In the 17 th century, the English and Dutch were allies against Spain, then foes to each other in their first war. Then again, after the Westminster Peace Treaty, the two nations got a lot in common. The restoration resulting in renewed monarchy under Charles II changed the bilateral relationship. The new king craved global domination in trade, but the Dutch hindered the English business success. Europe, Africa and the Americas gave marine battlefields for the Anglo-Dutch naval combats.
Pretexts and First English Triumphs
The year 1665 was formal outbreak of the conflict. As a matter of fact, the invasion of New Amsterdam in 1664 paved the way to renewed belligerence. New Amsterdam became New York, and it was London’s first victory in the second Anglo-Dutch war.
Dutch Naval Might
On January 24, 1665, the Netherlands initiated war against England. The Dutch naval commanders took valuable lessons from their first war with England. Thus, they appeared entirely prepared for the revenge. 100 Dutch warships stood against 100 English battle vessels. The duel was promising. The Dutch artillery showed unbelievable performance as well.
Major Naval Combats
So the two navies faced each other in the Lowestoft Battle on June 13, 1665. The Royal Fleet under the command of James, Duke of York, sustained the Dutch attack in Suffolk County. In this battle, Prince Rupert had also a leading role. The Battle of Lowestoft was victorious for England which lost only one of its ships. As many as 8 Dutch ships drowned.
Another Great Duel was the Four Days’ Battle which took place from 1 to 4 June 1666 at Dunkirk. The Dutch fleet had been largely renewed and expanded. The French were going to reinforce the Dutch. Prince Rupert’s squadron pursued the target to prevent the French reinforcement of the enemy. In the end, the Dutch strategically gained their victory.
The English, under Prince Rupert’s command, took their revenge soon in the Battle of North Foreland on July 25, 1666. The Dutch lost 5000 soldiers, in contrast to 300 lost by England.
The tide of war was swinging from one adversary to another. But the Raid on Medway became an overwhelming vengeance by the Dutch. They dared reach the Royal Fleet in its safe harbor, and destroyed it.
The Dutch unions with France and Denmark emerged in the year 1666. Unfortunately, both of them turned out to be futile. Both France and Denmark failed to aid Holland in any tangible way. 40 French and 40 Danish warships never reached their destination and never reinforced the Dutch navy in the European maritime battles. However, the Anglo-French naval alliance acted aggressively in the Caribbean region, e.g. in the Battle of Nevis.
End of War. Treaty of Breda
According to the Treaty of Breda dated July 31, 1667, New Amsterdam passed to England, and Surinam became the Dutch colony. The Netherlands also obtained concessions in the Navigation Act. They obtained the right to transport German cargos with no hindrance.