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Downs, battle of the

Downs, battle of the, 1666. A heavy naval engagement on 11–14 June during the second Anglo-Dutch War, sometimes known as the Four Days' fight or the Goodwin's fight. Albemarle (Monck), with a fleet of some 56 vessels, left the Downs and off the North Foreland encountered a large Dutch fleet under de Ruyter, Cornelis Tromp, and de Witt. Rupert brought up reserves on the fourth day enabling Albemarle to retire into the Thames estuary but the English losses were heavier, and included the Royal Prince, a 92-gunner, which ran aground. Both sides suffered severely, but Pepys wrote ‘I do find great reason to think that we are beaten in every respect and that we are the losers.’

J. A. Cannon

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Downs, battle of the

Downs, battle of the, 1652. A clash on 18 May which helped to precipitate the first Anglo-Dutch War. Robert Blake with a force of fifteen vessels was attacked by a superior fleet under Martin Tromp. The encounter was not decisive but the Dutch lost two ships.

J. A. Cannon

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