Battle of Leghorn


4th March 1652/53
Part of : The First Anglo-Dutch War (1652 - 1654)
Previous action : Battle of Portland 18th February 1652/53 - 20th February 1652/53
Next action : Battle of the Gabbard 2nd June 1652/53 - 3rd June 1652/53


Commonwealth of England

Squadron from Livorno, Henry Appleton
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Bonaventure (28) 44Owen Cox, Stephen Lyme Sunk
Leopard (36) 40Henry Appleton70 killed, 54 wounded Captured
Sampson (40) 40Edmund Seaman Burnt
Mary (30) 30Benjamin Fisher
Levant Merchant (28) 28Stephen Marsh Captured
Relieving Force, Richard Badiley
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Paragon (42) 52Richard Badiley, George DakinsFleet Flagship
Elizabeth (38) 38Jonas Reeve, Christopher Myngs
Phoenix (38) 38Owen Cox
Constant Warwick (32) 32Richard Potter
Mary Rose (32) 32Jeffrey Dare Hired Merchantman
Lewis (30) 30William Elle Hired Merchantman
Peregrine (30) 30John Wood
Thomas Bonaventure (28) 28George Hughes Hired Merchantman

Dutch Republic

Dutch Squadron, Johan van Galen
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Verenigde Provinciën (32) 40Johan van GalenFleet Flagship CO Killed
Ter Goes (48) 48 
Maan (40) 40 
Vergulde Zon (40) 40Pieter van Zalingen
Maagd van Enkhuizen (34) 34 
Jonge Prins (28) 28Cornelis Barentszoon Slordt
Julius Ceasar (28) 28Jan Janszoon Rootjes
Zwarte Arend (28) 28Pieter Janszoon van Bonttebotter
Salomons Oordeel (28) 28Meyndert van Oostwout
Roode Haas (28) 28Adriaan Rodenhaes
Gouden Ster (28) 30Hendrick Govertszoon
Zutphen (26) 26Hillebrand Jeroenszoon
Witte Olifant (28) 28Sijbrant Janszoon Mol
Suzanna (28) 28Daniel Janssen de Vries
Madonna della Vigna (28) 28Harman Sonne Damaged

Notes on Action

The EngagementTRN2

The English goal was to enable Appleton's squadron to leave port and rejoin the fleet. Badiley had wanted Appleton to set sail at night, to improve his chances of escaping the Dutch.Alas, Appleton would not comply. Instead, while Badiley was still to the South, beyond the Dutch, Appleton's squadron sortied from the harbor mouth in broad daylight. The Dutch immediately attacked his squadron before Badiley could close. Early in the engagement, the Bonaventure, leading Appleton's squadron was hit by a shot from Van Galen's flagship, the Zeven Provincien, and exploded. The ship was destroyed, with only five men saved by the Dutch. Before that, the Bonaventure had fired and a shot hit Van Galen in the leg, causing his leg to have to be amputated. He died 9 days later.

The Leopard fought the Zon and Julius Caesar and inflicted heavy losses on them. The Maan fought and beat the Sampson, but a Dutch fireship came up on her disengaged side and burnt the Sampson, only 42 men of the crew of 130, including Edmund Seaman, were rescued. Both the Peregrine and Levant Merchant were captured. The Peregrine first lost her mainmast, shot by the Rodenhaes and then was boarded by the Susanna. The Peregrine eventually lost her mainmast, but had fought off the Susanna. The Zwarten Arend eventually captured the Peregrine. The Levant Merchant sank her first opponent, the Madonna della Vigna, or at least she was forced to run ashore, north of the harbor mouth. The Maagd van Enkhuysen then attacked and took the Levant Merchant. The Leopard, Appleton's flagship, was engaged by the Eendracht, and was eventually captured. In the end, only the Mary, which was faster than the Dutch ships, escaped to join Badiley's squadron.

Badiley eventually came up to engage. All the remaining Dutch ships engaged his squadron and after an initial exchange of gunfire, Badiley led his squadron in retreat.


TRN2 The Royal Navy : a history from the earliest times to the present Vol IIWilliam Laid ClowesDigital Book

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