Royal Charles was an 1,229 tons, 80-gun ship of the English Navy, built in 1655. In 1660 she sailed to Scheveningen (Holland) to bring King Charles II back to England.
She took part in the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War. In 1665, she fought in the Battle of Lowestoft and destroyed the Dutch flagship. In 1666, she participated in the Four Days Battle and the defeat of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter in the St. James’s Day Battle.
In 1667, the Dutch fleet invaded the Thames and Medway rivers and captured the Royal Charles, removing her with great skill to Hellevoetsluis in the United Provinces. The Dutch did not take her into naval service because it was considered that she drew too much water for use on the Dutch coast. Instead the Royal Charles was permanently drydocked as a public attraction, with day trips being organised for large parties, often of foreign state guests. After vehement protests by Charles that this insulted his honour, the Dutch auctioned her for scrap in 1673.
The wooden carving showing the royal arms, originally placed on the ship’s transom, is on display in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
BARTELE GALLERY has antique prints of this ship and kings of England for sale at www.maps-prints.com