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Battle of Dover

Battle of the Goodwin Sands

19th May 1652
Fought at : Dover - Kent
Part of : The First Anglo-Dutch War (1652 - 1654)
Next action : Action of 1652-05-22 22.5.1652

 

Dutch Republic

 
Squadron,
Jan ThijssenDutch
Naval Sailor
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Groote Liefde (38) 1652-1653
Dutch 38 Gun
Hired Ship
Bruijn van SeelstDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Gideon van Sardam (34) 1652-1653
Dutch 34 Gun
Hired Ship
Hector BardesiusDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Sint Salvador (34) 1652-1654
Dutch 34 Gun
Hired Ship
Matheeus CorneliszoonDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Witte Lam (28) 1652-1652
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Cornelis van HoutenDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Squadron Flagship
Gouden Leeuw (24) 1652-1653
Dutch 24 Gun
Hired Ship
Gilles Thijssen CampenDutch
Naval Sailor
Gouden Leeuwin (30) 1652-1653
Dutch 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Johannes RegermorterDutch
Naval Sailor
Vergulde Haan (36) 1652-1653
Dutch 36 Gun
Hired Ship
 
Sint Laurens (30) 1652-1652
Dutch 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Bastiaan TuynemansDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Captured
Alexander (28) 1652-1652
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Jan MaijkersDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Prinses Royaal (28) 1652-1652
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Maarten GraeffDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Vergulde Zon (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Jacob Claseszoon DuijmDutch
Naval Sailor
Liefde (26) 1652-1654
Dutch 26 Gun
Hired Ship
Frans MangelaerDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1642
 
The Vanguard,
Maarten Harpertszoon TrompDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Brederode (54) 1644-1658
Dutch 54 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Fleet Flagship
Groningen (40) 1641-1666
Dutch 40 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Abraham van der HulstDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1636-1736
Neptunus (28) 1634-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
6th Rate Ship
Cornelis MangelaerDutch
Naval Sailor
Groote Fortuin (36) 1652-1653
Dutch 36 Gun
Hired Ship
Frederik de ConinckDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Sint Matheeus (34) 1652-1653
Dutch 34 Gun
Hired Ship of the Line
Cornelis NaeuooghDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Prins Maurits (44) 1654-1665
Dutch 44 Gun
4th Rate Ship
 
Zeelandia (34) 1643-1677
Dutch 34 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Jacob HuyrluytDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Prinses Royaal (40) 1641-1665
Dutch 40 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Prins Maurits (28) 1651-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Wapen van Hoorn (30) 1636-1673
Dutch 30 Gun
6th Rate Ship
Pieter AllertszoonDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1598-1653
Wapen van Enkhuizen (34) 1645-1655
Dutch 34 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Cornelis Maartenszoon TrompDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1629-1691
Burg van Alkmaar (30) 1638-1652
Dutch 30 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Gerrit NobelDutch
Naval Sailor
Faam (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Jacob Corneliszoon SwartDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Sint Vincent (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Valck (28) 1652-1654
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Cornelis Janszoon BrouwerDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Blauwe Arend (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Dirck PaterDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Rozeboom (32) 1652-1653
Dutch 32 Gun
Hired Ship
Gerrit SchuytDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
,
Bartolomeus RiesbeeckDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Arke Trojane (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Abraham van CampenDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1653
Sint Maria (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Sipke FockesDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1652
Captured
 
The Rearguard,
Pieter FloriszoonDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1658
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Kroon Imperiaal (34) 1652-1653
Dutch 34 Gun
Hired Ship
Cornelis Janszoon PoortDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Burgh (34) 1652-1653
Dutch 34 Gun
Hired Ship
Lambert PieterszoonDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Monnikendam (24) 1640-1659
Dutch 24 Gun
6th Rate Ship
Pieter FloriszoonDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1658
Squadron Flagship
Maagd van Enkhuizen (28) 1645-1659
Dutch 28 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Gerrit FemssenDutch
Naval Sailor
Vergulde Halve Maan (26) 1652-1653
Dutch 26 Gun
Hired Ship
 
Sint Jeronimus (26) 1652-1652
Dutch 26 Gun
Hired Ship
Jan Pieterszoon DeughtDutch
Naval Sailor
Samson (26) 1627-1652
Dutch 26 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Willem Claesszoon HamDutch
Naval Sailor
Squadron Flagship
Monnikendam (28) 1644-1665
Dutch 28 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Pieter FloriszoonDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1658
 

Commonwealth of England

 
Main Squadron,
Robert BlakeBritish
Naval Sailor
Soldier
Service 1649-1657
Ship NameCommanderNotes
James (48) 1634-1682
British 48 Gun
2nd Rate Great Ship
1660 Renamed "Old James"
John GilsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1644-1652
Fleet Flagship
Victory (52) 1620-1666
British 52 Gun
2nd Rate Great Ship
Lionel LaneBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1654
Garland (30) 1620-1652
British 30 Gun
3rd Rate Middling Ship
Richard BattenBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652
Speaker (50) 1650-1687
British 50 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1660 Renamed "Mary"
John CoppinBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1644-1666
Ruby (42) 1652-1708
British 42 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
John LambertBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1643-1659
,
Anthony HouldingBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1654
Sapphire (34) 1651-1670
British 34 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Robert MoultonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1643-1652
,
William HillBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1666
Worcester (48) 1651-1703
British 48 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1660 Renamed "Dunkirk"
Sir Charles ThorowgoodBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1673
Star (12) 1650-1652
British 12 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Robert SandersBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1667
Portsmouth (34) 1649-1689
British 34 Gun
4th Rate Frigate
William BrandleyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1647-1653
Martin (14) 1652-1667
British 14 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Robert ClarkeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1644-1669
Mermaid (24) 1651-1689
British 24 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Richard StaynerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1662
Reuben (26) 1652-1652
British 26 Gun
Hired Ship
 
 
Downs Squadron,
Nehemiah BourneBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1690
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Andrew (52) 1622-1666
British 52 Gun
2nd Rate Great Ship
1650 Renamed "Andrew"
1660 Renamed "Saint Andrew"
Edward HallBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1644-1652
Squadron Flagship
Triumph (60) 1623-1688
British 60 Gun
2nd Rate Great Ship
Abraham WheelerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1638-1652
Fairfax (52) 1650-1653
British 52 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
John LawsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1642-1665
Happy Entrance (34) 1619-1658
British 34 Gun
3rd Rate Middling Ship
Edmund ChapmanBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
Centurion (34) 1650-1689
British 34 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
John LawsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1642-1665
,
Walter WoodBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1666
Adventure (32) 1646-1691
British 32 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Robert WyardBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1646-1662
Assurance (40) 1646-1698
British 40 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Benjamin BlakeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1657
Greyhound (12) 1636-1656
British 12 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Henry SouthwoodBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1666
Seven Brothers (26) 1651-1652
British 26 Gun
Hired Ship
Henry LandBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1661
 
Detached Squadron,
Anthony YoungBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1647-1674
Ship NameCommanderNotes
President (34) 1650-1663
British 34 Gun
4th Rate Ship
1660 Renamed "Bonaventure"
Anthony YoungBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1647-1674
Nightingale (30) 1651-1674
British 30 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Jacob ReynoldsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1648-1666
Recovery (20) 1646-1655
British 20 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Francis AllenBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1662
 

Notes on Action


Prelude to the BattleTRN2

This was the first fleet engagement of the First Anglo-Dutch War between the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands.


The English Parliament had passed the first of the Navigation Acts in October 1651, aimed at hampering the shipping of the highly trade-dependent Dutch. Agitation among the Dutch merchants had been further increased by George Ayscue's capture in early 1652 of 27 Dutch ships trading with the royalist colony of Barbados in contravention of an embargo.


Both sides had begun to prepare for war, but conflict might have been delayed if not for an unfortunate encounter on 29 May 1652 (May 19 in the Julian calendar then in use in England) near the Straits of Dover between a Dutch convoy escorted by 40 ships under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp and an English fleet of 25 ships under General at Sea Robert Blake.


An ordinance of Cromwell required all foreign fleets in the North Sea or the Channel to dip their flag in salute, but when Tromp was slow to comply, Blake fired three warning shots. When the third hit his ship, wounding some sailors, Tromp replied with a warning broadside from his flagship Brederode. Blake then fired a broadside in anger and a five hour battle ensued. Both fleets were damaged, but as darkness fell the Dutch fleet withdrew in a defensive line to protect the convoy, and the English captured two Dutch stragglers: Sint Laurens, which was taken back by them but not used, and Sint Maria, which was abandoned in a sinking condition and later made its way to The Netherlands. Tromp then offered his excuses to Blake and asked for the return of the prize, but this was refused by Blake.


