Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Gulf of Genoa, 13-14 March 1795

The Gulf of Genoa, 13-14 March 1795

Vice-Admiral William Hotham, commander of the British fleet in the
Mediterranean, followed 15 French ships of the line under Rear-Admiral
Martin, steering for Corsica with 5,000 troops to retake the island. After two
Days of ineffective maneuvering, Hotham finally closed when two French ships
Became fouled, fell astern and suffered severe damage from British fire. The
Following morning the two fleets engaged at long range but with no decisive
Result, the French escaping to the west by mid-afternoon, abandoning the
Crippled Ca Ira and Censeur, which had taken the former in tow, to capture.


Captain                                 74                           Captain Samuel Reeve
Bedford                                  74                           Captain Davidge Gould
Tancredi (Neap.)                  74                           Captain Chev. Caraccioli
Princess Royal                     98                           Vice-Admiral Samuel Goodall, Captain John Purvis
Agamemnon                          64                           Captain Horatio Nelson
Lowestoft                               32                           Captain Benjamin Hallowell
Poulette                                 26                           Commander Ralph Miller
Tarleton                                 14                           Captain Charles Brisbane
Minerva (Neap.)                      32                           ---
Pilade (Neap.)                         ---                           ---


Illustrious                              74                           Captain Thomas Frederick
Courageux                            74                           Captain Augustus Montgomery
Britannia                              100                          Vice-Admiral William Hotham, Captain John Holloway
Egmont                                   74                           Captain John Sutton
Windsor Castle                     98                           Rear-Admiral Robert Linzee, Captain John Gore
Inconstant                              36                           Captain Thomas Fremantle
Meleager                                32                           Captain George Cockburn


Diadem                                  64                           Captain Charles Tyler
St George                              98                           Vice-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, Captain Thomas Foley
Terrible                                 74                           Captain George Campell
Fortitude                               74                           Captain William Young
Romulus                                 36                           Captain George Hope
Moselle                                  18                           Commander Charles Pater
Fox                                         cutter                     Lieutenant John Gibson

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chronology of Royal Navy Conflict 1792 - 1815

Chronology of Royal Navy Conflict 1792 - 1815

20 April 1792                      The French Revolutionary Wars begin with the French declaration of war on Austria; Prussia joined soon thereafter, creating the War of the First Coalition

I February 1793                   France declares war on Britain, Holland and Spain, who join Austria and Prussia; Britain begins blockade of Brest and Toulon with the intention of halting the importation of food and other commodities; the Royal Navy, working in concert with the Army, begins defense of Britain's West Indian possessions and the seizure of enemy colonies

21 May 1794                        Captain Horatio Nelson, with a body of sailors and marines, captures Bastia, Corsica, marking his first action in a long and distinguished career

I June 1794                          British victory over the French off Ushant, known as the 'Glorious First of June'; although 2S ships of the line commanded by Admiral Earl Howe defeat 26 French ships under Rear-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, a vital grain convoy from America nevertheless reaches port

January I795                        French invade and conquer the United Provinces (Holland), converting it into a satellite state known as the Batavian Republic

16 May 1795                        Treaty of Basel; Prussia and Spain abandon the First Coalition and conclude peace with France

19 August 1796                   Treaty of San IIdefonso; Spain allies herself with France, so imperiling the position of the British Mediterranean Fleet, which is obliged to evacuate Corsica and withdraw from the Mediterranean, apart from Gibraltar

8 October 1796                    Spain declares war on Britain

14 February I797                Admiral Sir John Jervis, despite being outnumbered by 15 to 27 ships, defeats the Spanish at the battle of St Vincent; Nelson executes a remarkable maneuver by engaging seven enemy ships, two of which he boards and captures in succession

I I October I797                   The British Channel Fleet, under Admiral Adam Duncan, defeats the Dutch fleet under Vice-Admiral Jan de Winter, off the north-west coast of Holland at Camper down; Duncan captures I I enemy ships and the Dutch commander

17 October 1797                 Treaty of Campo Formio; Austria formally recognizes French annexation of the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium)

I July 1798                           General Napoleon Bonaparte lands in Egypt with an expeditionary force intended to capture Suez and threaten British control of India

1-2 August 1798                 Decisive British victory over the French at the battle of the Nile in Abukir Bay; Nelson commands a fleet for the first time, utterly overwhelming Admiral François de Brueys by doubling the French line; nine French ships are captured and two others are destroyed

29 December 1798              Russia, by allying herself with Britain, establishes the Second Coalition, to which Turkey, Naples and Portugal adhere; Austria joins in June 1799

August-October I799         An Anglo-Russian expeditionary force fails to occupy the Batavian Republic, though the enemy fleet is captured; Russia leaves the Second Coalition as a result of failures here and in Switzerland

16 December 1800              Russia, Prussia, Denmark and Sweden form the League of Armed Neutrality as a protest against the British practice of maritime search and seizure; the existence of the League threatens Britain's access to naval supplies from the Baltic, especially timber and hemp

9 February 180 I                  Treaty of Luneville; Austria concludes peace with France, which receives further territorial concessions in northern Italy

8 March 1801                      A British expeditionary force lands in Abukir Bay, beginning a campaign that will force the French to surrender Egypt five months later

2April 1801                          British naval victory at the battle of Copenhagen, where Nelson, second in command to Admiral Hyde Parker, destroys the Danish fleet while it sits anchored under the guns of the city's fortifications; in response, Russia abandons the League of Armed Neutrality

27 March 1802                    Treaty of Amiens between Britain and France concludes the French Revolutionary Wars; the former restores all French and French allied colonial possessions apart from Ceylon and Trinidad; Britain pledges to evacuate Malta but refuses to do so as a result of French territorial acquisitions on the Continent

18 May 1803                        Britain declares war on France; start of the Napoleonic Wars

19 October 1803                 Under coercion, Spain agrees to pay a substantial subsidy to France

12 December 1804              Spain declares war on Britain

I I April 1805                       Britain and Russia conclude an offensive alliance, forming the Third Coalition, to which Austria and Sweden adhere in August and November, respectively

21 October 1805                 Nelson decisively defeats the Franco-Spanish fleet under Villeneuve at the battle of Trafalgar, the most decisive naval action of modern times

2 December 1805                Napoleon defeats the combined Austro-Russian army at Austerlitz in Moravia, obliging Austria to leave the Third Coalition and forcing the Russians to withdraw far to the east

6 October I 806                    War of the Fourth Coalition formed, with Prussia the principal adversary against France, distantly supported by Britain and Russia; most of the latter's troops will not confront the French until February 1807

14 October 1806                 Prussian forces decisively defeated by the French at the twin battles of Jena and Auerstadt; in the course of the ensuing weeks the French relentlessly pursue the remaining Prussian forces and occupy all of the principal fortresses

14 June 1807                       Battle of Friedland; having already fought them to a bloody standstill at Eylau on 7 February, Napoleon decisively defeats the Russians

