St James Day Battle

St James' Day Fight

Battle of the North Foreland

Battle of Orfordness

25th July 1666 - 26th July 1666
Part of : The Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665 - 1667)
Previous action : Four Days Battle 1.6.1666 - 4.6.1666
Next action : Holmes' Bonfire 9.8.1666 - 10.8.1666

 

Dutch Republic

 
Second Squadron, Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter (1606/7-1676)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
 
Second Squadron, Van division, Tjerk Hiddeszoon de Vries (1622-1666)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Groot Frisia (72) Ide Hilkeszoon Colaart
Groningen (72) Jacob MarionSquadron Flagship
Prins Hendrik Casimir (72) Simon Fockes
Oostergo (68) Jan Janszoon Vijselaer
Westergo (56) Wytze Johannes van Beyma
Elf Steden (54) Barend Hiddes de Vries (1631-?)
Visschers Herder (26)  
Omlandia (48) Christiaan Ebelszzon Uma
Klein Frisia (42) Jan Pieterszoon Vinckelbos
 
Second Squadron, Center/Rear division, Johan Evertsen (1600-1666)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Walcheren (70) Cornelis Evertsen (1642-1706), Cornelis Evertsen (1628-1679)Squadron Flagship
Tholen (60) Pieter de Mauregnault
Zierikzee (40) Cornelis Evertsen (1628-1679)
Middelburg (50) Jacob Adriaanszoon Penssen
Vlissingen (46) Jan Mathijszoon
Veere (40) Adriaan de Haaze
Utrecht (48) Jan Pietersen Tant
Dordrecht (50) Adriaan van Cruiningen
Stad Gouda (48) Dirck Schey (d.1679)
Dom van Utrecht (48) Jacob Willemszoon Broeder (d.1692)
Stavoren (44) Jacob Pauw
Wakende Boei (48) Hendrik Vroom
Vergulde Zon (40) Floris Floriszoon Bloem
 
Second Squadron, Other vessels
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Zeeridder (34) Jan Willem Marinissen
Schakerloo (30) Jan Krijnssen
Zoutelande (4) Klaas ReinierszoonAdvice-yacht
Dishoek (6) Gilles GeleynszoonAdvice-yacht
West Souberg (6) Daniel VerdiestAdvice-yacht
Oost Souberg (6) Frans RoysAdvice-yacht
 
First Squadron, Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter (1606/7-1676)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
 
First Squadron, Van division, Aert Janszoon van Nes (1626-1693)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Eendracht (76) Cornelis de Liefde (1617-1673)Squadron Flagship
Groot Hollandia (64) Laurens Davidszoon van Convert
Prinses Louise (40) Francois van Nijdek
Provincie van Utrecht (60) Jacob Corneliszoon Swart
Gouden Leeuw (60) Enno Doedes Star
Tromp (46) Hendrik van Vollenhoven
Harderwijk (46) Thomas Tobiaszoon
Zwolle (16) Pieter Claeszoon WijnbergenYacht
 
First Squadron, Center division, Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter (1606/7-1676)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
De Zeven Provinciën (86) Jan van Nes Oude Boer JaepFleet Flagship
Gelderland (72) Willem Josef van Ghent (1626-1672)
Delft (62) Laurens Kerseboom
Wassenaer (56) Ruth Maximiliaan
Schiedam (24)  
Utrecht (62) Hendrick Gotskens
Stad en Lande (50) Hugo van Nieuwenhof
Zuiderhuis (42) Cornelis van Hogenhoeck
Vrede (40) Huijbert Huijgh
Hert (12) Dirk de MunnikYacht
 
First Squadron, Rear division, Jan Evertszoon de Liefde (1619-1673)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Ridderschap (72) Jan Evertszoon de Liefde (1619-1673)Squadron Flagship
Dordrecht (46) Philips van Almonde (1644-1711)
Vrede (44)  
Harderwijk (34) Nicolaas Naalhout
Geloof (50) Nicolaes Marrevelt
Amsterdam (54) Jacob van Meeuwen
Raadhuis van Haarlem (48) Jan de Jonge
Jaarsveld (34) Joost Verschuur (1630-1672)
Hollandsche Tuin (50) Jan Crook
 
