Michiel de Ruyter welcomes the young Prince of Orange onboard his flagship the Zeven Provinciën

95,00125,00

Description

After the failed war campaign of 1665, De Ruyter was appointed commander-in-chief of the fleet and preparations were made for the year 1666. Early in the spring, De Ruyter boarded the new admiral ship the Zeven Provinciën. He then sailed from Goeree to Texel, accompanied by part of the Rotterdam contingent, (the rendezvous point for the war fleet), where he arrived on April 12. There were already 20 ships here, all from Amsterdam – the largest Admiralty, commanded by Cornelis Tromp. This number grew rapidly in the following days.

The wait for the squadrons from South Holland and Zeeland took a long time, but the visits of the wives and children of those on board, as well as interested farmers and citizens from North Holland, provided the necessary distraction, although it did not directly improve discipline. . The visit of the young Prince of Orange (the 15-year-old William III) on May 16, 1666 gave a great celebration. He was accompanied by a large number of royal and noble persons (including the Elector of Brandenburg, his uncle) and all the gentlemen came with great consequence. The journey was made from The Hague to Den Helder overland. We spent the night in Schagen. From Den Helder the company went to the fleet the next day on two yachts. The enthusiasm for the prince on the part of the Orange-minded ship’s crew was enormous. The young prince was continuously cheered and greeted with gun salutes. The company was received with great honor at the Seven Provinces. Meanwhile, a mirror battle was taking place between two frigates and a sailor displayed his acrobatic skill by standing on his head on top of the flagpole of the top mast of one of the ships. The prince then visited the Eendracht by Aert van Es and the Hollandia by Tromp. The free beer, which was served in large quantities, did its job. The mood was great. The assembled shipping force must have presented a mighty spectacle’,…

It was a much stronger shipping force than the Republic had been able to put under sail the previous year. The shipbuilding programs that Johan de Witt had initiated over the previous 13 years began to bear fruit. For the first time, a fleet that was a match for the English was assembled.

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