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Seldom has any battle in our naval annals been more stubbornly contested. The English had to struggle with a bold and experienced enemy, and against the most fearful disparity of force. Their ships were so intermingled among the multitude of their opponents, that they could afford little support to each other: still they fought with the most desperate courage, hoping to protract the action till they could be joined by the remainder of the fleet in the bay. About eleven o'clock, the duke's ship, the Prince, of one hundred guns, had lost above one-third of her men, and lay a motionless wreck on the water. Having ordered her to be towed out of danger, he passed through the window of the cabin into his shallop, rowed through the enemy's fire, and unfurled the royal standard in the St. Michael, of ninety
The earl of Sandwich, in the Royal James, repeatedly beat off the enemies by whom he was surrounded, carried by boarding a seventy-gun ship which lay athwart his hawse, and killed Van Ghent, the commander of the Amsterdam squadron: hut, after an engagement of eight hours, the Royal James became unmanageable ; of two fire-ships which approached, one was sunk by her guns, the second grappled her on the larboard side; and in a few minutes that noble vessel was enveloped in flames. The duke, from a distance to leeward, saw the blue flag towering above a dense column of smoke, and ordered the Dartmouth, and a number of boats to hasten to the assistance of the crew. Between two and three hundred were saved; the rest, with their gallant commander, perished in the waves f.
• Ibid. 465,6. So afraid were the sailors of fire-ships, that the duke ex. pressly forbade the name to be mentioned during the action. If any man, saw a fire-ship approaching, he was ordered to communicate his suspicion in a whisper to the nearest officer, 465.
+ Ibid. 467, 8. He appears to have had a presentiment of his fate. When Evelyn (ii. 369) took leave of him, the earl said, lie should see him
"No," he adiled, " they will not let me live. Had I lost a fleet " I should have fared better. But be it as it pleases God. I must do
something, I know not what, to save my reputation." Evelyn tells us
VICTORY OF THE ENGLISH.
15 During the afternoon, the other ships joined the fleet, and the combatants began to fight on a footing of equality. About five it was reported to the duke, that the St. Michael could with difficulty be kept afloat, on account of the injury which she had received in her hull; and trusting again to his shallop, he transported his flag to the London. De Ruyter was the first to shrink from the conflict. He sailed about seven to overtake the Zeeland squadron; and most of the English took the opportunity of joining D'Estrées to leeward, while the duke, with five-and-twenty sail, remained to the windward of the enemy. Thus terminated this bloody and obstinate engagement. While we give due praise to the conduct of the Dutch admiral, and to the bravery of his men, we must not forget that, with all the disadvantages of surprise, and wind and tide against them, the cool and determined courage of the English obtained the victory. They lost one, their opponents three ships of the line *. In the morning, the two divisions of the English fleet May
29. joined, and it was determined to proceed to the Nore; but in a short time De Ruyter, who had sailed to the southward, re-appeared; and James ordered the line to be formed, and made the signal to bear down on the enemy. They immediately fled: a general chase was ordered, and twice the Dutch ships, which had been disabled in the late action, were on the point of falling into
that Monk and Clifford were accustomed to describe the earl's caution as cowardice, and that the words in italics allude to his expeditiwn to Bergen. May they not allude to the conduct of Monk, as if he had said: Had i, by excess of courage, lost a fleet, as Monk did, I should have fared better?_" He dined,” says Sheffield, duke of Buckingham, “ in Mr. “ Digby's ship the day before the battle, when nobody dreamt of fighting, " and showed gloomy discontent, so contrary to his usual cheerful humour, " that we even all took notice of it; but much more afterwards." Works, ii. 14.
• Ibid. 468-471. " The duke of York himself had the noblest share in "this day's action : for when his ship was so maimed as to be made in.
capable of service, he made her sye by to refit, and went on board "another that was hotly engaged, where he kept up his standard till she "was disabled, and then left her for a third, in order to renew the fight, " which lasted from break of day till sunset.” Works of Sheffield, duke * Buckingham, who was present, ii. 15.
the hands of the pursuers, and as often saved by the
timely intervention of a fog. On the second day the May Dutch found a secure shelter within the Wierings; and 30.
the English fleet returned in triumph to the river *.
