This year sees the 350th anniversary of the Dutch attack on the Medway in June 1667 during the Second anglo-Dutch war. A number of events are planned to mark this anniversary. Also a book first published in 1970, The Dutch in the Medway by P. G. Rogers, is to be re-released and as few original copies are available this will be the first chance many who want to know more about this conflict will have to read it.
According to J. D. Davies, author of The Journals of Matthew Quinton, an expert on the navies of the period who is writing a foreword for the new edition “….. his account remains the fullest available in English, and is highly readable”. It is available for pre-order and will be released in the UK on 28 February and in the US on 15 April.
To quote the cover “The daring raid on the Medway in June 1667, when the Dutch navigated the treacherous shoals and sandbanks of the Thames estuary and the Medway in order to attack King Charles’s ships laid up below Chatham, was one of the worst defeats in the Royal Navy’s history, and a serious blow to the pride of the English crown. Perhaps the greatest humiliation was the removal by the Dutch of the flagship Royal Charles, towed down river after the raid and taken back to Holland. Her stern piece resides in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to this day. The raid, intended to bring to an end English procrastination at the peace negotiations in Breda, was to cause simmering resentment and lead eventually to the Third Dutch War. As Pepys wrote in his diary on 29 July 1667, Thus in all things, in wisdom, courage, force, knowledge of our own streams, and success, the Dutch have the best of us, and do end the war with victory on their side. P G Rogers account of the raid, and its significance within the Second Anglo-Dutch War between Britain and the United Provinces of the Netherlands, is vividly told and he sheds much interesting light on the English navy of Pepys’s day. His particular knowledge of the Medway and the topography of Gillingham and Chatham also enables him to describe the manoeuvres at a level of detail that has not been replicated.”