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Battle of the Gabbard
Part of First Anglo-Dutch War
"The Battle of the Gabbard, 12 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, 12 June 1653 by Heerman Witmont
Date12 and 13 June 1653
LocationCoast of Gabbard Bank, Suffolk, England
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, 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 according to the Old Style of Julian calendar then used in England (12–13 June 1653 New Style) 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. In Dutch the battle is known as the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort.

The battle

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 31 July 1653 (8 August 1653 New Style) at the Battle of Scheveningen.

Ships involved


Red Squadron

Van Division

  • Triumph, 62 (flagship of Vice-Admiral James Peacock)
  • Laurel, 48
  • Bear, 46
  • Adventure, 40
  • London, 40
  • Mary, 37
  • Heartsease, 36
  • Hound, 36
  • Providence, 33
  • Hannibal, 44 (hired merchantman)
  • Thomas and William, 36 (hired merchantman)
  • Anne and Joyce, 34 (hired merchantman)

Centre Division

  • Resolution, 88 (flagship of Generals-at-Sea George Monck and Richard Deane)
  • Worcester, 50
  • Advice, 42
  • Diamond 42
  • Marmaduke, 42
  • Pelican, 40
  • Sapphire, 38
  • Mermaid, 26
  • Martin, 14
  • Fortune, 10 (fireship)
  • Fox, 10 (fireship)
  • Renown, 10 (fireship)
  • Golden Fleece, 44 (hired merchantman)
  • Society, 44 (hired merchantman)
  • Malaga Merchant, 36 (hired merchantman)
  • Loyalty, 34 (hired merchantman)

Rear Division

  • Speaker, 56 (flagship of Rear-Admiral Samuel Howett)
  • Sussex, 46
  • Tiger, 40
  • Violet, 40
  • Sophia, 38
  • Guinea, 34
  • Falmouth, 26
  • Phoenix, 34 (hired merchantman)
  • Hambro' Merchant, 34 (hired merchantman(Captained by William Pestell)
  • Four Sisters, 30 (hired merchantman)

White Squadron

  • Expedition, 32
  • Assurance, 36
  • Portsmouth, 38
  • Centurion, 42
  • Assistance, 40
  • Foresight, 42
  • Ruby, 42

& others

Blue Squadron

  • Nonsuch, 40
  • Dragon, 38
  • President, 40
  • Amity, 36
  • Convertine, 44
  • Kentish, 50
  • Welcome, 40

& others


98 ships - of which 6 sunk and 11 captured

See also

Coordinates: 51°57′00″N 1°45′00″E / 51.95°N 1.75°E / 51.95; 1.75

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