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Code: P4

P4 Engraving

The Battle of Lagos was a sea battle during the Nine Years' War on 1693-06-27 (1693-06-17 Old Style (O.S)), when a French fleet under Anne Hilarion de Tourville defeated an Anglo-Dutch fleet under George Rooke. Rooke's squadron was protecting the 'Smyrna convoy', and it is by this name that the action is sometimes known. The battle Rooke could not avoid battle, but held the advantage of being to windward. Ordering the merchant ships to disperse, his squadron took-up battle positions. The battle started around 8 pm. when the rear of his squadron was overtaken by the French van (Gabaret). Two Dutch ships, Zeeland (64, Philip Schrijver) and Wapen van Medemblik (64, Jan van der Poel), engaged the French, thus sacrificing themselves. They fought valiantly, giving the rest of the allied ships time enough to escape. When the two Dutch ships finally surrendered, Tourville was very impressed and congratulated the two captains, asking them if they "were men or devils". Rooke declared it "one of the best judged things I ever saw in action". The next day Rooke, with 54 merchant ships in company, was standing west. In pursuit were just four French warships. As they closed, Rooke's flagship, the Royal Oak (100) guns, turned to face them. After a short exchange they abandoned the chase and drew off. Rooke and his group were able to reach Madeira without further incident, where he found Monk (60) with one of the Dutch warships, and 40 or 50 merchant ships in company. With this party and stragglers collected en route, Rooke was able to reach Ireland on 30 July. The engraving was printed in 1870. This is an original engraving by Grave par Skelton. Printed by Peint par Gudin

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