of the mock battle in front of the Amsterdam harbour that was especially arranged for the tsar and his Grand Embassy in 1697, could not be persuaded by Peter the Great to follow him to Russia. But other Dutch naval officers of minor rank accepted the offer. Lieutenants like Jan Walrand, Gijsbert de Lange and Jan Corneliszoon Bortje seized the opportunity to be in command of a Russian man-of-war or receive a higher military rank.
After his return to Russia the tsar put his Azov Fleet under the command of admiral F.A. Golovin, a Russian nobleman who was the successor of the Swiss Francois Lefort. Golovin was assisted by vice-admiral Cornelis Cruys and rear-admiral Jan van Rees4 . Cruys and Van Rees were both contracted in Amsterdam. Van Rees (in English literature often called Von Reyes) was a Dutch sea-officer (a captain-lieutenant) of the Amsterdam Admiralty. Cruys worked for that same Admiralty as a so-called onder-equipagemeester or assistant of the dockyard superintendent. Jan van Rees and Cornelis Cruys signed their contract in May 1698. For both men their change-over from the Dutch to the Russian Navy must have been an exciting event. The knowledge in the Netherlands about Russia was limited. In seventeenth century journals and other publications of Dutch travellers, Russia was mainly shown as an inhospitable barbaric country. So, to persuade maritime specialists to settle down in Russia for three or more years, required a generous contract. As rear-admiral of the Russian Navy Van Rees earned 3600 Dutch guilders a year, vice-admiral Cruys even 9000 guilders a year. A big difference with flagofficers in the Netherlands whose annual salary was only 1200 guilders for a rear-admiral and 2400 for a vice-admiral5 . Besides, unlike naval officers in the Netherlands, Van Rees and Cruys could count on emoluments like allowances for stay ashore and several personal servants. After their contracts had expired in 1702, Cruys and Van Rees stayed in Russian service. Van Rees died a few years later near St. Petersburg6 . Cornelis Cruys worked for the tsar for more than twentyfive years. Although his career was not prosperous all the time he finally reached the highest Russian naval rank of admiral. He died in a palace in St. Petersburg in 1727, two years after the death of his master Peter the Great. It is striking that Cornelis Cruys was not burried in Russia but in Amsterdam, the city were his Russian adventure started in 1698.

