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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 roth 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
will compare our Territory, our Population, and our natural Resources, with those of Holland.
(To be continued *.)
We have heard much apprehension expressed, lest the several Exemptions and Abatements introduced into the Bill now pending, by the Modifications in the Committee, should reduce, in a very considerable degree, the amount of the sum intended to be raised by it.
That there will be much reduction, cannot be doubted; but we are happy in being able to state with certainty, that this will be in some degree compensated by the advantage that will accrue from the more accurate collection of the Old Assessed Taxes; which have in many cases been omitted to be paid with the scrupulous exactness that will in future be expected, and, we hope, enforced.
The single instance of a noble and respectable Personage so much quoted of late (we mean the Duke of BedFORD) will prove this circumstance in a very satisfactory manner, and will serve to shew, that the burden which has been taken off the poorer classes of the community, will be borne with ease and chearfulness by those in the highest and most affluent stations.
• It appears from the “ Answers to Correspondents” in the fol. lowing Number, that this HISTORY was intended to be brought down to the present year. The design was probably presented by a similar reason to that which I have already given, for the discontinuation of the admirable “ Essay on tbe Frencb Revolution.." E.
We can vouch for the Authenticity of the following Statement:
« The Duke of BeDFORD was SURCHARGED for TWENTY-FIVE Servants, in addition to TWENTY-SIX which he had entered; they acted in the following capacities :
Porter - - - i
Gamekeeper - - 1 « The Appeal on this subject was heard before Commissioners, on Wednesday last, December the 20th. It lasted near an hour and a half, during which time the Duke endeavoured to convince the Commissioners, that the omission arose, solely from his idea, “ that as the “ Helpers did not wear a Livery, and were engaged by “ the Week, they were not liable to the Duty.” — As he could not be supposed to have wilfully evaded the Tax, he conceived the Commissioners had the power to relieve him from the Penalty, and requested of them to do it, as he thought obliging him to pay the Penalty, would fix a stigma on him, of which he was not deserving. But the Commissioners (being of opinion, that as the Servants before described were specially named in the Act of PARLIAMENT, there could not be a doubt in the mind of any person reading that Act for information, of their liability to the Tax), did not think themselves at liberty, under these circumstances, to remit the Penalty; they therefore confirmed the SURCHARGE with the double Duty on the Twenty-Five SERVANTS before described; and also on SeventEEN HORSES, in addition to Thirty which were previously entered. 24