A panoramic bird's-eye view taken from above Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey and looking roughly south-west towards Chatham and Rochester. In the distance is Rochester Castle and Cathedral, with Upnor Castle discernible to the right and the winding River Medway visible in the centre of the picture. The painting shows Admiral de Ruyter's bold foray into English waters, an event that took place during the Second Dutch War, 1665-1667, following the Peace Conference at Breda in May 1667. Although the English were victorious they did not support the peace with necessary force and King Charles II failed to mobilise the fleet, in the mistaken belief that peace would remove the need for this. The Dutch swiftly exploited the advantage by entering the Thames, where on 10 June they captured Sheerness and on 11 June pushed on towards Chatham.
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