Battle of Plymouth

16th August 1651/52
Fought at : Plymouth
Part of : The First Anglo-Dutch War (1652 - 1654)
Previous action : Action of 1652-08-16 16th August 1652
Next action : Battle of Elba 28th August 1651/52

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

On 13 August 1652, the Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter set sail from Calais with 32 (or36) men-of-war to escort a merchant fleet of 60 ships through the Channel to the Mediterranean. General-at-Sea George Ayscue was patrolling, with forty men-of-war and armed merchantmen and five fireships, in search of prizes. He sighted the Dutch convoy off Plymouth on 15 August. de Ruyter altered course to fend off Ayscue's attack.

Although the English ships were in the majority, and were better armed, many of them failed to keep their station in the line of attack, and Ayscue lost the advantage, The battle continued all afternoon. As evening fell Ayscue broke off the engagement and sailed back to Plymouth. He was pursued by de Ruyter, who intended to attack the English ships in their anchorage until a change of wind forced him to withdraw. No ships were lost, but both sides suffered heavy casualties among their crews. The Dutch merchant convoy succeeded in escaping through the Channel.


Commonwealth of England

Van division, William Haddock
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Vanguard (56) 56Richard HaddockSquadron Flagship
Main division, Sir George Ayscue
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Rainbow (64) 64Sir George AyscueFleet Flagship
Pelican (34) 34Joseph Jordan
Rear division, Michael Packe
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Amity (36) 36Henry PackeSquadron Flagship CO Killed
Unknown Assignment
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Increase (36) 36Thomas Varnell
Malaga Merchant (36) 36Henry Collins
Success (30) 30 
Nightingale (30) 30Jacob Reynolds
John and Elizabeth (26) 26Thomas Wright
George Bonaventure (20) 20John Crampe
Charity UnknownSimon Orton Fireship, Expended

Dutch Republic

Van division
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Main division, Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Neptunus (28) 28Cornelis MangelaerFleet Flagship
Westergo (34) 34Joris Pieterszoon van den Broek
Rear division
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Amsterdam UnknownJan Hendrickszoon Overbeek
Unknown Assignment
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Vogelstruis (40) 40Douwe Aukes
Drie Koningen (36) 36Lucas Albertszoon
Faam (30) 30Cornelis Loncke
Haes in 't Veld (30) 30Leendert den Haen
Amsterdam (30) 30Adriaen Nicolaeszoon Kempen
Maria (30) 30Claes Zael
West Capelle (28) 28 
Sint Pieter (28) 28Jan Janszoon van der Valck
Gelderland (28) 28Cornelis van Velsen
Liefde (26) 26Joost Bankert de Jonge
Wapen van Sweden (24) 24Jacob Sichels



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