Lot 203
  • 203

Blake, Robert

2,000 - 3,000 GBP
1,875 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Blake, Robert
  • Letter signed ("Rob: Blake"), also signed by General Richard Deane, to the Commissioners of the Navy
  • ink on paper
explaining that he had delayed writing "hopeing wee should have by this tyme beene able to give you some Certayne accompt of the Dutch Fleete wee haveing had good Grounds to bee in Expectation of them Continually", with the latest intelligence of the movements of "Vantrump with his Fleete" and the arrival of additional ships to bolster his own fleet, one page, folio, "A board the Tryumph sixe Leage of the Isle of weight", 17 February 1652/3, some minor creasing and staining at edges, restoration to the top right corner (c. 2 square cm) not affecting text.

Catalogue Note

An important letter by one of England's greatest seamen, written on the eve of a major battle during the First Anglo-Dutch War. Blake's squadron encountered the Dutch under Maarten Tromp off Portland the day after this letter was written. The resulting three day action culminated off Beachy Head (20 February) and was an important English victory, although Blake himself was severely wounded. This letter is also signed by Richard Deane (1610-1653), the regicide and general at sea, one of Cromwell's closest allies and a central figure in the development of the navy in the 1650s, who was killed at the Battle of Gabbard Bank (2-3 June 1653). The most important Blake letter to have been offered at auction in more than 15 years.