Today, 11 August 2014, marks the 341st anniversary of the sea battle known in Britain as the Battle of the Texel and in the Netherlands as the Battle of Kijkduin. (The date was 21 August on the calendar then in use in the Netherlands.) This proved to be the last battle of the Anglo-Dutch wars of the seventeenth century, and it’s always fascinated me. Although it was indecisive, it has most things one could wish for in a sea fight: high drama, personal conflicts and tragedies, and an abiding ‘conspiracy theory’, centred on the notion that the French squadron, forming one third of the combined fleet under the command of Prince Rupert of the Rhine, was under secret orders from King Louis XIV to effectively withdraw from the action and leave the British and Dutch to fight each other to a standstill. I intended for several years to write a book about the battle, and, indeed, this proposal was accepted by Boydell and Brewer. Unfortunately, both this project and a related one (to produce a volume of contemporary views of the battles of the third Anglo-Dutch war for the Navy Records Society) were overtaken by events – especially the Quinton series, which meant I no longer really had the time to carry out the sort of intensive academic research that the book would demand. But who knows, maybe I’ll return to it one day, perhaps in time for the 350th anniversary in 2023!

In the meantime, I’m going to use my next three posts to publish online the existing draft of my account of the battle. This was originally in article form, and would have formed the basis of a greatly expanded and more detailed account in the book that I intended to write. It also formed the basis of the much briefer account of the battle that appears as Chapter 52 of my award-winning book, Pepys’s Navy. In so doing, I need to provide a few caveats. This was very much an incomplete work in progress; I’ve done little new work on this in at least ten years, so it takes no account of new research that either I’ve undertaken, or that others have published, during that time. (For example, if I was writing this account now I’d certainly want to refer to the likes of Charles-Edouard Levillain’s excellent Vaincre Louis XIV. Angleterre, Hollande, France. Histoire d’une relation triangulaire (1665-1688), 2010, and Matthew Glozier’s biography of Marshal Schomberg; while the cognoscenti of such things will observe that my unmodified notes still refer to the National Archives as the Public Record Office!) Not all of the references are in place, and others are incomplete. What’s more, it’s not been through the usual process of checks that such a work would undergo, e.g. review by a team of critical readers. As a result, I have no doubt that this account contains many errors and flaws; but I hope that even in this very rough state, it’ll be of interest to some of you! So without further ado, here’s the first part: my account of the project to launch an Anglo-French seaborne invasion of the Netherlands in the summer of 1673.

Willem Van De Velde the Younger's great painting of the Battle of the Texel, showing the duel between Tromp in the Gouden Leeuw and Spragge in the Royal Prince.
Willem Van De Velde the Younger’s great painting of the Battle of the Texel, showing the duel between Tromp in the Gouden Leeuw and Spragge in the Royal Prince.


The battle of the Texel, known to the Dutch (more accurately) as the battle of Kijkduin, was fought on 11 August 1673 between the combined Anglo-French fleet under Prince Rupert of the Rhine and the Dutch fleet under Michel Adrianszoon de Ruyter. Although no major ships were lost on either side, it proved to be a tactical success for the Dutch; it also proved to be the last battle of the three Anglo-Dutch wars of the seventeenth century. That it became both of these things can be attributed to the controversy which began almost immediately after, or perhaps even during, the engagement. On the twelfth, Rupert wrote to Charles II to claim that his failure to obtain a decisive victory was due chiefly to the failure of the French squadron, which, he stated, had stood to windward of the main battle, engaged with only a few Dutch vessels . This account was carried to London by Captain Charles Haward, who had been wounded in the engagement, and the first reports of the battle reached the court in the late evening of 15 August .2 Howard’s ‘whispers’ quickly became the accepted orthodoxy concerning the battle of the Texel; one of the ‘whispers’ had Howard, on Rupert’s quarterdeck, asking the prince, ‘”Does your Highnesse see the French yonder?” and that the Prince replyed in a great passion, “Yes God zounds, doe I”‘.3 The hurried postscripts to the letters which his correspondents sent late on the fifteenth to Sir Joseph Williamson, then attending the Congress of Cologne, told him that ‘the French did not behave them[selves] well, as haveing the wind and yet not bearing upon the enemy but keeping at a distance, though the signall was given them to beare upon them’, and cast other aspersions on the conduct of the French squadron.4

