Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Second Anglo-Dutch War
Depiction of the raid in the Medway (1667)
Depiction of the raid in the Medway (1667)
date March 4, 1665 to July 31, 1667
place North Sea , English Channel , Caribbean , Norway
Exit Victory of the Netherlands
Peace agreement Peace of Breda
Parties to the conflict

Republic of the Seven United ProvincesRepublic of the Seven United Provinces United Netherlands France Denmark
France Kingdom 1792France 

England kingdomKingdom of England England Hochstift Munster
Flag of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster.svg

The Second Anglo-Dutch War was a military conflict between the Kingdom of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands from 1663 to 1667; the official English declaration of war was not made until March 1665.

It was the second in a series of Anglo-Dutch naval wars in the 17th and 18th centuries. The main focus of the dispute was to gain economic advantages. The kingdoms of France and Denmark as well as the bishopric of Münster were involved in the war, but only took part in it to a small extent. To end the fighting, which was ultimately victorious for the Netherlands and comprised three open sea ​​battles , the parties finally concluded the Peace of Breda on July 31, 1667, which was favorable for the Netherlands but moderate for England .


( Note: Calendar dates in this article refer to the Gregorian calendar , which was ten days ahead of the Julian calendar used in England at the time .)

As early as 1652 to 1654, the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands had waged the bitter first Anglo-Dutch naval war, in which the two powers fought for dominance in world trade. It ended on May 8, 1654 with the Peace of Westminster , in which the Netherlands had to recognize the English "Navigation Act" , which stipulated that goods from outside Europe could only be imported into England on ships flying the English flag or on ships in the countries of origin may take place. This decision was aimed primarily at the displacement of the Dutch from the lucrative English trade and was therefore not suitable for ending the competition in trade policy.

King Charles II of England, portrait by John Michael Wright (around 1665)

In the following years there were some political upheavals. In May 1660 Charles II (1630–1685) returned to England as king and renewed the monarchy in England in the Stuart Restoration . However, he had had to make far-reaching concessions to the English Parliament. So it controlled the budget and tax laws of the country, which left Charles II in a dependent relationship. However, the king strove to restore the power of the crown and, when the opportunity arose, to transform it into an absolutist kingship. To do this, he primarily needed funds in order to be able to operate an independent policy. His marriage to Catherine of Braganza (1638–1705) brought a generous dowry in 1662, and in the same year Charles II sold the city of Dunkirk to King Louis XIV of France (1638–1715). The king also expected high profits from a war against the United Netherlands through pirate trips and booty. After all, the revenues of the first war against the United Netherlands had been extraordinarily high - the booty from that war was £ 120 million , while total British government spending in 1652-53 was only £ 53 million. Furthermore, Charles II harbored a personal grudge against the government of the United Netherlands, more precisely against the party of the De Witt brothers. The Stuarts were closely related to the House of Orange . But this had been excluded from governorship in the Netherlands by the Act of Seclusion, a secret amendment to the Peace of Westminster. A war against the party Johan de Witts (1625–1672) and Andries de Graeffs (1611–1678) thus meant, as it were, the fight for the interests of one's own relatives.

But there were also numerous supporters of a new armed conflict against the United Netherlands in parliament . A threat appeared to be looming in 1662, when France and the United Netherlands signed a mutual assistance pact that year. In particular, the brother of King James, the Duke of York (1633–1701), who later became king himself, led the war party. He was at the helm of the Royal African Company , which included other influential men such as Prince Ruppert, the Duke of Buckingham and the Home Secretary Sir Henry Bennet, and hoped to eliminate competition from the Dutch West India Company by means of a war - in 1650 drove about 16,000 merchant ships under the Dutch and around 4000 under the English flag. Numerous other representatives thought similarly to him. This was reflected in the words of the English naval commander George Monck (1608–1670) when the war broke out:

“What matters this or that reason? What we want is more of the trade the Dutch now have. "

“What does this or that reason matter? What we want is a bit more of the deal the Dutch have now. "

- George Monck

The English fleet

Since both states were maritime powers fighting primarily for maritime trade advantages, the respective fleets were of decisive importance. In England, King Charles II had continued the naval policy of Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) and had the fleet upgraded under the direction of Admiral Monck. At the beginning of the war, the English fleet had a number of three-deck ships of the line , each equipped with 90 to 100 guns (including many forty-two pounders). The core of the fleet consisted of three ships of the first class (80 to 100 guns), twelve ships of the second class (60 to 80 guns) and 15 ships of the third class (54 to 64 guns). Ships with fewer than 32 guns, however, were removed from the battle fleet. In this respect the English battle fleet was superior to the Dutch. On the other hand, due to the heavy debt burden, a new building program did not begin until autumn 1664, which included six two-deckers with 60 cannons each. Crew recruitment was a major problem. In 1664, 16,000 sailors were serving in the Royal Navy, although 30,000 were needed. In order to achieve this number, men were increasingly forced into the navy, that is, forced into compulsory labor.

