The Battle of Leghorn, 4 March 1653
Early in 1653 the English position in the Mediterranean became critical, the Dutch had been blockading Captain Appleton's squadron in Leghorn while the rest of the English ships under Captain Badiley were at Elba. The Dutch massed all their ships off Leghorn, enabling Badiley to leave Elba and attempt to join Appleton. The Grand Duke of Tuscany was urging Appleton to leave and a scheme was tried for Badiley to beat up to the Dutch while Appleton was to run before the wind out of Leghorn and meet him as he reached the Dutch. It was a difficult manoeuvre to time and in the event Appleton sailed too soon and was badly beaten before Badiley could get into action. Only one ship fought her way through to join Badiley who, seeing that the situation was hopeless, quitted the Mediterranean.
Willem Hermansz van Diest
- Image reference: BHC0275
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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