Recent updates


Recent Comments

Battle of Portland

Three Days' Battle

18th February 1652/53 - 20th February 1652/53
Part of : The First Anglo-Dutch War (1652 - 1654)
Previous action : Action of 1652-12-14 14.12.1652
Next action : Battle of Leghorn 4.3.1652/53

 

Dutch Republic

 
Dutch Fleet,
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
Kampen (54) 1652-1677
Dutch 54 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Joris van der ZaenDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1653
CO Killed
Vrijheid (50) 1651-1676
Dutch 50 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Augustin BalckDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1553-1653
CO Killed
Vogelstruis (40) 1640-1653
Dutch 40 Gun
Merchant Ship
Douwe AukesDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1603-1703
,
Adriaen CruyckDutch
Naval Sailor
Prinses Louise (40) 1647-1674
Dutch 40 Gun
4th Rate Ship
1673 Renamed "Louise"
Groote Liefde (38) 1652-1653
Dutch 38 Gun
Hired Ship
Bruijn van SeelstDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Zwarte Raaf (38) 1653-1653
Dutch 38 Gun
4th Rate Ship
 
Gekroonde Liefde (38) 1653-1653
Dutch 38 Gun
Hired Ship
 
Vergulde Haan (36) 1652-1653
Dutch 36 Gun
Hired Ship
Jan le SageDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1653
Captured
Elias (34) 1652-1653
Dutch 34 Gun
Hired Ship
Jacob Sijvertsen SpanheimDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1653
CO Killed
Kroon Imperiaal (34) 1652-1653
Dutch 34 Gun
Hired Ship
Cornelis Janszoon PoortDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Sunk
Gelderland (40) 1633-1659
Dutch 40 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Breda (34) 1637-1659
Dutch 34 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Adriaan BruynsveldDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1658
Engel Gabriel (34) 1652-1653
Dutch 34 Gun
Hired Ship
Isaak SweersDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1636-1673
Meerman (30) 1652-1653
Dutch 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Jacob CleijdijckDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Sunk
Gorcum (30) 1639-1671
Dutch 30 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Gouden Leeuwin (30) 1652-1653
Dutch 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Johannes RegermorterDutch
Naval Sailor
CO Killed
Amsterdam (30) 1652-1653
Dutch 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Sijmon van der AeckDutch
Naval Sailor
CO Killed
Faam (30) 1652-1653
Dutch 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Swart PieterszoonDutch
Naval Sailor
Sunk
Frisia (30) 1650-1653
Dutch 30 Gun
5th Rate Ship
  Exploded
Arke Trojane (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Abraham van CampenDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1653
Sunk
Sint Francisco (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
 
Sphera Mundi (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Marinus de ClerqDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1565-1665
Gelderland (28) 1651-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Cornelis van VelsenDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1553-1653
Sint Maria (28) 1652-1653
Dutch 28 Gun
Hired Ship
 † CO Killed
Roskam (26) 1652-1653
Dutch 26 Gun
Hired Ship
Corstiaen EldertszoonDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Liefde (26) 1652-1654
Dutch 26 Gun
Hired Ship
Joost Bankert de JongeDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1653
Berkouter Kerk van Saardam (26) 1653-1653
Dutch 26 Gun
Merchant Ship
 
Maria (24) 1652-1653
Dutch 24 Gun
Hired Fluit
Quirijn van den KerckhoffDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1702
Salamander (24) 1652-1653
Dutch 24 Gun
5th Rate
Jan DuijmDutch
Naval Sailor
Haes (20) 1652-1653
Dutch 20 Gun
Hired Ship
Johannes MichielszoonDutch
Naval Sailor
Service 1602-1653
 

Commonwealth of England

 
English Fleet,
Robert BlakeBritish
Naval Sailor
Soldier
Service 1649-1657
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Triumph (60) 1623-1688
British 60 Gun
2nd Rate Great Ship
Benjamin BlakeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1657
,
Andrew BallBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1648-1653
,
Lionel LaneBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1654
Fleet Flagship
Rainbow (64) 1617-1680
British 64 Gun
2nd Rate Great Ship
 