First Squadron, Other vessels
Ship NameCommanderNotes
 
Third Squadron, Cornelis Maartenszoon Tromp (1629-1691)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
 
Third Squadron, Van division, Jan Corneliszoon Meppel (1609-1669)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Westfriesland (66) Adriaan Dirckszoon Houttuijn (d.1666)Squadron Flagship
Pacificatie (70) Volckert Schram (1620-1673)
Wapen van Enkhuizen (66) Egbert Pieterszoon Quispel
Gelderland (60) Johan Belgicus
Jonge Prins (62)  
Noorderkwartier (60) Pieter Claeszoon Wijnbergen
Jozua (60) Govert Albertszoon 't Hoen
Drie Helden Davids (50) Adriaan Teding van Berkhout
Caleb (50)  
Medemblik (46) Claes Valehen
Eendracht (44) Klaas Anker
 
Third Squadron, Center division, Cornelis Maartenszoon Tromp (1629-1691)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Hollandia (80) Hendrik HondiusSquadron Flagship
Reigersbergen (74) Hendrik Adrianszoon
Kalandsoog (68) Jan de Han
Gouda (72) Jacob Philipszoon
Oosterwijk (68) Jan Roetering
Deventer (62) Jacob Andrieszoon Swart
Vrijheid (50) Jan van Amstel
Tijdverdrijf (58) Hendrik Vroom, Thomas Fabricius
Beschermer (54) Willem van der Zaan (1621-1669)
Kampen (54) Michael Suis
Haarlem (40) Pieter van Middelandt (d.1676)
 
Third Squadron, Other vessels
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Asperen (32) J. G. van Hes, Jan Gijselszoon van Lier
Kleine Harder (36) Jan Davidszoon Bondt
Ijlst (36) Jacob Dirkszoon Boom
Overijssel (36) Arend Simonszoon Vader
Wapen van Hoorn (30) Gerrit Claessen Posthoorn
 

Kingdom of England

 
Blue Squadron, Sir Jeremy Smith (d.1675)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
 
Blue Squadron, Van Division, John Kempthorne (1620-1679)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Defiance (64) John Kempthorne (1620-1679), John Jefferies (d.1666)Squadron Flagship
Resolution (50) Willoughby Hannam (d.1672)c200 men drowned Burnt
Happy Return (52) Thomas Harwood, Francis Courtnay (d.1673)
Elizabeth (40) Charles Talbot
Providence (34) Richard James (d.1679/80)
East India London (46) William Martin (d.1666)
Turkey Merchant (48) Richard Partridge (d.1672) Hired Merchant
George (40) Ralph Lassells (d.1677)Hired Merchantman
 
Blue Squadron, Center Division, Sir Jeremy Smith (d.1675)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Loyal London (80) John Kelsey (d.1673), Sir Jeremy Smith (d.1675)Squadron Flagship
House of Sweeds (70) John Wilgress (d.1671)Squadron Flagship
Gloucester (60) Richard May
Mary (54) Willoughby Hannam (d.1672), William Poole
Rainbow (64) Roger Strickland (1640-1717), John Hart
Yarmouth (50) Benjamin Young (d.1670) CO Killed
Bonaventure (48) William Hammond (d.1667)
Portland (40) Richard Haddock (1629-1714/15)
Unity (42)  
Amity (38) William Finch (d.1673)
 
Blue Squadron, Rear Division, Sir Edward Spragg (d.1673)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Victory (82) Sir Edward Spragg (d.1673)
Maria Sancta (50) Roger Strickland (1640-1717)
Vanguard (56) Anthony Langston (d.1678/79)
Dreadnought (58) Robert Mohun (d.1667)
Advice (42) Charles O'Bryan (d.1669)
Guilder de Ruyter (48) John Bellasyse, Francis Courtnay (d.1673)
Reserve (44) John Tyrwhitt
Adventure (38) Benjamin Young (d.1670)
Loyal Merchant (50) Philip Holland (d.1666)Hired Merchantman
Blessing (4) William Maiden (d.1667) fireship
Great Gift (4) John Kelsey (d.1673) fireship, expended
Land of Promise (6) William Minterne fireship
Virgin (4) William Howes (d.1667) fireship
 
Red Squadron, Sir George Monk (Duke Albemarle) (d.1669/70)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Bryar (12) Joseph Paine fireship
Lizard (6) Joseph Harris fireship
Fox (6) John Elliot Fireship
Allepin (6) Andrew Ball (d.1668/69) fireship
Charles (6) John Johnson fireship
Fanfan (4) William Garris (d.1667) Yacht
Abigail (4) Thomas Wilshaw (d.1702) fireship
Samuel (4) William Seale (d.1666/67) fireship
 
Red Squadron, Van Division, Sir Joseph Jordan (1603-1685)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Royal Oak (76) Sir Joseph Jordan (1603-1685)Squadron Flagship
Warspite (64) Robert Robinson
Slothany (60) Thomas Rand
Greenwich (58) John Brooks (d.1678)
Mathias (52) Henry Millett
Crown (48) William Godfrey
Diamond (46) John King
Portsmouth (34) Thomas Guy (d.1674)
Charles Merchant (54) Botler Barnes2 killed, 1 wounded Hired Merchantman
 
Red Squadron, Center Division, Sir George Monk (Duke Albemarle) (d.1669/70)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Royal Sovereign (100) Sir John Cox (d.1672)Fleet Flagship
Royal Charles (80) John Kempthorne (1620-1679), John Hubbard (d.1668)
Triumph (60)  
Saint Andrew (52) Valentine Pyend
Fairfax (60) Richard Beach (d.1692)
Lion (58) Sir William Jennens
Henrietta (58) Fretchville Holies (d.1672)
Monck (58) Thomas Penrose (d.1667)
Swallow (48) Bernard Ludman (d.1673)
Antelope (52) Francis Wilshaw
Foresight (42) Packington Brookes (d.1666), Richard Goodlad, Hugh Seymour (d.1666), Abraham Goodheart (d.1673) CO Killed
Ruby (46) Thomas Lamming
Sweepstakes (36) Francis Sanders
Colchester (24) Arthur Langhorne (d.1666/67)
Mary Prize (14)  
 
Red Squadron, Rear Division, John Holmes (d.1679)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Henry (64) Sir Robert Holmes (1622-1692)
Cambridge (68) John Jefferies (d.1666)
Revenge (58) Thomas Elliott
Bristol (50) John Holmes (d.1679)
Princess (56) Henry Dawes (d.1667)
Newcastle (50) Peter Bowen (d.1673)
Bredah (46) Thomas Page (d.1674)
Tiger (40) John Wetwang (d.1684)
John and Thomas (44) Levy Green (d.1672)Hired Merchantman
 
White Squadron, Sir Thomas Allin (1612-1685)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Paul (6) William Lee (d.1674), Charles Juxon (d.1671/72)fireship
Fortune (6) William Lee (d.1674) fireship
Providence (6) Richard James (d.1679/80) fireship
Saint Jacob (4) William Humble (d.1672/73) fireship
Saint Paul (4)   fireship
Richard (4) Henry Browne fireship
 
White Squadron, Van Division, Sir Thomas Teddeman (1620-1668)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Royal Katherine (84) Sir Thomas Teddeman (1620-1668), Sir Thomas Teddeman (1620-1668)
Saint George (52) John Hayward (d.1673)
Anne (58) Robert Moulton
Dunkirk (50) John Waterworth (d.1672)
Dover Geoffrey Pearce (d.1672)
Guinea (34) Arthur Ashby (d.1666) CO Killed
Expedition (32) Tobias Sackler (d.1666), John Turner (d.1672)
Baltimore (42) John Day4 wounded Hired Merchantman
London Merchant (48) William Basse CO Killed Hired Merchantman
 