These early rumours were quickly supported by other evidence from the fleet, as damaged ships returned to the Thames and injured officers and seamen returned to land. The reaction in the coffee-houses and social gatherings of the capital was predictable. By the seventeenth, ‘the dinn [was] soe great against the French squadron for not bearing in when they had the full advantage of the wind, and might have destroyed all, that the Prince will never forgive them…This is like to breed ill blood…the whole Towne has been strangely enraged against the French’.5 Official narratives of the battle were hurried out on that day, but these only appeared under the (justified) suspicion that they had been doctored to appear more favourable to the French.6 Further letters from Rupert only reaffirmed his initial criticisms of his allies: on the twenty-third, for instance, he informed Arlington that
I find that Monsr d’Estrées [the French admiral] intends to make great excuses for not bearing into the enemy, not understanding the signs and many other fine things…I will satisfy His Majesty and the whole world that his squadron was to windward of the enemy, drawn up in very good order, and never bore within cannon-shot of the enemy, leaving their whole fleet upon me and some few of my
By the end of August, the popular clamour against the French was already at fever-pitch – ‘every seaman’s wife haveing an account from her husband of their haveing been betrayed, as they call it, by the French’8 – when two developments served only to exacerbate the frenzy. Firstly, Rupert himself came to London from the fleet on the twenty-seventh ‘and complaines much of the behaviour of the French in the late engagement…they did not, he thinkes, absolutely run away, but twas so like it, that he knows not how else to call it’.9 Rupert followed up his verbal complaints by publishing his own narrative of the battle at the beginning of September, in which he claimed that ‘if the French…had…borne down against the enemy…I must have routed and torn them all to pieces’.10 Secondly, the English attempt to scapegoat their allies, which a few more dispassionate commentators had suggested might have originated in ‘the little inclination the English generally have for the French’11, suddenly received what seemed to be conclusive support from an unexpected quarter. Before the end of August, a relation by the vice-admiral of the French squadron, the marquis de Martel, was circulating in London. This supported Rupert’s position by claiming that Martel had attempted to engage as actively as he could, but that he had not been seconded by d’Estrées and the rest of the squadron, whose inactivity he described as ‘shamefull’.12

These new revelations gave fresh impetus to the popular disgust against the French squadron, especially when it was learned that Martel’s punishment for producing his version of events was to be a spell in the Bastille. One of Williamson’s correspondents claimed that ‘every apple-woman makes it a proverbe, Will you fight like the French?’; William Temple informed the earl of Essex that ‘all the talk breaks out so openly about the French squadron acquitting themselves so ill in the last fight, that there is no surpressing it’; while Sir Ralph Verney’s correspondent William Denton informed him that ‘ye Monsrs plaid the Pultroons’.13 The barrage of criticism was sustained throughout September, with an increasing awareness of the impact it was likely to have on the imminent meeting of parliament. ‘Every one dreads the meeting of this Parliament’, Henry Ball had written to Williamson on 29 August, ‘and feare our enmity to the French may breed ill blood among them, for all people will have it that wee must breake off our league with them, or suffer our selves to be ruined, but I dare not write halfe of what is spoken in publique in every coffee-house’.14 Graphic accounts of the popular hostility to the French fleet and the French alliance continued to fill letters from London until well into October, when Ball wrote ‘the hate and malice against the French continues as high as ever…the French treachery dayly appeares more palpable’.15 Charles II’s dangerous disregard of such sentiments is epitomised by his decision in November 1673 to grant three large diamonds worth £2,200 to d’Estrées and individual jewels worth between £400 and £600 to three other French officers including, astonishingly, even the disgraced Martel.

In these circumstances, it was hardly surprising that the session of parliament which began on 27 October should have taken up the clamour against the French. Sir John Monson, MP for Lincoln, remarked that ‘the last fight was, as if the English and Dutch had been the gladiators for the French spectators’, while the former secretary to the Lord Admiral, Sir William Coventry, damned the entire French performance and the subsequent treatment of the marquis de Martel:
Has heard of two captains killed in the French fleet, and one died of an unfortunate disease (the pox)…one unfortunate gentleman did fight, and because that gentleman said…”that the French did not their duty”, he is clapped up into the Bastille…Martel has fought too much, or said too much, which is his misfortune.16
At much the same time the French ambassador, Colbert de Croissy, and other observers, were commenting on the impact of the reports of the battle, and the ways in which they were making it difficult to hold the alliance together17. References to the battle of the Texel were still being made in the Commons as late as January 1674, when one of the articles of impeachment against the earl of Arlington blamed him for bringing in the French fleet and all the consequences which followed18, but by then the French alliance was in its death throes, and it was finally buried by the treaty of Westminster in the following month, when England unilaterally withdrew from the Franco-Dutch war. Even so, the memory of the battle remained alive. In his devastating satire of 1676, The History of Insipids, Rochester made reference to it:
But Charles what could thy policy be,
to run so many sad disasters,
To join thy fleet with false D’Estrees,
To make the French of Holland masters?19
In later years, the assumption that the French had failed to support the English at the Texel and were therefore chiefly responsible for the failure to obtain a victory was central to all accounts of the battle in standard naval histories. Indeed, it was often given the dimension of a ‘conspiracy theory’ by reviving a charge which was first made in the autumn of 1673, namely that the French squadron had been acting under secret orders from Louis XIV – orders which prohibited any wholehearted action against the Dutch.20 David Hannay condemned ‘the entire worthlessness of the French as allies’, and this condescending, xenophobic attitude was common in British naval histories of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.21 More recently, Stephen Baxter and Carl Ekberg in particular have regarded the battle of the Texel as being one of the most significant factors in both the collapse of the Anglo-French alliance and the survival of the Dutch state itself, with Baxter calling it ‘the turning point of the war’.22 Both Ronald Hutton and John Miller have set the battle in the context of the complex domestic and international realpolitik which existed in the second half of 1673 and the early months of 1674, while Stephen Pincus has seen it as a critical stage in the shift of English popular attitudes towards an anti-French stance23. Indeed, there is little doubt that the popular reaction to the perceived French perfidy at the Texel was a genuine and significant political force during that period, with virtually everyone from the proverbial apple-woman upwards (with the obvious exception of Charles II himself) seeming to be united in their condemnation of the French. Rather more debatable is the question of whether that popular reaction was actually justified: was the outcome of the battle of the Texel truly decided because, in the words of Captain John Dawson of the Advice, part of the Blue squadron in the engagement, ‘[the French] lay like so many Newters more then an Enemy to the Dutch’?24

The invasion project

Paradoxically, the battle of the Texel was the product of a strategy which had already been abandoned in most of its essentials when the battle was fought. From 1672 onwards, Charles II and his ministers had been developing a plan for an invasion of the Dutch province of Zeeland as part of a longer-term strategy aimed at obtaining some or all of that province in any peace settlement. The idea seems to have originated with George Monck, Duke of Albemarle, who allegedly proposed the conquest of Zeeland to Oliver Cromwell as a way of becoming ‘master not only of the Dutch to all perpetuity but [also] sole arbitrator of the sea’. He apparently reiterated the proposal to Charles II in the winter of 1665-6, and at much the same time a paper was produced (probably unofficially) advocating a direct attack on Vlissingen, which was said to be weakly defended and likely to fall easily to an expeditionary force of only fifteen ships and 2,000 men.[24A] These schemes were mooted at a time when the Netherlands was being invaded from the east by Charles’s ally the Bishop of Munster. The bishop’s army had advanced into the eastern provinces of the Netherlands in 1665 and initially experienced spectacular success. Although he was ultimately pushed back and made peace with the Dutch in 1666, his attack suggested both that the eastern borders of the Netherlands were vulnerable, and that a ‘pincer movement’, culminating in an invasion of Zeeland, might be feasible if the Dutch drew forces away from that province to deal with a similar (or, better, a significantly greater) assault from the east. Therefore, the invasion project must have seemed a much more realistic possibility in 1672-3, when the main invasion was being undertaken by the rather more formidable armies of Louis XIV . At the very least, Charles hoped to regain the ‘cautionary towns’, Den Brielle, Vlissingen and the Rammekens fort, which had been held by England from 1585 until his grandfather James I had returned them to the Dutch in 1616. Indeed, there seemed to be some grounds for believing that Zeeland might choose voluntarily to place itself under English rule (if only as the lesser of two evils, if the alternative was succumbing to the tender mercies of Louis XIV), and Charles magnanimously planned to offer the Zeelanders the golden opportunity to send MPs to Westminster and pay taxes to his exchequer.25