From a tactical point of view, too , the English fleet was more developed than that of other states. The Duke of York stipulated in 1665 that the formation of the keel line should be the binding standard formation for the entire fleet and not just for individual squadrons: “In every battle with the enemy, the commanders of Her Majesty's ships must do everything possible, the fleet in one To hold the line and in any case to maintain the order of battle that was established before the battle […] No ship in Her Majesty's fleet may pursue ships or smaller groups of the enemy as long as the bulk of the enemy fleet is not defeated or flees. "

The Dutch fleet

The Gouden Leeuw , painting by Willem van de Velde the Younger

While a uniform organization prevailed in England, this was hardly possible in the federally organized United Netherlands. Five different admirals ( Middelburg , Rotterdam , Amsterdam , Hoorn or Enkhuizen and Harlingen ) in three lakeside provinces ( Zeeland , Holland and Friesland ) vied for the authority, and the various governors were seldom willing to pay larger sums in order to save money to invest in the expansion of the fleet. Nevertheless, there was a leading politician in the council pensioner Jan de Witt who tried to build it up. The provincial admirals waived part of their independence in return for higher pay. In this way he reorganized the naval administration. These efforts were supplemented by a larger construction program. When peace was concluded in 1654, the old navy of the United Netherlands was reinforced by 80 warships with an average of 34 guns, and from the end of 1653 by 64 new ships (each with 44 to 60 guns). Due to a resolution of the States General, these could no longer be sold. The ships were laid up and activated if necessary (repaired, rigged, manned and equipped). These ships, which were finished too late for the battles of 1653, were now immediately available for a new war. De Witt had thus created the so-called "new navy". In addition, there were the (mostly older) 80 to 90 smaller and lightly armed ships, whose task was now primarily to protect convoy trains. The experience of the previous war against England had shown that naval wars were not decided by the protection of trade lines, but in great naval battles by powerful fleets. Nevertheless, when the war broke out, the largest Dutch ships only had two decks with 60 to 80 guns (a maximum of twenty-four pounders). Over half of the Dutch battle fleet consisted of ships with a maximum of 32 guns and 30 to 40 percent of the ships were armed merchant ships. So she was qualitatively inferior to the English fleet. However, Jan de Witt had arranged for the construction of numerous fast Avisos (Dutch adviesjachten; ships for the intelligence and observation service) and frigates , which had only one deck, but were very manoeuvrable. In the course of the war, the United Netherlands was supposed to make up for this inferiority by building numerous new buildings and hijacked ships. In August 1664, 30 older ships were made operational again, in November 1664 eighteen more; In the same month, on November 17th, the States General ordered the construction of 24 new "capital ships" (Capitale schepen van Oorloge) such as the Hollandia ; in March 1665, 24 more new buildings were ordered, in July 1666 another twelve. Of these sixty ships, 28 were equivalent to the British second rates (second class) and 32 to the British third rates. For this purpose, 21 frigates and Avisos were built in the years 1664–1667.

Course of war

Operations until the official declaration of war

Seeschlacht bei Lowestoft Viertageschlacht St. James’s Day Fight Überfall im Medway Frieden von Breda Holmes’ Bonfire
Click on the symbols to go to the individual battles

As a result of anti-Dutch sentiment, English and Dutch ships often clashed in the run-up to the war. Some English entrepreneurs equipped private pirates who, before the official declaration of war in the spring of 1665, had arrested more than 200 Dutch merchant ships. The unfair treatment of English citizens in the Dutch-East Indian colonies in 1663 offered a welcome pretext for opening combat operations on a larger scale. On behalf of the Royal African Company , a squadron under Captain Robert Holmes (1622–1692) was sent into the West African waters with the order: “ Promote the Interests of the Royall Company ” and “ kill, take, sink or destroy such as shall oppose you . ”Captain Holmes first cruised in front of the Dutch base Gorée (Senegal) and there on December 27, 1663 captured the merchant ship Brill. In the following weeks he hijacked two more ships and sank two others. On January 23, 1664, Holmes conquered Gorée himself. From there he continued to operate against the Dutch trading lines. He captured the large Dutch ship Walcheren (which was subsequently enlisted in the Royal Navy ) on March 28 and captured Fort Taccorary on the Gold Coast (now part of the Republic of Ghana ) on April 20 . After that, other smaller bases and ships fell into his possession before Holmes ended his campaign of conquest in West Africa on May 1, 1664.

Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, painting by Ferdinand Bol

Although Charles II had Holmes arrested pro forma on his return to England for violating the existing treaties with the United Netherlands, he refused to surrender the conquests made. So that the Netherlands would not be the first to start the war, in August 1664 they sent a squadron with 12 ships, supposedly destined for the Mediterranean, south. Michiel de Ruyter was only supposed to inform the other captains and crews of the true destination of the voyage at the height of Gibraltar and then prepare for the voyage to Africa. In fact, all bases except Cape Coast Castle could be taken again in late autumn. At about the same time, the English parliament used Captain Holmes' private enterprise and the regular fleet against Dutch colonies. The Dutch colony of Nieuw Amsterdam had failed to comply with the Navigation Act, which served as a pretext for a military enterprise. Under Major Richard Nicolls , four English frigates appeared in front of the Dutch colony on the island of Manhattan and asked the city to surrender. This was handed over without a fight on August 27th and renamed by the English to New York in honor of James, the Duke of York and brother of the English king . From there, Nicolls sent another expedition under Sir Robert Carr against the Dutch settlements on the Delaware , which were attacked and looted.

Sir Frescheville Holles (left) and Sir Robert Holmes (right) (1670)

While De Ruyter turned against English trade in the West Indies after the conclusion of the operations off Africa and there harmed English trade until the spring of 1665 (in March 1665 he tried in vain to conquer Barbados ), sharper steps were taken towards war in England undertaken. The “war faction” in parliament set up a committee whose task it was to collect complaints against Dutch traders. But the English dealers could hardly be persuaded to do so, as they had to reckon with major losses in sales during a war. Even so, the committee later submitted a long list of complaints to the king. At the same time, the influential ambassador to the Netherlands, Sir George Downing, advocated a tough line on questions about the West African colonies, believing that the Netherlands would not dare to go to war over these possessions. In this general mood the Parliament granted the King the sum of 2.5 million pounds sterling to officially protect English trade - twice the amount of the annual royal household. This was the largest sum ever granted to date and should not be exceeded in this century.

When news of the reconquest of the West African bases by De Ruyter's association in England arrived in December 1664, a parliamentary committee allowed the English ships in the English Channel and in the North Sea to take action against Dutch ships. The English Mediterranean squadron under Admiral Thomas Allin attacked the Dutch Smyrna fleet in the Strait of Gibraltar that same month (December 29) . Although the raid failed (only two merchant ships were captured, another sunk), the Dutch government drew dire consequences from it. In January 1665 she allowed her ships to open fire on English ships for the purpose of self-defense. The English government took this declaration, along with the De Ruyters train to the Caribbean, again as an opportunity to officially declare war on the United Netherlands on March 4, 1665. At that time, the De Ruyters fleet was still off North America, where it captured an English fishing fleet off Newfoundland .

The struggle for sea supremacy in 1665

James, Duke of York, portrait by Peter Lely

Although the two navies were almost equally strong, the English fleet was initially better prepared for the armed forces. Under the command of the Duke of York, it left its ports at the beginning of May 1665 and blocked the Dutch coast with 88 ships and 21 fires . This blockade was ineffective and few Dutch ships were intercepted - the large Dutch convoys from the colonies were not expected until July. The Dutch fleet could not be attacked in its harbors either, as the large English ships had too much draft to enter the shallow Dutch coastal waters. At the same time, supply problems made the English fleet to create. It was therefore decided to lift the blockade and withdraw to the home ports.

The Dutch struggled to equip their naval units, as the only operational unit was still operating in the Atlantic under de Ruyter's command. Nevertheless, the fear of another blockade of the coast outweighed. Council pensioner Jan de Witt therefore ordered the fleet under Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam (1610–1665) to sail out and beat the English fleet before it could reappear in Dutch waters. Although Admiral Obdam was aware that the armament was not yet complete and the fleet was not yet fully operational, he obeyed de Witt's instructions and ran out with 103 ships, 11 fires, 4870 guns and 21,600 men. On May 30th, the Dutch fleet had its first success when it managed to raise a large English trade convoy from Hamburg at Doggerbank . On the English coast, the two navies met on June 13, 1665 in the sea ​​battle at Lowestoft . The Dutch soon fell behind. After the loss of 17 ships and three admirals (including Admiralleutnant Obdam), the Dutch fleet withdrew under the command of Vice Admiral Cornelis Tromp (1629-1691).

