Beach and van Ghent's action, 1670: Van Ghent pursuing six Algerine corsairs near Cape Spartel, 17-27 August 1670
In 1670, when second-in-command in the Mediterranean, Commodore Richard Beach co-operated with Willem Joseph van Ghent, the Dutch senior officer on that station, to drive six Algerine corsairs ashore near Cape Spartel, Morocco. This drawing shows the action shortly before the Algerines were driven ashore and burnt. In the left foreground are the five English ships 'Hampshire', 'Foresight', 'Jersey', 'Portsmouth' and 'Centurion'. One has already brought to the wind and is engaging the enemy; the others are shown in stern view, luffing round. In the background are the Algerines running in towards the land with van Ghent and two other Dutch ships close astern.
In the Duke of Northumberland's collection there is a related finished drawing showing the action just before the first English ship rounded to. This drawing is one of four related drawings of the engagement in the NMM, two of the others being PAI7274 and PAH3915, with the fourth PAF6934 in the Ingram Collection. PAI7274 became the basis for at least two paintings of the action by the Younger, one now in the Royal Collection and the other being NMM BHC0298.
Willem van de Velde, the Elder
Original size: 265 mm x 488 mm
- Image reference: PY3914
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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