After a succession of false starts and disputes over the command, a ramshackle army of some 8-10,000 men was assembled at Blackheath in the spring and early summer of 1673, and an amphibious flotilla of sorts was assembled in the Thames – 20 transports, 5 storeships, 5 so-called ‘horseships’, 1 coal ship, 1 ship carrying hay, 9 so-called ‘vessels for landing’ and 8 barges.26 Pepys undertook a detailed breakdown of the cost of transporting 10,000 troops and one hundred horse to the Netherlands and maintaining them there for two months (the estimated total came to £48,827).27 The actual strategic plan was vague, and had been altered several times since 1672. There had been schemes for landing in Zeeland itself, at Goeree or elsewhere, but by May 1673 the favoured option was a landing near Scheveningen, which, it was hoped, would allow the invasion force to effect a conjunction with the prince of Condé’s army, advancing from Utrecht.28 Meanwhile, the combined Anglo-French fleet sought in vain to achieve the triumph over de Ruyter’s numerically inferior force which had eluded it in the previous year. Two battles off the main Dutch anchorage, the Schooneveld, in May and June, failed to give the allies anything like the advantage which they craved, and the fleet retired to the Thames to await a decision on its next move.

Between 6 and 16 July, Charles II, the duke of York and Rupert presided over a series of three important councils of war. Rupert’s view, that without defeating the Dutch fleet it would be little short of folly to make a serious attempt at landing in Zeeland, won the day; it was decided that, after an appearance off the Schooneveld to alert the Dutch to his presence, Rupert should cruise off the Texel in the hope that de Ruyter would be drawn out to defend against the expected landing and to escort home the valuable incoming fleet of the Dutch East Indies Company, the VOC. Although an actual landing at the Texel was approved at the council on 6 July, the final meeting on the sixteenth only approved the diversion of the invasion flotilla to Yarmouth, where the army was to be landed to await the outcome of the anticipated victorious battle at sea.29 This, therefore, was the rather nebulous strategic ‘plan’ which the combined fleet possessed when it sailed out of the Thames on 17 July, accompanied by the army from Blackheath on board its flotilla in the rear of the fleet. ‘A more formidable fleete has at noe time sayled out of England’, Sir Robert Southwell reported to the earl of Essex; ‘such a fleet as I never yet saw’, wrote Sir Edward Spragge, admiral of the blue.30 After seeing the invasion flotilla safe into Yarmouth, the main fleet sailed for the Dutch coast. It consisted of approximately ninety major warships, the French under the comte d’Estrées forming the white squadron and Prince Rupert and Sir Edward Spragge commanding the red and blue squadrons respectively.

