The Anglo-Dutch Fleet at the Battle of Barfleur/La Hogue 1692

I’m delighted to be able to start the New Year with a really important guest blog from Frank Fox. Following on from his previous contributions on this site, which provided the most definitive listings of the fleets at the Battle of the Texel/Kijkduin (11/21 August 1673), Frank has now turned his attention to the twin battles of Barfleur and La Hogue in 1692. These were hugely important in both the immediate context of the ‘Nine Years War’ and the wider one of naval history as a whole: Admiral Russell’s victory both prevented probably the most realistic prospect of a full-scale pro-Jacobite invasion, and constituted one of the most spectacular and complete British naval triumphs before the age of Nelson. And yet, as Frank points out, our understanding of which ships actually fought in the battles is remarkably sketchy. That all changes right now, as I hand over to Frank!

(Note: the formatting of the lists below has been tested on two browsers, Chrome and Edge, but I can’t guarantee that they’ll retain the formatting on other platforms, especially mobile ones.)

***

Many thanks to David Davies for making his site available.  The series of actions known as the Battle of Barfleur/La Hogue took place in the English Channel on 19-24 May 1692 (Old Style) or 29 May-3 June (New Style) between an outnumbered French fleet under the Comte de Tourville and an Anglo-Dutch force with British admiral Edward Russell in overall command and Philips van Almonde directing the Dutch.  Considering the importance of these events, it is surprising that the makeup of the fleets has been so imperfectly known.  The French battle line, at least, is well recorded and not repeated here – though an accounting of frigates and fireships is still lacking.  But the English and Dutch squadrons in modern printed and online works are chaotically inconsistent.  I have sought to remedy this here as far as possible.

For the Dutch, I have followed (with expanded details) a mostly ignored order of battle found by A L van Schelven in the records of the Admiralty of Amsterdam and published in 1947.  It is dated 17/27 May, when the fleet sailed from St Helens two days before the action.[1]  Modern researcher Carl Stapel found a closely related list in the Dutch National Archives in The Hague dated 16/26 May; it omits one ship through an apparent clerical error and shows a different disposition of frigates which was evidently altered the next day.[2]  Dutch journals mention no other arrivals before the fighting ended.

Van Schelven’s list is best verified from English records.  Extensive correspondence with Russell and Almonde is preserved in the papers of Secretary of State Daniel Finch, Earl of Nottingham and principal strategic advisor to Queen Mary.  These include many reports of ship movements and several invaluable Dutch fleet lists sent to Russell by Almonde at various times.  Nottingham and the queen also communicated often with officers of the Portsmouth-based Dutch winter guard which supplied eleven vessels to Almonde’s fleet.[3]  The English sources lend strong credence to Van Schelven’s list.

Numerous Dutch ships joined after the fighting ended on 24 May/3 June, and their arrival dates are nearly all recorded in Nottingham’s papers.  Most of these vessels appear on one or another of the printed or online orders of battle, so I list them here showing guns and captains.  As in the order of battle below, the letter before each ship’s name indicates the admiralty to which it belonged:  A for Amsterdam, M for the Maas (Rotterdam), N for the Noorderkwartier (North Holland), Z for Zeeland, and F for Friesland.

Arrived St Helens 24 May/3 June, but only sailed for La Hogue the next day:[4]

Z       Zierikzee                             64           Jan de La Palma

M      Maagd van Dordrecht         60           Matthijs Paradijs

 

Came to Dover 26 May/5 June requesting orders:[5]

N       Wapen van Hoorn             54           Jacob van Veen (joined fleet)

N       Valkenier                           42           Diest Cromhout (sent to North Sea)

N       fireship Brandenburg          ?            Andries Muijsevanger

 

Joined the fleet at Spithead 1/11 June after convoying (with three English ships) 60 merchantmen from Bilbao to Falmouth:[6]        

A       Haarlem                              64           Arnold Manart

A       Ripperda                             50           Herman Lijnslager

 

Joined before 6/16 June, possibly on 1/11 June with the Haarlem and Ripperda as the third

Dutch escort of the returning Bilbao convoy, though evidence is inadequate:[7]

F       Frisia                                    72           Hidde de Vries

 

Joined 6/16 June:[8]

F       Prins Casimir                       72           Anthonij van Lith

F       Stad en Lande                     52           Ross

A       Gaasterland                         50           Jan Middtagten

F       Brack                                   36           ?