Battle of Vågen, colored engraving by Arnold Bloem (1670)

This defeat led to great efforts in the United Netherlands to increase the effectiveness of the fleet. Several naval officers were charged with cowardice; of them three captains were executed, four dishonored and others dismissed. Admiral Tromp was now in command of the fleet. However, since he belonged to the Orange Party , his work was supervised by three deputies. Admiral Lieutenant Tromp reorganized the squadrons, repaired the damage to the ships, trained the crews and recruited new ones. Jan de Witt had larger warships built and heavier cannons cast in order to compete with the English ships. Soon Vice Admiral De Ruyter's squadron returned from the west Indian waters and strengthened the Dutch fleet. De Ruyter was now given command of the fleet as an admiralty lieutenant, which led to resentment between him and Tromp. This was to be the beginning of a rivalry that went on for years.

An effective exploitation of the English victory could have been the renewed blockade of the Dutch coast by the English fleet. However, with the supply problems still unresolved, this was impossible and the United Netherlands was given the opportunity to recover from its defeat. In addition, English warfare was hampered by an epidemic of plague that claimed thousands of lives and later became known as the " Great Plague of London " . Only in August 1665 did a major operation come about when an English flotilla attempted to capture the Dutch spice fleet from the East Indies , which was located in Bergen, Norway (then part of the Kingdom of Denmark ). But in the Battle of the Bay of Bergen (also known as the Battle of Vågen), the English were repulsed on August 12 by the treasure fleet under Rear Admiral Pieter de Bitter . De Ruyter then drove to meet the convoy to escort him. In addition, Danish coastal batteries had intervened on the side of the Dutch in the fighting. Other, smaller British Navy companies against Dutch trade also failed, while the lack of money and food and the plague epidemic did not allow for major operations. In September only four ships of the line were still operational. As a result, Parliament had to approve another £ 1,250,000 in October so that a new fleet could be made available the following year. In the same month, the Dutch began to block the Thames estuary, which they had to break off when the plague broke out on their ships.

Land War and Diplomacy

Bishop Christoph Bernhard Graf von Galen, painting by Wolfgang Heimbach

In the meantime, the English government had sought allies on the mainland, thereby embroiling and weakening the Netherlands in a land war. The Kingdom of Spain appeared as a natural ally for this . From this the United Netherlands had only fought for their final independence in 1648 with the end of the Eighty Years War , but the southern part, the so-called Spanish Netherlands , were still under the control of the Spanish monarchy. Spain, however, had only ended the unfavorable wars against France (1635–1659) and, related thereto, against England (1655–1660) a few years earlier , and led the Restoration War against Portugal , which had lasted since 1640 . The Spanish government was suffering from internal political turmoil and was unwilling to support Charles II. The main reason was the fear of having to fight again against France, which was allied with the United Netherlands.

The English, however, successfully approached Christoph Bernhard von Galen , the Prince-Bishop of Münster , who claimed the rule of Borkelo in the Dutch province of Gelderland for himself. In return for the payment of subsidies, he consented to an alliance treaty with England. With a contingent of troops, he invaded Twente in the summer of 1665 , where he successfully asserted himself against the weak Dutch land troops. Now Louis XIV of France intervened in the conflict for the first time. A defensive alliance had existed between him and the United Netherlands since 1662. He complied with this in the autumn of 1665 by sending several corps against the Bishop of Munster, which threw back his troops.

Dutch diplomacy came into play during the winter months. Since France had intervened, the English government pressed for a quick peace agreement. In November 1665, Charles II offered negotiations on the condition that the Orange Party returned to political office. De Witt refused and stated that a peace agreement could only be made if the old vested interests were restored. Instead, he worked on an anti-English alliance. France declared war on England on January 22nd, 1666. However, Louis XIV was preparing an attack on the Spanish Netherlands and therefore had no intention of sacrificing his forces for the interests of the United Netherlands. Rather, he wanted England and the Netherlands to weaken each other to such an extent that they could no longer oppose his campaign against Spain. Denmark followed the French example in February. The Danish King Friedrich III. (1609–1670) undertook to provide 30 warships against payment of subsidies. He also confiscated all English goods and ships in Danish ports. The campaign plan for the following year provided that French troops should take action against the Bishop of Munster. Elector Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg (1620–1688), who was related to the Orange, also joined the coalition. He promised to attack Bernhard von Galen from his possessions on the Rhine as well. Under this pressure (and because the English subsidies had not been paid) the bishop concluded the Peace of Kleve on April 18, 1666, before opposing troops entered his territory , in which he dropped his claims. With that Charles II lost his only ally.

Operations in 1666

“Four Days Battle” in June 1666, painting by Abraham Storck

After these developments in the spring of 1666, the advantages were on the side of the United Netherlands. In May 1666 the Dutch fleet gathered under Admiral De Ruyter and anchored off the coast of Flanders to wait for the French fleet there. It comprised 91 ships, 4,716 guns and 24,500 men. The command of the English Navy - 81 ships, 4,460 guns and about 21,000 men - had meanwhile passed to Admiral Monck. However, he was not free in his decisions. On the express orders of the king, he had to send a squadron (25 ships) under Prince Rupert (1619–1682) to the western exit of the English Channel to face the French fleet there. With the remaining ships, Monck decided to attack the Dutch fleet despite its large numerical inferiority. In the south of the North Sea the so-called “ Four Day Battle ” took place from June 11 to 14, 1666 , during which the Prince Rupert's squadron intervened. The English suffered a heavy defeat in this battle. They lost ten ships and 8,000 men, the Dutch only four ships and 2,000 men.

Admiral Holmes raid on Terschelling, contemporary etching

The victory allowed the Dutch fleet to exercise full control of the sea. In July it blocked the Thames estuary and thus London's trade . But England's well-organized naval administration allowed Admiral Monck to soon make the English fleet ready for action again. On August 2, she went back to the offensive. The restored fleet consisted of 90 ships and 20 fires and was under the command of Admirals Monck and Prince Rupert, who shared command as "joint admirals". Admiral De Ruyter's formation consisted of 72 ships and 16 frigates. On August 4, 1666, after some maneuvering, the two fleets collided at North Foreland (north of Dover ). The battle that followed, also known as the St. James's Day Fight , ended in a clear victory for the English. Although the Dutch lost only two ships, their fleet was blown up and, pursued by the English associations, had to flee to the Dutch ports. The battle of North Foreland had dire consequences. In the United Netherlands, Admiral Lieutenant Tromp was discharged from the fleet on August 13 for his behavior in battle. The English fleet in turn went to the blockade of the Dutch coasts and raided Dutch ports and islands. The most famous case occurred on August 20th. Vice-Admiral Robert Holmes burned the village of Ter Schelling (today's West-Terschelling ) on the island of Terschelling and sank 140 to 150 merchant ships anchored there in the Vlie (near the island of Terschelling). This event became known and celebrated in England as Holmes's Bonfire .

The Great Fire of London 1666 by unknown Dutch painter.

Under these favorable conditions, Charles II resumed peace negotiations. However, since details about the support of the Orange Party became known at the same time, Jan de Witt did not respond. On September 2, 1666, a great fire broke out in London, which raged for four days and went down in history as the " Great Fire of London ". More than 100,000 people were left homeless and 13,200 houses and 87 churches were destroyed. The economic damage was enormous at an estimated ten million pounds. Together with the Great Plague of the previous year, this made the English people increasingly weary of war, and both events also overloaded the economic base of English warfare. The war had not brought in the hoped-for profits and the parliament refused to approve new money for the conduct of the war after it became clear that part of the already approved money had flowed into the expensive court keeping of the king. In the following year it therefore set up a “Committee of Accounts” to monitor the use of all funds approved by Parliament in the future. Under these conditions, it was only natural that Charles II should reduce his peace conditions. At the end of October 1666, negotiations began in Breda , the Netherlands .

The overseas war

Historical map of Suriname with the location of
Fort Zeelandia, built in 1613

Fighting developed in the Caribbean as well. The French fleet in particular tried to gain advantages there. In April 1666 she conquered the island of St. Kitts , and in November of the same year she also took the English settlements on Antigua . In May 1667, a French-Dutch fleet of 17 ships finally attempted to conquer the island of Nevis . However, an English squadron attacked this association with twelve ships. Although the English squadron lost three ships in this naval battle off Nevis , it prevented enemy troops from landing on the island.