Vanguard (56) 1631-1667
British 56 Gun
2nd Rate Great Ship
John MildmayBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1645-1653
Fairfax (52) 1650-1653
British 52 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
John LawsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1642-1665
Speaker (50) 1650-1687
British 50 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1660 Renamed "Mary"
John GibsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
,
William PennBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1644-1670
Worcester (48) 1651-1703
British 48 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1660 Renamed "Dunkirk"
Anthony YoungBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1647-1674
,
George DakinsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1648-1660
,
William HillBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1666
Richard and Martha (46) 1652-1666
British 46 Gun
Hired Ship
Eustace SmithBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1644-1660
Laurel (46) 1651-1657
British 46 Gun
4th Rate Ship
John WadsworthBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1653
,
Samuel HowettBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1645-1654
Kentish (46) 1652-1672
British 46 Gun
4th Rate Ship
1660 Renamed "Kent"
Jacob ReynoldsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1648-1666
Hannibal (44) 1650-1656
British 44 Gun
Hired Ship
William HaddockBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1656
Victory (52) 1620-1666
British 52 Gun
2nd Rate Great Ship
John StokesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1665
Lion (40) 1640-1658
British 40 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Andrew BallBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1648-1653
,
John LambertBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1643-1659
Ruby (42) 1652-1708
British 42 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Anthony HouldingBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1654
Diamond (42) 1652-1693
British 42 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Roger MartinBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1644-1654
Prosperous (42) 1652-1653
British 42 Gun
Hired Ship
John BarkerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1643-1653
CO Killed
Reformation (40) 1651-1654
British 40 Gun
Hired Ship
Anthony EarningBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1677
Assurance (40) 1646-1698
British 40 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Robert SandersBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1667
Convertine (44) 1650-1666
British 44 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
John LambertBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1643-1659
,
Anthony JoyneBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653
Sussex (40) 1652-1653
British 40 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Roger CuttanceBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1666
Tiger (38) 1647-1681
British 38 Gun
4th Rate Frigate
James PeacockBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1643-1653
,
Edmund SeamanBritish
Naval Sailor
Merchant Sailor
Service 1638-1650
Angel (38) 1646-1653
British 38 Gun
Hired
William RandeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1653
Lisbon Merchant (38) 1652-1653
British 38 Gun
Hired Ship
Simon BaileyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
Dragon (38) 1647-1690
British 38 Gun
4th Rate Ship
John StokesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1665
,
Edmund SeamanBritish
Naval Sailor
Merchant Sailor
Service 1638-1650
Success (38) 1650-1662
British 38 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
1660 Renamed "Old Success"
William KendallBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1655
Princess Maria (38) 1652-1658
British 38 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Edward WitheridgeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1660
Amity (36) 1650-1667
British 36 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Henry PackeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1660
Thomas and William (36) 1652-1653
British 36 Gun
Hired Ship
John JeffersonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
Gift (36) 1652-1666
British 36 Gun
4th Rate Ship
1658 Renamed "Great Gift"
Thomas SalmonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653
Fortune (36) 1652-1654
British 36 Gun
4th Rate Ship
William TatnellBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1653
CO Killed
Advice (42) 1650-1698
British 42 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
John DayBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1666
Assistance (40) 1650-1687
British 40 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
John BourneBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1678
,
John BourneBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1678
Centurion (50) 1650-1689
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Walter WoodBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1666
Thomas and Lucy (34) 1646-1654
British 34 Gun
Hired Ship
Andrew RandBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1654
President (44) 1650-1663
British 44 Gun
4th Rate Ship
1660 Renamed "Bonaventure"
Thomas GravesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
Foresight (42) 1650-1698
British 42 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Samuel HowettBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1645-1654
,
Richard StaynerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1662
