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Dutch Raid on Chatham Dockyard in 1667 : its Anglo-Dutch Context and Legacy (23-24 June ’17)

23 jun - 24 jun 2017
Van 5:30 - 13:45uur

The Society “Vrienden van De Witt”(NL) will organise in cooperation with the Naval Dockyards Society (UK) a conference to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Dutch Raid on Chatham in the River Medway. This raid by the Dutch fleet under command of Admiral De Ruyter was very successful in that it led to  a swift conclusion of the peace negotiations which ended the Second Anglo-Dutch war (1665-1665). However it also increased the opposition of King Charles II towards the Netherlands, which resulted in a further English attack in 1672. So it is with mixed feelings that one can look at this historical event that is part of the Dutch legacy. From the English perspective the defeat at Chatham can be considerd to be a stimulus to defend their position more strongly in Europe and the world.

This conference is special as we from The Netherlands and United Kingdom, being former foes, nowadays work closely together as friends. Several experts from NL, UK and USA will present their views on diverse issues (Anglo-Dutch relations, seapower dan naval facilities). They will also give attention to the historical context and to the consequences for later developments (e.g. the stance of King Charles II who attacked, together  with King Louis XIV, the Netherlands in 1672).

We are specially pleased that Professor Hattendorf (USA), who is one of the most well known and respected naval historians in the world, has agreed to give an address at our conference. The conference will therefore provide a unique opportunity for everyone who is interested in learning more about this special event : the Dutch Raid on Chatham in 1667 and its repercussions.


Day 1 – Friday June 23:

  • 9.30 – 10.30 Registration (Passport required)
  • 10.30-10.45 Welcome and opening address (To be confirmed: Commander Royal Navy Netherlands); Christian Melsen (Chairman Vrienden van De Witt)
  • 10.45 – 11.45 Keynote 1
    Anglo-Dutch relations in the seventeenth century: causes of the Second Anglo-Dutch War; Dr. David Onnekink (Univ. Utrecht)
  • 11.45 – 13.00 First series of lectures
    Session 1:
    – Johan de Witt’s battle fleet/naval organization; Dr. Marc van Alphen (NIMH)
    – The Stuart Navy; Dr. Richard Blakemore (Univ. Oxford)
  • 13.00 – 14.00 Luncheon
  • 14.00 – 15.00 Keynote 2
    Asian and Atlantic dimensions of the Second Anglo-Dutch War; Dr. Henk den Heijer (prof em Univ Leiden)15.00 – 15.30 Coffee/tea break
  • 15.30 – 16.50 Second series of lectures
  • Session 2
    – Dutch naval dockyards/stores/facilities/provisioning; Dr. Alan Lemmers (NIMH)
    – English dockyards and coastal defence; Dr. Ann Coats (Univ. Portsmouth)
    16.50 – 19.00 Drinks (to be held in the National Maritime Museum)
  • 19.30 – 21.30 Conference Dinner (optional)

Day 2 – Saturday June 24: 

  • 10.00 – 12.30 First series of lectures
    Keynote 2
    – Early modern naval warfare – state, technology and tactics; Prof. Louis Sicking (Leyden Univ/Free Univ. Amsterdam)
    Session 1
    Dutch amphibious tactics/execution of Chatham Raid; Erik Odegard (Leyden Univ)
    – English defence response to Chatham Raid; Dr. Philip MacDougall, historian and NDS editor
  • 12.30 – 13.30 Luncheon
  • 13.30 – 15.00 Second series of lectures
    Session 2
    – Chatham as De Witt’s finest hour– ideology; Dr. Gijs Rommelse (Fellow Scheepvaartmuseum)
    Chatham and the Stuart monarchy – political and ideological damage; Dr. David Davies (Society for Nautical Research, Navy Record Society)
  • 15.00 – 15.30 Coffee/Tea break
  • 15.30 – 17.00 Third series of lectures
    Session 3
    – Britannia rules the Waves – British naval empire; Dr. Chris Ware (University of Greenwich)
    The Royal Netherlands Navy commemorating Chatham; Dr. Remmelt Daalder (Scheepvaartmuseum)
  • 17.00 – 17.45
    – Summing up and conclusions: Prof. John Hattendorf (US Naval War College, Newport, RI, USA)
    – Closing remarks by Dr. Ann Coats (Univ of Portsmouth)
  • 17.45 – 18.30 Drinks

More information and registration: vriendenvandewitt.nl

Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Wordt lid van het KNHG.
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