7-9 July 1807                       Treaties of Titlist; peace concluded between France on the one hand and Russia and Prussia on the other; Napoleon imposes a heavy indemnity on Prussia and occupies the country; Russia allies herself to France and agrees to shut her ports to British shipping; Russia declares war on Britain on 3 I October

27 September 1807             Fearing that Napoleon will use Danish naval resources to re-establish the fleet lost at Trafalgar, Britain dispatches a naval and military expedition to bombard Copenhagen and seize the fleet; the Danes quickly capitulate

27 October 1807                 Treaty of Fontainebleau; France and Spain conclude an alliance against Portugal

Nov-Dec I 807                       French Army proceeds through Spain and occupies Portugal in an effort to close her ports to British trade
19 March 1808                    King Charles IV of Spain abdicates, followed in May by his son, Ferdinand; both are imprisoned by the French, who place Joseph Bonaparte on the Spanish throne

2 May 1808                           Uprising against the French in Madrid; beginning of the Peninsular War; Spain establishes a Junta and concludes peace with Britain on 4 July

I August 1808                      British expeditionary force under Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) lands in Portugal

9 April 1809                         Alliance concluded between Austria and Britain; formation of the Fifth Coalition

5-6 July 1809                       Battle of Wagram; Austrians defeated in the decisive action of the campaign

I 4 October I 809                 Treaty of Schonbrunn; Austria concludes peace with France, ceding territory in Italy and along the Adriatic

28 July 1809                        Major British expeditionary force embarks for the Scheidt estuary; troops land on Walcheren Island, intending to capture Antwerp, but the outbreak of disease leads to the army's withdrawal by late December

18 June 1812                       The United States, annoyed at the Admiralty's policy of naval impressments and partly motivated by territorial designs on Canada, declares war on Britain

22 June 1812                       Napoleon and his Grande Armee of 600,000 men crosses the river Niemen to invade Russia

19 August 1812                   USS Constitution (44 guns) cripples HMS Guerriere (38) in a half-hour engagement off Nova Scotia

10 September 1812             American naval squadron on Lake Erie crushes its British counterpart

25 October 181 2                The heavy frigate USS United States, under the hero of the Tripoli tan War, Commodore Stephen Decatur, drubs HMS Macedonian in a 90-minute encounter off Madeira

December 1812                   Last remnants of the Grande Armee re cross the Niemen after having suffered catastrophic losses during the campaign, mostly during the winter retreat

29 December 1812              USS Constitution wrecks the 38-gun HMS Java off the coast of Brazil

27 February 1813               Prussia joins Russia in forming the Sixth Coalition, together with Britain, Spain and Portugal; Sweden and Austria subsequently join the latter on 12 August

I 0 September 181 3            Battle of Lake Erie; Oliver Hazard Perry, commander of the American squadron, breaks the British line and annihilates Barclay's naval force

16-19 October 1813           Austrian, Russian, Prussian and Swedish forces decisively defeat Napoleon at the battle of Leipzig in Saxony; French forces, all their German allies having abandoned them, retreat to the Rhine

Feb-Mar 1814                      Campaign in France; despite a number of stunning, though minor, victories Napoleon fails to stem the Allied advance on his capital

3 I March 1814                    Allied forces occupy Paris

6 April 1814                         Napoleon abdicates and agrees to exile on the tiny Mediterranean island of Elba

I9 August I8I4                      Admiral Sir John Cockburn's squadron disembarks British troops in Chesapeake Bay; Washington is briefly occupied and the White House burned, 24-25 August

II Sep I814                            Battle of Lake Champlain; Lieutenant Thomas Macdonough, commanding the American squadron, decisively defeats his British counterpart, Captain George Downie

13 Dec 1814                         British expeditionary force lands along the Gulf Coast near New Orleans

24 Dec 1814                         Treaty of Ghent; peace concluded between Britain and the United States based on the status quo ante bellum; with the war over in Europe, impressments is a dead issue and does not feature in the treaty terms

I March 1815                       Sailing in secret from Elba, Napoleon lands in southern France with a small force and reaches Paris on the 20th, gathering thousands of adherents along the way; Louis XVIII abandons the capital and flees to Brussels

13 March 1815                    Formation of the Seventh Coalition by Russia, Prussia, Austria and Britain

18 June 1815                       The Duke of Wellington and the Prussian commander, Marshal Blucher, decisively defeat Napoleon at Waterloo, in Belgium; Napoleon abdicates on the 21 st, surrenders to the British on 16 July, and is exiled to the remote south Atlantic island of St Helena, where he dies on 5 May 1821

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lunar Eclipse 15 June 2011

Photo,s taken between 20:00 and 21:00 GMT in East London South Africa on the 15th June 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The battle of Copenhagen 2 April 1801

Battle of Copenhagen

The Battle of Copenhagen (Danish: slaget på Reden) was an engagement which saw a British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fight and strategically defeat a Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen on 2 April 1801. Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack. He famously disobeyed Parker's order to withdraw, destroying many of the Dano-Norwegian ships before a truce was agreed. Copenhagen is often considered to be Nelson's hardest fought battle.


The battle was the result of multiple failures of diplomacy in the latter half of the 18th century. At the beginning of 1801, during the French Revolutionary Wars, Britain's principal advantage over France was its naval superiority. The Royal Navy searched neutral ships trading with French ports, seizing their cargoes if they were deemed to be trading with France. The eccentric Russian Tsar Paul, after having been a British ally, arranged a League of Armed Neutrality comprising Denmark-Norway, Sweden, Prussia, and Russia, to enforce free trade with France. The British viewed the League to be very much in the French interest and a serious threat. The League was hostile to the British blockade, and its existence threatened the supply of timber and naval stores from Scandinavia.

In early 1801, the British government assembled a fleet at Great Yarmouth, with the goal of breaking up the League. The British needed to act before the Baltic Sea thawed and released the Russian fleet from its bases at Kronstadt and Reval (now Tallinn). If the Russian fleet joined with the Swedish and Dano-Norwegian fleets, the combined fleets would form a formidable force of up to 123 ships-of-the-line. The British fleet was under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, with Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson (then in poor favour owing to his activities with the Hamiltons) as second-in-command. Parker, aged 61, had just married an eighteen year old and was reluctant to leave port in Great Yarmouth. Prompted by a letter from Nelson to Captain Thomas Troubridge, a friend and a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, a private note from St Vincent, the First Lord of the Admiralty, caused the fleet to sail from Yarmouth on 12 March. Orders were sent to Parker to go to Copenhagen and detach Denmark from the League by 'amicable arrangement or by actual hostilities', to be followed by 'an immediate and vigorous attack' on the Russians at Reval and then KronstadtThe British fleet reached the Skaw (Danish: Skagen) on 19 March, where they met a British diplomat, Nicholas Vansittart, who told them that the Danes had rejected an ultimatum.
Although the Admiralty had instructed Parker to frustrate the League, by force if necessary, he was a cautious person and moved slowly. He wanted to blockade the Baltic despite the danger of the combination of fleets; Nelson wanted to ignore Denmark and Sweden, who were both reluctant partners in the alliance, and instead sail to the Baltic to fight the Russians. In the end Nelson was able to persuade Sir Hyde to attack the Danish fleet currently concentrated off Copenhagen. Promised naval support for the Danes from Karlskrona, in Sweden, did not arrive perhaps because of adverse winds. The Prussians had only minimal naval forces and also could not assist. On 30 March, the British force passed through the narrows between Denmark and Sweden, sailing close to the Swedish coast to put themselves as far from the Danish guns as possible; fortunately for the British, the Swedish batteries remained silent.

