June 12*h. — All the night and next morning were employed in the reparation of sails and rigging, and other defects, and between 7 and 8 a clock on Saturday, the two fleets met again, and renewed the fight, which lasted untill about 3 a clock, with various successe; in so much that about 12 a clock wee thought wee had routed the enemy: but de Ruyter, with great courage and skill, got them together again in good order.
The manner of fighting at that time was, that each fleet lay in a line, and when the ships of one fleet lay with their heads to the northward, the heads of the other lay to the southward, the headmost ships of our fleet engageing first the headmost of theirs: so passing on by their fleet in a line, fireing all the way, and as soon as the rear of one fleet Was cleer from the rear of the other, then each fleet tacket in the van, standing almost stem for stem one with another to engage again; by which meanes there was at least an hour's respit between every encounter. It so happened that about 3 a clock, the English fleet lay with their heads towards Harwich, and the Dutch with theirs towards Holland, and as soon as our rear was cleer of the enemies, the Generall call'd a councill of his flag-officers, and perceiving there were but 34 ships left, it was resolved to continue on the course for England, and the Dutch tacking onely in the van as they used to doe, by that meanes wee got at least a league before them.
The Black Eagle was sunk in fight this afternoone; and the Saint Paule burnt by the Generalis order, to prevent her falling into the hands of the enemy.
Of the 34 ships many were quite disabled for the present, and all extremely shatterd, especially in their sails and rigging. Those which were in worst condition, the Generall caused to saile in the van, and himself with the best ships brought up the reare.
The Dutch follow'd us all night, and next day June 13tn, being Whitsunday; but there being i'scarce any wind stirring, our fleet and theirs made very little way.
About 4 a clock in the afternoon, our men at top-mast head discoverd a fleet of ships comeing from the westward, which were soon discerned to be the Prince's squadron, and then the Generall altering his course to stand stem for stem with him, to joyn him with the greater facility and expedition, did, by means, fall unluckily upon a taile of the Galoper sand; where most of the great ships struck, and the Royal Prince stuck fast, and could not be got off.
The various courses our fleet had stood in fighting, had amused all our pylotts, and put them out of their reckoning; they had lost their way, and found where they were too soon, by that unhappy disaster.
The Dutch had got ground of us in the pursuit, and were at that time so neaf us, that they fired some shott cleer over the Generall's