In the spring of 1667, an English expedition of nine ships under the command of Rear Admiral Sir John Harman († 1673) was sent out to gain a preponderance in the Caribbean in favor of England. The association reached Barbados, England, in early June. Henry Willoughby's attempt to retake St. Kitts on June 16 was unsuccessful , but a few days later, on June 25, Harman began a series of attacks on Martinique , and on July 6, he succeeded in raiding a French squadron of 23 weaker ships and three fires. Seven French ships, including the flagship, were burned; some others were sunk and still others sunk themselves to avoid takeover. Only three ships managed to escape. Harman used the freedom of movement he had gained and conquered Cayenne on September 15 and Suriname, which had been lost to the Dutch shortly before (March 6, 1667 by Admiral Abraham Crijnssen ) on October 8 . He then returned to Barbados in early November and finally reached England in April 1668. However, these battles had little effect on the war-making operations in Europe. After the Peace of Breda , England got back almost all of its lost possessions in the Caribbean, while the Dutch were given Suriname.

The Peace of Breda

Peace Congress in Breda, contemporary engraving

The negotiations turned out to be difficult. King Charles II did not want to end the war without any profit in order to save face. But the Dutch, and especially Jan de Witt, were not prepared to make any concessions. You found yourself in an advantageous negotiating position. Because of the financial restrictions imposed by Parliament and the losses in the Great Fire of London, Charles II was no longer able to equip his fleet. In the winter of 1666/67, against the resistance of Admiral Monck, he gave instructions to dismantle the large ships of the line and decommission them. The war was only to be carried on with pirates in order to damage Dutch trade: “The Dutch are thereby effectively humiliated, while at the same time England is less exhausted by equipping powerful fleets; it is sufficient to leave only a few frigates cruising. "The theorist of naval warfare Alfred Thayer Mahan later condemned this decision:" This type of warfare always has a lot of temptation if economy is to be observed, since it apparently only requires the service of a few fast cruisers . The damage that one inflicts the opposing trade is undeniable [...] but it will never lead to success on its own. [...] Because it is not the taking away of individual ships or convoys that endangers a nation, but rather a superior opposing naval power that can drive the weaker flag off the sea. "

It was precisely this superior fleet that the United Netherlands had at their disposal from the spring of 1667, after the English had had to cede them to command of the sea. Despite this pressure exerted on the English trade routes, the negotiations in Breda dragged on. In May 1667, King Louis XIV began his long-prepared campaign of conquest against the Spanish Netherlands (→ war of devolution ). The rapid advance of the French troops worried Dutch politicians because, although France was a reliable ally, it was still felt as a possible threat. The historian John A. Lynn formulated this with the explanation: "An inactive and tired Spain represented a better neighbor for them than a powerful and aggressive France." Buffer state ”. Therefore, they now had to hurry to end the war against England in order to be able to turn to the conflict between Spain and France.

Royal Charles , enraged during the Medway raid in 1667 , by Jeronymus van Diest

To further increase the pressure on King Charles II, De Witt ordered Admiral De Ruyter to attack England directly. The admiral initially thought the operation was impracticable, but ultimately complied with the instructions. On June 9, 1667, the Dutch fleet entered the Thames estuary and attacked fortifications and depots there. It also invaded the Medway tributary and captured or burned a large number of ships from the severed English fleet there. De Ruyter occupied Sheerness and Queenborough and only withdrew from English soil after five days. The negotiations then began to flow again. When Charles II wanted to refuse his signature again, Admiral De Ruyter sailed into the Thames again in mid-July and appeared before Gravesend . This triggered a panic in London that caused many residents to flee. Influential parliamentarians now also demanded a speedy peace treaty from King Charles II, which was actually signed in Breda on July 31, 1667.

The provisions of the peace treaty were moderate. The provisions of the Navigation Act were slightly eased: From now on, Dutch merchant ships were allowed to deliver to England German goods that had been transported on the Rhine to the Netherlands. England gave up its claims on the nutmeg island of Run in Indonesia and recognized Dutch rule in Suriname, which a small Dutch expedition had conquered in 1667. In return, England kept the colonies of New York and New Jersey and Cape Coast Castle in Guinea.

Effects and Consequences

Louis XIV of France conquers the Dutch city of Maastricht in 1673, painting by Adam Frans van der Meulen

The war had ended on the part of the United Netherlands at a time when they were in the most advantageous position because they were forced to do so by the French invasion of the Spanish Netherlands. The peace treaty therefore represented a compromise. The British war aim of destroying Dutch trade and taking part of it had failed. But the fact that on the one hand the Netherlands withdrew from North America and on the other hand England withdrew from Suriname and Indonesia resulted in a real relaxation. The United Netherlands remained the leading supplier of nutmeg and received a new colony with Dutch Guiana .

In England the conflict had intensified the antagonism between King and Parliament. King Charles II failed to achieve his goal of strengthening the crown's financial independence from parliament. Instead, the Committee of Accounts effectively controlled the use of all approved funds after the war. King Charles II therefore looked around for a new financier and finally found him in 1670 in King Louis XIV of France. The Stuart policy was oriented towards France and thus brought itself into opposition to parliament and parts of the population. This development culminated in the Glorious Revolution almost 20 years later .

In the further political development, the similarities and differences between England and the United Netherlands continued to appear. As early as January 1668, the two countries formed a triple alliance with the Kingdom of Sweden to force Louis XIV to withdraw from the Spanish Netherlands. The war of devolution was ended on May 2, 1668 in the Peace of Aachen . After that, the expansionist efforts of the French king were directed against the United Netherlands, by which he felt betrayed. King Charles II allied himself in 1670 in the secret Treaty of Dover with King Louis XIV and with this in 1672 opened the joint attack against the United Netherlands (→ Dutch War ). This war is also known as the Third Anglo-Dutch Sea War . It ended in 1674 under pressure from the English Parliament.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Kurt Kluxen: History of England. Stuttgart 1991, p. 350.
  2. Alexander Meurer: Maritime War History in Outlines. Leipzig 1942, p. 190.
  3. Hellmut Diwald: The struggle for the oceans. Munich / Zurich 1980, pp. 256 and 263.
  4. Quoted from: Roger Hainsworth, Christine Churchers: The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652–1674. Stroud 1998, p. 103.
  5. ^ A b c Roger Hainsworth, Christine Churchers: The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652–1674. Stroud 1998, p. 110f.
  6. a b c Heinz Neukirchen: Sea power in the mirror of history. Berlin 1982, p. 190.
  7. Quotation from: Heinz Neukirchen: Sea power in the mirror of history. Berlin 1982, p. 190.
  8. Jaap Bruijn: Varend Verleden. Meppel 1998, p. 15.
  9. a b Alexander Meurer: Maritime War History in Outlines. Leipzig 1942, p. 198.
  10. ^ A b Roger Hainsworth, Christine Churchers: The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652–1674. Stroud 1998, p. 97.
  11. Jaap Bruijn: Varend Verleden. Meppel 1998, p. 101.
  12. Jaap Bruijn: Varend Verleden. Meppel 1998, p. 102.
  13. Alexander Meurer: Maritime War History in Outlines. Leipzig 1942, p. 197.
  14. ^ Bath MSS. XCV, ff. 3-5
  15. Regarding the events in West Africa, the literature is contradicting itself. Müller, who was active in Danish services on the Gold Coast at this time (Johann Wilhelm Müller: Die Africanische Fetu. Hamburg 1673), mentions that the Holmes squadron on April 14th on Cabo Corso (Cape Coast) appeared, whereupon the Fort Carolusburg (meaning the later Cape Coast Castle ) after an agreement with the King of Fetu on the part of the Danes (allies of the English) was evacuated and left to the English and that Holmes' ships the Dutch on April 21st Fort Witsen in Takoradi before they appeared in front of the main Dutch base at Elmina (a little west of Cape Coast) on April 23 . Doorman on the other hand (JG Doorman: The Dutch-West-Indian Compagnie on the Gold Coast. In: Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. (Batavia), 40 (5/6) (1898) 387-496) mentions that the fortress Carolusburg (allegedly in Dutch possession) was taken after a heavy bombardment. The latter variant is also reproduced in other places in the literature.
  16. For a detailed discussion of this expedition: Richard Ollard: Man of War - Sir Robert Holmes and the Restoration Navy. London 1969. (see also note [15])
  17. Gerard Brandt: Het Leven en Bedryf van den Heere Michiel de Ruiter. Amsterdam 1683, pp. 297-299.
  18. ^ Roger Hainsworth, Christine Churchers: The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652–1674. Stroud 1998, p. 105.
  19. ^ Roger Hainsworth, Christine Churchers: The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652–1674. Stroud 1998, p. 107.
  20. ^ John Miller: After the Civil Wars - English Politics and Government in the Reign of Charles II. Harlow 2000, p. 196.
  21. ^ Roger Hainsworth, Christine Churchers: The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652–1674. Stroud 1998, pp. 108-110.
  22. Alexander Meurer: Maritime War History in Outlines. Leipzig 1942, p. 199.
  23. ^ Roger Hainsworth, Christine Churchers: The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652–1674. Stroud 1998, p. 115f.
  24. ^ Adolf Friedrich Seubert : Netherlands. In: Bernhard von Poten (Ed.): Concise dictionary of the entire military sciences. Volume 7. Leipzig 1879, p. 146.
  25. Helmut Pemsel: Sea rule. Volume 2. Wien / Garz 2005, p. 514.
  26. For a representation of the battle: Alfred Thayer Mahan: The influence of sea power on history 1660–1812. Herford 1967, p. 44 f.
  27. ^ A b c d e Adolf Friedrich Seubert: Netherlands. In: Bernard von Poten (ed.): Concise dictionary of the entire military sciences. Volume 7. Leipzig 1879, p. 147.
  28. Alexander Meurer: Maritime War History in Outlines. Leipzig 1942, p. 200.
  29. ^ Roger Hainsworth, Christine Churchers: The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652–1674. Stroud 1998, p. 134 f.
  30. ^ Tücking: Christoph Bernhard v. Galen. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. (ADB). Volume 2, p. 429 f.
  31. Alexander Meurer: Maritime War History in Outlines. Leipzig 1942, p. 201.
  32. A brief analysis of the battle can be found in: Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Influence of Sea Power on History 1660–1812. Herford 1967, pp. 45-47.
  33. a b c Alexander Meurer: Maritime War History in Outlines. Leipzig 1942, p. 203.
  34. An overview of the battle is provided by: Helmut Pemsel: Seeherrschaft. Volume 1, Koblenz 1985.
  35. a b Alexander Meurer: Maritime War History in Outlines. Leipzig 1942, p. 204.
  36. Stephen Inwood: A History Of London. London 2000, p. 244.
  37. Helmut Pemsel: Sea rule. Volume 2, Vienna / Garz 2005, p. 522.
  38. ^ D. Marley: Wars of the Americas, p. 167
  39. Sir Leslie Stephan, Sir Sidney Lee (Eds.): The Dictionary of National Biography. Volume VIII, Oxford University Press, London 1917, pp. 1294 f.
  40. ^ Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Influence of Sea Power on History 1660-1812 , Herford 1967, p. 48
  41. ^ Alfred Thayer Mahan: The influence of sea power on history 1660-1812. Herford 1967, p. 49
  42. … because a tired and inactive Spain promised to be a better neighbor than a powerful and aggressive France ”, see: John A. Lynn: The Wars of Louis XIV 1667-1714. London / New York 1999, p. 108.
  43. a b Heinz Neukirchen: Sea power in the mirror of history. Berlin 1982, p. 194


