Eric Parker (biography)Medium:
Watercolour on BoardSize:
16" x 21" (410mm x 530mm)Date:
1968This is the original Watercolour painting by Eric Parker.
At the start of Cromwell's rule there were only 14 2-deck ships in the British Navy and less than a hundred sail all-told. In just five years he was responsible for increasing this by 50 ships.
The origins of the first Dutch War lay in Britain's insistence that Dutch ships salute the British ensign in British waters. Things were made worse when Cromwell passed a law banning the importation of goods from ships that were not either Commonwealth or from the exporting country. This middle-man trade was exactly what had made the Dutch prosperous.
Top image: in 1652 the two fleets engage just off Dover. Right: Robert Blake, Britain's top captain. Britain's 46 ships fared badly against 80 Dutch vessels. 20 were captured, 3 sunk and one burned. The Dutch leader Van Tromp died on board ship being shot through the heart some while later and the Dutch eventually sued for peace.
Below: General Monk plans his attack. The first time opposing forces had organised in line of order of battle.
From Look and Learn # 324 30 March 1968.