Full image caption
Oil painting of the warship 'Loyal London'. The ship is shown twice in the painting, a common convention, giving the stern view and then a bow's-on view. To the right of the ship, a Royal Yacht appears to be under sail, and behind the group a sheer hulk lies at anchor. In the background are the defences of Sheerness Dockyard. In March 1665 The City Aldermen and Livery Companies agreed to pay for a new ship to replace the 2nd rate London which was blown up by accident. The new ship would be renamed the Loyal London. The financial crisis left the Loyal London one of the few ships under construction. She joined the fleet in July 1666. The Dutch under de Ruyter tried to blockade the Thames. On 25 July the British fleet under Prince Rupert and Albemarle, met de Ruyterâs fleet off Harwich. The Loyal London under Admiral Smith was in the heaviest part of the action and lost 147 killed. Despite that Jeremy Smith was accused by Rear Admiral Holmes of cowardice after breaking off his pursuit of the enemy, prematurely. This turned into a great feud, though the charge of cowardice was repudiated.In June 1667 van Ghent entered the Medway after taking the fort at Sheerness. In a panic a number of ships were sunk in the river to prevent their capture, several near Upnor Castle, including the Loyal London which was sunk in shallow water so she could still be fired upon. The Loyal London was burned to the waterline.
1685 AD - 1695 AD
© PLA collection/Museum of London