Z       fireship Zon                           ?           Arend Vinck

 

For the Dutch squadron listed below, ships are given in normal order from van to rear as shown by Van Schelven and confirmed by Captain Philips Schrijver’s account, which specifically mentions that Vice-Admiral Callenburgh commanded the van division.[9]  The year built (or purchased for some fireships) is given to help distinguish the many Dutch warships with identical or similar names.  Guns and manning  (complements, not men aboard) for major ships are mainly from a list drawn up by Almonde on 8/18 May.[10]  Other data and captains not given by Van Schelven are from various sources.[11]  The abbreviation ‘S-b-N’ means schout-bij-nacht, or rear-admiral.  The Dutch battle-line included twenty-four ‘capital ships’ of 50 guns or more and three heavy frigates of 40-44 guns; eight smaller frigates of 16-38 guns and seven fireships were outside the line.

On the British side, Russell established his initial order of battle on 5/15 May, but issued a slightly updated order on 14/24 May.[12]  Laird Clowes printed the original or a closely related version in 1898 (in reverse order) and Clowes is still followed in some recent sources.[13]  But many ships on his list did not arrive in time for the battle, while others not listed did, and he mostly omitted light frigates and other small warships.  During the twentieth century some researchers and historians offered corrections and additions,[14] but more adjustments and details are still needed.  I have reexamined the Admiralty’s fleet distribution lists for May and June 1692,[15] correspondence and accounts of the participants from many sources,[16] and various ships’ logs.[17]  The result is the list below.

The ships are given as arrayed from van to rear.[18]  Guns and complements are from the Admiralty’s fleet distribution lists,[19] while men aboard are as of 14/24 May as reported by Russell the next day.[20]  Russell’s data are useful in showing the overall manning condition of the fleet, but are not the final figures for some ships because he reluctantly obeyed the Admiralty’s orders to transfer men from over-manned ships to under-manned vessels; the Vanguard, for instance, gained 32 men, making 612, by 16/26 May.[21]  Asterisks indicate captains killed.  The battle-line numbered 58 ships of 44 guns or more including (surprisingly) a fifth-rate.  Outside the line were four more fifth-rates, six sixth-rates, and a hospital ship.  There were 23 fireships on hand for the first day’s fighting, but another joined later.   Incidentally, two late-arriving vessels were nearly in time to find a place on the list below.  The third-rate York reached La Hogue just hours after the fighting ended on 24 May/3 June, and the third-rate Royal Oak came to St Helens the next day.[22] There is also an oddity:  Vice-Admiral Sir Ralph Delavall sowed confusion by specifically naming the fourth-rate Reserve as taking part in his attack at Cherbourg, but this was a misidentification; the ship was then leaving the Thames with orders to blockade Dunkirk.[23]

 

WHITE SQUADRON – DUTCH

 

Van Division, Vice-Admiral Callenburgh

Adm Built    Ship                                 Guns  Comp       Captain

M      1665    Zeven Provinciën                76      400        Evert de Liefde

M      1683    Kapitein Generaal               84      500        S-b-N Philips van der Goes

M      1688    Veluwe [24]                         64      335        Cornelis van Brakel

N       1691    Wapen van Medemblik       50      210        Jan Visscher

N       1690    Noord Holland [24]             68      350        Jacob de Jonge

N       1688    Kasteel van Medemblik      86      500        V-Adm Gerard Callenburgh

M      1691    Ridderschap                        72      375        Johan van Convent

A       1662    Harderwijk                           44      175        Justus van Hoogenhoeck

A       1688    Brandenburg [25]                92      500        Hendrik van Toll

Frigates, not in line

A       1688    Anna [24]                            36      150        Govert van Meppelen