Historiography in a nutshell
Ideas and activities of Cornelis Cruys after his departure from Amsterdam to Russia can well be documented by numerous letters and other papers available in Russian and Dutch archives. Much less is known about his childhood and daily life in Amsterdam. Records concerning these years are scarce. Even his date and place of birth are still a point of discussion7 .
The first Dutch author who put Cornelis Cruys in the spotlights was the laywer Jacobus Scheltema (1767-1835). In 1814, about a year after the Russians liberated the Dutch from the French occupation by Napoleon, Jacobus Scheltema published a book about the visits of Peter the Great to the Netherlands in 1697 and 17178 . It was sold out in a few days. In his book Scheltema paid a lot of attention to Cornelis Cruys and his efforts to build up a Russian Navy. Out of admiration for him, Scheltema ordered the draftsman and etcher Jacob Ernst Marcus (1774-1826) to make an engraving of Cornelis Cruys that could be used as an illustration in his book9 . The result was an engraving of Cruys standing right behind his master Peter the Great at the shipyard of the Dutch East India Company in Amsterdam10 .
Scheltema's knowledge about the background of his hero Cornelis Cruys rested on conflicting opinions. According an unspecified source Cruys came from Stavanger. In the other story the admiral was born in the Netherlands. This last vision was based on a German book written by Georg Adolf Wilhelm von Helbig in 180911 . In a footnote Van Helbig stated that the Russian vice-admiral Cornelis Cruys was `ein Holländer aus einer ansehnlicher Familie,' and `war schon in seinem Vaterlande in wichtigen Seediensten gebraucht worden, als ihn Peter I mit nach Russland nam'12 . And although Von Helbig did not mention any source, Scheltema was convinced that this German who lived in Russia in the second half of the eighteenth century was right. Scheltema took over Helbig marginal statement and concluded - without any further evidence - that the dockyard superintendent Cornelis Cruys must have been a Dutch rear-admiral13 . Also in his later work about the Russian-Dutch relations Scheltema introduced Cornelis Cruys as a Dutchmen who entered the Dutch Navy at an early age and became a flagofficer before he started to work as a so-called equipagemeester or dockyard superintendent14 .
The first author who questioned Scheltema's account of Cruys career was the archivist J.C. de Jonge (1793-1853). De Jonge did a lot of research in Dutch Navy archives, including those of the Amsterdam Admiralty. In his Magnum Opus about the history of the Dutch Navy he concluded that Cornelis Cruys was not working for the Amsterdam Admiralty as an equipagemeester but as an assistant of this naval official and that Cruys did not have any military rank at all15 . With Scheltema, De Jonge concluded that Cruys was a Dutchman.
At the end of the nineteenth century research in Scandinavia brought new facts to light about the origins of Cornelis Cruys. In 1884 professor Ludvig Daae wrote that Cornelis Cruys was born in Stavanger16 . But he did not have solid evidence for his point of view and could not mention the names of the parents of Cornelis Cruys. Fifteen years later however G.L. Grove, secretary of the Danish National Archive in Kopenhagen, proved that Cornelis Cruys was born in Stavanger as Niels Olsen and that his parents were Ole Gudfaste(r)sen and Apellone Nielsdatter17 . Records in the Danish National Archive also showed that in 1680 Niels Olsen, who already had changed his name in Cornelis Cruys, was `Schipper paa en Hollandsche Spaniefar' (captain of a Dutch merchantman sailing between Spain and the Netherlands) and still had family in Stavanger at that time18 . Olsen's alias Cruys' course of life was not unusual in those days. In the seventeenth century many Norwegian youngsters entered service on Dutch ships and emigrated to the Netherlands19 . Cruys probably signed up as a cabin boy or sailor on a Dutch merchantman and made a prosperous career in the Dutch merchant marine, being a captain in 1680. In the Netherlands for decades less attention was paid to Cornelis Cruys after the publication of Grove's article in 1899. In Stavanger it was just the opposite. In 1903 even a road in Stavanger was officialy named after Cornelis Cruys.
After the Second World War in which Russia and the Netherlands fought side by side, there was a revival of interest in the Netherlands in the historical relations between these two countries. Scheltema's books were read again and Cornelis Cruys was rediscovered20 . From 1952 the place of birth of Cornelis Cruys became again a point of discussion in the Netherlands. Some inhabitants of Vriezenveen who studied the local history claimed that Cornelis Cruys was born in their small village21 . `Kruys' was a common familyname in Vriezenveen and in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries several men with this familyname emigrated from Vriezenveen to St. Petersburg. Together with other emigrants from Vriezenveen they formed a Dutch trading community. The (pensioned) council official J. Hosmar wrote many articles about this trading community and Cornelis Cruys. But neither he nor anybody else could prove that the Russian admiral was a member of the Kruysfamily. Even though Hosmar and other authors in the Netherlands could make use of information out of Russian archives, this did not stop the discussion about the nationality of Cornelis Cruys22 . In 1997, when the first visit of Peter the Great to Holland in 1697 was celebrated with exhibitions and seminars, there were still different stories published in the Netherlands about Cornelis Cruys23 . Even some `fairy tales' introduced by Scheltema were still alive, like the story that the old Russian naval-flag - a bleu cross [in Dutch `kruis'] on a white field - was a reference to admiral Cruys24 . How was this possible? The main reason for the lack of understanding and knowledge about the background of Cornelis Cruys is the complete absence of research in Dutch archives. Dutch authors who wrote about Cruys only based their stories on outmoded monographies and did not go back to the sources.

New information about Cornelis Cruys in Dutch archives
It is still uncertain when the Norwegian Niels Olsen (in Dutch `Cornelis Roelofsz') emigrated to the Dutch Republic and changed his name in Cornelis Cruys. However, according to several municipal sources Cruys lived in Amsterdam for at least eighteen years before he joined the Russian Navy. The first time information about him was put on paper by the local administration of Amsterdam was probably in 1681. That year he married the nineteen year old Catharina Voogt. She was born in Amsterdam and the daughter of Claas Pieterszoon Voogt, a Dutch captain of a merchantman, and Jannetje Jans. In the civilian registration of his coming marriage, Cruys was called a sailor from Amsterdam, 24 years old, with no parents left. In December, about seven months after his marriage, Cruys was officially registrated as a citizen or `poorter' of Amsterdam25 . However, in this part of the city administration Cruys was called a captain of a merchantman who came from Stavanger. So, even in the old municipal archives of Amsterdam there is a discrepancy about the place where Cruys' cradle once stood. However there is a treasure of information hidden away in the archives of local churches and notaries public, which give a decisive answer about Cornelis Cruys.

Catharina Voogt and Cornelis Cruys were both protestants. She was a member of the Reformed Church, he was a Lutheran. They got five children and they let them all baptize in Amsterdam. Their first child, a daughter called Jannetje [Johanna] just like her grandmother, was baptized in the Old Lutherian Church of Amsterdam on 17 May 1682. She was followed by Roelof (baptized 31 May 1684), Claas (28 July 1686), Johan (12 May 1688) and Roelof (12 July 1690). The first and second son of Cornelis Cruys, probably both named after there grandfathers, died young. His youngest sons, Johan, perhaps named after Catharina's stephfather, and Roelof were baptized in the so-called Northern Church of Amsterdam. These two boys and their sister would outlive their father.

Interesting Dutch records concerning Cornelis Cruys commercial activities in Amsterdam are to be found in the archives of seventeenth century Amsterdam notaries. However, doing research in these notarial archives is very time-consuming and not all the acts concerning Cornelis Cruys are yet traced. The oldest act that has been located till now, dates from January 168126 . This notarial act shows that Cruys was in November 1680 the captain of a merchantman called Africa and was loading salt, sugar and fruit in Lisbon. In December he sailed from Portugal to the Netherlands. About four months later Cruys was a married man.
After his marriage in April 1681 Cornelis Cruys became the captain of the hooker De stad Keulen [The city Collogne]. Portugal was once again his destination. Back home Cruys changed again from ship and shipowners. However this was not the last time. Between 1680 and 1696 captain Cornelis Cruys was in command of at least eight different merchantmen27 . He sailed with cargo and passengers. Nearly all his voyages went from the Netherlands to the Iberian Peninsula or the Caribbean (the Spanish and Dutch West-Indies). When he sailed to Latin America, the island Curaçao (a Dutch colony) was always one of his destinations. In 1688 when the so-called Nine Years' War (1688-1697) broke out between France and a coalition of European powers including the Netherlands, Cornelis Cruys was the captain of the Dutch merchantman De Vrijheijt [The Freedom] sailing in the Caribbean. Cruys and a few other captains of Dutch merchantmen decided to sail back home together. During this return voyage from Cuba to the Netherlands Cruys and his colleagues were lucky. They met a French merchantman coming from Santo Domingo. After a short pursuit this ship was taken as war booty.
About two and a half years later Cruys was again involved with privateering, but this time he was the victim himself. On 22 October 1691, on a voyage from Spain to the Netherlands, he was captured by a French privateer and brought in to Brest. Cruys lost his ship, the St. Joseph, and cargo. He was forced to stay in France for more than half a year. There he probably tried to get his freedom back by collecting evidence that he was not a Dutchman. The family in Stavanger was asked to send the necessary information and in the summer or autumn of 1692 Cruys came back to Amsterdam. In April 1693 he let the notary Francois Tixerandet make an official statement in which Cornelis declared that he was at that moment in Amsterdam and about 36 years old but that he was born in Stavanger in Norway and therefore a subject of the king of Denmark28 . He also declared that he was still a citizen of this kingdom! In other words, the French privateer had captured a neutral captain. This statement was made by order of a few Dutch merchants who owned part of the confiscated cargo. What the effect of Cruys' his statement has been, is unknown.
In spite of his unpleasant experience with the French privateering and the risk of repetition, Cruys left the Netherlands again in 1693 as the captain of a Spanjevaarder St. Jan Babtist. He stayed captain of this ship for about three years and made several voyages from Amsterdam to Cadiz in Spain and back home again. To protect edible load, like cheese, Cornelis sailed with five cats aboard29 . In 1696 Cornelis ended his career in the Dutch merchant marine and started a new one ashore when he joined the Dutch Navy.