War was declared by the Commonwealth on 10 July 1652.


Description of the action taken from Clowes' The Royal Navy Vol IITRN2


On May 18th, Bourne was lying in the Downs in the Andrew, 42 guns, with the Triumph, 42; the Fairfax, 52; Happy Entrance, 32; Centurion, 40; Adventure, 36; Assurance, 32; Greyhound, pinnace, and Seven Brothers, hired merchantman; nine ships in all. Suddenly the Dutch fleet, forty-two strong, appeared on the back of the Goodwins. When it reached the South Sand Head, Marten Harpertszoon Tromp, who was in command, sent two ships into the Downs to Bourne. Bourne, by special leave from Blake, was then, as commander-in-chief, wearing a flag at the main. From this Tromp at first supposed that Blake himself was present. These two ships came into the Downs and saluted the flag. The captains went on board the flagship, and explained that Tromp's presence was involuntary; that it was due to foul weather, which made it impossible for him to lie longer before Dunquerque, where he had lost many anchors and cables; and that all he desired was shelter. Bourne answered that Tromp would best show his sincerity by getting away from the coast as soon as possible.


Meanwhile Tromp dropped anchor in Dover road. He had not gone into the Downs because he did not wish " to breed dispute about the flag, inasmuch as he had no order to take it down." It was not, therefore, to be expected that he would strike it to the Castle. He did not. The Castle fired a shot or two to call his attention to the fact, but all the heed he paid was to exercise his small-arm men in volley firing continually throughout the day.


Blake, meanwhile, was in Rye Bay with the main part of the fleet, consisting of his own ship, the James, 48; Victory, 42; Garland, 34; Garland, 64; Star, 12; Martin, 36; Ruby, 40; Sapphire, 38; Portsmouth, 38; Mermaid, 22; one other, and a hired merchantman. At the first sight of Tromp, Bourne had made up his mind that there was danger of an attack, and besides clearing his ships for action, had sent an express to Blake asking him to come at once to his support. The wind on the 18th was at north-east, and Blake soon received the message. He weighed at once, and wrote to Bourne to join him. This message reached the Downs by 10am on the 19th, by which time the Dutch, at the sight of Blake beating up towards them against an easterly wind, weighed together and stood closehauled towards Calais.


Bourne, who had been lying all night with two " frigates " posted between himself and Tromp, weighed about mid-day when the tide served. When he was off the South Foreland, the Dutch suddenly went about and bore down on Blake, who was then near Folkestone, Tromp, in the Brederode, leading.


As Tromp drew near, Blake, already cleared for action, fired a gun for him to strike his flag. As this had no effect, it was followed by another, and by a third, to the last of which Tromp made answer with a broadside. This was promptly returned, and, Tromp " having put abroad the bloody flag under his Holland's colours," other ships engaged as they came up.


Tromp, according to his captains, when he altered course, " came through the whole body of his fleet," and bore directly down on Blake. To the impulsive nature of this attack was due the straggling line which the Dutch fleet presented at the moment of impact. The fight at once grew hot in the van; Blake was supported by several of his heaviest ships, although a few were so far to leeward that some time passed before they could come up. The Dutch, on their part, being greatly superior in numbers, would have surrounded the English van had not Bourne come up almost simultaneously with his nine ships and fallen impetuously on the enemy's straggling rear.


The battle thus joined raged till dark. In the van the heavier English ships held their own, sustaining considerable damage, but inflicting heavy loss. From time to time boatloads of the Kentish fishermen joined the fleet with admirable spirit, and helped to fight the guns. For the time it was not seen who held the advantage, but in the morning it appeared that Bourne had taken two ships from among those cut off by him, viz., the Sint Laurens and the St Maria. The latter was abandoned by her captors as being in a sinking condition; she drifted to seaward, and on the morning of the 20th was discovered dismasted by the Dutch, who carried her into port. Her crew, however, had been put on board Lawson's ship, the Fairfax.


The advantage, then, was distinctly with the English, who had lost no ship. Of the English vessels, the flagship James had suffered the most heavily, both as being first into action and as being the chief object of the Dutch attack. In her there were six men killed, nine or ten desperately wounded, and twenty-five wounded "not without danger." She had received seventy great shot in the hull and masts, her mizzen mast had been knocked overboard, and her sails and rigging were cut to pieces.




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