Battle of the Gabbard

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Battle of the Gabbard
Part of First Anglo-Dutch War
"The Battle of the Gabbard, 2 June 1653" by Heerman Witmont, shows the Dutch flagship Brederode, right, in action with the English ship Resolution, the temporary name during the Commonwealth of HMS Prince Royal.
The Battle of the Gabbard, 2 June 1653 by Heerman Witmont
Date2 and 3 June 1653.[a]
Coast of Gabbard Bank, Suffolk, England
51°57′N 1°45′E / 51.95°N 1.75°E / 51.95; 1.75Coordinates: 51°57′N 1°45′E / 51.95°N 1.75°E / 51.95; 1.75
Result English victory
Flag of The Commonwealth.svg Commonwealth of England  United Provinces
Commanders and leaders
George Monck
Richard Deane 
John Lawson
William Penn
Maarten Tromp
Witte de With
100 ships 98 ships
Casualties and losses
126 dead & 236 wounded 6 ships sunk
11 ships captured
1,350 prisoners

The naval Battle of the Gabbard,[b] also known as the Battle of Gabbard Bank, the Battle of the North Foreland or the Second Battle of Nieuwpoort took place on 2–3 June 1653 (12–13 June 1653 Gregorian calendar).[a] during the First Anglo-Dutch War near the Gabbard shoal off the coast of Suffolk, England between fleets of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces.

The battle[edit]

Battle of the Gabbard (1653)

The English fleet had 100 ships commanded by Generals at Sea George Monck and Richard Deane and Admirals John Lawson and William Penn. The Dutch had 98 ships under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp and Vice-admiral Witte de With, divided in five squadrons. On 2 June 1653 the Dutch attacked but were beaten back because the English employed line-of-battle tactics, making the Dutch pay a high price for attempting to board. The Dutch fleet, consisting of lighter ships, was severely damaged and lost two ships.

On 3 June the English were joined by Admiral Robert Blake, but Tromp decided to try again a direct attack though his ships were practically out of ammunition. A sudden lull however made his ships sitting ducks for the superior English guns. The Dutch were routed, the English chasing them until well in the evening, capturing many Dutch ships. The battle ended with the Dutch losing in total seventeen ships, of which six were sunk and eleven captured. The English lost no ships, but Deane was killed. Tactically this was the worst defeat in Dutch naval history with the exception of the Battle of Lowestoft; strategically the defeat threatened to be disastrous.

The victory meant that the English control over the English Channel, regained by the Battle of Portland in March after it had been lost in the Battle of Dungeness, was now extended to the North Sea. After the battle, the English imposed a blockade on the Dutch coast, capturing many merchant ships and crippling the Dutch economy . The fleets met again on 29–31 July 1653 (8–10 August 1653 Gregorian calendar) at the Battle of Scheveningen.

Ships involved[edit]


Red Squadron[edit]

Ship Guns Men Commander Notes Ref.
Resolution 88 550 General-at-Sea George Monck
General-at-Sea Richard Deane 
Captain John Bourne
Worcester 50 220 Captain George Dakins
Advice 42 180 Captain Jeremy Smyth
Diamond 42 180 Captain William Hill
Sapphire 38 140 Captain Nicholas Heaton
Marmaduke 42 160 Captain Edward Blagg
Pelican 40 180 Captain Peter Mootham
Mermaid 26 100 Captain John King
Golden Fleece 44 180 Captain Nicholas Forster Hired armed merchantman
Loyalty 34 150 Captain John Limbry Hired armed merchantman
Society 44 140 Captain Nicholas Lucas Hired armed merchantman
Malaga Merchant 36 140 Captain Henry Collins Hired armed merchantman
Martin 14 90 Captain John Vessy
Fortune 10 30 Fireship
Fox 10 30 Fireship
Renown 10 30 Fireship
Triumph 62 350 Vice-Admiral James Peacock
Captain Proud
Laurel 48 200 Captain John Stoakes
Adventure 40 160 Captain Robert Nixon
Providence 33 140 Captain John Peirce
Bear 46 200 Captain Francis Kirby
Heartsease 36 150 Captain Thomas Wright
Hound 36 120 Captain Jonah Hide
Anne and Joyce 34 119 Captain William Pile Hired armed merchantman
London 40 200 Captain Arthur Browne
Hannibal 44 180 Captain William Haddock Hired armed merchantman
Mary 37 120 Captain Henry Maddison
Thomas and William 36 140 Captain John Jefferson Hired armed merchantman
Speaker 56 300 Rear-Admiral Samuel Howett
Captain John Gibson
Sussex 46 180 Captain Roger Cuttance
Guinea 34 150 Captain Edmund Curtis
Tiger 40 170 Captain Gabriel Sanders
Violet 40 180 Captain Henry Southwood
Sophia 38 160 Captain Robert Kirby
Falmouth 26 100 Captain John Jeffreys
Four Sisters 30 120 Captain Robert Becke Hired armed merchantman
Hamburg Merchant 34 110 Captain William Jessel Hired armed merchantman
Phoenix 34 120 Captain Henry Eaden