Table I
Time Name of the vessel Destination
1680 Africa Portugal
1681 De stad Keulen Portugal
1682 De Coninck David Spain
1684-85 De Offerhande van den Propheet Elias Caribbean
1686 Elisabeth Caribbean
1687-89 De Vrijheijt Caribbean
1691 St. Joseph Spain, Hamburg
1693-95 St. Jan Babtist Spain

Source: Municipal Archive Amsterdam, notarial archives.

Information about Cornelis Cruys during the time he was working for the Amsterdam Admiralty is available in the old Dutch Navy records or Admiralty archives (the so-called Archieven der Admiraliteitscolleges), in the National State Archive in The Hague. According to the resolutions of the Amsterdam Admiralty Cornelis Cruys was appointed as onder-equipagiemeester on 20 July 1696 on a provisional base for three months30 . During their meeting on 23 October 1696 the directors of the Amsterdam Admiralty decided that Cornelis Cruys could be taken in permanent service. His place to work was the naval yard in the eastern part of the Amsterdam harbour31 . But several resolutions of the directors show that Cruys had to travel a lot between Amsterdam and the roadstead of Texel near the village Den Helder, the usual point of departure and arrival of most Dutch men-of-war32 . Cruys had a very responsable job. In order of his chief - the equipagemeester Teenghs - or the directors of the Admiralty, Cruys was regulary sent to the fleet that laid in the roads to deliver naval equipment or victuals, bring loot (French ships and cargo captured by the Dutch) to Amsterdam, or investigate damaged warships.
From Den Helder where he sometimes had to stay for weeks in a row, Cruys wrote letters to the Admiralty in Amsterdam. From the correspondence of Cruys little has been preserved. However, there is an interesting exception: a report he made at home in Amsterdam in 1696 a few days before New Year's Eve about his stay at Den Helder on monday 24th December33 . Cruys explained the directors that when he arrived mondaymorning on the beach near Den Helder with nineteen wagons full of provisions for the warfleet, he got into trouble with a group of inhabitants of Den Helder. This group was willing to bring the goods to the warships in the roadstead for three guilders an hour per person. When Cruys, who thought that this amount was to much, found some sailors and pilots from Texel who wanted to do the same job for less money, there was almost a fight between the two groups. That was not all. The same day Cornelis Cruys was the instigator in another quarrel about money. This time a cooper who had repaired some barrels for Cruys in Den Helder did not accept the amount the onder-equipagemeester was willing to pay. The cooper went mad, left the hostel where Cruys stayed that day, but came back with many friends and gave Cruys a heavy blow in his face34 .
In 1697, the year when Peter te Great visited the Netherlands and stayed in Amsterdam for a few months, Cruys continued his work as naval official in Amsterdam and Den Helder. That same year the war with France came to an end (Peace of Rijswijk). Many Dutch sea-officers lost their job. From the end of April 1698 several Dutch naval officers asked permission to the directors of the Amsterdam Admiralty to join te Russian Navy for some time. Unfortunately the resolutions of the Amsterdam Admiralty do not give information about Cornelis Cruys in 1698. According to his Russian contract Cruys was officially in service of tsar Peter the Great as a vice-admiral from the first of April 1698. In one of the last articles of this contract the directors of the Amsterdam Admiralty promissed that Cruys would not be replaced and that he would get his job back after expiration of his Russian contract35 .
In the summer of 1698 Cornelis Cruys was occupied with the preparations for his voyage to Russia and his stay there for years. He had to make financial arrangements with his wife because Catharina Voogt and the children (Johanna, Johan and Roelof) remained in Amsterdam. Most of the official agreements Cornelis Cruys made a few months before he left were put on paper by the Amsterdam notary Joan Hoeckeback. On 30 June 1698 Cornelis and his wife visited Hoeckeback. They let him make two separated last wills: one concerning their possessions in Amsterdam and one, only signed by Cornelis Cruys, concerning his belongings in Stavanger36 . This second last will was translated from Dutch into Danish (the official language of the Danish kingdom of which Norway was a part at that time) and was probably meant for his mother in Norway37 . In accordance with this last will Cornelis Cruys `zoon van de overleden [son of the late] Ologood fasterson en [and] Apolona Neelstetter, van [from] Stavanger', made `zijn zuster [his sister] Cristin Oolstetter' to his official heir. She would get all the property in Stavanger that Cornelis already had as heir of his father and would get if his mother, Apelone Nielsdr Koch should die.
In the last will Cornelis made together with Catharina Voogt he did not forget his family in Stavanger either38 . As usual with a married couple, Cruys and his wife were each other's heirs and if they both would die, everything they possesed would go to their children. But should Cornelis Cruys die without children left, his mother should be one of the heirs. And if Apelona should not outlive her son, than Cornelis sister `Christina Roelofs' [Chritin O(o)lsdetter] would share in the legacy and recieve two hundred Dutch guilders. Catherina Voogt made a same sort of arrangement for her mother Jannetje Jans and stephfather Pieter Harmensz de Reus with whom her mother married in 1674. If Jannetje Jans should not outlive her daughter, Catharina's stephfather would receive five hundred guilders out of Catharina's legacy.
A few months after signing his Danish and Dutch last will the cosmopolitan `avant la lettre' Cornelis Cruys left the Netherlands. In November 1702 he was back in Amsterdam and still working for the Russians as vice-admiral. One of the reasons that he had been send home was to recruit naval and other personnel for the tsar39 . The secretary of the Amsterdam Admiralty, Job de Wilde, and Nicolaes Witsen, mayor of Amsterdam, director of the Dutch East India Company, supporter of Russian interests and a personal friend of Peter the Great, helped Cruys in as many ways as they could. Besides political talks with Russians and Dutchmen and other businesslike activities, Cornelis Cruys also had to arrange personal matters. He was closely involved in the partition of the legacy of his mother-in-law and her third husband Pieter Harmensz de Reus who died respectively in 1700 and 1702. During Cruys absence his own family in the Netherlands had been increased with a son-in-law. On 19 May 1700 Johanna Cruys had married J(e)an de Lange. He was a jeweller, born in Amsterdam in 1676 and a friend of Catharina Voogts family. The future of Johanna and her husband was not in Holland. Cornelis Cruys stayed in Amsterdam for about a year and a half. He left the Netherlands in the spring of 1704 with two hired Dutch ships40 , followed by his family. This time the vice-admiral was leaving for good.

