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HMS Tiger attacked by eight Dutch privateers, 26 August 1672

Daniel Schellinks, HMS Tiger attacked by eight Dutch privateers, 26 August 1672, oil on canvas, 1880 mm x 1450 mm, dated after 1672. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection

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Thomas Harman was the captain of the ‘Tiger’ during the period of the Third Dutch War and after the battle of Solebay on 28 May. At this time the English and French were still engaged in hostilities against the Dutch. Thomas Harman served in the Restoration navy. In 1671, he served as Lieutenant on the ‘Adventure’. In 1672 as a captain, Harman took command of the ‘Tiger’ from John Turner under whom she had fought in the Battle of Solebay, and in August 1672, he was with the fleet, where he was assigned to Richard Beach’s division in the Blue Squadron. Harman’s first action was in defence of a fleet of colliers he was escorting along the east coast to the Thames, during which he fought off eight Dutch privateers. This painting is an aerial perspective view showing the assembled fleets of the Dutch and English during an unspecified action during the Third Dutch War. In the foreground a number of Dutch ships have surrounded an English ship, perhaps the Tiger commanded by Captain Thomas Harman. She can be seen on the far right firing on the Dutch ships which are encircling her. In the middle distance are the lines of English and Dutch ships all firing. The land visible in the distance is probably the Dutch coast. The unusual dimensions of this painting imply it may have been cut down.

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