Arms of Holland (34) 1652-1655
British 34 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Francis HarditchBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653
Nonsuch (38) 1646-1664
British 38 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Thomas PenroseBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1667
Pelican (42) 1650-1656
British 42 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Joseph JordanBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1642-1672
,
John StokesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1665
Sapphire (38) 1651-1670
British 38 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
William HillBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1666
Charles (33) 1650-1653
British 33 Gun
Hired
Robert KnoxBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1660
Adventure (32) 1646-1691
British 32 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Robert WyardBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1646-1662
,
Robert NixonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1648-1659
Eagle (32) 1651-1654
British 32 Gun
Hired Ship
Anthony YoungBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1647-1674
Convert (32) 1652-1661
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Stephen RoseBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1649-1653
,
Philip GethingsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1656
Waterhound (32) 1652-1656
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Giles ShelleyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1665
Oak (32) 1652-1653
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Ship
John EdwinBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1645-1664
Tulip (32) 1652-1657
British 32 Gun
4th Rate Ship
Joseph CubittBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1663
,
John ClarkeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1671
Anne Percy (32) 1645-1653
British 32 Gun
Hired Ship
Thomas HareBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653
Exchange (32) 1653-1653
British 32 Gun
Hired Ship
Jeffrey DareBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653
Giles (30) 1646-1653
British 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Henry ToopeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1645-1653
Brazil Frigate (30) 1651-1654
British 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Thomas HeatheBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1653
Nightingale (30) 1651-1674
British 30 Gun
5th Rate Ship
John HumphreyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1654
,
John HumphreyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1654
Guinea (34) 1649-1667
British 34 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Edmond CurtisBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1650-1660
Elizabeth and Anne (30) 1652-1653
British 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Richard LangfordBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
Happy Entrance (34) 1619-1658
British 34 Gun
3rd Rate Middling Ship
William GoodsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Ship Owner
Service 1650-1659
Cullen (28) 1652-1656
British 28 Gun
Hired Ship
Thomas GilbertBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1656
Anne and Joyce (26) 1643-1654
British 26 Gun
Hired Ship
William PileBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1654
Satisfaction (26) 1646-1662
British 26 Gun
5th Rate Ship
William PestellBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1662
,
Michael NuttonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1660
Plover (26) 1652-1657
British 26 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Robert RobinsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1748
Advantage (26) 1652-1655
British 26 Gun
5th Rate Galley
William BeckBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
,
Robert MillsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1654
,
Edmund ThompsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1656
Chase (22) 1651-1654
British 22 Gun
Hired Ship
Benjamin GunstonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1657
Pearl (22) 1651-1697
British 22 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Roger CuttanceBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1666
,
James CadmanBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1665
Sampson (22) 1652-1653
British 22 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Edmond ButtonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
Discovery (20) 1651-1655
British 20 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Thomas MarryottBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1654
Katherine (20) 1652-1653
British 20 Gun
Hired Ship
William RedgackeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
Cygnet (18) 1643-1654
British 18 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Robert FullerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1654
Merlin (14) 1652-1665
British 14 Gun
5th Rate Galley
William VesseyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1652-1653
,
George CrapnellBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1654
Paradox (14) 1649-1668
British 14 Gun
5th Rate Ship
Anthony ArcherBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1665
,
Roger JonesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1655
Lions Whelp X (14) 1627-1654
British 14 Gun
5th Rate Sloop
Philip GethingsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1656
,
David DoveBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1657
 
