Dutch attack on Harwich, July 1667 by Willem van de Velde the Elder

Dutch attack on Harwich, July 1667

Willem van de Velde the Elder

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Dutch attack on Harwich, July 1667

In June 1667 Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter led a daring Dutch amphibious attack on the Medway. His force burnt Sheerness, destroyed or captured a number of British ships off Chatham and blockaded the Thames for several weeks, before de Ruyter turned his attention on Harwich. The attempt was ultimately unsuccessful due to adverse weather conditions and the bombardment of Landguard Fort was ineffective. De Ruyter and Cornelis de Witt, representing the States-General, landed with their troops and followed them to the fort. However, it proved too strong to be captured and the Dutch troops were forced to re-embark. The artist has shown the Dutch fleet at anchor off Harwich with the nearer ships in Felixstowe roads and the more distant ones on the left in the Rolling Grounds, prior to the landing. A number of ships shown on the far left of the picture are thought to include the 'Gouden Leeuw', the 42-gun 'Zeven Provincien' and the 'Walcheren', 68 guns, as well as de Ruyter's flagship, the larger 'Zeven Provincien', 80 guns.
Willem van de Velde, the Elder

  • Image reference: BHC0296

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