Battle of Plymouth

16th August 1652
Fought at : Plymouth
Part of : The First Anglo-Dutch War (1652 - 1654)
Previous action : Action of 1652-07-12 12.7.1652
Next action : Battle of Elba 28.8.1652

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 (1607-1667)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Vanguard (56) Richard Haddock (1581-1660)Squadron Flagship
 
Main division, Sir George Ayscue (d.1672)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Rainbow (64) Sir George Ayscue (d.1672)Fleet Flagship
Pelican (34) Joseph Jordan (1603-1685)
 
Rear division, Michael Packe (d.1652)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Amity (36) Henry PackeSquadron Flagship CO Killed
 
Unknown Assignment
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Increase (36) Thomas Varnell
Malaga Merchant (36) Henry Collins
Success (30)  
Nightingale (30) Jacob Reynolds (d.1666)
John and Elizabeth (26) Thomas Wright
George Bonaventure (20) John Crampe
Charity Simon Orton Fireship, Expended
 

Dutch Republic

 
Van division
Ship NameCommanderNotes
 
Main division, Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter (1606/7-1676)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Neptunus (28) Cornelis MangelaerFleet Flagship
Westergo (34) Joris Pieterszoon van den Broek (1610-1652)
 
Rear division
Ship NameCommanderNotes
 
Fireships
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Amsterdam Jan Hendrickszoon Overbeek
 
Unknown Assignment
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Vogelstruis (40) Douwe Aukes (1612-1668)
Drie Koningen (36) Lucas Albertszoon
Faam (30) Cornelis Loncke
Haes in 't Veld (30) Leendert den Haen
Amsterdam (30) Adriaen Nicolaeszoon Kempen
Maria (30) Claes Zael
West Capelle (28)  
Sint Pieter (28) Sijmen Corneliszoon van der Meer, Jan Janszoon van der Valck
Gelderland (28) Cornelis van Velsen (d.1653)
Liefde (26) Joost Bankert de Jonge (d.1652/53)
Wapen van Sweden (24) Jacob Sichels
 

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