Attacking the Danish fleet would have been difficult as Parker's delay in sailing had allowed the Danes to prepare their positions well. Most of the Danish ships were not fitted for sea but were moored along the shore with old ships (hulks), no longer fit for service at sea, but still powerfully armed, as a line of floating batteries off the eastern coast of the island of Amager, in front of the city in the King's Channel. The northern end of the line terminated at the Tre Kroner (Three CrownsDenmark, Norway, and Sweden, referring to the Kalmar Union) forts armed with 68 guns (equal to the armament of a large ship-of-the-line). North of the fort, in the entrance to Copenhagen harbour, were two ships-of-the-line, a large frigate, and two brigs, all rigged for sea, and two more hulks. Batteries covered the water between the Danish line and the shore, and further out to sea a large shoal, the Middle Ground, constricted the channel. The British had no reliable charts or pilots, so Captain Thomas Hardy spent most of the night of 31 March taking soundings in the channel up to the Danish line. Even so, the British ships were not able to locate the deepest part of the channel properly and so kept too far to seaward.


Sketch of the battle
Parker had given Nelson the twelve ships-of-the line with the shallowest drafts and all the smaller ships in the fleet, while he himself stayed with the remainder of the fleet to the north-east of the battle, screening Nelson from external interference and moving towards Copenhagen to engage the northern defences.
On 30 March Nelson, and Rear Admiral Graves, accompanied by Captain Domett and the commanding officer of the troops, sailed in the hired lugger Lark to reconnoiter the Danish defenses at Copenhagen. They found the defenses to be strong and so spent the evening discussing the plan. Fixed batteries had a significant advantage over shipborne cannon owing to their greater stability and larger guns, and the Danes were able to reinforce their ships during the battle (including the replacement of a captain at one point). On the other hand, their ships were a motley collection, many of them small, and if engaged by the whole of Nelson's force, outgunned.
Nelson's plan was for the British ships to approach the weaker, southern end of the Danish defences in a line parallel to the Danish one. As the foremost ship drew alongside a Danish ship, it would anchor and engage that ship. The remainder of the line would pass outside until the next ship drew alongside the next Danish ship, and so on. The frigate Desiree, together with small gun-brigs, would rake the Danish line from the south, and a force of frigates, commanded by Captain Edward Riou of HMS Amazon, would attack the northern end of the line. Troops would assault the Tre Kroner fortress once the fleet had subdued the Danish line of ships. Bomb vessels would sit outside the British line and bombard the Danes by firing over it. Should the British be unable to subdue the stronger, northern defences, the destruction of the southern ships would be enough to allow the bomb vessels to approach within range of the city and force negotiations to prevent the bombardment of the city.
With a southerly wind on the 1 April, Nelson picked his way through the shoals. However, the Agamemnon ran aground before entering the channel, and took no part in the battle. Then the Russell and Bellona ran aground on the Middle Ground, severely restricting their role in the battle. The loss of the three vessels required hurried changes in the line and weakened the force's northern end.

The Danish batteries started firing at 10:05am, the first half of the British fleet were engaged for about half an hour, and the battle was generally over by 11:30am Once the British line was in place there was very little manœuvring. The British ships anchored by the stern about a cable (240 yards) from the line of Danish ships and batteries, which was relatively long range, and the two exchanged broadsides until a ship ceased firing. The British encountered heavy resistance, partly because they had not spotted the low-lying floating batteries, and partly because of the courage with which the Danes fought. The northern Danish ships, which were rigged and manned, did not enter the battle but remained on station as reserve units, even though the wind direction forced Parker's squadron to approach only slowly.
At 1pm, the battle was still in full swing. Prøvesteenen's heavier fire would have destroyed the Isis if the Desirée, assisted by the Polyphemus, had not raked the Danish vessel. The Monarch suffered badly from the combined fires of Holsteen and Sjælland.

Parker would have been able to see little of the battle owing to gun smoke, though he could see the signals on the three grounded British ships, with Bellona and Russell flying signals of distress and the Agamemnon a signal of inability to proceed. Thinking that Nelson might have fought to a stand-still but be unable to retreat without orders (the Articles of War demanded that all ranks do their utmost against the enemy in battle), at 1:30pm Parker told his flag captain, "I will make the signal of recall for Nelson's sake. If he is in condition to continue the action, he will disregard it; if he is not, it will be an excuse for his retreat and no blame can be imputed to him." Nelson ordered that the signal be acknowledged, but not repeated. He turned to his flag Captain, Foley, and said "You know, Foley, I only have one eye — I have the right to be blind sometimes," and then, holding his telescope to his blind eye, said "I really do not see the signal!". Nelson's second-in-command, Rear Admiral Thomas Graves, repeated the signal, but in a place invisible to most other ships while keeping Nelson's 'close action' signal at his masthead. Of Nelson's captains, only Riou, who could not see Nelson's flagship, the Elephant, followed Parker's signal. Riou withdrew his force, which was then attacking the Tre Kroner fortress, exposing himself to heavy fire that killed him.

It was at this time that the battle swung decisively to the British, as their superior gunnery took effect. The guns of the dozen southernmost Danish ships had started to fall silent owing to the damage they had sustained, and the fighting moved northward. According to British eyewitness accounts, much of the Danish line had fallen silent by 2pm. The cessation of firing left the way open for the British bomb vessels to approach Copenhagen. In addition, the reinforcements of the ships from the shore batteries were causing the latter to become ineffective. Nyborg tried to leave the line with Aggershuus in tow, but both sank. The most northerly ship, the frigate Hjaelperen, successfully withdrew. The Danish commander, Olfert Fischer, moved from the Dannebrog at 11:30am, when it caught fire, to the Holsteen. Once the Infødsretten, immediately north of the Holsteen, struck its colours at about 2:30pm, he moved on to the Tre Kroner fortress. There he engaged three of Parker's ships, which had lost their manoeuvrability after being badly damaged and had drifted within range. The Infødsretten resumed firing after Captain Schrodersee was ferried to the Indfødselsretten and took command of the ship. Perhaps because of inexperienced crews, several Danish ships fired on British boats sent out to them after their officers had signalled their surrender. Nelson said that he 'must either send on shore and stop this irregular proceeding, or send in our fire ships and burn them' and went to his cabin to write a note to the Danes. He sent it with a Danish-speaking officer, Captain Sir Frederick Thesiger, under a flag of truce to the Dano-Norwegian regent, Crown Prince Frederik, who had been watching the battle from the ramparts of the Citadel. The note read:

To the Brothers of Englishmen, the Danes 'Lord Nelson has directions to spare Denmark when she no longer resisting, but if firing is continued on the part of Denmark, Lord Nelson will be obliged to set on fire the floating batteries he has taken, without having the power of saving the brave Danes who have defended them.
Some British and Danish officers thought the offer of a truce a skillful ruse-de-guerre, and some historians have suggested that the battle would have been lost if it had not been adopted, as many of the British ships, like many of the Danish ships in the battle, could not carry on fighting much longer. Furthermore, neither side had deployed the ships which they both held in reserve, of which the Danish reserve was arguably the larger, and the truce effectually prevented this deployment at a moment where the British fleet was exposed. Though the British had lost no ships, most were severely damaged and three ships of the line had lost all their manoeuvrability and had at the time of the truce drifted within the range of the Tre Kroner's heavy guns which, up until then, like the other fortresses, had been out of range of the British ships. All action ceased when Crown Prince Frederick sent his Adjutant General, a Danish member of parliament, Hans Lindholm, asking for the reason for Nelson's letter. He was asked to put it in writing, which he did, in English, while making the joke: 'If your guns are not better pointed than your pens, then you will make little impression on Copenhagen'. In reply, Nelson wrote a note:

Lord Nelson's object in sending the Flag of Truce was humanity; he therefore consents that hostilities shall cease, and that the wounded Danes may be taken on shore. And Lord Nelson will take his prisoners out of the Vessels, and burn and carry off his prizes as he shall see fit.
Lord Nelson, with humble duty to His Royal Highness the Prince of Denmark, will consider this the greatest victory he has ever gained, if it may be the cause of a happy reconciliation and union between his own most gracious Sovereign, and His Majesty the King of Denmark.
which was sent back to the Crown Prince, and then referred Lindholm to Parker on the London. Following him there at 4pm, a twenty-four hour ceasefire was agreed.

At 4.30pm, the Danish flagship, the Dannebrog exploded, killing 250 men. By the end of the afternoon, three more badly-damaged British ships ran aground, including the Elephant. The Danish-Norwegian ships had been partly manned by volunteers, many of whom had little or no naval experience, and as they were not all listed after the battle, it is uncertain what the exact Danish-Norwegian loses were, but estimates vary between 1,135 to 2,215 captured, killed or wounded. The official report by Olfert Fischer estimated the Danish-Norwegian casualties to be between 1,600 and 1,800 captured, killed or wounded. According to the official returns recorded by each British ship, and repeated in dispatches from Nelson and forwarded by Parker to the Admiralty, British casualties were 264 killed and 689 wounded.
Of the Danish ships engaged in the battle, two sank, one exploded, and twelve were captured. The British could not spare men for manning prizes as they feared that further battles would come up so they burned eleven ships, and only one, Holsteen, returned to England with the wounded under a surgeon named Ferguson, where the Royal Navy took her over and renamed her HMS Nassau.


Another view of The Battle of Copenhagen
The next day, Nelson landed in Copenhagen to open negotiations. Colonel Stewart reported that "the population showed an admixture of admiration, curiosity and displeasure". In a two-hour meeting with the Crown Prince (who spoke English), Nelson was able to secure an indefinite armistice. He then tried to convince first Fischer (whom he had known in the West Indies), and then the Prince, of British protection against the Russians. Negotiations continued by letter and on the 8th April Nelson returned in person with a formal agreement. The one sticking point out of the seven articles was a sixteen-week armistice to allow action against the Russians. At this point Stewart claims that one of the Danes turned to another and said in French that disagreement might lead to a renewal of hostilities. "Renew hostilities!" responded Nelson, and turning to his interpreter said "Tell him that we are ready in a moment; ready to bombard this very night!" Hurried apologies followed (the British fleet now occupied positions that would allow the bombardment of Copenhagen) and agreement was reached and signed the next day. The armistice was reduced to fourteen weeks, but during it Armed Neutrality would be suspended and the British were to have free access to Copenhagen. Danish prisoners were also paroled. In the final hour of negotiations, the Danes found out (but not the British) that Tsar Paul had been assassinated. This made the end of the League of Armed Neutrality very likely and freed the Danes from the fear of Russian action against them, allowing them to easily come to agreement. The final peace agreement was then signed on 23 October 1801.

On the 12th April, Parker sailed to Karlskrona and on the British approach, the Swedish fleet returned to the port where Parker attempted to persuade them to also leave the League. Parker refused to sail into the eastern Baltic and instead returned to Copenhagen, where he found that news of his lack of vigour had reached London. On the 5 May he was recalled and ordered to hand his command over to Nelson. Nelson sailed eastwards again and leaving six ships-of-the-line at Karlskrona, he arrived at Reval on 14 May to find that the ice had melted and the Russian fleet had departed for Kronstadt. He also found out that negotiations for the ending of the Armed Neutrality had started and so withdrew on 17 May. As a result of the battle, Lord Nelson was created Viscount Nelson of the Nile.

This was not to be the end of Dano-Norwegian conflict with the British. In 1807 similar circumstances led to another British attack, in the Second Battle of Copenhagen.


Even though a changed political scene after the death of Russian Tsar Paul reduced the political importance of the battle and material losses in the battle were of little importance to the fighting strength of either navy (the Danish side had taken great care to spare its first-class ships), the battle is nevertheless still remembered on the Danish side for the extraordinary valour of the Navy's personnel and the many Copenhagen volunteers who fought for hours against overwhelming odds.

Ships involved

United Kingdom

Nelson's squadron
Polyphemus 64 (Captain John Lawford)
Isis 50 (Captain James Walker)
Edgar 74 (Captain George Murray)
Ardent 64 (Captain Thomas Bertie)
Glatton 54/56 (Captain William Bligh)
Elephant 74 (flag of Vice-Adm. Lord Nelson, Captain Thomas Foley)
Ganges 74 (Captain Thomas Francis Fremantle)
Monarch 74 (Captain James Robert Mosse )
Defiance 74 (2nd flag of Rear-Adm. Thomas Graves, Captain Richard Retalick)
Russell 74 (Captain William Cuming)
Bellona 74 (Captain Thomas Boulden Thompson)
Agamemnon 64 (Captain Robert Devereux Fancourt)
Désirée 36 (Captain Henry Inman)
Amazon 38 (Captain Edward Riou )
Blanche 36 (Captain Graham Eden Hamond)
Alcmène 32 (Captain Samuel Sutton)
Jamaica 24 (Captain Jonas Rose)
Arrow (ship-sloop, Captain William Bolton)
Dart (ship-sloop, Captain John Ferris Devonshire)
Cruizer (brig-sloop, Cmdr. James Brisbane)
Harpy (brig-sloop, Cmdr. William Birchall)
Discovery (bomb, Cmdr. John Conn)
Explosion (bomb, Cmdr. John Henry Martin)
Hecla (bomb, Cmdr. Richard Hatherhill)
Sulphur (bomb, Cmdr. Hender Whitter)
Terror (bomb, Cmdr. Samuel Campbell Rowley)
Volcano (bomb, Cmdr. James Watson)
Zebra (bomb, Cmdr. Edward Sneyd Clay)
Otter (fireship, Cmdr. George M'Kinley)
Zephyr (fireship, Cmdr. Clotworthy Upton)

