Product images of The Battle of Barfleur, 19 May 1692
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The Battle of Barfleur, 19 May 1692
A depiction of an action that took place a century earlier, in 1692 during the War of the English Succession, between the French and Anglo-Dutch fleets. The latter was at sea in the Channel in May 1692. The Comte de Tourville was in Bertheaume Bay awaiting a large reinforcement from Toulon. His force was intended to convoy the French invasion fleet which was to put James II back on the English throne. On 17 May he left his anchorage and with 44 ships of the line went in search of Edward Russell, the British commander-in-chief. However, he was inferior to the Anglo-Dutch fleet with a force of less than half their strength, which included 99 ships of the line. He acted rashly by attacking the allied centre and rear. The Dutch were in the van and so were not engaged, and Russell ordered them to double-back. Although the French fleet fought hard they were only saved from destruction by the poor visibility, which became too thick for general fighting in the early afternoon.
- Image reference: BHC0332
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection