Final Voyage of the Kalmar Nyckel

Final Voyage of the Kalmar Nyckel

Somewhere in the North Sea off the east coast of Scotland, near Buchan Ness,

lie the unmarked remains of the original Kalmar Nyckel, one of the great ships of the 17th century.

 In the service of the Dutch after a long and legendary career under the Swedish flag, she was sunk

by an English fleet on 22 July 1652 in the opening engagement of what would be called the First Anglo-Dutch War.

Flying Dutch colors as the Kalmar Sleutel, she had come full circle. A workhorse of a ship since being launched in Amsterdam in 1627,

she would end her career with the people who had built her twenty-five years earlier.

After decades of guesswork and speculation, new research in the archives in the Netherlands

and Sweden has revealed more details and allows us to complete the missing last chapter in the career of this remarkable ship,

 the final year when the Kalmar Nyckel left

Swedish service until her ultimate demise fighting for the Dutch off Scotland in 1652.

Epitaph for an Exceptional Ship by Sam Heed and Jordi Noort, Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Today’s replica Kalmar Nyckel, the official Tall Ship of Delaware, was launched in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1997.

Built, owned, and operated by the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, the ship serves as a floating classroom

and inspirational platform for a broad array of sea- and land-based educational programs that reach 30,000 people a year.

courtesy sjöfartsmuseet akvariet photo by andrew hanna, courtesy kalmar nyckel foundation SEA HISTORY 174, SPRING 2021 31 Unlocking “The Key” After twenty-two years of distinguished service to the Swedish Realm,

Kalmar Nyckel (“Key of Kalmar”) was decommissioned on 19 June 1651 by order of Queen Christina and sold to a private merchant.

A Swedish Admiralty inspection determined that she would not be sound enough to cross the Atlantic for a fifth time as a colonial ship for New Sweden.

The buyer was Cornelis Roelofsen, a Dutch merchant living in Stockholm and known to members

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