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Auke Stellingwerf

Auke Stellingwerf is a Harlingen naval hero and admiral who lived during the Golden Age. He was born in Harlingen, the son of Andries Pietersz Stellingwerf. After his older brother Frederik Stellingwerf was taken captive during the First Anglo-Dutch War, he was (at only 19 years young) appointed captain of the Admiralty of Friesland. He is often mentioned in one breath with Tjerk Hiddes de Vries; both are Frisian naval heroes. 

Auke Stellingwerf

Auke Stellingwerf quickly ranked up in the Admiralty of Friesland and fought in various naval wars. He was captain of the ship Des Prinsen Wapen during the relief of Danzig. Later he fought in the Battle of the Sound on the Prinses Albertina. In 1662 he married Antie Jans Sanstra. After this, his career took off and he was appointed First Lieutenant-Admiral of Friesland. He did not get to enjoy this status for long, as he died a year later, on 13 June 1665, in the Battle of Lowestoft during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

Battle of Lowestoft
At the time of his death he was commander of the fourth squadron on the ship the Zevenwolden. This naval battle marks the heaviest defeat in the maritime history of the Republic. Of the 103 ships in the battle, the Republic lost 17 ships, and about 5500 crew members and 3 of the 7 Dutch admirals were killed. Auke Stellingwerf was succeeded by that other Frisian naval hero: Tjerk Hiddes de Vries. 

Portrait of Auke Stellingwerf

The portrait of Auke Stellingwerf (1635-1665) was painted by Lodeweijk van der Helst in 1670 and can be admired in Harlingen museum the Hannemahuis. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has lent it to the Harlingen museum for an extended period. The painting shows the cannon ball that killed Stellingwerf. But it also shows his command baton, a globe and other valuables that were part of his position as lieutenant admiral.

A visit to the Hannemahuis

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