CHARLES II (1630–1685), warrant for £100 in support of widow of Capt Archibald Douglas 1667


CHARLES II (1630–1685), warrant for £100 in support of widow of Capt Archibald Douglas 1667

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ENGAGEMENT OF DUTCH FLEET ON MEDWAY 1667

CHARLES II (1630–1685), king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Manuscript warrant dated 18th October 1667, bearing the signature ‘Charles R’ at head‚ countersigned by the Earl of Sunderland‚ addressed to Anthony Lord Ashly, Treasurer of Prizes, and further countersigned at the foot by Henry Bennet, 1st earl of Arlington, instructing that the widow of Captain Archibald Douglas be awarded £100 following his death during the engagement with the Dutch Fleet on the Medway: “That out of such moneys as are remaining in our hands for sale of Prizes you pay or cause to be paid to [ blank ] Douglas Relict of Captain Archibald Douglas lately slain in Our Service by the Dukes at Chatham or her Assigns, ye sum of one hundred pounds, as of Our Royall Bounty to her for the supply of her present Necessityes. Fowr wch this shall be your Warrant. Given att Our Court att Whitehall ye 18th day of October 1667.” 1 side of a folio bifolium, 8 x 12 inches, with traces of red seal top left. Both sides covered with protective silk gauze. Docket to left margin: Entered 30th nov as Comptroller of Prizes this 18th of Oct, by [signed] Arlington.

Archibald Douglas (d.1667) was an army officer of Scottish descent commissioned captain on 5 July 1666 in the Royal Scots (Colonel Lord George Douglas's regiment of foot). The regiment was brought back in 1667 from garrison duty in France to confront the Dutch threat during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. As the Dutch fleet under De Ruyter advanced on the Medway estuary, Colonel Douglas's regiment was reinforced and assigned to the defence of Chatham. Captain Douglas was sent with a detachment of soldiers to defend HMS Royal Oak.

On 12 June the Dutch got their fire ships into the Rover Medway, but missed the Royal Oak. The following day however John Clapham reported to Samuel Pepys that he saw the Royal Oak and other vessels on fire. Douglas had defended the vessel with great courage and when advised to retire, refused. He perished in the flames on 13 June. The conclusion to his heroic service was followed up on 18 October when King Charles issued this Royal warrant for his widow. (ODNB)

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