J D Davies - Historian and Author
The website and blog of naval historian and bestselling author J D Davies
08/05/2016 by J D Davies 3 Comments
23/09/2016 at 15:50
Dear Dr. Davies,Thank you so much for your prompt and informative response and I apoligize for my lack of same.My father is in very poor health,in fact he’s 92 today and we are a bit more anxious than normal.Besides when you mentioned Frank Fox just was stunning! Starstruck moight be the word.I ordered “Four Day Battle” In January 2015 and have rarely put it down since then,Not an easy book for a neophyte as myself to read as the nautical words are all new to me not to speak of 17th century English is a bit of challenge in its own wright(some them seem to be bad spellers,’it appears.I just love all the compiled data and Mr. Fox brings the event back to life, combined with bringing the Van De Velde’s to light,who I new nothing of at all.Now it is a love affair!I have KREIGSRAAD drawing with DELFT and ZEVEN Provincien on my Android and show every body I meet!! I am addicted but in a good way. I bought Winfields and Benders books and are perfect companion books don’t you agree?Do you mind telling Mr.Fox how much I appreciate his work for me? Iprobably could think of 50 questions and maybe couldnt decide what to ask first,but in the R.C.Anderson book pg 339(Narbrough,Captain of St.Michael 1673) Flagship of Earl of Ossory taking 176 out of FAIRFAX to benefit his boats complement to 700 me,and adds”50 more allowed for the Flag” Is it reasonable to presuppose the adding 50 men to each flagship in Appendix F?? or C,G OR H ? for that matter.
Ronald Landzaat says
04/08/2016 at 21:36
Thank for the wonderful painting above.Do u think ship being towed by 2 ships at bottom is the Prince?She seem to have similar damage as Better known Van De Velde jr. Oil painting but seems to have been later in that piece and she hadn’t been rescued yet.Dutch seem to have another ship cut-off farther up.If Prince is there,likely boat is London or Royal Sovereign both rebuilt 1679 per Winfield book.R.C Anderson’s book(I bought it) indicates Prince was towed by 3 to 4 ships,so she still may be getting pummeled here.
In defense of French,Andersons book recalls that a Dutch fire ship burned out under LA Reine (104 gun Flag ship) bowsprit,so she must have been at least partially disabled,would’not u think?
J D Davies says
10/08/2016 at 19:05
Hi Ronald, I passed on your query to Frank Fox, the authority on the battles of the Dutch wars and their illustrations, and his response is as follows.
The oil painting you refer to is a detail of a work of 1687 by Van de Velde the Younger (signed and dated on the reverse), the original in the National Maritime Museum Inv. BHC0315, and a very close copy in the Scheepvaart Inv. A291. The Prince is at right about 1 p.m. with Spragge’s flag still flying and the mainmast still standing. Astern of her in the distance is the Royal Sovereign. On the left are the Dutch ships Olifant, Comeetster, Woerden (which actually wasn’t present), and prominently shown, Tromp’s Gouden Leeuw. In the distance to the left of the Gouden Leeuw is Sir John Chicheley’s Charles with the mizzen falling with his flag. Van de Velde knew quite well from numerous drawings his and father’s files what all of these ships looked like in 1673.
The water colour in the NMM (a design for a tapestry) is copied from the 7th part (about 6 o’clock in the evening) of a series of drawings of the Battle by Van de Velde the Elder. The drawings are in the National Maritime Museum, but I do not know their current ID number; the old one was number 408 on pp. 338-9 of the M. S. Robinson’s NMM Van de Velde drawings catalogue. The severely damaged Prince is in the foreground under tow by the Hampshire and Ruby. They were later relieved by the Pearl and the Monmouth. In the tapestry design, the Royal Sovereign is in the middle distance beyond the Prince clearly identified as “P Rupert”. The drawing (obviously after Van de Velde) for the tapestry is probably the one done by Thomas Phillips, and the tapestry itself (wherever it is) is probably the one made by Francis Poyntz (Cal Pepys MSS iv, p. 470).
As to damage to the Reine, both sides expended several fireships without result in the action between the French squadron and the Dutch, but the French flagship did not suffer much damage.
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