Click on the above to read Hyde-Parker's Official     
                 Despatch to the Admiralty

On his return to England, Hyde-Parker made no secret of his opinion regarding the state of the ships he had been given, making it clear that he would accept no honours as a result of the action.

"I wish your Majesty better ships and younger officers.

For myself, I am too old for service"


The quotation to the right is taken from his conversation with King George III when he visited the squadron at Great Yarmouth.

The following year saw Hyde-Parker ordered to command in the East Indies, sailing in the brand-new 50-gun Cato. Neither ship or crew were ever heard from again.


Although the original battle ended without clear decision, this engagement against the larger ships and heavier guns of the British was viewed as a victory by the Dutch, leading to a round of naval promotions, a renewed programme of  naval ship-building and a series of commemorative prints.

Indeed, the initial interest in researching the action was sparked by a discussion between a member of the Squadron and a Dutch colleague in Leiden. During a friendly debate on the Anglo-Dutch wars of the past, it was several minutes
before it was realised that we were talking about the same battle, which both sides considered a victory !


As predicted by the un-named English witness in Laird-Clowes "The Royal Navy", when the Dutch opened fire at long range they did indeed "do infinite mischief" to the British fleet.

Greatly slowed by rigging damage, by the time British closed to the Dutch fleet, their superior fire-power was effectively neutralised by fallen cordage and spars. The loss of the captain of the Dolphin also prevented the intended disruption of the Dutch line-of-battle, which held firm until the action was decided.

In the original action, the British lost 443 killed and wounded, the Dutch 545. In the refight, the Dutch definitely had the better of things, losing 226 killed and wounded to the British 542.

With the Preston in a sinking condition and Princess Amelia nearing 80% hull damage, the refight represents a major Dutch victory.