White Squadron, Center Division, Sir Thomas Allin (1612-1685)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Royal James (70) Sir Thomas Allin (1612-1685)Squadron Flagship
Richard and Martha (50) George Colt (d.1675)
Old James (48) Edmund Seaman (d.1666)
Leopard (56) John Hubbard (d.1671)
Montagu (58) Daniel Helling (d.1672)
Plymouth (52) John Lloyd (d.1672)
Centurion (50) Charles Wylde (d.1683/84)
Assistance (40) Zachary Browne
Delft (36) Dirck Jacobszoon Kiela
Dragon (40) Thomas Room Coyle (d.1689)
Assurance (32) John Narborough (1640-1688)
 
White Squadron, Rear Division, Richard Utber (d.1669)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Rupert (64) Richard Utber (d.1669)Squadron Flagship
Helverson (60) Abraham Annesly
Unicorn (46) George Bates
York (58) John Swanley
West Friesland (50) Charles O'Bryan (d.1669), John Butler
Mary Rose (50) Thomas Darcy
Kent (40) John Silver (d.1667/68)
Hampshire (38) William Coleman (d.1681)
Coronation (50) William Davies Hired Merchantman
 

Notes on Action


Description of the actionTRN2

During the 24th the Dutch seem to have kept the wind, and the English to have in vain manoeuvred to obtain it. The night found the two fleets in the broad part of the estuary of the Thames, between Orfordness and the North Foreland, the Dutch being to the N.E., and the wind blowing generally from the northward, but varying from N.N.E. to N. As early as '2 A.M. on the morning of Wednesday, the 25th, St. James's Day, Rupert and Albemarle, who had anchored, weighed; and from that hour until about 10 A.M. the fleets slowly approached one another. Particulars of the manner of approach are both scanty and, to some extent, conflicting. The English seem to have been in line of battle close hauled or a point large on the port tack, Sir Thomas Allin's squadron leading; the Dutch, in line of battle with the wind on the port quarter, or steering about six points large, Evertsen's squadron leading; and, as they closed, the wind veered to N.W. It is evident that the Dutch line was ill-formed, so much so, indeed, that to some observers it looked as if bowed into a half moon: and, while the van and centre were crowded, there was a considerable interval between the centre, under De Ruijter, and the rear, under Tromp. On the other hand it is probable that the English line was as regular as a line of such length five or six miles at least could be. The regularity of the English line during that war often extorted the admiration of foreign and even of hostile critics.





It was about 10 A.M. when the leading vessels of the two columns arrived within gunshot of one another. Allin, as he thus came up, engaged Evertsen and the Dutch van, the squadrons holding parallel courses on the port tack, and the Dutch being to windward. In a similar manner the English centre, as it came up, engaged and went away with De Ruijter and the Dutch centre. But when Smyth, with the English rear, came up with Tromp, the latter, always fond of independent action, and anxious, it may be, to distinguish himself above his chief, put before the wind and broke through just ahead of the English rear, thus, as on a previous occasion, separating himself by his own act from his friends. To De Ruijter, who wrote bitterly to the States-General of Tromp's conduct, it appeared that his subordinate had allowed his squadron to fall far astern of its station, and to be cut off by Smyth; but the balance of evidence tends to show that, though Tromp was often headstrong, perverse, and insubordinate, he never, by deliberate remissness, postponed action for an instant, and that, on this July 25th, as usual, he erred rather on the side of excess of rashness than of that of either slothfulness or prudence.





From the moment when Allin joined battle with Evertson, and went away in hot action with him, to the time when Tromp quitted the Dutch line, two hours, or thereabouts, elapsed. It was then noon, and the wind had, since 11 A.M., blown again from the northward. Tromp's was the strongest of the Dutch, and Smyth's was the weakest of the English squadrons; and, if only Tromp's manoeuvre had been executed at the order, or even with the full comprehension, of De Ruijter, it 'might, from some points of view, lie defended. But De Ruijter was only mystified. Tromp and Smyth, engaged in more or less confused melee, eventually went away on the starboard tack, and were presently lost to sight in the direction of the English coast; while the two vans and centres, broadside to broadside, headed nearly due east.