In conclusion
Until today the background of Cornelis Cruys was wrapped in mystery. Research in Dutch archives put light on Cruys' Dutch and Norwegian family, his career in Amsterdam and his departure to Russia. In short, Cornelis Cruys alias Niels Olsen was born in Stavanger. In 1680 he was captain of a Dutch merchantman. Until 1696 he sailed to Portugal, Spain and the Caribbean. In July 1696 he joined the Dutch Navy. He was appointed onder-equipagemeester at the naval dockyard of the Amsterdam Admiralty. In less than two years he would leave Holland and change the Dutch to the Russian Navy. Because Cruys had never practised a military profession in the Dutch Navy, it is even more remarkable that he was promoted to vice-admiral of the Russian Navy. In this article some interesting pieces of information about the `Dutch years' of Cornelis Cruys have been mentioned by the way. More research is still to be done.

1 See for a brief outline of the maritime-historical relations between Russia and the Netherlands: Marc A. van Alphen, `Maritiem-historische betrekkingen tussen Nederland en Rusland' in: Harry de Bles en Graddy Boven (eds.), Een maritieme droom. Tsaar Peter de Grote en de Russische Marine (Amsterdam 1997) 25-31, 69 (summary in English) and 75 (summary in French). There is a German edition of this book, see Harry de Bles und Graddy Boven (eds.), Ein Maritimer Traum. Zar Peter der Grosse und die Russische Kriegsmarine (Amsterdam 1997), and a Russian.

