At the time of the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1674), the Naval battle of Schooneveld took place on June 7 and June 14, 1673. The location where the naval battle took place was at the mouth of the Westerschelde, at the level of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, off the coast of the island of Walcheren. It was an area surrounded by numerous sandbanks and it was difficult to manoeuvre for enemy ships especially because of their greater draft.
The Blue Flag squadron under the command of the English admiral Sir Edward Spragge engaged in battle first with Lieutenant Admiral Banckert, then with the Lieutenant Admiral General De Ruyter and finally with Lieutenant Admiral Tromp. The first sea battle took place on June 7, 1673 and the second sea battle on June 14, 1673.
The painting, which shows a combination of the two naval battles at Schoonevelt, depicts the following ships and their commanders (from right to left):
A) Sir Edward Spragge, Admiral of the Blue Squadron sailing on the Royal Prince with 100 pieces.
B) Lieutenant Admiral Cornelis Tromp on the Gouden Leeuw with 82 pieces of the Admiralty of Amsterdam.
C) Commander Lieutenant-Admiral General Michiel de Ruyter on the Zeven Provinciën with 80 pieces of the Admiralty of Rotterdam.
D) Vice Admiral Cornelis Evertsen on the Zierikzee with 60 pieces of the Admiralty of Zeeland.
E) Lieutenant Admiral A. Banckert on the Walcheren with 70 pieces also from the Admiralty of Zeeland.
F) Prince Rupert, commander of the combined English and French fleet, on the Royal Charles with 100 pieces.
On the left, West Capelle is shown small.
This was the first battle between Sir Edward Spragge, admiral of the Blue Squadron and Cornelis Tromp. After this battle, Spragge solemnly promises the English King Charles II to bring Tromp dead or alive in the coming naval battle. This would become the Battle of Kijkduin later in August 1673. At the time of the second battle with Tromp at the Battle of Kijkduin painted by Abraham Storck (ex-collection Rob Kattenburg), Spragge drowns when a cannonball hits his sloop.