them to beare downe to' us, nothwithstanding which they did not. About 4 a'clock wee came neere the blew squadron where wee found the Royall Prince wholly disabled, her mainmast, mizenmast and foretopmast shott away and divers shipps more disabled, the vice admirall of the blew mending his rigging, the reer admirall of the blew the Earle of Ossory lying asterne of the Royall Prince betweene her and the enemy, his Lordshipp being bending off his new sailes and mending his rigging also, and two friggats by him, upon which I sent imediately 2 friggatts to take the Royall Prince in a tow. Tromp's squadron lying to the Eastward of them, some of them disabled of their topmasts and yards, part of his squadron with the vice admirall and reer admirall standing to the Eastward close by a wind with all the saile they could to gaine it; so tacked againe upon the blew. When wee came neer them being about 4 a'clock, de Ruyter fyred a gun upon which Tromp tacked with his whole fleete to make himselfe master of our lame ships, viz. the RoyaU Prince and others, upon which wee lay by before to windward of Sir John Kempthorne to gett our fleete in order to attaque the enemy againe, I putting out the usuall signall to bring all ships into the generalis wake or gram e (with is the blew flagg upon the mizen peeke) and sent ketches, sloops and boates to ships that were to windward to command them in, whereupon wee bore up and steered in betweene de Ruyter and our lame ships and fyred guns to some of our owne ships to windward to beare downe, but none of them came neere to assist mee, except Sir John Kempthorne and my Lord of Ossory, so that I had great reason to believe that except I had come in soe happily to their releefe, the blew squadron had been totally lost, since they were soe disabled as noe more of them but those 2 flaggs only did give mee any assistance after I came downe.
About 5 of the clock de Ruyter with all his flagge and fleete came up and lay in my quarter close to mee, soe there began a sharpe encounter.
In this evening engagement I had none to second mee besides the vice and reer admiralls of the blew, but Sir John Harman, captain Davis in the Triumph and captain Stoute in the Warrespight, and of my owne division Sir John Holmes in the Rupert, captain Legg in the Royall Katherine, Sir John Berry in the Resolution, Sir John Ernly in the Henry, Sir Roger Strickland in the Mary, captain Carter in the Crowne, a 4* rate; in all not above 11 or 12 ships of force. The fight was very sharpe and close; I forced the enemy into a very great disorder and then sent two fireships amongst them which increast it, and if the French then lying within distance to windward had obeyed my signall and borne downe upon the enemy according to their duty, I must have routed and torne them all to peeces. It was the plaineat and greatest opportunity was ever lost att sea. The fight continued untill