• Si Biggs

Holmes's Bonfire

Unit/ Formation: Marine Regiments


Location: Netherlands


Period/ Conflict: Second Anglo Dutch War


Year: 1666


Date/s: Sunday 8th August 1666


Sir Robert Holmes and his English fleet destroyed more than 160 Dutch merchantmen vessels on the Vlie Estuary in the Nederland’s. It became known as Sir Robert Holmes Bonfire.



A landing party was formed of 300 men from each of the three squadrons of the fleet, two thirds of them sailors, one third sea soldiers, this landing force was divided into nine companies of a hundred men, each consisting of seventy musketeers and thirty pikemen and headed by a captain.



Holmes's orders were to put the main emphasis on plundering the islands. He himself was to land on Vlieland with a force of five hundred men; if possible a simultaneous attack by the remaining four hundred men under Sir William Jennings should be carried out on Terschelling.

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