The Battle of the Gabbard, 2 June 1653

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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This shows the English and Dutch fleets engaged during the Battle of the Gabbard, 2 June 1653. The increasing conflict of trade interests between England and the Netherlands in the first half of the seventeenth century came to a head in 1651 when Cromwell's Navigation Act restricted English trade to English ships and thereby struck at the Dutch position as 'the carriers of Europe'. A Dutch diplomatic mission to resolve problems failed and the first of three rapidly ensuing Anglo-Dutch sea wars that lasted to 1674 broke out in 1652–1654. The Gabbard action took its name from the shoal off the Suffolk coast near Solebay where it was fought. Both sides fielded their full force, the English with 100 ships and five fireships and the Dutch with 98 ships and six fireships.

National Maritime Museum



The Battle of the Gabbard, 2 June 1653


after 1653


oil & grisaille on canvas


H 111.7 x W 179 cm

Accession number


Work type



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