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EXAMINER. 225 eighteen Sail; but the contest was, notwithstanding, renewed in the morning by the Dutch, with the greatest fury. Dean was killed; six of the best Dutch Ships are said to have been sunk, two blown up, and eleven taken: the remainder were able, with the greatest difficulty, to gain their own Harbours.
The Government of Holland discovered on this occasion the greatest skill and industry in equipping their newbuilt Ships and in refiting their old ones. Before the end of July they had a Fleet of ninety Sail at sea; and on the 29th, the last Action in this War was fought between Monk and TROMP. This was the most hard fought Battle of any that had happened in the course of the War. On no occasion was there ever shewn more spirit and gallantry than was displayed on both sides in this Engagement. It was decided in favour of the English, in consequence of Tromp being killed. This event discouraged the Enemy; the greatest confusion prevailed throughout their Fleet; near thirty of their Ships were taken or sunk.
On the 15th of April, 1654, Peace was signed between the two Republics, on terms highly honourable to Great Britain. It should be observed, that, in this first Dutch War, the English had a prodigious advantage over the Dutch, arising from the superior size of their Ships.
A few years after the Restoration of King CHARLES the Second, Great Britain and Holland were again en. gaged in Hostilities. The cause of this War was not very honourable to ourselves. The Dutch, by their industry and exertions, had gained possessio:1 of the most advantageous branches of Commerce; and the object of this Country was to reduce, if not to destroy, that ComYOL. I.
merce, which was supposed to be prejudicial to our own.
The first Action of importance, in this War, was fought in the month of June, 1665. The English Fleet consisted of one hundred and fourteen Sail, under the command of the Duke of York. The Dutch Fleet, under OPDAM, was of nearly the same force. In the midst of the Action, OPDAM's Ship blew up; the Dutch Fleet fled in consequence; and nineteen of their Ships were sunk or taken. In consequence of this Defeat, Louis XIV. determined to declare himself in favour of the Dutch, and to give them every assistance in resisting the Naval Power of England. A French Fleet of Forty Sail, under the command of the Duke of BEAUFORT, entered the Channel, and a Dutch Fleet of seventy-six Sail, under the command of De RueTER, was at sea for the purpose of joining them. The Duke of ALBEMARLE, with a Fleet of seventy-four Sail, was ready to oppose them; but he had the imprudence to detach Prince Rupert with twenty Sail to intercept the Duke of BEAUFORT. This weakened his force considerably; but the Battle which ensued was, notwithstanding, the most memorable which had hitherto been fought. It lasted four days. Fortune at different times appeared to favour each Party. The English Fleet was so shattered as to be obliged to retire to their own Coast; but ALDEMARLE dea termined to renew the contest, and Prince Rupert coming to his assistance, enabled him again to face the Enemy. After the contest had been renewed for some time with great vigour, the Fleets were parted by a mist. The Victory, if it can be called one, was most dearly bought by the Dutch. According to the best accounts, the
English lost sixteen Men of War. It is not certain what was the loss of the Dutch: their own account acknowledges the loss of eleven Ships. The Dutch, upon this occasion had the credit of appearing at sea before the English, as their Ships had not suffered in the same degree by the late Action.
On the 25th of July, in the same year, another Action was fought between De RUYTER and ALBEMARLE. The Fleets of the two countries were about equal; and after a severe contest, Victory decided in favour of the English. The loss of the Dutch amounted to twenty Ships; but the defeat is certainly in a degree to be ascribed to the divisions and animosities which subsisted between the Dutch Admirals. Soon after this Victory, Negociations were set on foot for the purpose of restoring Peace. Neither party, however, relaxed in their preparations for War. The success of the Allies in the West Indies, induced the English Government in the month of March, 1667, to send out Sir John HARMAN with a Squadron of twelve Ships of War. The Combined Fleets in that part of the world consisted of twenty-two Sail; and, on the 10th of May, an Engagement took place between this Fleet and the English, which, notwithstanding the inferiority of force, ended in favour of the latter. The French Fleet retired to St. Christopher's. The English Fleet followed them soon after, burnt six or seven of their Ships in the Harbour, and either sunk, or obliged the French to sink every remaining Ship, except'two. About the same time an event happened which created the greatest indig. nation in this country. While the Negotiations for Peace were proceeding, the Dutch Fleet, under the command of De RUYTER, appeared in the Channel, and
having the advantage of a favourable wind and spring tide, sailed up the River ; burnt several Men of War, and occasioned a very considerable alarm in the Capital. This event was almost immediately followed by the Peace of Breda; but was naturally considered as a most inglorious conclusion of the War.
A few years after the Peace of Breda, the interested policy of CHARLES II. involved this Country in another War with Holland. In this contest Great Britain and France were united against Holland. But notwithstanding the disparity of force, the Dutch appeared to have gained greater credit in this than in either of the preceding Wars. On the 28th of May, 1672, De Ruyter, with a Fleet of ninety-one Ships of War, and forty-four Fire-ships, discovered the Combined Fleets at Solebay, under the command of the Duke of YORK and Mareschal D’Estries. The Earl of Sandwich commanded the Van of the Combined Fleets, and shewed, early in the action, that he was determined to conquer or perish. He sunk several vessels of the Enemy, and killed one of their Admirals, Van Ghent; but this Ship was soon after blown up. The Duke of York and De RUYTER continued the Action for some time longer, with the greatest ardour. It ended at last by De RUYTER retreating with his Squadron to the Coast of Holland. The loss on both sides was nearly the same.
In the month of May, 1673, the Combined Fleets put to sca, under the command of Prince Rupert and Count D’Estries. They stood over to the Coast of Holland, and found De Ruyter with the Dutch Fleet within the Sands of St. Schenevelt. The Enemy was soon drawn cụt, and an Engagement took place on very unequal terms.
The The Combined Fleet consisted of eighty-four Sail; the Dutch Fleet of about seventy Sail. The battle was very severely fought: it lasted till night parted the combatants; and the Dutch Fleet then retired behind the Sands. The Victory was claimed by both parties, and the loss they sustained was so equal, that it would be impossible to decide between them. The Dutch Fleet having received the necessary supplies, appeared again at sea. Another Action ensued between the two Fleets, which was as warmly disputed as the former : it continued till eleven o'clock at night; and the Victory was doubtful.
The last Action in this War was fought about the middle of July, between De Ruyter and the Combined Fleets under Prince RUPERT. The conclusion of this Battle was nearly similar to the two former. The Dutch very loudly claimed the Victory; but no Ship was taken or sunk on either side. Both parties gained great credit for the spirit which they displayed in the Action. The Dutch obtained the important advantage of opening their ports; and the clamours of the People and Parliament of England, obliged CHARLES II. to conclude a separate Peace.
From a review of the whole of this contest, we cannot fail to observe, that for more than twenty years the Naval Power of Holland was sufficient to balance that of Great Britain. In the two first Dutch Wars, our Superiority appears to have been more evident than in the last. But even in these Wars, we never gained any advantage which can be considered as absolutely decisive. This clearly appears from the conquered Fleet being always able to put to sea again immediately. Whether our Superiority, however, was greater or less, the resistance which was made to us, must appear astonishing to every person who Q3