2 Marc A. van Alphen, 'Maritiem-historische betrekkingen tussen Nederland en Rusland', 26-27.

3 Ibid., 28-31.

4 Edward J. Philips, The Founding of Russia's Navy. Peter the Great and the Azov Fleet, 1688-1714 (Westport 1995) 183.

5 J. Wagenaar, Tegenwoordige Staat der Vereenigde Nederlanden (Amsterdam 1739) 365.

6 Institute for Maritime History (The Hague), letter from M. Fateev, Director Central Naval Museum (Leningrad), to F.S. van Oosten, Director of Naval History (The Hague), 15 March 1983. According to this letter rear-admiral Jan van Rees died on 11 November 1705.

7 It was generally assumed that Cornelis Cruys was born in 1657. But during a Cornelius Cruys Seminar in St. Petersburg in 1994 the main keeper of funds of the State Naval Archives in St. Petersburg, Tamara Mazur, argued that in accordance to a letter of Cornelis from 28 February 1716 the admiral was born in 1655. See, T.P. Mazur, `Personligheten admiral Cornelis Cruys' in: Norsk Tidsskrift for Sjovesen (1995) 22-23. Unfortunately there are no other records in Scandinavian, Dutch or Russian archives that can confirm this letter. The place of birth of Cornelis Cruys has been a point of discussion since the nineteenth century.

8 Jacobus Scheltema, Peter de Groote, Keizer van Rusland in Holland en te Zaandam in 1697 en 1717, 2 vols. (Amsterdam 1814). In 1842 the book was reprinted in Utrecht.

9 Scheltema, Peter de Groote (Utrecht 1842), 193-194.

10 Ibid., 98.

11 G.A.W. von Helbig, Russische Günstlinge (Tübingen 1809).

12 Ibid., 41.

13 Scheltema, Peter de Groote (Amsterdam 1814) 158 or Scheltema, Peter de Groote (Utrecht 1842) 117-118.

14 J. Scheltema, Rusland en de Nederlanden beschouwd in derselver wederkeerige betrekkingen, 4 vols. (Amsterdam 1817-1819), vol. II, 215.

15 J.C. de Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, 6 Dln., ('s-Gravenhage 1833-1848). This work was several times reprinted. See for a description of Cornelis Cruys, J.C. de Jonge, Zeewezen, 5 vols. (Zwolle 1869) vol. III, 537-538.

16 L. Daae, `Nordmænd og Danske i Rusland i det 18. Aarh.' in: Norsk historisk Tidsskrift, II. Række., 4. Bind., (1884).

17 G.L. Grove, `Nogle Oplysninger om Admiral Cornelius Cruijs's Herkomst' in: Tidsskrift for Sovæsen, Ny Række., 34te Bind., (1899) 69-83.

18 Ibid., 78.

19 Jaap R. Bruijn, The Dutch Navy of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (South Carolina 1993) 134, Sölvi Sogner, `Young in Europe around 1700: Norwegian sailors and servant-girls seeking employment in Amsterdam' in: Jean-Pierre Bardet, a.o. (eds.), Mesurer et comprendre. Mélanges offerts à Jacques Dupaquier (Paris 1993) 515-532, and Gustav Sætra, International Labour Market for Seamen 1600-1900. Norway and Norwegian participation (Kristiansand 1996).

20 See for example A. Tutein Nolthenius, `Werken van Nederlanders op waterbouwkundig gebied in Europeesch Rusland', in: Weg en Waterbouw 9/10 (1946) 117-125, C. Steinmetz, `Nederlandse admiraal bouwt Russische vloot (1703)', in: Historia 13 (1948) 235-238 and J.F. Neuman F.C. zn., `Cornelis Cruys', in: Ons Amsterdam (1951) 151-152.

21 See for instance J.C.M. Kruisinga, `Het Twentse dorp Vriezenveen leverde Rusland: een vloot, een marinewerf en 2 admiraals', in: De Blauwe Wimpel 3 (1957) 76-79 and J. Hosmar `Vriezenveense bijdragen aan de Russische Marine. Cornelis Cruys', in: Alle hens 8 (1968) 12-14. See for a deviating opinion concerning the nationality of Cruys, D.J. Smit, `Cornelis Cruys Ruslands eerste vlootvoogd', in: De Blauwe Wimpel 9 (1957) 284-285 and D.G. Harmsen, Vriezenveners in Rusland (Almen 1966) 28-30. Smit was no inhabitant of Vriezenveen.

