28 September, 2007

The Battle of the Kentish Knock, 28th September, 1652

An important 17thC naval battle from the First Anglo-Dutch War for today's post. The Kentish Knock is one of the sand bars off the entrance to the Thames Estuary, close to one of the usual anchorages of the English fleet at the Downs.

The background to the battle was the English Civil War, which had finally ended a year earlier when Cromwell's Parliamentary army defeated Charles II's supporters at Worcester in 1651.

The war had weakened England's control over commerce and trade, and escalating skirmishes between Dutch and English forces made war inevitable as the Dutch tried to challenge English control over valuable trade routes to the Indies, etc.

The Dutch were hampered by drunk crews and rebellious Zealanders who sailed home halfway through the battle, and the result was a victory for the Commonwealth of England, although the Dutch managed to withdraw with much of their fleet intact, chased by the English.

For more on the battle, see Wikipedia and this site.

note on dates: most sources have the date of the battle as 28th September, which is the date according to the Julian calendar used in England up to 1752; the Wikipedia entry uses the modern Gregorian calendar date of 8th October

See also previous post on the later Battle of Sole Bay.

Continuing the nautical theme, Cardinal Wolsey's vodpod sidebar features sea shanties this week...the Japanese choir's rendition of "Whisky Johnny" is a hoot.

No comments: