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Second Anglo-Dutch War

The Second Anglo-Dutch War was fought between England and the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands from 1665 to 1667.

Table of contents
1 Prelude
2 The War
3 Medway
4 Peace
5 Related links
6 External links


After incidents involving the English capture of Dutch trading posts and colonies in West Africa and North America - subsequently recaptured by the Dutch - the English declared war on the Netherlands on March 4, 1665. After the First Anglo-Dutch War the Dutch were better prepared, having extended their navy by ordering sixty new warships.

The War

The first encounter between the nations was, as in the First Anglo-Dutch War, at sea. The war started with the Battle at Lowesoft, where the English gained a victory.

The huge Four Days Battle 1666, one of the longest naval engagements in history, ended up in both sides claiming victory; Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter had retreated, but he had also caused twice as many losses for the English as they had for the Dutch.

After this, the English won several victories, but due to financial problems they were forced to reduce their operations.


In June, 1667, de Ruyter launched the Dutch "Raid on the Medway" at the mouth of the River Thames. After capturing the fort at Sheerness, they went on to break through the massive chain protecting the entrance to the Medway and, on the 17th, attacked the English fleet which had been laid up at Chatham. The daring raid remains England's greatest military disaster since the Norman Conquest. Many of the Navy's remaining ships were destroyed, either by the Dutch or by being scuttled by the English to block the river. The English flagship, HMS Royal Charles, was abandoned by its skeleton crew, captured without a shot being fired, and towed back to the Netherlands. Its coat-of-arms is now on display in the Rijksmuseum. Fortunately the raiders spared the Chatham Dockyard, England's largest industrial complex.

The Dutch success had a major psychological impact throughout England, with London feeling especially vulnerable just a year after the Great Fire. This, together with the cost of the war, of the Great Plague and the extravagant spending of Charles II, meant that the English were keen to sign a peace treaty -- and so were the Dutch as they had to deal with a French invasion at the same time.


On July 31, 1667, the Treaty of Breda sealed peace between the two nations. The treaty allowed the English to keep the territory around New Amsterdam (the current New York), the Dutch received control over Suriname instead.

The peace did not last long, with England joining France to attack the Netherlands in 1672 - the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

Related links

External links