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Battle of Plymouth

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 6 months ago

The Battle of Plymouth

16 August 1652

This was the Second fleet engagement of the First Anglo-Dutch War between the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands.


On 13 August 1652, the Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter set sail from Calais with 32 (or36) men-of-war to escort a merchant fleet of 60 ships through the Channel to the Mediterranean.


General-at-Sea George Ayscue was patrolling, with forty men-of-war and armed merchantmen and five fireships, in search of prizes. He sighted the Dutch convoy off Plymouth on 15 August. de Ruyter altered course to fend off Ayscue's attack.


Although the English ships were in the majority, and were better armed, many of them failed to keep their station in the line of attack, and Ayscue lost the advantage, The battle continued all afternoon. As evening fell Ayscue broke off the engagement and sailed back to Plymouth. He was pursued by de Ruyter, who intended to attack the English ships in their anchorage until a change of wind forced him to withdraw. No ships were lost, but both sides suffered heavy casualties among their crews. The Dutch merchant convoy succeeded in escaping through the Channel.


The English Fleet
Van squadron of Vice-Admiral William Haddock
Ship's Name Guns Commander Notes
Vanguard46 Flagship
Main squadron of Admiral George Ayscue
Ship's Name Guns Commander Notes
Rainbow52George AyscueFlagship
Pelican42Joseph Jordan
Rear squadron of Rear-Admiral Michael Packe
Ship's Name Guns Commander Notes
Amity36Michael PackeFlagship
English ships who's squadron has not yet been identified
Ship's Name Guns Commander Notes
Success36William Kendall
Anthony Bonaventure36Walter HoxonArmed Merchantman
Maidenhead36John DanielArmed Merchantman
Increase36Thomas VarnellArmed Merchantman
Ruth30Edward ThompsonArmed Merchantman
Malaga Merchant30Henry CollinsArmed Merchantman
Success30Edward WitheridgeArmed Merchantman
John and Elizabeth26Thomas WrightArmed Merchantman
Pearl24Roger Cuttance
George Bonaventure20John CrampeArmed Merchantman
Unity Armed Merchantman
Constant Anne6James Locke
Batchelor6Thomas Quixley
Charity Simon OrtonFireship
Unknown SmithsonFireship
The Dutch Fleet
Commodore de Ruyter's squadron
Ship's Name Guns Commander Notes
Neptunus28Jan PouwelszoonFlagship
Goude Saele Cornelis BeeckeFireship
Sint Maria Jan Claesz CorffFireship
Vice Admiral van den Broecke's squadron
Ship's Name Guns Commander Notes
Westergo28Joris Pietersz van den BroeckeFlagship
Hoop24Thomas Jansz DyckFireship
Amsterdam Jan OverbeeckeFireship
Rear Admiral Verhaeff's squadron
Ship's Name Guns Commander Notes
Jan Arentsen VerhaeffFlagship
Gekroonde Liefde Jacob Herman VisserFireship
Orangieboom Leendert Arentsz de JagerFireship
Dutch ships who's squadron has not yet been identified
Ship's Name Guns Commander Notes
Amsterdam36Sijmon van der Aeck
Vogelstruys30Leendert den Haen
Faam30Cornelis Loncke
Graaf Hendrik30Jan Renderszoon Wagenaer
Sint Pieter28Jan Jansz van der Valck
Engel Michiel28Emmanuel Zalingen
Drie Koningen28Lucas Albertszoon
Wapen van Swieten28Jacop Sichelszoon
Gelderland28Cornelis van Velsen
Liefde26Joost Banckert de Jonge
Albertina24Rombout van der Parre
Kasteel van Medemblik26Gabriel Antheunissen
Westcappel26Claes Janszoon Sanger
Eendracht24Andries Fortuijn
Schaapherder Albert Pietersz Quaboer
Sarah24Hans Karelsz Becke
Hector van Troye24Reinier Sekema
Vogelstruis Douwe Aukes



Notes to the ship lists

Bold indicates a ship sunk, scuttled or blown up, or a captain killed or died of wounds

Italics indicates a ship or captain captured

The unknown fireship commanded by Captain Smithson was expended protecting a merchantman called Bonaventure which had been dismasted (Source: B021 Page 33)


This list has been colated from several sources, largely lists of officers and their ships. As such it is probably incomplete. A large portion of the Dutch ships listed will be Hired Vessels, but which has yet to be confirmed. The Friesland Admiralty ships' list is complete however.



B021The Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652-1674Roger Hainsworth & Christine Churches
W011Kentish Knock
W014Anglo Dutch Wars BlogJim Bender
W021Naval Wargaming BlogJim Bender

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