Texel 341, Part 2

And now for Part 2 of my account of the Battle of the Texel/Kijkduin, 11/21 August 1673…the same caveats apply as last week!


Ironically, one aspect of the original strategy agreed by Charles and Rupert before the fleet sailed in July worked almost exactly as they had planned it – one of the very few such occurrences in the three Anglo-Dutch wars. By the beginning of August, William and de Ruyter were under growing pressure from the Amsterdam merchants and the VOC to safeguard the returning merchant fleets. On 2 August, William visited his fleet off Scheveningen and persuaded de Ruyter of the necessity of giving battle, even though, as they both knew, their fleet only possessed about two-thirds of the Anglo-French force’s numerical strength.42 The Dutch fleet moved north; by 8 August the two forces’ scouts were in sight of each other, but high seas kept the main fleets at anchor for two days, during which time the potential threat to the republic’s trade was amply illustrated by the capture of the lone VOC ship Papenburg by the French warship Bourbon. The combined fleet weighed anchor at 6a.m. on the tenth and steered south-east with the advantage of the wind, closing steadily on de Ruyter. At four that afternoon de Ruyter tacked to avoid engaging, put on sail and rapidly shot ahead, with the combined fleet in pursuit.43 Given the hour, Rupert decided not to engage on that day. The (French) van squadron was ordered to continue to steer south-east until they came to the ten-fathom line where they were to change course to the south-west in order to keep the wind.44

By one means or another, by the morning of 11 August the combined fleet had completely lost the considerable tactical advantage which it had possessed the day before: as dawn broke, the allied captains found that the Dutch had gained the wind during the night and were bearing down on them. Even de Ruyter seemed surprised to find his enemy to leeward of him.45 The possible explanations for the allies’ losing the wind were and are contentious, especially as they provided part of the argument for the subsequent attack on the conduct of the French, and will be considered in due course. However, it is clear that one of the most important factors in explaining the change of circumstances was that the wind itself had changed during the night, swinging around from north-east roughly to south-east – a change which would have sufficed in itself to give the Dutch the wind, regardless of any manoeuvring on the part of either force.46 As it was, the combined fleet tacked several times during the night, finally making a tack between six and seven in the morning which set it on a course roughly to the south-west, formed up into its line-of-battle but with the Dutch closing from the south-east, having got themselves between the combined fleet and the Dutch coast, roughly seven miles off Petten and Camperduin (not, in fact, the Texel, as was stated in many of the English and French accounts). To confront the three allied squadrons the Dutch had divided their fleet in a similar manner, with the Zeeland ships under Lieutenant-Admiral Bankert in the van opposite the French, a largely Rotterdam-based squadron under de Ruyter in the centre opposing Rupert’s red squadron, and the Amsterdam ships under Cornelis Tromp in the rear opposite Spragge’s blue squadron.47 Between seven and nine the long lines-of-battle gradually converged and the battle began.

Another Van de Velde the Younger painting of the duel of the Gouden Leeuw and Royal Prince

Another Van de Velde the Younger painting of the duel of the Gouden Leeuw and Royal Prince

The combined fleet’s line-of-battle, the good order of which had impressed several of its officers, began to break up almost immediately. The French in the van pressed ahead, trying to gain the wind from the Dutch (or so they subsequently claimed); conversely, shortly before eight Spragge ordered his blue squadron, in the rear, to back their sails to their masts, ostensibly to close his three divisions to each other but in reality to ensure that he could continue his personal duel with Tromp, a legacy of the second Anglo-Dutch war. Virtually the last words in Spragge’s journal, written up in the small hours of 11 August to conclude his account of the previous day’s events, are ‘he [Tromp] will, I hope, fall to my share in the Blue squadron tomorrow’.48 As a result of these manoeuvres, the battle of the Texel effectively developed very quickly into three separate engagements – a fact which would later allow those who reported from each of the combined fleet’s three squadrons to claim that their actions had been correct and those of the other two had been wrong. In the admiral of the blue’s division, Spragge’s Royal Prince was engaged by Tromp’s Gouden Leeuw and a general engagement followed until about noon, with both the English and Dutch divisions sailing slowly southward before turning west and then north-west in the afternoon. Both the Prince and several of the ships near her suffered severe damage; the Prince lost the effective use of two of her masts and almost all her rigging, while ‘many valiant men [were] sent into the other world without any ceremony besides peals of thundering ordnance’.49 The Prince dropped out of the line at about eleven to effect repairs, the Royal Charles taking over her position. Captain Arthur Herbert’s Cambridge, immediately astern of her in the line, dropped out of the line twice during the same period due to damaged rigging, while the Advice lost her foretopmast and had six feet of water in her hold, forcing her crew to bail and pump continually. Spragge’s attempt at about noon to bring the Prince back into the line in order to launch a counter-attack against Tromp was thwarted by the rapid destruction of his recently-repaired main and mizzen masts, and he transferred his flag to the Saint George, which he immediately tried to interpose between Tromp and the crippled Prince. Finding the quality of the Saint George‘s gun crews to be totally unsatisfactory, or else because she, too, had become disabled (depending on whether one believes unofficial or official accounts), Spragge decided at about one to shift his flag again to the Royal Charles, ‘and stayed a little to take his flag with him…which some think was observed by the enemy, and occasioned the disaster that soon followed, for scarce was he got a cable’s length before the bullets began to fall thick about his boat, and one found easy passage through her to let in that good servant, bad master, the watery element’. Some of the boat’s crew managed to keep Spragge, a notoriously poor swimmer, afloat for a while, but when they were finally rescued it was found that although ‘they saved his body…his glorious soul had forsaken that habitation’.50The loss of Spragge, or rather of the blue flag which had perished with him and the Saint George‘s boat, was an unmitigated disaster for his division, which now lacked any effective leadership. Tromp sought to take advantage of this by finishing off the Prince and made at least three concerted attacks on her in the first part of the afternoon, almost managing to secure his fireships to her; the boatswain only just managed to cut away the hooks of one of them from the ship’s foreshrouds, and the entire saga of the Prince‘s defensive fight under her captain, Thomas Fowler, came to be regarded as a classic of its type.51

Despite the undoubted heroics of her own crew, the saving of the Prince was attributable chiefly to the intervention of the two other divisions of the blue squadron – the rear-admiral’s division under Thomas Butler, earl of Ossory, in the Saint Michael, and the vice-admiral’s division under Sir John Kempthorne, which had been stationed in the rear of the entire fleet. Between eight in the morning and midday, Ossory’s division had been trading broadsides with the ships of the Amsterdam rear-admiral Jan de Haan. With considerable damage to her rigging, the Saint Michael and her division had come up to Spragge’s Royal Prince at about noon, at which time the wind veered to the south-west and gave the English ships the weather-gage. This was the moment when Spragge’s intention to counter-attack on the wind was rendered futile by the disability of the Prince and his own death shortly afterwards. Despite suffering even more damage to the Saint Michael’s masts and rigging, Ossory kept her close to the Prince, with some of his fireships in position to deter Tromp. At four that afternoon, with both Rupert’s and de Ruyter’s squadrons in sight bearing down from the south-west and with Tromp having abandoned his final attempts to fire the Prince, Ossory ordered the Hampshire and Ruby (later joined by the Pearl) to take the crippled flagship in tow.52 Meanwhile, the rear-admiral’s division of the blue, under Sir John Kempthorne, had been engaged with vice-admiral Isaac Sweers of the Witte Olifant and his division since the beginning of the battle, although both divisions had fallen well to leeward of the rest of their squadrons. Kempthorne’s Saint Andrew lost her main and foremasts early on and had to anchor, and the damage which he had sustained, so Kempthorne claimed, made it difficult for him to manoeuvre to the assistance of the Royal Prince in the early afternoon. Nevertheless, he tacked with the intention of attacking Tromp, but found he was supported by only three other ships of his division. Kempthorne claimed that he passed the Prince and tried to set his fireships onto Tromp but that too many other ships were in the way. After tacking once more, Kempthorne hove-to to repair his torn foresail before weathering Tromp and sailing on to join Rupert at about four.53

