Maarten Tromp

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Missing image
Maarten_Harpertszoon_Tromp.jpg
Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp, 15981653, after an engraving by Jan Lievensz.

Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp (April 23, 1598August 10, 1653) was an officer and later admiral in the Dutch navy.

Born in Den Briel, Tromp sailed the seas from the age of nine, and joined the Dutch navy as a lieutenant in 1621. His first distinction was being Piet Hein's flag captain during the attack on Dunkirk in 1629. His ship, at that time, was the Vliegende Groene Draeck.

Tromp became Lieutenant-Admiral of Holland and West Frisia in 1637.

In 1639, in the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain, Tromp defeated a large Spanish fleet bound for Flanders towards the end of the Eighty Years' War at the Battle of the Downs.

In the First Anglo-Dutch War of 16521653 Tromp commanded the Dutch fleet in the battles of Dungeness, Portland, the Gabbard and Scheveningen, in which he was killed by a sharpshooter in the rigging of William Penn's ship. His acting flagcaptain Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer kept up morale by not lowering Tromp's standard, pretending the commander of the fleet was still alive.

The death of Maarten Tromp was not only a severe blow to the Dutch navy, but also to the Orangists who sought the defeat of the Commonwealth of England and restoration of the Stuart monarchy; the Republican influence strengthened after the Battle of Scheveningen and the peace negotiations with the Commonwealth, culminating in the Treaty of Westminster, began in earnest.

During his career, his main rival was Vice-Admiral Witte de With, who also served the Admiralty of Rotterdam (the Maas).

Tromp, a "sea hero", was immensely popular with the common people, a sentiment expressed by the greatest of Dutch poets, Joost van den Vondel in a famous poem describing his marble grave monument in Delft showing the admiral on his moment of death with a burning British fleet on the background:

Here rests the hero Tromp, the brave protector
of shipping and free sea, serving free land
his memory alive in artful spectre
as if he had just died at his last stand
His knell the cries of death, guns' thunderous call
a burning Brittany too Great for sea alone
He's carved himself an image in the hearts of all
more lasting than grave's splendour and its marble stone


One of Tromp's sons, Cornelis Tromp later also became commander of the Dutch navy, as Lieutenant-Admiral-General, and even earlier commanded the Danish navy.de:Maarten H. Tromp nl:Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp

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