Tromp, Maarten Harpertszoon
, 1597-1653, Dutch admiral. A sailor from childhood, he joined the navy and rose to the rank of lieutenant admiral in 1637. In 1639, by remarkable tactics, he was able to blockade and crush a Spanish fleet in the Downs of the English Channel; this defeat marked the passing of Spanish sea power. In June, 1652, his refusal to lower his flag in deference to the English Admiral Robert Blake started the first of the Dutch Wars
. He won control of the English Channel by his victory (Dec., 1652) over the English off Dungeness, but he was soon forced to withdraw before superior forces. The inferiority of his fleet caused the loss (June, 1653) of 20 ships near Gabbard Shoal. He effected a union with Witte de Witt's squadron and joined in the attack (Aug., 1653) on the English off Scheveningen. Though Tromp and de Witt were defeated, this action broke the blockade of the Dutch coast and was the last major conflict of the war. Tromp was killed in the battle.
See his Journal Anno 1639 (tr. by C. R. Boxer, 1930).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004.
Licensed from Columbia University Press