Parker's reserve

London 98 (flag of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, with 1st Captain William Domett and 2nd Captain Robert Walker Otway)
St George 98 (Captain Thomas Masterman Hardy)
Warrior 74 Captain Charles Tyler)
Defence 74 (Captain Henry Paulet)
Saturn 74 (Captain Robert Lambert)
Ramillies 74 (Captain James William Taylor Dixon)
Raisonnable 64 (Captain John Dilkes)
Veteran 64 (Captain Archibald Collingwood Dickson)


Fischer's division in the King's Deep

(order south – north. Only Siælland and Holsteen were in good condition, also note the age of the ships.)
Prøvesteenen 52/56 (3-decker battleship, rebuilt as a two-deck defensionsskib (Defence-ship), Kaptain L. F. Lassen
Wagrien 48/52 (2-decker ship of the line, 1775), Kaptajn F.C. Risbrich
Rendsborg 20 (pram), Kaptajnløjtnant C.T.Egede
Nyborg 20 (pram) Kaptajnløjtnant C.A. Rothe
Jylland 48/54 (Originally 70 gun 2-decker ship of the line, 1760), Kaptajn E.O.Branth
Sværdfisken 18/20 (radeau, 1764),Sekondløjtnant S.S. Sommerfeldt
Kronborg 22 (frigate, 1779), Premierløjtnant J.E. Hauch
Hajen 18/20 (radeau, 1793), Sekondløjtnant J.N. Müller
Dannebrog 60 (flag, 2-decker ship of the line, 1772), Kaptajn F.A. Bruun
Elven 10 (frigate, 1800), Kaptajnløjtnant H. Holsten
Grenier's float/Floating Battery No. 1 20, 1785
Aggershus 20 (Defensionsfartøj (Defence vessel) 1786), Premierløjtnant T. Fassing
Siælland 74 (2-decker ship of the line, 1776), Kaptajn F.C.L. Harboe
Charlotte Amalia 26 (Old Danish East Indiaman), Kaptajn H.H. Kofoed
Søehesten 18 (radeau 1795), Premierløjtnant B.U. Middelboe
Holsteen 60 (ship of the line, 1772), Kaptajn J. Arenfelt
Indfødsretten 64 (2-decker ship of the line, 1778), Kaptajn A. de Turah
Hielperen 16 (frigate), Premierløjtnant P.C. Lilienskiold

Fischer's division in the Inner Run

(These ships did not see action)
Elephanten 70
Mars 74
Sarpen 18-gun brig
Nidelven 18-gun brig
Danmark 74
Trekroner 74 (not to be confused with Tre Kroner fortress)

battery TreKroner 68 guns.
Sea Battery Lynetten  ? guns.
Land battery Sixtus  ? guns.
Land battery Quintus ? guns.
Fortress Kastellet ? guns.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Raid on the Medway June 9-14 1667

Raid on the Medway

The Raid on the Medway, sometimes called the Battle of the Medway, Raid on Chatham or the Battle of Chatham, was a successful Dutch attack on the largest English naval ships, laid up in the dockyards of their main naval base Chatham, that took place in June 1667 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. The Dutch, under nominal command of Lieutenant-Admiral Michael de Ruyter, bombarded and then captured the town of Sheerness, sailed up the River Thames to Gravesend, then up the River Medway to Chatham, where they burnt three capital ships and ten lesser naval vessels and towed away the HMS Unity and the HMS Royal Charles, pride and normal flagship of the English fleet. The raid led to a quick end to the war and a favorable peace for the Dutch. It was the worst defeat in the Royal Navy's history.
English king Charles II's active fleet had already been reduced to accommodate the restrictions of recent expenditure, with the remaining "big ships" laid up, so the Dutch seized their opportunity well. They had made earlier plans for such an attack in 1666 after the Four Days Battle but were prevented from carrying them out by their defeat in the St James's Day Battle. The mastermind behind the plan was the leading Dutch politician Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt. His brother Cornelius de Witt accompanied the fleet to supervise. Peace negotiations had already been in progress at Breda since March, but Charles tried to procrastinate the signing of peace, hoping to improve his position through secret French assistance, so De Witt thought it best to end the war quickly with a clear Dutch victory, which of course might lead to more favorable terms. Most Dutch flag officers had strong doubts about the feasibility of such a daring attack, fearing the treacherous shoals in the Thames estuary, but they obeyed orders nevertheless. The Dutch made use of two defected English pilots, one a dissenter (a "fanatic") named Robert Holland, the other a smuggler having fled English justice.

On 17 May the squadron of the Admiralty of Rotterdam with De Ruyter sailed to Texel to join those of Amsterdam and the Northern Quarter. Hearing that the squadron of Frisia was not yet ready because of recruiting problems (impressments being forbidden in the Republic), he left for the Schooneveld off the Dutch coast to join the squadron of Zealand, that however suffered from similar problems. De Ruyter then departed for the Thames on 4 June (Old Style) with 62 frigates or ships-of-the-line, about fifteen lighter ships and twelve fire ships, when the wind turned to the east. The fleet was reorganized into three squadrons: the first was commanded by De Ruyter himself, with as Vice-Admiral Johan de Liefde and Rear-Admiral Jan Jansse van Nes; the second was commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Aert Jansse van Nes with as Vice-Admiral Enno Doedes Star and Rear-Admiral Willem van der Zaan; the third was commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Baron Willem Joseph van Ghent with Lieutenant-Admiral Jan van Meppel in subcommand and as Vice-Admirals Isaac Sweers and Volckert Schram and as Rear-Admirals David Vlugh and Jan Gideonsz Verburgh. The third squadron thus effectively had a second set of commanders; this was done to use these as flag officers of a special frigate landing force, to be formed on arrival and to be headed by Colonel and Lieutenant-Admiral Van Ghent, on the frigate Agatha. Baron Van Ghent was in fact the real commander of the expedition and had done all the operational planning, as he had been the former commander of the Dutch Marine Corps, the first in history to be specialized in amphibious operations, that now was headed by the Englishman Colonel Thomas Dolman.