Unfortunately, the optimism of both Southwell and Spragge was distinctly misplaced. Even before the July councils of war, the actual role of both the fleet and the army had been called into serious question. Several commentators, notably the French and Venetian ambassadors, realised that Charles and his ministers needed a successful landing for their own domestic political agenda; there were hopes that foreign conquests would reconcile a hostile public and parliament to an unpopular war.31 However, the actual reaction to the proposed invasion, from some quarters at least, had been to condemn ‘the design to hold strong places overseas, which commit the country, involve great expense, yield no profit and scant honour and are incapable of bridling the Dutch, as is boastfully pretended’.32 Moreover, the invasion scheme was very much a purely English brainchild in what was supposed to be a jointly-run war, but which in reality was an overwhelmingly French effort. Louis and at least some of his ministers were opposed to the scheme, partly because the English demands for territory in Zeeland were threatening to sabotage the progress of the peace talks at the congress of Cologne (the Swedish mediator there, Count Tott, was particularly hostile to the notion of England being established as a power on both sides of the North Sea).33 In addition, Charles and his ministers had deliberately kept their invasion plans as secret as possible from their French allies, so that Colbert de Croissy, Louis’ ambassador in London, had little idea of what the English were actually up to.34 Faced with so many different pressures, English policy fluctuated confusingly, but by the last weeks of July, with the combined fleet already at sea and the army encamped at Yarmouth ready to descend on the Dutch coast once it was called for, Charles finally abandoned his demands for Dutch towns and inclined towards a more moderate peace settlement.35 The rationale underpinning Rupert’s cruise had effectively disappeared, and on 3 August Charles wrote to the prince to inform him that he now considered the invasion scheme ‘less advisable than it was at first’, and that, because of the progress of the Cologne negotiations, he should seek only to keep the sea – the assumption being that de Ruyter was unlikely to emerge from behind his sheltering sandbanks.36

The rather pathetic demise of the Zeeland invasion project led to some caustic comment, even in a parliament where many had suspected the ‘potential for absolutism’ inherent in the king’s new army – as Henry Powle commented a few months later, ‘the army has done nothing but the famous expedition from Blackheath to Yarmouth’, and Sir Thomas Meres quipped that ‘some said it was to land to beate the Dutch, but it turned off, it seems, to take Harwich’.37 Both contemporaries and historians took the view that it was just as well the army had not got beyond Yarmouth: the camp at Blackheath had been a shambles, with raw, drunken recruits marshalled unsuccessfully by raw, drunken officers under a widely detested foreign general, Count Schomberg.38 Indeed, a landing in Zeeland might well have been disastrous. The Dutch had major garrisons to the south of the province, and the main Dutch field army was drawn up only about forty miles to the east, between Geertruidenberg and Huisden, with William of Orange’s headquarters situated at Raamsdonk. Although Condé proclaimed his readiness to assist an English landing as well as he could, his ability to do so would have been limited by the fact that much of the land between his army and the coast was under water.39 On the other hand, the Dutch defences were not necessarily as formidable as Charles claimed they were in his letter to Rupert, nor as some recent historians have assumed they were. The appearance of the prince’s fleet off the Dutch coast on 24 July caused panic from Den Brielle to The Hague; the coastal towns themselves were poorly fortified, largely because William had decided to entrust his coastal defence almost exclusively to de Ruyter’s fleet in order to maximise the size of his field army, which was itself largely raw and untried. Three regiments were hastily despatched from Geertruidenberg to Scheveningen, but otherwise, the only real force which could have immediately confronted an English invasion would have been a ‘home guard’ drawn from the burghers of The Hague, Delft, Leiden, Dort and Rotterdam.40 Even Schomberg’s shambolic army might have stood a realistic chance of defeating such a force. Moreover, the hastily-conceived last-minute switch to the strategy of attempting a landing at the Texel and/or Den Helder might have caused the Dutch even greater problems. Although it would have been more difficult to support such a landing force from England, it would have taken far longer for William to deploy regular units against it (and it might have been easier for Condé to threaten any such move north by the Dutch), and even a short-lived presence at the entrance to the Zuiderzee would certainly have created real problems for Dutch commerce, especially for the returning VOC fleet which traditionally trans-shipped its cargoes into barges at the Texel to allow it to make a more lightly-laden transit of the Pampus shoals leading to the river Ij at Amsterdam. Above all, even as brief and disastrous an invasion as any carried out by Schomberg’s army threatened to be might well have forced William at least to postpone his switch to the offensive in September 1673, when he captured Naarden and subsequently pressurised Louis in the Rhineland by taking Bonn.41 In the light of these considerations, it is at least possible that Charles II abandoned his invasion project too early and too easily.