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Mary Prize (36) 1649-1657
British 36 Gun
5th Rate Ship
William TunickBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653
William and John (34) 1652-1653
British 34 Gun
Hired Ship
Nathaniel JessonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653
Roebuck (30) 1653-1653
British 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Henry FennBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1653-1666
Ruth (30) 1651-1653
British 30 Gun
Hired Ship
Edmund ThompsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1651-1656
Providence (24) 1651-1653
British 24 Gun
Hired Ship
George SwanleyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1642-1665
 

Notes on Action


Description of the actionTRN2

Tromp, having some two hundred merchantmen to convoy home, would have been glad to get this charge off his hands before falling in with the enemy. Accordingly when he received news from the States General that the English fleet was ready for sea, he made haste to pass the Channel. But on February 18th, in the morning, "to his amazement," as we are told, he discovered the English fleet to the number of eighty sail, standing south on the starboard tack. The wind was fresh at W.N.W., and, his fleet being about equal to the English, he at once decided to engage. He had indeed every advantage, and an inspection of the relative positions of the fleets will show that the arrangement of the English was such as to invite attack.


Here we may pause for a moment to congratulate the English Navy on the happy chance that had decided Deane to remain with Blake in the Triumph , when he might have elected to command the Blue squadron as Monck did the White. Monck had allowed himself to fall four or five miles to leeward with his whole squadron. But Penn remained to windward with the Blue squadron ahead of the Generals, and actually with Blake were not more than ten or a dozen ships. Lawson was a short distance astern of the Triumph, and about a mile to leeward.



It was of course open to Blake to run to leeward and form his line on the lee squadron, but rather than risk any semblance of giving way, he elected to fight where he was, thus making it necessary for a part of the fleet to sustain the action for a considerable time before the leewardmost ships could support it. The attack was bound to fall upon Blake and Penn, and it was possible for Tromp to throw the bulk of his force on either.


Tromp was not slow to seize the opportunity. With his fleet in three divisions, or possibly four, he ran down to engage, leaving his convoy some four miles to windward. Of the engagement that followed details are sadly lacking, but as far as can be ascertained, Tromp commanded in the centre, De Ruijter on the left and Jan Evertsen on the right. The Dutch centre attacked Blake directly, and immediately pressed him very hard. De Ruijter passed on and bore in among Blake's ships from the north, while Evertsen was to the southward and threatened entirely to surround him. It was at this point, when the danger was already most serious, that the great advantage of having trained seamen in command at least of part of the fleet appeared.


Penn, like Blake, hauled to the wind to meet the attack, and opened fire on Evertsen, who was then on his starboard bow. Evertsen held his course, and Penn, to avoid being cut off from the lied squadron, tacked at once, passed through the opposing Dutch squadron and joined the few ships which were, with the Generals, engaged against Tromp. Lawson, meanwhile, had also shown his ability. If he should haul on a wind as Penn had done, he saw that De Ruijter could interpose between him and the Generals, while still keeping up the severity of the attack. He therefore bore away, with the wind abeam, till he had made enough southing to be able, by tacking, to fetch the main body of the enemy. And this he did, following the Blue squadron very closely when it crashed into Tromp's rear.


Meanwhile, part at least of Evertsen's squadron ran down to leeward, and engaged Monck and the White squadron within a couple of hours from the beginning of the battle. Some of the ships of the lee line, not improbably the stragglers of the Red and Blue squadrons, by dint of sailing close-hauled on the starboard tack, were by four o'clock in a position to weather the Dutch main body. But in the van, where the ships were massed most thickly and where both Tromp and Blake were, the fighting had been of a very stubborn order, and the Dutch were left in no position to withstand the attack of comparatively fresh ships. Accordingly, both for this reason and to avoid the possibility of the English stretching to windward enough to fall upon his convoy, Tromp drew out of action and rejoined the merchantmen. In the van the battle was over for the day, but to leeward the fighting continued till dark. Details of Monck's share in the action are almost entirely wanting, but as Mildmay, the captain of his ship the Vanguard, was killed, we can at least be certain of the truth of the statement that he was engaged towards evening.


In the Red and Blue squadrons the loss was heavy; and as the Triumph was first into action against overwhelming numbers, and was for a while unsupported, she suffered extremely. Her captain, Andrew Ball, was killed; so, too, was the Generals' secretary, Sparrow; Blake himself was badly wounded in the thigh by a splinter; and of men put ashore dangerously wounded, fifty-five were from her and the Worcester alone. The Triumph, too, was much damaged, and lay till the morning refitting. Other vessels were so much shattered that they had to be sent into Portsmouth, after contributing men to make up the complements of some that had lost most heavily.



Among these ships were the Assistance, 48, Rear-Admiral John Bourne; the Oak, 32, Captain Edwin, and the Advice, 48, Captain Day. Bourne himself was wounded in the head, and the three ships lost so many men in the action, besides contributing to Blake at its close, that they must have reached port all but unmanned. They were all, as was officially reported, " so disabled as to be unfit for service till repaired.":


Both the Oak and the Assistance were taken by the Dutch but afterwards re-won; so, too, was the Prosperous, 40. Boarded by De Ruijter, the last named, cleared her deck, her men then following the Dutch on board their own ship. A second attempt was made and she was carried, but, the Martin coming up, she was re-taken. Her loss, of course, was great, and among the dead was John Barker, her captain.


