Battle of Medway

June 20 2017 to November 13 2017
Rooms 2.15 and 2.21

On 19 June 1667, exactly 350 years ago, Admiral Michiel de Ruyter launched a surprise attack on the English fleet at anchor in the naval dockyard in Chatham.

NG-NM-9659 Michiel de Ruyter’s goblet, Nicolaes Loockemans, 1667The English naval vessels were largely destroyed and the flagship 'Royal Charles' was captured and taken to the Netherlands as a war trophy. The stern carving of the 'Royal Charles' has been in the Rijksmuseum collection since 1833. His Royal Highness Prince Maurits will be opening the Rijksmuseum’s presentation 'Tocht naar Chatham (Battle of Medway)' on 19 June to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the battle.

The Battle of Medway is being commemorated both in the Netherlands and in England. Starting on 8 June, there will be numerous events in the English town of Chatham. Starting 19 June, the expedition will be commemorated in the Netherlands with presentations in the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch Naval Museum in Den Helder and the Zeeland maritime museum, muZEEum, in Vlissingen, as well as with two symposia, lectures and activities for schools (SnapChatham). More than thirty organisations are working on organising the commemoration including the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, the Royal Navy, Stichting Michiel de Ruyter (Michiel de Ruyter Foundation) and the Dutch National Maritime Museum.

The Battle of Medway in the Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum has the largest and most appealing collection of Medway-related items, including the stern carving of the captured English flagship Royal Charles and the Gold Goblet presented to De Ruyter by the grateful States of Holland. These items can be viewed from 20 June to 12 November 2017 in the Battle of Medway presentation in the Rijksmuseum.