By land, the storm, which had so long menaced the States, soon burst on their most distant frontier. Louis had placed himself at the head of more than one hundred thousand men, and was assisted by the counsels of Condé and Turenne. Orsoi, Burick, Wesel, and Rhinberg, fortresses on the Rhine, in the possession of Dutch garrisons, opened their gates ; the river itself was passed near Schenck in the face of the enemy; Arnheim, Naerden, Utrecht, Daventer, Zutphen, and Nimeguen submitted; three out of the seven provinces were torn from the republic, and the French outposts established themselves in the vicinity of Amsterdamt. At first the States seemed to abandon themselves to de. spair : they were roused to exertion by the approach of the enemy, and the sympathy of Europe. The Lourestein faction, hitherto the ally of France, sunk into insignificance ; the prince of Orange was declared captain-general of the army, and admiral of the fleet; promises of succour were obtained from the emperor, the king of Spain, and the elector of Brandenburg; and attempts were made to detach Charles from his alliance with the French monarch. The king, indeed, began to The success by sea had not answered his
expectations: the conquests of Louis threatened to provoke a general war in Christendom; and a rupture between France and Spain would not only overturn the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, but also deprive his subjects of the Spanish trade, the most profitable branch of British
With his son, the duke of Monmouth, who, at the head of six thousand British soldiers, served in the French army, were joined, as plenipotentiaries,
• James, i. 475. 8 + For the progress of the French army, see Euvres de Louis, iii. 130248
A.D. 1672.] CONQUESTS BY THE FRENCH.
17 Buckingham, Arlington, and Savile, lately created June viscount Halifax. The three latter repaired to the 12. Hague, where they assured the States of the pacific disposition of their sovereign*, and thence, accompanied by deputies, hastened to the camp of the French monarch at Heeswick, where, in union with Monmouth,
July they signed a new treaty, binding the two kings to act 6. in concert, and never to conclude a peace but by joint consent. The separate demands of Charles and Louis were then communicated to the Dutch ministers. Charles, on his part, required, as the basis of peace, the dignity of stadtholder for the prince of Orange, the honour of the flag as an acknowledgment that England was mistress of the narrow seas, the yearly payment of 10,0001. for permission to fish on the British coasts, indemnification for the charges of the war to the amount of one million sterling, and the possession of Flushing, Goree, and the neighbouring fortresses, as security for the payment: Louis offered to restore the three provinces which he had conquered, on condition that the States should cede to him such places as they had formerly wrested from Spain, and such part of their territory as lay on the left bank of the Rhine; should pay to him an indemnification of seventeen millions of livres ; should yearly offer him a gold medal in acknowledgment of his forbearance, but in reality as a satisfaction for the insulting medal which they struck at the conclusion of the triple alliance, and should grant to their catholic subjects the free exercise of the catholic worshipt. The States, at the persuasion of the prince
•When Buckingham assured the dowager princess of Orange, that they, the ambassadors, would not use Holland like a mistress, but love her like a wife; she replied, " Vrayment je croy que vous nous aymez comme vous aymez la votre.” Temple, ii. 260.
Dumont, vii. 205. 6. 8. Miscel. Aul. 71, 72. In the united and the neighbouring provinces the catholics and protestants were intermixed in considerable numbers, and the intolerance of the States induced them, wherever their influence extended, to abolish the exercise of the catholic worship. This was met with similar intolerauce on the other side ; and the inconveniences arising from such a state of things induced the protestant elector of Brandenburg, and catholic count palatine of the kliine, VOL. XII.
of Orange, indignantly rejected these proposals. They opened their dikes; the country was placed under water; and the progress of the French arms was sus. pended.
From this moment the war began to languish both by sea and land. Louis left the camp for his rapital, and while part of his army was employed to retain possession of his conquests, the other portion marched to the Rhine to observe the German princes, who were arming in support of the States. At sea, De Ruyter had the prudence to shun a second engagement; and the duke of York cruized in vain off the Dogger Bank to intercept the East India fleet, which found shelter in the river Ems. Charles, however, continued faithful to his
engagements with Louis, and, to mark his satisfaction April with the conduct of his ministers, he had raised sir 22. Thomas Clifford to the peerage, by the title of lord 14. 23,
Clifford of Chudleigh; created lord Arlington earl of Arlington; lord Ashley earl of Shaftesbury; and honoured Buckingham and Arlington with the order of the garter. For a while Shaftesbury seemed to monopolize the royal favour, so delighted was the monarch with the fertility of his invention, and the fearlessness of his courage. Charles deemed himself bound in honour to shelter the bankers, whose money he had locked up in to conclude in this spring a treaty of equitable adjustment, by which the churches were divided between the two communions, and provision was made for their respective ministers out of the property formerly belonging to the clergy in the duchies of Cleves, Juliers, and Berg, and the counties of Mark and Ravensberg. (Dumont, vii. 171–194.) Louis, following the example, demauled for the catholics within the territory of the States the use of one church where there were two, and the permission to build another where there was only one, with a decent provision for the clergymen out of the old church property, or some other fund. (Ibid. 205.) This demand, however, gave occasion to the opponents of the court to represent Charles as leagued with Louis in a crusade for the establishment of popery: and, to excite greater irritation, they informed the public that the principal church in each town was demanded for the catholics. (Burnet, i. 560.) Another falsehood spread at the time was, that Louis assured the States that he would make peace if they accepted his conditions, whether Charles were satisfied or not. (Marvell, i. 492.) Yet the con. trary is the truth. Iu article xiii. he declares that the acceptance of his couditions will not be suficient; they must also satisfy the king of Eng. land, before peace can be made, Dumont, 206,