  • Gerard Brandt: Het Leven en Bedryf van den Heere Michiel de Ruiter . Amsterdam 1683 (Dutch).
  • Jaap R. Bruijn: Varend Verleden . De Nederlandse Oorlogsvloot in de 17e en 18e Eeuw. Balans, Amsterdam 1998, ISBN 90-5018-407-3 (Dutch).
  • Roger Hainsworth, Christine Churchers: The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652–1674 . Sutton Publishing Ltd., Thrupp / Stroud / Gloucestershire 1998, ISBN 0-7509-1787-3 (English).
  • Stephen Inwood: A History Of London . Macmillan Publishers Ltd., London 2000, ISBN 0-333-67154-6 .
  • Kurt Kluxen : History of England. From the beginning to the present (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 374). 4th edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-520-37404-8 .
  • Alfred Thayer Mahan : The influence of sea power on history 1660-1812 . Ed .: Gustav-Adolf Wolter . Koehlers, Herford 1967 (English: The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783 . New York 1957.).
  • Alexander Meurer: History of naval warfare in outline . Leipzig 1942.
  • Heinz Neukirchen : Maritime power in the mirror of history . Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-8112-0368-1 .
  • Richard Ollard: Man of War. Sir Robert Holmes and the Restoration Navy . London 1969.
  • Helmut Pemsel : Maritime domination . In: Helmut Pemsel (ed.): World history of seafaring . tape 2 . Vienna 2005 (5 volumes).
  • Bernhard von Poten (Ed.): Concise dictionary of the entire military sciences . tape 7 . Leipzig 1879.

Web links

This article was added to the list of excellent articles on November 4, 2007 in this version .