A       1692    Wakende Boij                      26      100        Jan Varckenvisscher

N       1689    Herder                                16         60        Meijndert de Boer

Fireships

M      1692    Fenix or Vogel Fenix           ?         28        Willem Gerritsz. Klein

M      1691    Wijnbergen                          ?         22        Jan Freriks Presser

 

Centre Division, Lieutenant-Admiral Van Almonde

A       1688    Amsterdam [24]                 64      325        Cornelis van der Zaan

A       1683    Prinses Maria                     92      500        S-b-N Gilles Scheij

A       1672    Schattershoef [24]             50      210        Jan Barend van Wassenaar

A       1691    Elswout or Elsterwout        72      375        Louis, Graaf van Nassau

A       1687    Prins                                  92      540        Lt-Adm Philips van Almonde

A       1692    Slot Muijden                       72      375        Gerard van der Dussen

A       1687    Edam                                 40      165        Christiaan Bernhard, Graaf

van Bentheim

N       1682    Westfriesland                     88      475        S-b-N Jan Gerritsz. Muijs

A       1687    Leijden [24]                        64      325        Pieter Klaasz. Decker

Frigates, not in line

A       1677    Raadhuijs van Haarlem      38      150        Hendrik de Veer

A       1692    Batavier                              26      100        Jolle Jolleszoon

A       1675    Bruijnwis                             18         75        Jan, Baron van Nieuland

Fireships

A       1688    Vesuvius                               4         22        Gilles Jansz. Du Pon

A       1688    Strombolij                              6         22        Jan Herman van Troijen

A       1672    Etna or Berg Etna                 6         22        Cornelis Pieter Schuijt

 

Rear Division, Vice-Admiral Van der Putten

A       1688    Vlaardingen                         42      170        Rutger Bucking

M      1666    Gelderland                           64      325        Johan Willem van Rechteren

A       1663    Provincie v. Utrecht [26]      62      325        Abraham Ferdinand van Zijll

Z        1691    Eerste Edele [24]                74      400        Andries de Boer

Z        1688    Koning Willem                     93      525        V-Adm Carel van der Putten

A       1690    Zeelandia                             64      325        Philips Schrijver

Z        1688    Ter Goes [24]                      54      225        Maarten Barentsz. Boom

Z        1682    Zeelandia                            92      500        S-b-N Geleijn Evertsen

Z        1682    Veere [24]                           62      325        Cornelis Mosselman

Frigates, not in line

Z        1689    Zeijst [24]                            30      130        Steven Wiltschut

A       1675    Neptunis                               18         75        Daniel Ronkszen

Fireships

Z        1689    Etna                                      4           22        Samuel Des Herbes

A       1688    Zes Gebroeders [24]             6         22        Simon Jacobs de Jongh

 

RED SQUADRON – BRITISH

 

Van Division, Vice-Admiral Delavall

Rate  Ship                                Guns  Comp  Aboard    Captain

2       St Michael                           90       600      602        Thomas Hopson

3       Lenox                                  70       460      422        John Munden

4       Bonaventure                       48       230      216        John Hubbard

2       Royal Katherine                  82       540      510        Wolfran Cornwall

1       Royal Sovereign               100       815      840        V-Adm Sir Ralph Delavall

2nd Humphrey Sanders

3       Captain                                70       460      396        Daniel Jones

4       Centurion                             48       230      209        Francis Wyvell

3       Burford                                 70       460      422        Thomas Harlow

Fireships

Extravagant [27]                           10         40         41        Fleetwood Emes

Wolf [28]                                         8         45         35        James Greenway

Vulcan                                             8         45         44        Joseph Soames

Hound [28]                                      8         45         43        Thomas Foulis

 