 The Raid

A picture by Willem Schellincks of the raid. The view is from the south. On the left Upnor Castle is silhouetted against the flames; on the opposite side of the river more to the front the burning dockyard of Chatham. To the north the conflagration near the chain is shown and on the horizon the ruins of Sheerness Fort are still smoking 

The Dutch approach

On 6 June a fog bank was blown away and revealed the Dutch task force, sailing into the mouth of the Thames. On 7 June Cornelis de Witt revealed his secret instructions from the States-General, written on 20 May, in the presence of all commanders. There were so many objections, while De Ruyter's only substantial contribution to the discussion was "bevelen zijn bevelen "("orders are orders"), that Cornelis, after retiring to his cabin late in the night, wrote in his daily report he didn't feel at all sure that he would be obeyed. The next day it transpired however that most officers were in for a bit of adventure; they had just given their professional opinion for the record so they could blame the politicians should the whole enterprise end in disaster. That day an attempt was made to capture a fleet of twenty English merchantmen seen higher up the Thames in the direction of London, but this failed as these fled to the west, beyond Gravesend.
The attack caught the English unawares. No serious preparations had been made for such an eventuality, although there had been ample warning from the extensive English spy network. Most frigates were assembled in squadrons at Harwich and in Scotland, leaving the London area to be protected by only a small number of active ships, most of them prizes taken earlier in the war from the Dutch. As a further economy measure on 24 March the Duke of York had ordered to discharge most of the crews of the prize vessels, leaving only three guard ships at the Medway; in compensation the crew of one of them, the frigate Unity (former Dutch Eendracht, the first ship to be captured in 1665, from the privateer Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest) was raised from forty to sixty; also the number of fire ships was increased from one to three. Additionally thirty large sloops were to be prepared to row any ship to safety in case of an emergency. Sir William Coventry declared that a Dutch landing near London was very unlikely; at most the Dutch, to bolster their morale, would launch a token attack at some medium sized and exposed target like Harwich, which place therefore had been strongly fortified in the spring. There was no clear line of command with most responsible authorities giving hasty orders without bothering to coordinate them first. As a result there was much confusion. Charles didn't take matters into his own hands, deferring mostly to the opinion of others. English morale was low. Not having been paid for months or even years, most sailors and soldiers were less than enthusiastic to risk their lives. England had only a small army and the few available units were dispersed as Dutch intentions were unclear. This explains why no effective countermeasures were taken though it took the Dutch about five days to reach Chatham, slowly maneuvering through the shoals, leaving the heavier vessels behind as a covering force. They could only advance in jumps when the tide was favorable.
After raising the alarm on 6 June at Chatham Dockyard, Commissioner Peter Pett seems not to have taken any further action until 9 June when, late in the afternoon, a fleet of about thirty Dutch ships were sighted in the Thames off Sheerness. At this point the Commissioner immediately sought assistance from the Admiralty sending a pessimistic message to the Navy Board, lamenting the absence of Navy senior officials whose help and advice he believed he needed. The thirty ships were those of Van Ghent's squadron of frigates. The Dutch fleet carried about a thousand marines and landing parties were dispatched on Canvey Island in Essex and opposite on the Kent side at Sheerness. These men had strict orders by Cornelis de Witt not to plunder, as the Dutch wanted to shame the English whose troops had sacked Terschelling during Holmes's Bonfire in August 1666. Nevertheless the crew of Captain Jan van Brakel couldn't control themselves. They were driven off by English militia and under threat of severe punishment when returning to the Dutch fleet. Van Brakel offered to lead the attack the next day to avoid the penalty.
The king ordered the Earl of Oxford on 8 June to mobilize the militia of all counties around London; also all available barges should be used to lay a ship bridge across the Lower Thames, so that the English cavalry could quickly switch positions from one bank to the other. Sir Edward Spragge, the famous Vice-Admiral, learned on 9 June that a Dutch raiding party had come ashore on the Isle of Grain (a peninsula where the river Medway in Kent, meets the River Thames). Musketeers from the Sheerness garrison opposite were sent to investigate.
The King only in the afternoon of 10 June instructed Admiral George Monck, Duke of Albemarle to go to Chatham to take charge of matters and ordered Admiral Prince Rupert to organize the defenses at Woolwich a full three days later. Albemarle first went to Gravesend where he noted to his dismay that there and at Tilbury only a few guns were present, too few to halt a possible Dutch advance upon the Thames. To prevent such a disaster, he ordered all available artillery from the capital to be positioned at Gravesend. On 11 June (Old Style) he went to Chatham, expecting the place to be well prepared for an attack. Two members of the Navy Board, Sir John Mennes and Lord Henry Brouncker, had already travelled there on the same day. When Albemarle arrived, however, he found only twelve of the eight hundred dockyard men expected and these in a state of panic; of the thirty sloops only ten were present, the other twenty having been used to bring the personal possessions of several officials to safety, such as the ship models of Pett. No munitions or powder was available and the chain that blocked the Medway had not been protected by batteries. He immediately ordered to move the artillery from Gravesend to Chatham, which would take a day to effect.

The attack

The Dutch fleet arrived at the Isle of Sheppey on 10 June, and launched an attack on the incomplete Sheerness Fort. Captain Jan van Brakel in Vrede, followed by two other men-of-war, sailed as close to the fort as possible to engage it with cannon fire. Sir Edward Spragge was in command of the ships at anchor in the Medway and those off Sheerness, but the only ship able to defend against the Dutch was the frigate Unity which was stationed off the fort.
The Unity was supported by a number of ketches and fire ships at Garrison Point, and by the fort where sixteen guns had been hastily placed. The Unity fired one broadside, but then, when attacked by a Dutch fire ship, she withdrew up the Medway, followed by the English fire ships and ketches. The Dutch fired on the fort; two men were hit. It then transpired that no surgeon was available and most of the soldiers of the Scottish garrison now deserted. Seven remained, but their position became untenable when some 800 Dutch marines landed about a mile away. With Sheerness thus lost, its guns being captured by the Dutch and the building blown up, Spragge sailed up river on his yacht the Henrietta, for Chatham. In that place now many officers were assembled: Spragge himself, the next day also Monck and several men of the admiralty board. All gave orders countermanding those of the others so that utter confusion reigned.
As his artillery would not arrive soon, Monck on the 11th ordered a squadron of cavalry and a company of soldiers to reinforce Upnor Castle. River defenses were hastily improvised with block ships sunk, and the chain across the river was guarded by light batteries. Pett proposed that several big and smaller ships be sunk to block the Mussel bank channel in front of the chain. This way the large HMS Golden Phoenix and HMS House of Sweden (the former VOC - ships Gulden Phenix and Huis van Swieten) and HMS Welcome and HMS Leicester were lost and the smaller Constant John, Unicorn and John and Sarah; when this was shown by Spragge, personally sounding the depth of a second channel despite the assurances by Pett, to be insufficient, they were joined by the Barbados Merchant, Dolphin, Edward and Eve, Hind and Fortune. To do so the men first intended for the warships to be protected were used, so the most valuable ships were basically without crews. These block ships were placed in a rather easterly position, on the line Upchurch - Stoke, and could not be covered by fire. Monck then decided also to sink off ships in Upnor Reach near Upnor Castle, presenting another barrier to the Dutch should they break through the chain at Gillingham. The defensive chain placed across the river had at its lowest point been lying practically nine feet (about three meters) under the waterline between its stages owing to its weight, so it was still possible for light ships to pass it. It was tried to raise it by placing stages under it closer to the shore.