White Squadron[edit]

Ship Guns Men Commander Notes Ref.
James 66 360 Admiral William Penn
Captain John Gilson
Lion 50 220 Captain John Lambert
Ruby 42 180 Captain Robert Sanders
Assistance 40 180 Captain William Crispin
Foresight 42 180 Captain Richard Stayner
Portsmouth 38 170 Captain Robert Danford
Anne Piercy 33 120 Captain Thomas Ware Hired armed merchantman
Peter 32 100 Captain John Littleton
Exchange 30 100 Captain Henry Tedman Hired armed merchantman
Merlin 12 90 Captain George Crapnell
Richard and Martha 46 180 Captain Eustace Smith Hired armed merchantman
Sarah 34 140 Captain Francis Steward Hired armed merchantman
Lissa Merchant 38 160 Captain Simon Baily Hired armed merchantman
Fireship 10 30
Victory 60 300 Vice-Admiral Lionel Lane [1]
Centurion 42 200 Captain Walter Wood
Expedition 32 140 Captain Thomas Foules
Gillyflower 32 120 Captain John Hayward
Middelburg 32 120 Captain Thomas Withing
Raven 38 140 Captain Robert Taylor
Exchange 32 120 Captain Jeffery Dare Hired armed merchantman
Globe 30 110 Captain Robert Coleman
Prudent Mary 28 100 Captain John Taylor Hired armed merchantman
Thomas and Lucy 34 125 Captain Andrew Rand Hired armed merchantman
Andrew 56 360 Rear-Admiral Thomas Graves
Captain George Dakins
Assurance 36 160 Captain Phillip Holland
Crown 36 140 Captain Thompson
Duchess 24 90 Captain Richard Seafield
Princess Maria 38 170 Captain Seth Hawly
Waterhound 30 120 Captain Giles Shelly
Pearl 26 100 Captain James Cadman
Reformation 40 160 Captain Anthony Earning
Industry 30 100 Captain Ben Salmon Hired armed merchantman

Blue Squadron[edit]

Ship Guns Men Commander Notes Ref.
George 58 350 Admiral John Lawson
Captain Peter Strong
Kentish 50 180 Captain Jacob Reynolds
Great President 40 180 Captain Francis Park
Nonsuch 40 170 Captain Thomas Penrose
Success 38 150 Captain William Kendall
Welcome 40 200 Captain John Harman
Oak 32 120 Captain John Edwin
Brazil 30 120 Captain Thomas Heath Hired armed merchantman
Eastland Merchant 32 110 Captain John Walters Hired armed merchantman
Adventure 38 160 Captain Edward Greene Hired armed merchantman
Samaritan 30 120 Captain Shadrach Blake Hired armed merchantman
Fireship 10 30
Vanguard 56 390 Vice-Admiral Joseph Jordan [2]
Happy Entrance 43 200 Captain Richard Newbery
Dragon 38 260 Captain John Seaman
Convert 32 120 Captain Philip Gethings
Paul 38 120 Captain Anthony Spatchurt
Gift 34 130 Captain Thomas Salmon
Crescent 30 115 Captain Thomas Thorowgood
Samuel Taboat 30 110 Captain Joseph Ames Hired armed merchantman
Benjamin 32 120 Hired armed merchantman
King Ferdinando 36 140 Captain Richard Paine Hired armed merchantman
Roebuck 30 100 Captain Henry Fenn
Rainbow 58 300 Rear-Admiral William Goodsonn [2]
Convertine 44 210 Captain Anthony Joyn
Amity 36 150 Captain Henry Pack
Dolphin 30 120 Captain Robert Davis
Arms of Holland 34 120 Captain Francis Mardrig
Tulip 32 120 Captain Joseph Cubitt
Jonathan 30 110 Captain Robert Graves Hired armed merchantman
Dragoneare 32 110 Captain Edward Smith Hired armed merchantman
William and John 36 120 Captain Nathaniel Jesson Hired armed merchantman
Nicodemus 12 40 Captain William Ledgart
Blossom 30 110 Captain Nathaniel Cock Hired armed merchantman


98 ships - of which 6 sunk and 11 captured

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b During this period in English history dates of events are usually recorded in the Julian calendar, while those the Netherlands are recorded in the Gregorian calendar. In this article dates are in the Julian calendar with the start of the year adjusted to 1 January (see Old Style and New Style dates).
  2. ^ In Dutch the battle is known as the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort.
  1. ^ a b c d e f Clowes (1898), p. 187.
  2. ^ a b c Clowes (1898), p. 188.


  • Clowes, William Laird (1898). The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present. Vol. 2. London: Sampson Low, Marston and Company.