Centre Division, Admiral Russell

3       Elizabeth                              70       460      357        Stafford Fairborne

3       Rupert                                  66       400      252        Basil Beaumont

3       Eagle                                    70       460      390        John Leake

4       Chester                                48       230      172        Thomas Gillam

1       St Andrew                            96       730      730        George Churchill

1       Britannia                            100       780      940        Adm Edward Russell

1st David Mitchell

2nd John Fletcher

1       London                                 96       730      780        Matthew Aylmer

4       Greenwich                            54       280      233        Richard Edwards

3       Restoration                           70       460      380        John Gother

3       Grafton                                 70       460      380        William Bokenham

4       Dragon [29]                          46       220          —       William Vickars

Fireships

Flame                                             8         45         43        James Stewart

Roebuck                                         8         45          —        Francis Manley

Vulture                                            8         45         37        Hovenden Walker

Spy                                                 8         45         41        John Norris

 

Rear Division, Rear-Admiral Shovell

3       Hampton Court                   70       460      434        John Graydon

3       Swiftsure                             70       420      370        Richard Clarke

4       St Albans                            50       280          —       Richard Fitzpatrick

3       Kent                                    70       460      401        John Neville

1       Royal William                    100       780      880        R-Adm Sir Clowdesley Shovell

2nd Thomas Jennings

2       Sandwich                             90       660      606        Anthony Hastings*

4       Oxford                                  54       280      275        James Wishart

3       Cambridge                           70       420      400        Richard Lestock

4       Ruby                                    48       230      200        George Meese

Fireships

Phaeton [30]                                 8         45         40        Robert Hancock

Fox [30]                                        8         45         33        Thomas Killingworth

Strombolo                                     8         45         31        Thomas Urry

Hopewell [30]                               8         40         45        William Jumper

 

 

BLUE SQUADRON – BRITISH

 

Van Division, Rear-Admiral Carter

3       Hope                                     70       460      362        Henry Robinson

4       Deptford                                50       280      240        William Kerr

3       Essex                                    70       460      391        John Bridges (elder)

2       Duke                                     90       660      640        R-Adm Richard Carter*

2nd William Wright

2       Ossory                                  90       660      590        John Tyrrell

4       Woolwich                              54       280      270        Christopher Myngs

3       Suffolk                                  70       460      382        Christopher Billop

4       Crown                                   48       230      220        Thomas Warren

3       Dreadnought                         64       365      309        Thomas Coall

3       Stirling Castle                        70       460      356        Benjamin Walters

4       Tiger Prize [31]                     48       230      168        Robert Sincock

Fireships

Thomas & Elizabeth [32]               10         40         33        Edward Littleton

Vesuvius                                          8         45         43        John Guy

Hunter                                              8         45         36        Thomas Rooke

Hawk                                                8         45          —        William Harman

 

Centre Division, Admiral Ashby

3       Edgar                                   72       445      352        John Torpley

3       Monmouth                            66       460      395        Robert Robinson

2       Duchess                               90       660      680        John Clements

1       Victory                                100       780      767        Adm Sir John Ashby

2nd Edward Stanley

2       Vanguard                              90       660      580        Christopher Mason

5       Adventure                             44       190      145        Thomas Dilkes

3       Warspite                               70       420      340        Caleb Grantham

3       Montagu                               62       355      343        Simon Foulkes

3       Defiance                               64       400      324        Edward Gourney

3       Berwick                                 70       460      381        Henry Martin

Fireships

Speedwell                                      8         45         40        Thomas Symonds

Griffin                                             8         45          —        Robert Partridge

Etna                                               8         45         43        Richard Carverth

Blaze [28]                                      8         45         45        Thomas Heath

 

Rear Division, Vice-Admiral Rooke

3       Lion                                       60       340      249        Robert Wiseman

3       Northumberland                    70       460      410        Andrew Cotton

4       Advice                                   48       230      193        Charles Hawkins

2       Neptune                                90       660      682        V-Adm George Rooke

2nd Thomas Gardner

2       Windsor Castle                     90       660      750        Peregrine Osborne, Earl

of Danby

3       Expedition                            70       460      430        Edward Dover

3       Monck                                  60       340          —       Benjamin Hoskins

3       Resolution                            70       420      289        Edward Good

2       Albemarle                             90       660      655        Sir Francis Wheeler

Fireships

Half Moon [32]                               8         35          —        John Knapp

Owner’s Love                               10         40          —        John Perry

Cadiz Merchant [30]                     12         45          —        Robert Wynn

Lightning                                         8         45          —        Lawrence Keck

 

Light Frigates and Small Warships, not in line

5       Falcon                                  42       180          —        Nathaniel Browne

5       Mary Galley                          34       160          —        Richard Griffith

5       Charles Galley                     32       180          —        Joseph Waters

5       Portsmouth                          32       135          —        John Bridges (younger)

5       Concord hospital [33]          30         45          —        Ralph Crow

6       Sally Rose                           22         80          —        Thomas Pound

6       Greyhound                           16         75          —        William Kiggins

6       Saudadoes                           16         75          —        William Prower

6       Fubbs yacht                          12         40          —        John Guy

6       Salamander bomb                10         35          —        Thomas Pinder

6       Shark brigantine [34]        4+8p         30          —        Jedediah Barker                          

 

 

Notes

 

  1. A L Van Schelven, Philips van Almonde, Admiraal in de Gecombineerde Vloot 1644-1711 (Amsterdam, 1947), 211, citing Adm. XI, 27).
  1. Carl Stapel, unpublished note, citing Nationaal Archieven, Archief Admiraliteitscolleges, Losse Aanwinsten, NA 1.01.47.36 inventaris 6.
  1. Historical Manuscripts Commission [HMC], Report on the Finch Manuscripts, vol. iv, 1692, F Bickley ed. (London, 1965). Many of the originals are in the Leicestershire Record Office [LRO], DG7 NM27, including Dutch fleet lists of 11/21 March, 8/18 May, 14/24 May, and 7/17 June.  Others including Dutch letters from the Portsmouth squadron are in the National Archives at Kew [TNA], SP 42/1 (Secretary of State, State Papers Naval), with ship lists of 6/16 April (pp. 108 and 112) and one from Almonde of 1/11 May (pp. 150 and 154).
  1. Finch iv, 183.
  1. Ibid., 187.
  1. Ibid., 26 (listing these two ships among the winter guard at Portsmouth), 173, 198; TNA ADM 52/123, Pearl master’s log, mentioning two Dutch escorts of 64 and 50 guns.
  1. TNA ADM 51/3932, Pearl captain’s log, reporting three Dutch escorts; Finch iv, 26 (11/21 March) does not list the Frisia in the winter guard, but the original in LRO DG7 NM27 shows that Almonde had no information on ships of Friesland; Finch iii (1957), 265 and 286, suggests that she might indeed have been in the winter guard, as were most of the others listed with her.
  1. Finch iv, 211-12; the printed list of 7/17 June erroneously omits the Haarlem (see above), but she is on the original in LRO DG7 NM27.
  1. Europische Mercurius (Amsterdam), June 1692, 184-5.
  1. LRO DG7 NM27, accompanying a letter from Russell to Nottingham of 9/19 May.
  1. J C de Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, vol. iii (Zwolle, 1869), 721-2 and 730-49 (Bijlagen I and VII-XIX); A Vreugdenhil, Ships of the United Netherlands 1648-1702 (Society for Nautical Research, London, 1938); Europische Mercurius, June 1692, 150-196; J Bender, Dutch Warships in the Age of Sail 1600-1714 (Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, 2014); and valuable unpublished information from researchers Carl Stapel and James Bender.
  1. HMC The Manuscripts of the House of Lords, 1692-1693, F J H Skene and E F Taylor eds (London, 1894), 225-9 for the 14 May list, 198-237 for other relevant papers; see also Finch iv, 122.
  1. W Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy, A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, vol. ii (London, 1898), 348-9.
  1. Notably W B Rowbotham, ‘The Devonshire and the Battle of Barfleur’, in The Mariner’s Mirror, vol. 44 (1958), 252; and P Aubrey, The Defeat of James Stuart’s Armada 1692 (Leicester University Press, 1979), 175-180. More recently, researcher Razvan Lipan has posted improvements in the Battle of Barfleur entry in the Romanian Wikipedia (ro.wikipedia.org).
  1. TNA ADM 8/3.
  1. Especially Finch iv, 170-185; R Allyn, A Narrative of the Victory . . . Near La-Hogue (London, 1744); and Europische Mercurius, June 1692, 150-196.
  1. TNA ADM 51 and 52, many volumes.
  1. The order is apparent from several logs and accounts, but particularly obvious from S Martin-Leake, The Life of Sir John Leake, G Callender ed. (Navy Records Society, London, 1920), 48.
  1. TNA ADM 8/3.
  1. House of Lords, 227-9; guns and complements added by the editors were from unreliable sources.
  1. Ibid., 225-6; Aubrey, 84.
  1. Finch iv, 183-4
  1. Ibid., 185; TNA ADM 8/3; Delavall’s account: Allyn, 55; or London Gazette no. 2769, 23-26 May 1692.
  1. From the winter guard at Portsmouth. These are mostly given by Almonde in his list of 11/21 March of ships planned for the main fleet in LRO DG7 NM27 (printed in Finch iv, 26); of these, the Maas was sent home and Almonde omitted the Amsterdam and frigates Anna and Zeijst.
  1. Also called Keurvorst van Brandenburg.
  1. Guns are from 1688; in 1692 all Amsterdam ships of 62-64 guns were assigned 325 men. Captain Van Zijll was the commander in the North Sea and joined the fleet on 15/25 May “with some of that squadron” (Finch iv, 162).  The frigates Harderwijk, Vlaardingen, and Herder plus the fireship Etna (of Zeeland) probably came with him from his command, but the Wapen van Medemblik that arrived about the same time had been intended for the main fleet from the start.
  1. Set afire by a French shot and destroyed at Barfleur 19/29 May; Aubrey, 104; D J Hepper, British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail 1650-1859 (Jean Boudriot Publications, Rotherfield, 1994), 15.
  1. Expended at Cherbourg 22 May/1 June; London Gazette no. 2769, 23 May 1692; Allyn, 56; Aubrey, 114; Hepper, 15.
  1. Station unknown but this division is implied by TNA ADM 51/269, Dragon captain’s log.
  1. Expended unsuccessfully at Barfleur 19/29 May; Aubrey 176-7; Hepper, 15; Allyn, 36.
  1. This division, station unknown; TNA ADM 51/4371, Tiger Prize captain’s log; House of Lords, 227.
  1. Ran ashore and burned at La Hogue 24 May/3 June; Finch iv, 300 and 514; Aubrey, 118-21 and 180; Hepper, 15. The Half Moon was not present at Barfleur 19/29 May.  Late leaving the Thames, she passed through the Downs 21/31 May; TNA ADM 51/3890, Lark captain’s log.
  1. Hospital ships were classed as fifth-rates for officers’ pay scales.
  1. She had 4 carriage guns and 8 ‘pedreroes’, or light swivels; TNA ADM 8/3.

 

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank Carl Stapel and Jim Bender for helping with details of the Dutch squadron, Richard Endsor and Sylvia Spalding for photographing documents in the National Archives, and Paul Ambrose of the Leicester Record Office for hunting down many hard-to-find papers.  Finally, I am most grateful to David Davies for his encouragement – and for his indefatigable efforts at getting the pesky columns in these tables to line up!

(Thanks Frank. A nice Speyside this time, I think. – D)

 

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Frank Fox says:

    Postscript: Since the post has appeared, Dutch researcher Carl Stapel reports having found in the Nationaal Archieven in The Hague another Dutch order-of-battle dated 17/27 May. It is identical to the list given above, which is most gratifiying. Many thanks to Mr Stapel.

    Like

  2. Daniel Caramagno says:

    I never knew the Dutch had huge ships of 90 guns. I didn’t think their harbors could take such large vessels. Were they of three decks? Two gun decks would seem a weak design at this size, but three decks ride deep.

    Like

  3. Frank Fox says:

    A Speyside it will be, and well earned! — Frank

    Like

%d bloggers like this: