The Tromps and Anglo-Dutch Wars, 1652-1674

C.R. Boxer profiles the naval adventures of the Netherlands' Tromp family - a thorn in the side of mid-17th century English maritime activity.

When the Thirty Years War in Germany, and the Northern Netherlands’ eighty years’ war of independence against Spain, were simultaneously ended by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, it seemed as if the United Provinces could look forward to an era of peaceful commercial expansion. Their maritime trade, which had thrived exceedingly during the long struggle against Spain, despite such handicaps as the depredations of the Dunkirk corsairs, now seemed to be freed from all hostile restraint save sporadic attacks by the Barbary Rovers in the Mediterranean. If not exactly “from China to Peru,” at any rate from Brazil to Japan, and from Muscovy to the Moluccas, the Dutch tricolour -was the flag most often seen on the seven seas of the world.

“Wherever profit leads us, to every sea and shore, For love of gain, the wide world’s harbours we explore,” 

as Milton’s Dutch contemporary, Joost van Vondel, wrote complacently in 1638.

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