For the red squadron, the morning had begun with the disconcerting spectacle of the white and blue squadrons disappearing ahead and astern, leaving them isolated to face what Rupert claimed was the whole of de Ruyter’s squadron and most of Banckert’s Zeeland squadron as well. From eight until twelve the red and its opponents followed a course roughly to the north-west, fighting all the time – an observer on the Royal Katherine, at the head of Rupert’s division, claimed that they had been the first ship to be hit, but that subsequently the Mary and Rupert’s flagship Sovereign had been particularly heavily engaged.54 By midday Rupert’s and his vice-admiral, Harman’s, divisions had been weathered by a large Dutch force, with rear-admiral Sir John Chicheley some way to leeward. As a result, most of the red lay between two Dutch squadrons, one to windward and one to leeward of them, with de Ruyter’s flagship De Zeven Provincien almost in the Sovereign‘s wake; the Royal Katherine dropped back from her place in the line to protect her. Several attempted fireship attacks by both sides were abortive.55 (Indeed, during the whole course of the battle of the Texel the English expended more fireships than in any other battle of the sailing ship era.56) Shortly afterwards, ‘our disput had a seseation’ when Rupert veered away to join forces with Chicheley, and then sailed northwards to assist the blue, who were about four leagues away. De Ruyter, similarly, hoped to assist Tromp, so that the early afternoon witnessed the peculiar spectacle of the two fleets’ centre squadrons sailing north almost parallel to each other, but not firing a shot.57

Between four and five, the red and blue joined forces. De Ruyter and Tromp launched another attempt to administer the coup de grace to the Royal Prince, but Rupert hastily improvised a new line-of-battle with the ships around him, interposing himself between the Dutch and Spragge’s old flagship and sending two fireships to thwart de Ruyter’s attack, so that a new general engagement began at about five. ‘The fight was very strong and close’, Rupert claimed, and it continued until about eight that evening, when the English squadrons withdrew to the west-north-west to take care of their disabled ships, and the Dutch bore off to the east, towards their own coast. Despite the severe damage to the Prince and the lesser damage to several other vessels, and the loss of Spragge, five other captains, and perhaps 500 seamen, Rupert claimed that he had gained the better of the engagement, and this boast was repeated in several accounts of the battle. It was regarded as a certainty that Kempthorne had sunk a Dutch seventy-gunner, but this was just as much a fiction as the Dutch claim to have sunk one of Rupert’s squadron. Although the Dutch had lost more senior officers, including two vice-admirals (Sweers and de Liefde), the claim to a ‘great victory’ in their journals was rather more justified, for as they immediately realised, they had achieved their objective of forcing the combined fleet away from their coast, ensuring that there could be no immediate landing (even if Charles II felt inclined to order one).58 Nine days after the battle, William of Orange signed the three great treaties with the Emperor Leopold, the queen-regent of Spain and the duke of Lorraine, which virtually guaranteed the survival of the United Provinces. Just over a fortnight after the battle he undertook his first serious offensive, taking Naarden and thereby relieving some of the French pressure on Amsterdam. If the Texel had been a Dutch defeat, it is very difficult to see how William could have contemplated such significant moves as these.

A Dutch congregation took refuge in its church as the battle raged offshore: plaque at Huisduinen, North Holland

A Dutch congregation took refuge in its church as the battle raged offshore: plaque at Huisduinen, North Holland

The conduct of the French squadron

As far as many of the Englishmen who had actually been present at the battle were concerned, let alone the vociferous francophobe elements ashore, the fact that the Texel quite plainly had not been the great victory they had wanted was due (at least in part) to the behaviour of the one remaining allied squadron in the battle, the French in the van. Even journals and accounts which were clearly written up immediately afterwards, several of them probably on the evening of the eleventh itself, contained the essential ingredients of the story which would be sweeping London for the following two or three months. Aboard the Royal Katherine, one of Captain George Legge’s servants saw the French at about six in the evening ‘above a leag to windward of us all and all the tyme of this our latter ingagmt the French never bore up a foot but looked one’.59 In the log of the Crown, which had lain just ahead of Rupert’s flagship in the red squadron, Captain Richard Carter noted that

the French yn haveing the van of the fleet and the wind shifteing to ye SW they tacked and gott the wind of the enemy who made so little use of so greate an advanta yt they kept yr wind as neare as possible they could and to the best of my knowledge fired but very few Gunns after they had so great an advantage of doeing considerable service.60

Rupert’s letters and his subsequent relation of the battle took the same line, his letter to Charles II on 17 August even containing a sketch of the situation at five or six in the afternoon of the battle, when the red and blue were starting to engage again but the French were standing apart, well to windward.61

Any attempt to interpret the conduct of the French at the battle of the Texel suffers from a particularly exaggerated case of the problem which to varying degrees besets the battle as a whole – not only was the interpretation of the facts open to debate, both at the time and since, but so too were many of the facts themselves. The ‘official’ version of the French squadron’s actions was contained in ‘the Relation from the White Squadron’, one of the three accounts published by authority on 17 August.62 In this, the French claimed that their rear-admiral, Martel, had attempted unsuccessfully to gain the wind of Bankert’s Zeeland squadron, and that d’Estrées had then broken through Bankert’s line between eleven and twelve in the morning, despite a narrow escape from Dutch fireships and the deaths of thirty men on his flagship, La Reine. Even the official account then passed over the actions of the French throughout the afternoon and evening with remarkable speed, claiming only that they had

pursued the enemy before the wind, and with all their sails, till half an hour past seven in the evening, when we found fifty of the enemy’s ships, who had rallied, and who durst not bear upon the prince’s squadron, because we had thewind of them, expecting only the Prince’s orders to do whatever his Highness should think fit. The Comte d’Estrées thinking he ought to keep the advantage of the wind, to renew the fight the next day, it being then already too late to engage afresh, without express orders from his Highness.63

Like the English journals and accounts of the battle, several more detailed accounts of their part in the engagement were produced within the French squadron in the days immediately following the Texel. D’Estrées’ own account was essentially a more detailed version of what was to become the official French narrative, and this line was supported both by an anonymous relation written up on 12 August and another by Hérouard, major d’escadre of the French squadron. Indeed, it was Hérouard who made the first serious attempt to counter the barrage of criticism against his squadron when he had an audience with Charles II on 17 August.64

Unfortunately for d’Estrées and for the Anglo-French alliance, this version of events was seriously undermined by the actions of the marquis de Martel. His journal for his flagship, the Royal Therese, formed the basis of the account which he subsequently sent to Rupert, which therefore came to form an essential part of Rupert’s criticisms of French conduct, and which was published with such devastating impact on English public opinion. According to Martel, the Dutch had employed only eight major ships and two fireships ‘pour amuser toute l’escadre de France’, and it is certainly the case that only this number of Zeeland ships, under vice-admiral Evertsen, were engaged with Martel’s van division in order to hinder any attempt by the French to tack; the rest of Banckert’s squadron soon dropped back to engage Rupert. Martel claimed that he had attempted to engage more vigorously, but had been thwarted by d’Estrées’ failure to support him. Indeed, he claimed that d’Estrées had secretly ordered the other captains in his division not to engage properly, and that by midday, when they had gained the wind of the entire Dutch fleet and Martel was keen to engage, d’Estrées for his part insisted they should stay clear of the main battle, at which Martel ‘shrugged up his shoulders’ and went along with his admiral’s orders.65 To this damning indictment of d’Estrées Rupert was able to add the charge that he had ignored the signal of a blue flag at the mizzen peak, which he had hoisted at about five in the afternoon as a signal (so he claimed) for the rest of the fleet to fall into his wake, in accordance with the fighting instructions; indeed, both English and French accounts indicate that d’Estrées saw this signal but (according to the more charitable reports) he did not know what it meant and sent a messenger to Rupert to find out, thereby losing so much time that the opportunity to engage was gone.66

The intensity of the criticism from both the English and Martel forced the French ambassador in London, Colbert de Croissy, and his political superiors in Paris, to attempt a damage limitation exercise and to undertake an extensive enquiry into the conduct of d’Estrées’ squadron. Indeed, the exhaustive nature of that enquiry, and the obvious concern to redeem the reputation of the French nation apparent in the letters of Colbert and his son, the navy minister Seignelay, gives the lie to the notion that ‘secret orders’ had been transmitted to d’Estrées from his government, perhaps even from Louis himself – apart from the obvious difficulty of implementing any such orders, the execution of which would have depended heavily on decisions of the Dutch rather than the French, the obsession of the king and ministers with their honour and ‘gloire’ makes it highly improbable that they would have ordered d’Estrées to act in such a blatantly dishonourable way, especially at a time when further English participation in the war was in the balance and public opinion was already hostile to France.67 By the beginning of September, Seignelay and Colbert were making every effort to obtain accurate information on the actions of the French squadron from its captains and others who had been present during the battle, and Colbert de Croissy was fighting a valiant rearguard action to counter the effects of Rupert’s and Martel’s relations. Both Seignelay and (later) d’Estrées attempted point-by-point rejoinders to each of Rupert’s criticisms of the French squadron.68 It was unfortunate for the French ministers and sea-officers that their detailed investigation was not made known English public opinion (which would probably have ignored it if it had been, of course), for even by the early days of September, that opinion was starting to shift slightly in a way which would in fact have been supported by the evidence being produced in France.

Even in the immediate aftermath of the battle, a few voices had been raised to question the conduct of individual English captains and, indeed, that of Rupert himself. The veteran admiral Sir Thomas Allin, writing from Yarmouth on 15 August in response to the first news of the battle, castigated the English as much as the French, and it was not only Rupert who censured the conveniently dead Spragge for disobeying orders and falling astern with the blue squadron in order to engage Tromp.69 On 30 August Arlington wrote to Essex that, although Rupert had been blaming d’Estrées and the French, ‘our English squadrons were not altogether Exempt from factions on their part, they also blaming one another, in a word wee lost an infinite advantage upon the ennemy although our strength was much superior to theirs by these divisions amongst us’.70 Factional point-scoring and settling of scores was endemic within the English officer-corps from August 1673 onwards. Sir John Kempthorne was criticised for not doing more to save the Prince and replied by attacking the other flag-officer of the blue squadron, the earl of Ossory, who petitioned the king and eventually won a retraction from Kempthorne.71 Rupert implicitly attacked most of the captains of the fleet by singling out only fourteen for praise – an action which offended even one of the fourteen and one of the prince’s own divisional captains, George Legge72 –  and he explicitly criticised his own rear-admiral, Sir John Chicheley, although the contemporary drawings of the battle made for Legge suggest that Chicheley’s conduct had been exemplary.73 The bitter factional feud culminated in the publication of the anonymous pamphlet An Exact Relation of the Several Engagements in the autumn of 1673, which made a detailed defence of Rupert and his clients, criticising several of the other flag officers, the French (predictably), the navy board, the ordnance office, and even the duke of York and Charles II himself. Its account of the Texel was based closely on Rupert’s own relation, supplemented by Martel’s, and on the whole it is this version which has become the accepted orthodoxy about the battle.74 However, both the other French and several of the English accounts present a very different picture, and one with a very different villain.


42  Newsletter from Amsterdam, 29 July / 7 Aug 1673; ‘Avis de Hollande’, 1/10 Aug 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 294-6; P Blok, The Life of Admiral de Ruyter, trans. G J Renier (1933), 340-1. Cf the perceptive comments of Henry Coventry about the importance of the VOC ships to the Dutch: Coventry to Curteus, 11 Aug 1673: Coventry MS 82, fo 129.

43  Scout ships: PRO ADM 51/3932 (log of Pearl). Capture of Papenburg: inter alia, PRO ADM 106/284/151, 168. The most detailed accounts of fleet movements, wind directions and courses steered, 8-10 Aug 1673, are Bod, Rawl MS C213 (log of Henrietta), PRO ADM 51/3817 (log of Crown), Journals and Narratives 310 (Legge, Royal Katherine), 330 (Spragge, Royal Prince), 352-3 (Narbrough, Saint Michael).

44  This, at least, is the interpretation presented in ‘The True Relation of the Battle’, BL Harleian MS 6845 fos 158-9 and in ‘A Relation of the Battle…’, Bod, Tanner MS 42, fos 21-2, both printed in Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 304. Both the veracity of these sources and their interpretations of Rupert’s decisions can be questioned. The Tanner MS account is noticeably inaccurate in the timings of many events during the battle, and both accounts take a strongly pro-Rupert line.