[to be continued]


1. Rupert to Charles, 12 August 1673: PRO SP 29/336/242 (accurate summary in CSPD 1673, 490)

2. Ibid; W Bridgeman to Williamson, 15 Aug 1673, & H Ball to same, 18 Aug 1673: Letters to Williamson, I, 162, 170; Alberti to Doge and Senate, 15/25 August 1673: CSPVen 1673-5, 98; Lady Dorothy Long to Sir Justinian Isham, 16 August 1673: Northamptonshire Record Office (hereafter NRO), Isham MS 787.

3. R Yard to Williamson, 16 August 1673: Letters to Williamson I, 174.

4. Bridgeman and Yard to Williamson, 15 August 1673: Letters to Williamson, I, 161-2, 168.

5. Sir R Southwell & Ball to Williamson, 17-18 August 1673; ibid., I, 168-70. Cf Captain Seth Thurston to Navy Board, 24 Aug 1673: PRO ADM 106/284/339.

6. CSPD 1673, 498; Yard to Williamson, 18 August 1673: Letters to Williamson, I, 173-4; narratives printed in Journals and Narratives, 390-4.

7. Rupert to Arlington, 23 August 1673: PRO SP 29/336/286 (accurate summary in CSPD 1673, 509). Cf same to same, 14 Aug.; to Charles II, 17 & 24 Aug.: CSPD 1673, 494, 498, 510.

8. Yard to Williamson, 25 August 1673: Letters to Williamson, I, 186.

9. Ball & Bridgeman to Williamson, 29 August 1673: ibid., 189-92.

10. Most accessible copies of Rupert’s narrative: CSPD 1673, 520-2; Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 306-9. Dating of narrative: Yard to Williamson, 5 Sept 1673: Letters to Williamson, II, 9.

11. Bridgeman to Williamson, 15 Aug 1673: ibid., I, 162.

12. Martel’s narrative: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 321-5. Dating of narrative: Bridgeman to Williamson, 29 Aug 1673, & Ball to same, 1 Sept 1673: Letters to Williamson, I, 189-90, II, 1. His arrest: ibid., II, 20; Seignelay to Colbert de Croissy, 7/17 Sept 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 348.

13. Quotations: Letters to Williamson, II, 2; Temple to Essex, 30 Aug 1673: BL Stowe MS 202, fo 337; Denton to Verney, 4 Sept 1673: BL M636/26. Cf Lady Dorothy Long to Sir Justinian Isham, 23 Aug 1673: NRO, Isham MS 788.

14. Ball to Williamson, 29 Aug 1673: Letters to Williamson, I, 194. Cf ibid., I, 185, 194-5; II, 13, 16.

15. Ball to Williamson, 10 & 17 Oct 1673: ibid., II, 36, 46.

16. Grey, Debates, II, 198-9, 212. Cf Garraway’s speech, 31 Oct 1673: ibid., II, 205.

17. Letters of Colbert de Croissy to Colbert & Seignelay: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 332ff.

18. Grey, Debates, II, 346-7; CJ, IX, 294.

19. Poems by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. V de Sola Pinto (1953), 111.

20. For examples of contemporary or near-contemporary expositions of the ‘conspiracy theory’ see Grey, Debates, II, 212; Christianissimus Christianus (1678), 39-40. A judicious modern assessment is provided by C J Ekberg, The Failure of Louis XIV’s Dutch War (Chapel Hill, 1979), 163, although he does cite a document which supposedly provides some evidence in support of the theory – AN, serie marine B5, fo 198ff.

21. D Hannay, A Short History of the Royal Navy (1897), 436. Cf J Campbell, The Naval History of Great Britain (1818), II, 213; W L Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History (1898), II, 317-22.

22. S Baxter, William III (1966), 104; Ekberg, Failure, 154.

23. R Hutton, Charles II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland (Oxford 1989), 302-19; J Miller, Charles II (1991), 205-19; S Pincus, ‘From Butterboxes to Wooden Shoes: The Shift in English Popular Sentiment from Anti-Dutch to Anti-French in the 1670s’, Historical Journal, 38 (1995), 333-61 (especially pp 356-7).

24. Dawson to Navy Board, 18 Aug 1673: PRO ADM 1/3545, p 197.

24A. BL Additional MS 34,729, fos. 251-2, ‘Proposition pour le surprise de la ville de Vlyssynge’. From internal evidence, it seems likely that this paper had originally been drawn up in the previous war, probably over the winter of 1665-6.

25. Minutes of committee of foreign affairs, 1672-3: PRO, SP 104/177, fos 60, 62-5, 68, 79, 152-3, 162; original instructions to Rupert, 26 Apr 1673: NMM AGC/C/2; Ralph Verney to Edmund Verney, 15 & 19 May 1673: BL M636/26; Baxter, William III, 88, 90.

26. Composition of amphibious flotilla: PRO, ADM 106/284/98. Cf ADM 1/3545 & 106/26, passim; BL Egerton MS 862. Army at Blackheath: Hutton, Charles II, 303-4; Miller, Charles II, 207-9.

27. Bod, Rawl MS A191, fo 211.

28. Earlier schemes: see minutes of foreign affairs committee cited in note 25. 1673 scheme: Charles to Rupert, 24 May 1673: BL Lansdowne MS 1236, fo 156; Aungier to Essex, 13 May 1673: BL Stowe MS 202, fo 40; Colbert de Croissy to Louis XIV, 21/31 July 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 289-92.

29. Ibid., 288, 292-3; Journals and Narratives, 42, 324-6.

30. Southwell to Essex, 18 July 1673: BL Stowe MS 202, fo. 205; Spragge’s journal, 17 July 1673, Journals and Narratives, 326.

31. Colbert de Croissy to Louis XIV, 21/31 July 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 289-92; Alberti to Doge and Senate, 16/26 May 1673: CSPVen 1673-5, 52.

32. Same to same, 11/21 July 1673: ibid., 75.

33. Baxter, William III, 104; Ekberg, Failure, 85-90.

34. Minutes of foreign affairs committee, 13 Mar 1673: PRO SP 104/177, fo 151v; Colbert de Croissy to Louis XIV, 21/31 July 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 290. Cf CSPVen 1673-5, 83, 85.

35. Ekberg, Failure, 92; Hutton, Charles II, 305-6; Miller, Charles II, 205-7.

36. Charles to Rupert, 3 August 1673, printed in Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 297-8; James to Rupert, 3 August 1673: BL Lansdowne MS 1236, fo 162. Cf Charles to Rupert, 8 August 1673: ibid., fo 219.

37. Speeches of 31 Oct and 3 Nov 1673 respectively: Grey, Debates, II, 208, 215. The reference to Harwich presumably refers to the diversion there of those vessels which could not get into Yarmouth: PRO, ADM 2/1736, fo 40v, order to Schomberg, 25 July 1673.

38. Hutton, Charles II, 304; Miller, Charles II, 208-9.

39. Conde to de Cheuilnes, 30 July / 8 Aug 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 295; F J G Ten Raa, Het staatsche leger 1568-1795, VI (Den Haag 1940), 11-13, 19.

40. Dutch coastal defences: newsletters from Rotterdam, 25 July / 3 Aug, & from Amsterdam, 29 July / 7 August 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 293, 294-5; newsletters and reports in PRO SP 101/57 (inconsistent foliation). William’s strategy: Ten Raa, Leger, VI, 13, 15-16. Quality of Dutch field army: Baxter, William III, 95 (a corrective to Dr Hutton’s exaggerated opinion of the qualities of William’s troops: Charles II, 304). Cf J. R. Jones, The Anglo-Dutch Wars of the Seventeenth Century (1996), 201-3.

41. Baxter, William III, 105-7.

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