The positions of Charles V and Matthias (former Dutch merchantmen Carolus Quintus and Geldersche Ruyter), just above the chain were adjusted to enable them to bring their broadsides to bear upon it. Monmouth was also moored above the chain, positioned so that she could bring her guns to bear on the space between Charles V and Matthias. The frigate Marmaduke and the Norway Merchant were sunk off above the chain; the large Sancta Maria (former VOC-ship Slot van Honingen of 70 cannon) foundered while being moved for the same purpose. Pett also informed Monck that the Royal Charles had to be moved upriver. He had been ordered by the Duke of York on 27 March to do this, but as yet had not complied. Monck at first refused to make available some of his small number of sloops, as they were needed to move supplies; when he at last found the captain of the Matthias willing to assist, Pett answered that it was too late as he was busy sinking the block ships and there was no pilot to be found daring to take such a risk anyway. Meanwhile the first Dutch frigates to arrive had already begun to move the Edward and Eve away, clearing a channel by nightfall.

"Burning English ships" by Jan van Leyden. Shown are the events near Gillingham: in the middle Royal Charles is taken; on the right Pro Patria and Schiedam set Matthias and Charles V alight
Van Ghent's squadron now advanced up the Medway on 12 June, attacking the English defenses at the chain. First Unity was taken by Van Brakel by assault. Then the fire ship Pro Patria under commander Jan Daniëlsz van Rijn broke through the chain (or sailed over it according to some historians, distrusting the more spectacular traditional version of events), the stages of which were soon after destroyed by Dutch engineers commanded by Rear-Admiral David Vlugh. She then destroyed the Matthias by fire. The fire ships Catharina and Schiedam attacked the Charles V; the Catharina under Commander Hendrik Hendriksz was sunk by the shore batteries but the Schiedam under Commander Gerrit Andriesz Mak successfully set the Charles V alight; the crew was captured by Van Brakel. Royal Charles, with only thirty cannon aboard and abandoned by her skeleton crew when they saw the Matthias burn, was then captured by the Irishman Thomas Tobiasz, the flag captain of Vice-Admiral Johan de Liefde, and carried off to the Netherlands despite an unfavourable tide. This was made possible by lowering her draught by bringing her into a slight tilt. The jack was struck while a trumpeter played "Joan's placket is torn". Only the Monmouth escaped. Seeing the disaster Monck ordered all sixteen remaining warships further up to be sunk off to prevent them from being captured, making for a total of about thirty ships deliberately sunk by the English themselves. As Andrew Marvell satirized:
Of all our navy none should now survive,
But that the ships themselves were taught to dive The following day, 13 June, the whole of the Thames side as far up as London was in a panic — some spread the rumor that the Dutch were in the process of transporting a French army from Dunkirk for a full-scale invasion — and many wealthy citizens fled the city, taking their most valuable possessions with them. The Dutch continued their advance into the Chatham docks with the fire ships Delft, Rotterdam, Draak, Wapen van Londen, Gouden Appel and Princess, under English fire from Upnor Castle and from three shore batteries. A number of Dutch frigates suppressed the English fire, themselves suffering about forty casualties in dead and wounded. Three of the finest and heaviest vessels in the navy, already sunk to prevent capture, now perished by fire: first the Loyal London, set alight by the Rotterdam under commander Cornelis Jacobsz van der Hoeven; then the Royal James and finally the Royal Oak, that withstood attempts by two fire ships but was burnt by a third. The English crews abandoned their half-flooded ships, mostly without a fight, a notable exception being army captain Archibald Douglas, of the Scot Foots, who personally refused to abandon the Oak and perished in the flames. The Monmouth again escaped. The raid thus cost the English four of their remaining eight ships with more than 75 cannon. Three of the four largest "big ships" of the navy were lost. The remaining "big ship", Royal Sovereign (the former HMS Sovereign of the Seas rebuilt as a two-Decker), was preserved due to her being at Portsmouth at the time. De Ruyter now joined Van Ghent's squadron in person.
Account by Samuel Pepys
The diary of Samuel Pepys, as secretary of the Navy Board, is very often cited in descriptions of the raid, as it gives us direct information about the attitude of the policy makers in this period and of the psychological impact of the attack.
Pepys at first seems to accept the consensus that the Dutch would not dare to launch an expedition in the London area; still on 18 April he writes: "(...)then to the office, where the news is strong that not only the Dutch cannot set out a fleet this year, but that the French will not, and that he [Louis XIV] hath given the answer to the Dutch Ambassador, saying that he is for the King of England's, having an honorable peace, which, if true, is the best news we have had a good while." At that moment De Ruyter had already been on De Zeven Provinciën for a week. Nevertheless he is aware of the preparations at Chatham, writing on 23 March: "At the office all the morning, where Sir W. Pen come, being returned from Chatham, from considering the means of fortifying the river Medway, by a chain at the stakes, and ships laid there with guns to keep the enemy from coming up to burn our ships; all our care now being to fortify ourselves against their invading us." Also he is the next day present at the meeting where the details are given: "all their care they now take is to fortify themselves, and are not ashamed of it: for when by and by my Lord Arlington come in with letters, and seeing the King and Duke of York give us and the officers of the Ordnance directions in this matter, he did move that we might do it as privately as we could, that it might not come into the Dutch Gazette presently, as the King's and Duke of York's going down the other day to Sheerness was, the week after, in the Harlem Gazette. The King and Duke of York both laughed at it, and made no matter, but said, 'Let us be safe, and let them talk, for there is nothing will trouble them more, nor will prevent their coming more, than to hear that we are fortifying ourselves'."
On 3 June Pepys becomes aware the Dutch are out in force: "the Dutch are known to be abroad with eighty sail of ships of war, and twenty fire-ships; and the French come into the Channel with twenty sail of men-of-war, and five fire ships, while we have not a ship at sea to do them any hurt with; but are calling in all we can, while our Ambassadors are treating at Bredah; and the Dutch look upon them as come to beg peace, and use them accordingly; and all this through the negligence of our Prince, who hath power, if he would, to master all these with the money and men that he hath had the command of, and may now have, if he would mind his business."
Only on 10 June Pepys understands that the Thames is the target: "news brought us that, the Dutch are come up as high as the Nore; and more pressing orders for fire ships." The next day a growing sense of panic becomes apparent: "Up, and more letters still from Sir W. Coventry about more fire- ships, and so Sir W. Batten and I to the office, where Bruckner come to us, who is just now going to Chatham upon a desire of Commissioner Pett's, who is in a very fearful stink for fear of the Dutch, and desires help for God and the King and kingdom's sake. So Bruckner goes down, and Sir J. Minnes also, from Gravesend. This morning Pett writes us word that Sheerness is lost last night, after two or three hours' dispute. The enemy hath possessed himself of that place; which is very sad, and puts us into great fears of Chatham." In the morning of the 12th he is reassured by the measures taken by Monck: "(...) met Sir W. Coventry's boy; and there in his letter find that the Dutch had made no motion since their taking Sheerness; and the Duke of Albemarle writes that all is safe as to the great ships against any assault, the boom and chain being so fortified; which put my heart into great joy." Soon, however, this confidence is shattered: "(...) his clerk, Powell, do tell me that ill news is come to Court of the Dutch breaking the Chain at Chatham; which struck me to the heart. And to White Hall to hear the truth of it; and there, going up the back-stairs, I did hear some lacquies speaking of sad news come to Court, saying, that hardly anybody in the Court but do look as if he cried(...)."
Pepys immediately draws the conclusion that this will mean the end of Charles's regime and a revolution is inevitable: "all our hearts do now ake; for the news is true, that the Dutch have broke the chain and burned our ships, and particularly "The Royal Charles", other particulars I know not, but most sad to be sure. And, the truth is, I do fear so much that the whole kingdom is undone, that I do this night resolve to study with my father and wife what to do with the little that I have in money by me(...).
On the 13th, the countermeasures proposed only increase his fears and make him decide to bring his family and capital in safety: "No sooner up but hear the sad news confirmed of the Royall Charles being taken by them, and now in fitting by them -- which Pett should have carried up higher by our several orders, and deserves, therefore, to be hanged for not doing it -- and turning several others; and that another fleet is come up into the Hope. Upon which news the King and Duke of York have been below [London Bridge] since four o'clock in the morning, to command the sinking of ships at Barking- Creeke, and other places, to stop their coming up higher: which put me into such a fear, that I presently resolved of my father's and wife's going into the country; and, at two hours' warning, they did go by the coach this day, with about L1300 in gold in their night-bag." The entire city is in a state of panic: "(...)never were people so dejected as they are in the City all over at this day; and do talk most loudly, even treason; as, that we are bought and sold—that we are betrayed by the Papists, and others, about the King; cry out that the office of the Ordnance hath been so backward as no powder to have been at Chatham nor Upnor Castle till such a time, and the carriages all broken; that Legg is a Papist; that Upnor, the old good castle built by Queen Elizabeth, should be lately slighted; that the ships at Chatham should not be carried up higher. They look upon us as lost, and remove their families and rich goods in the City; and do think verily that the French, being come down with his army to Dunkirke, it is to invade us, and that we shall be invaded." Then even worse news is brought: "Late at night comes Mr. Hudson, the cooper, my neighbor, and tells me that he come from Chatham this evening at five o'clock, and saw this afternoon "The Royal James," "Oake," and "London," burnt by the enemy with their fire-ships: that two or three men-of-war come up with them, and made no more of Upnor Castle's shooting, than of a fly(...)."
On the 14th more details become known of the events the previous day, showing the morale of the sailors: "[he] did hear many Englishmen aboard the Dutch ships speaking to one another in English, and that they did cry and say: We did heretofore fight for tickets; now we fight for dollars! And did ask how such and such a one did, and would commend themselves to them: which is a sad consideration", and the mood of the people towards Charles "they did in open streets yesterday at Westminster, cry, 'A Parliament! A Parliament!'; and I do believe it will cost blood to answer for these miscarriages."

