350th Commemoration of The Battle of Medway
From June 2017
From June 2017, The Historic Dockyard Chatham will commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway with a spectacular series of exhibitions and activities.
This iconic anniversary commemorates one of England’s greatest naval disasters when the River Medway was engulfed in flames. In June 1667 the Dutch fleet sailed up the Medway and caught the English unprepared. This daring invasion brought the Second
Anglo-Dutch War to an end. Under Lieutenant Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, the Dutch captured the fort at Sheerness before entering the River Medway to attack the English fleet at Chatham. They broke through the defensive chain and, despite fire from
Upnor Castle, towed away the Royal Charles, England’s flagship and burned a number of ships. To prevent their capture and block the channel the Royal Navy sank some of its largest ships.
Although the dockyard was spared by the arrival of troops and artillery, the attack was a humiliating defeat for the English. In The Netherlands, the action is also known as the Battle of Chatham, the highpoint of the Dutch Golden Age.