22 J. Hosmar, `Hollandse admiraal Cruys', in: De Schakel 41 (1980) 6-11 and `De Hollandse admiraal Cruys werd grondlegger van de Russische vloot', in: Spiegel der Zeilvaart 3 (1984) 26-32. See also an interview with Johan Hosmar published in the newspaper De Telegraaf (23 February 1991).

23 Recent publications with the outdated opinion that Cornelis Cruys was a Dutch rear-admiral are: Graddy Boven, `De maritieme droom van Peter de Grote' in: Harry de Bles and Graddy Boven (eds.), Een maritieme droom (Amsterdam 1997) 18, and Eelko Hooijmaaijers, `Cornelis Cruys, a Dutch Rear-Admiral in Russian Service' in: Carel Horstmeier a.o. (eds.), Around Peter the Great. Three Centuries of Russian-Dutch Relations (Groningen 1997) 29. A recent article in wich the Norwegian origin of Cornelis Cruys is emphasized is: Hanna de Vries Stavland, `Nederlands zeeman Cornelis Cruys admiraal van tsaar Peter de Grote' in: Spiegel der Zeilvaart 9 (1996) 42-44.

24 Hooijmaaijers, Cornelis Cruys, 29. See for a more reliable explanation concerning the origin of the Russian (naval) flags from around 1700, W. Ruhmneeks, `Evolutie van de Russische marinevlag' in: Vexilla Nostra 2 (1975) 2-4, and Kl. Sierksma, ` "Vlag van Z. Zaarse Mt. Van Moskovien" en andere' in: Mars et Historia 1 (1997) 16-18.

25 The normal price for the `poorterschap' of Amsterdam was fifty guilders. But there was a surplus of women in Amsterdam and the poorterschap was free for people like Cruys who married with someone born in Amsterdam.

26 Municipal Archive of Amsterdam (Gemeentearchief Amsterdam or GAA) Notarial Archives (NA), inventory number 3800, 30-01-1681.

27 See table I.

28 GAA, NA, inv. nr. 3723, 09-04-1693.

29 GAA, NA, inv. nr. 5855, 15-10-1695.

30 National State Archive in The Hague (Algemeen Rijksarchief or ARA), Admiralty archives (Archieven der Admiraliteitscolleges or AA) inv. nr. 1439, Resolutions (Res) 20-07-1696.

31 The Maritime Arsenal of the Amsterdam naval yard, built in 1656, still exists. It currently houses the National Maritime Museum of the Netherlands.

32In the nineteenth century Den Helder became the home port of the Dutch Navy.

33 After his oral explanation in front of the directors of the Amsterdam Admiralty on Friday 28 December, Cruys probably thought that he had not been precise enough. On his own initiative he put his experciences on paper and sent his report to the directors. This report was an annex of the resolutions taken by the directors on the first of January 1697. See ARA, AA, inv. nr. 1440, Res. 01-01-1697.

34 It's unknown what the directors decided to do with the information of their beaten servant.

35 GAA, NA, inv. nr. 5865, nr. 384, 20-05-1698.


37 GAA, NA 5948, nr. 34, 30-06-1698. On the back side of the act was written `Eer baere [=honourable] Deught Rijcke [=virtuous] appeloona kock in Stavanger'. Probably because the Danish last will had to be send to her.

38 GAA, NA 5948, nr. 35, 30-06-1698.

39 See for the businesslike activities of Cruys in Amsterdam, Hooijmaaijers, Cornelis Cruys, 31-34.

40 GAA, NA, inv. nr. 6599, nr. 1031, 05-05-1704 and Ibid., nr. 1039, 05-05-1704. Cornelis Cruys hired for 800 Russian roubles (about 2000 Dutch guilders) two merchantmen to bring him and the personnel he had recruited in the Netherlands for the tsar from the roadstead of Texel to Archangel. Both ships were ordered to set sail by the end of May 1704.