 The Dutch withdraw

As he feared a stiffening English resistance, Cornelis de Witt on 14 June decided to forego a further penetration and withdraw, towing the Royal Charles along as a war trophy; the Unity also was removed with a prize crew. This decision saved the sunken off capital ships HMS Royal Katherine, HMS Unicorn, HMS Victory and HMS St George. However Dutch demolition teams that day rowed on boats to any ship they could reach to burn her down as much as they could, thus ensuring their reward money. One boat even reentered the docks to make sure nothing was left above the waterline of the Oak, James and London; another, by accident or malicious intent, burnt the Slot van Honingen, though it had been intended to salvage this precious merchantman. Also Chatham Dockyard escaped a destruction which might have prevented the rebuilding of the English navy for decades. Now the English villages were plundered — by their own troops. The Dutch fleet, after celebrating by collectively thanking God for "a great victory in a just war in self-defense" tried to repeat its success by attacking several other ports on the English east coast but was repelled each time. On 27 June an attempt to enter the Thames beyond Gravesend was called off when it became known that the river was blocked by block ships and five fire ships awaited the Dutch attack. On 2 July a Dutch marine force landed near Woodbridge north of Harwich and successfully prevented Landguard Fort from being reinforced but a direct assault on the fort by 1500 marines was beaten off by the garrison. On 3 July an attack on Osleybay failed. On 21 July Julian calendar peace was signed.
But still, Samuel Pepys notes in his diary on 19 July 1667: "The Dutch fleet are in great squadrons everywhere still about Harwich, and were lately at Portsmouth; and the last letters say at Plymouth, and now gone to Dartmouth to destroy our Streights' fleet lately got in thither; but God knows whether they can do it any hurt, or no, but it was pretty news come the other day so fast, of the Dutch fleets being in so many places, that Sir W. Batten at table cried, By God, says he, I think the Devil shits Dutchmen."
And on 29 July 1667: "Thus in all things, in wisdom, courage, force, knowledge of our own streams, and success, the Dutch have the best of us, and do end the war with victory on their side".


Total losses for the Dutch were eight spent fire ships and about fifty casualties. In the Republic the populace was jubilant after the victory; many festivities were held, repeated when the fleet returned in October, the various admirals being hailed as heroes. They were rewarded by a flood of eulogies and given honorary golden chains and pensions by the States-General and the lesser States of the Provinces; De Ruyter, Cornelis de Witt and Van Ghent were honored by precious enameled golden chalices, depicting the events. Cornelis de Witt had a large "Sea Triumph" painted, with himself as the main subject, which was displayed in the town hall of Dort. This triumphalism by De Witt's States faction caused resentment with the rivaling Organist faction; when the States regime lost its power during the rampjaar of 1672, Cornelis's head was to be ceremoniously carved out from the painting, after Charles had for some years insisted the picture would be removed.
Royal Charles, her draught too deep to be of use in the shallow Dutch waters, was permanently dry-docked near Hellevoetsluis as a tourist attraction, with day trips being organized for large parties, often of foreign state guests; after vehement protests by Charles that this insulted his honor, the official visits were ended and Royal Charles was eventually scrapped in 1672; however, in the cellar of the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam, part of her transom, bearing the coat of arms with the Lion and Unicorn and the Royal inscription Dieu et mon droit, is on display to this day.
Wharf official John Norman estimated the damage caused by the raid at about £20,000, apart from the replacement costs of the four lost capital ships; the total loss of the Royal Navy must have been close to £200,000.[5] Pett was made a scapegoat, bailed at £5,000 and deprived of his office while those who had ignored his earlier warnings quietly escaped any blame. The Royal James, Oak and Loyal London were in the end salvaged and rebuilt, but at great cost and when the City of London refused to share in it, Charles had the name of the latter ship changed to a simple London. For a few years the English fleet was handicapped by its losses during the raid, but by around 1670 a new building programme had restored the English Navy to its former power.
The Raid on the Medway was a serious blow to the reputation of the English crown. Charles felt personally offended by the fact the Dutch had attacked while he had laid up his fleet and peace negotiations were in progress, conveniently forgetting he himself had not negotiated in good faith. His resentment was one of the causes of the Third Anglo-Dutch War as it made him enter into the secret Treaty of Dover with Louis XIV of France. In the 19th century, nationalistic British writers expanded on this theme by suggesting it had been the Dutch who had sued for peace after their defeats in 1666 — although in fact these had made them, if anything, more belligerent — and that only by treacherously attacking the English had they nevertheless been able to gain a victory; a typical example of this is When London burned, written by the novelist G. A. Henty in 1895.