45  De Ruyter’s reaction: his journal entry for 11/21 August 1673 in Algemeen Rijksarchief, Collectie de Ruyter, inventory, fo. 64 (printed in J R Bruijn, ed., De oorlogvoering ter zee in 1673 in journalen en andere stukken (Groningen, 1966), 89). English reactions & descriptions of their course, etc, at daybreak on 11 August can be found in the journals (except Spragge’s) cited in n43 above and n47 below.

46  For purely factual accounts of the change of wind, free of any criticism of the French or Rupert, see inter alia ‘P B’ to Sir Charles Lyttelton, 12 Aug. 1673: PRO SP 29/336/243 (accurate summary in CSPD 1673, 490); PRO ADM 51/588 (log of Mary Rose); PRO ADM 51/3817 (log of Crown); Bod, Add MS C213 (log of Henrietta).

47  Tacks during night & position at daybreak on 11 August: Bod, MS Add C213; Bod, Carte MS 38 fo 30r (account by Fowler, Royal Prince); Journals and Narratives, 310-11 (Legge), 353-4 (Narbrough); Staffs RO, MS D(W)1778/Ii/355, 9th, 14th, 15th & 17th documents in folder (respectively, an anonymous discussion of ‘The Reasons how the Dutch came to get the Weather Gage of our Fleet’, and parts of journals by Francis Hamond, Richard Streete and Charles Stephens, respectively midshipmen and master’s mate aboard Royal Katherine). There is some dispute about the exact number and timings of the combined fleet’s tacks, but this is hardly surprising given the complexity of night manoeuvring relatively close to shore and the added complication of the change of wind – moreover, the degree of confusion within and between the journals is entirely consistent with the fact that by dawn, the fleet’s sailing order was in considerable disarray. Division of Dutch fleet: Bruijn, Oorlogvoering, 152, 205-9.

48  Quotation: Journals and Narratives, 330. Quality of line-of-battle: Journals and Narratives, 354; Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 305. Spragge’s orders to Blue squadron: Bod, Carte MS 38, fo 30r (Fowler); Journals and Narratives 354-5 (Narbrough). Spragge’s ostensible and actual motives for backing his sails were discussed in detail by Legge, Staffs RO MS D(W)1778/Ii/355, 23rd document in folder, fo 13 (manuscript pamphlet by Legge – provenance discussed by J D Davies, Gentlemen and Tarpaulins (Oxford 1991), 167-8) and this clearly formed the basis for the (unattributed) analysis of Spragge’s tactics by Sir J S Corbett: A Note on the Drawings in the Possession of the Earl of Dartmouth Illustrating the Battle of Solebay, 28 May 1672, and the Battle of the Texel, 11 August 1673 (NRS 1908), 37.

49  Quotation: ‘P B’ to Sir Charles Lyttelton from Royal Prince, 12 August 1673: CSPD 1673, 490.

50  Quotations: ibid., 491. Surviving accounts from the admiral of the blue’s division: ibid., 490-2; PRO, ADM 51/13, pt 1 (log of Advice); Captain John Dawson, Advice, to Navy Board, 18 Aug 1673: ADM 1/3545, p 197; Bod, Carte MS 38, fos. 30-1, 34-5 (accounts by Fowler, Royal Prince, and Herbert, Cambridge); BL, Egerton MS 928 fos 143-4 (another account by Fowler); account by Captain Guy, Henrietta Yacht: PRO SP 29/336313 (accurate summary in CSPD 1673, 523. For the blue squadron as a whole, cf also the official ‘Relation’: Journals and Narratives, 392-4.

51  Cf Fowler and ‘P B’ accounts from Royal Prince cited in n50. For the perpetuation of the story of the Prince‘s defence see, inter alia, Corbett, Drawings, 43.

52  Surviving accounts of the rear-admiral of the blue’s division: Journals and Narratives, 354-62 (journal of Narbrough, Saint Michael); an earlier and briefer summary of the battle by Narbrough is BL Harleian MS 6845, fos 156-7, printed in Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 310-12. Most accounts only give two the first two frigates named towing the Prince, but it is clear that the Pearl joined the tow later: CSPD 1673, 523; PRO ADM 51/3932 (log of Pearl).

53  Surviving accounts of the vice-admiral of the blue’s division: BL Egerton MS 928, fo. 146 (account by Kempthorne, Saint Andrew). The journal for the flagship of Kempthorne’s adversary, Sweers, is printed in Bruijn, Oorlogvoering, 152-4.

54  Staffs R.O., MS D(W)1778/Ii/355, 17th document in folder (account by Richard Streete).

55  Surviving accounts from the red squadron (all from admiral’s division with the exception of BL Egerton MS 840B, York, and PRO ADM 51/588, Mary Rose, the former of which was probably in the vice-admiral’s division – see Appendix – and the latter of which was definitely in the rear-admiral’s division; both of these journals are almost entirely navigational): Rupert’s relation, printed both in CSPD 1673, 520-2 and Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 306-9; sources listed in n44 above; Journals and Narratives, 311 (Legge, Royal Katherine), 390-1 (the official ‘Relation’); Staffs R.O. MS D(W)1778/Ii/355 (accounts by Legge and several of his midshipmen and master’s mates aboard Royal Katherine); PRO, ADM 51/ 3817 (log of Crown). Journals by de Ruyter on De Zeven Provincien and his son Engel de Ruyter, captain of the Waesdorp – both in the squadron opposing the red – are printed in Bruijn, Oorlogvoering, 89-90, 184-5 respectively.

56  D Hepper, British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail 1650-1859 (Rotherfield 1994), 10-11 and passim. Cf also the comments of W Maltby, ‘Politics, Professionalism, and the Evolution of Sailing-Ship Tactics’, The Tools of War: Instruments, Ideas and Institutions of Warfare, 1445-1871, ed J A Lynn (Urbana, 1990), 57-8. (I am grateful to Drs P Le Fevre and R Harding for this reference.)

57  Quotation: document cited in n54 above.

58  Quotation: CSPD 1673, 521. Latter stages of battle: journals cited in ns 50, 52, 53 and 55 above. English & Dutch losses: Journals and Naratives, 52-3. Dutch perspective: Bruijn, Oorlogvoering, 89-90, 154, 185; newsletter from Middelburg, 16/26 Aug 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 333-4. A good example of the wildly exaggerated English claims can be found in ibid., 306.

59  Quotation: document cited in n54 above.

60  PRO, ADM 51/3817.

61  PRO, SP 29/336/259.

62  Journals and Narratives, 391-2.

63  Ibid., 392.

64  D’Estrees and Herouard accounts published in Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 312-16, 325-8; anonymous account in ibid., 328-30.

65  Martel’s accounts are printed in ibid., 316-25 (quotation from p324).

66  Cf Rupert’s relation: CSPD 1673, 521-2; Martel to Colbert de Croissy, 27 Aug/6 Sept 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 340-1; sources quoted in n93 below.

67  See Ekberg, Failure, 163.

68  Seignelay to d’Estrees, 30 Aug/9 Sept, 7/17 Sept 1673; same to Colbert de Croissy, 7/17 Sept 1673: Colenbrander, Bescheiden, 342-3, 347-9; Colbert to Seignelay, 31 Aug/10 Sept 1673, ibid., 351-4; rejoinders by d’Estrees and Seignelay to Rupert’s allegations, ibid., 355-8. Cf ibid, Colbert and Seignelay to d’Estrees, 23 July/2 Aug and 4/14 Aug 1673 (ibid., 293, 299) for earlier expressions of the French government’s desire for ‘la gloire’ from its fleet;

69  Allin to Navy Board, 15 Aug 1673: PRO ADM 106/284/158; Henry Coventry to Princess Elizabeth of the Rhine, 18 Aug 1673: Coventry MS 82, fo 129v.

70  BL Stowe MS 202, fos 334-5.

71  See Davies, Gentlemen and Tarpaulins, 171-2.

72  Staffs R.O., MS D(W)1778/Ii/355, 19th document in folder (unsigned, undated list of criticisms of Rupert).

73  Names of the fourteen officers and Rupert’s criticisms of Chicheley are contained both in his relation (CSPD 1673, 520-2) and in The Exact Relation, printed in Journals and Narratives, 382-5.

74  Ibid., 380-6. Several MS copies of the pamphlet survive, eg in Staffs R.O. MS D(W)1778/Ii/355. For its appearance and impact see ibid., 1st, 22nd and 23rd documents in folder.




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