The English lost but one ship, the Samson, which they found to be in a sinking condition. Button, her captain, and most of the crew were dead, but the survivors were taken out before the ship was allowed to founder. It is claimed by the Dutch that the Speaker put into port much damaged, a thing most probable in itself, but quite unsupported by official record.


Of the Dutch, one was taken and sent dismasted into port. This was the Struisvogel Captain Adriaen Cruick; but others were destroyed. The Dutch confessed to three ships sunk and one blown up, and it is fairly certain that some others were burnt.


Where Tromp himself had been the English had suffered so heavily that he may have naturally exaggerated the damage done to the entire fleet. When morning dawned, it was found that he had passed to leeward and was running up Channel before the wind with his fleet in crescent formation between the English and his convoy. Towards two o'clock the greater part of the English fleet came up with the Dutch off the Isle of Wight, the wind having fallen light, and "had warm work, till night parted" them.


The event proved the necessity for Tromp's manoeuvre, though his action certainly gave the Generals the impression that they were pursuing a beaten fleet. But Tromp's first duty was to bring his convoy safely home, and not to risk such loss as would leave it unprotected.


Ammunition ran very short in the Dutch fleet, and only the fitful lightness of the wind on the 19th prevented the English from reaping their harvest. The fighting was partial, but heavy. De Ruijter withstood the attack time after time, and, towards night, entirely dismasted and riddled with shot, had to be taken in tow. 8 What the day's loss was is uncertain, but Lawson, with a few of the quicker-sailing "frigates," contrived to cut off from the right wing two or three men-of-war and a handful of merchantmen. It is probable that the Dutch estimate, viz., two men-of-war, with ten or twelve merchantmen taken, is right. 1 Disorder crept in as the convoy lost faith in the men-of-war. Many vessels turned their heads towards the French coast, some few escaping into Le Havre.


At night the Generals steered their course by the Dutch lights with a steady breeze at W.N.W. The next day's action is well described in the official report.


"On the 20th, about nine in the morning, we fell close in with them with some five great ships and all the frigates of strength, though very many could not come up that day; and seeing their men-of-war somewhat weakened, we sent ships of less force that could get up amongst the merchantmen." The Dutch, who were now past Beachy Head, standing towards Boulogne, turned some merchantmen out of the fleet for a bait. The scheme failed to draw off the English who, hauling to windward, fought on till dusk. They were then ten miles from Gris Nez, "so that, had it been three hours longer to-night, we had probably made an interposition between them and home, whereby they might have been obliged to have made their way through with their men-of-war, which at this time were not above thirty-five."; That they were so few was due in great measure to the flight of some twenty who had fired away all their powder.


At night the English anchored three leagues from Gris Nez, which bore N.E. by E.; and the enemy lay in-shore to leeward. This step was taken by the advice of the pilots, who pointed out that, with a lee tide, the Dutch would be unable to weather the point. But, in the morning, not one Dutch ship remained in sight. After refitting, the English weighed on the night of the 21st, and on the 27th made Stokes Bay.


Monck and Deane's estimate that the enemy had lost seventeen or eighteen men-of-war, is certainly an exaggeration. Only four were admitted by the Dutch to have been taken, and only four were brought in. This agreement disposes us to accept the Dutch statement that only five were sunk, though two or three more at least seem to have been burnt. The number of merchantmen taken is stated variously at from thirty to fifty, but no official list was ever made.


Of English ships, only the Samson miscarried, though three more were quite disabled. To these three the Dutch added a fourth, the Fairfax, which they asserted was purposely burnt as unfit for service. This was not so, however; the burning was due to criminal negligence, but was accidental.




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





Recent comments to other pages

Date postedByPage
Tuesday 7th of December 2021 14:10Steve lockhartCombat de la Martinique
Tuesday 7th of December 2021 02:22Eduardo Rivera
Sunday 5th of December 2021 04:33Jason M Archer
Sunday 5th of December 2021 04:33Jason M Archer
Sunday 5th of December 2021 00:04AvM
British sloop 'Despatch' (1812) (16) 1812-1836
British 16 Gun
Unrated Sloop