The English van from the first asserted its superiority over the Dutch van. The latter fought magnificently, and, in a very brief period, lost no fewer than three flag-officers Jan Evertsen, Tjerck Hiddes de Vries, and Rudolf Coenders; but it was overpowered, and at one o'clock was in full flight to the eastward.





The English centre had a more difficult and prolonged task before it, for, as usual, De Ruijter and the captains under his immediate command behaved most stubbornly and gallantly. The English commanders-in-chief had to shift their flag; the Royal Katherine and St. George had to haul out of action; and De Ruijter's flagship, the Zeven Provincien, was entirely dismasted after a hot and savage conflict with Sir Robert Holmes in the Henry. At 4 P.M. the Dutch centre gave way; but both squadrons were by that time in a terrible plight, and for some hours they seem to have drifted together to the southward, too mauled and exhausted to continue any kind of general action. Towards night the English recommenced the engagement; but by that time De Ruijter had to some extent re-formed his squadron, and, having stationed Vice-Admiral Adriaen Banckers, with twenty of the least damaged ships, at the rear of his line, began a masterly retreat. The battle continued in a desultory way during the night, and became brisk again on the morning of the 26th; but the wind being then strong from the N.E., and the shallows close at hand, the pursuit was at last discontinued. Before the retreat began Banckers's first flagship, a vessel of 60 guns, and a ship called the Sneek ran Harlinyen, 50, had been abandoned and burnt.





In the meantime the two rears had been closely engaged to the westward. Dutch accounts have it that Smyth continually gave way, and that he did so designedly, in order to further separate the Dutch rear from the van and centre. Tromp, and Meppel, who was with him, certainly seem to have had at first the best of the conflict, for they burnt the Resolution, 64; and it is maintained on their behalf that, having gained the wind, they chased throughout the night of the 25th. Yet, be this as it may, on the morning of the 26th, Smyth had the wind once more, and was in chase of Tromp, who had somehow learnt in the interval that his friends had suffered defeat, and that part of them had taken refuge in the Wielings. Smyth chased hard all day. Rear-Admiral G overt 'T Hoen was killed. In the evening Albemarle and Rupert, far to leeward and unable to interfere, saw Tromp flying for his ports, with Smyth at his heels. At 11 P.M. on the 26th the English van and centre anchored off the Dutch coast. On the following morning, when Smyth rejoined, he reported that his enemy had escaped, and, with such shattered force as remained to him, was safe behind the shoals.





Such was the St. James's Fight, or, as some have called it, the second battle of the North Foreland. It was a brilliant and decisive English victory. The Dutch lost about twenty ships, four thousand killed, and three thousand wounded, and, in addition to the four Flag-officers already mentioned, numerous captains, including Euth Maximiliaan, Hendrik Vroorn, Cornelis van Hogenhoeck, Hugo van Nijhoff, and Jurriaan Poel. The victors, on the other hand, lost only the Resolution and two or three fireships, and a relatively small number of men. No flag-officers fell, and the only captains who lost their lives seem to have been Hugh Seymour, of the Foresight, John Parker, of the Yarmouth, Joseph Sanders, of the Breda, Arthur Ashby, of the Guinea, and William Martin of the hired East Indiaman London.



Sources


IDDescriptionAuthorType
TRN2The Royal Navy : a history from the earliest times to the present Vol IIWilliam Laid ClowesDigital Book

Previous comments on this pageno comments to display
Make a comment about this page





Recent comments to other pages
Date postedByPage
Tuesday 11th of December 2018 08:08Steve GeorgeJames George
Tuesday 11th of December 2018 07:44Richard Alan WoodGeorge Henry Ayton (d.1865)
Monday 10th of December 2018 15:11Tim OakleyBritish sloop 'Ringdove' (1806) (16)
Sunday 9th of December 2018 22:31Tim OakleyFrench Privateer lugger 'L'Eglé' (1804)
Saturday 8th of December 2018 08:38SagittPolish Fourth Rate galleon 'Ritter Sankt Georg' (1627) (31)