Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Alert! The dastardly Dutch are sailing a 90-ship fleet at Blighty


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The Dutch are preparing to invade English seas with a fleet of 90 vessels after a previous expedition boarded the Royal Navy’s flagship and stole the Royal Coat of Arms from her. In a celebration of Dutch Admiral De Ruyter’s 1667 raid on Chatham Dockyard, which resulted in English flagship HMS Royal Charles being boarded and ransacked by Dutch sailors, their modern-day civilian counterparts are planning a memorial cruise to Chatham.
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. . The English fleet, starved of money and manpower, could not afford to put to sea in numbers despite wreaking havoc on the Dutch in the previous year. Amongst other booty, the Dutch made off with the English royal coat of arms from fleet flagship HMS Royal Charles, which adorned the warship's stern. The ornate carving can be viewed in the Netherlands' Rijksmuseum today . .


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