The Ronas Voe Incident, 1674

By Frank L. Fox, published November 2020


The last organized sea operation of the Third Anglo-Dutch War was an expedition by the British navy to capture a Dutch East Indiaman lying in a Shetland harbour disabled by storm damage and grounding. This little-known action was conceived, planned and carried out entirely after King Charles II had publicly accepted a treaty with the Netherlands to end the war. The event is remembered in Shetland and even commemorated with a monument of sorts, but what actually happened has never been very clear. This article reconstructs the sequence of events, with gaps yet remaining, based on rather scattered and incomplete evidence. Aside from the narrative, the article offers an example of British prize condemnation procedures in the 1670s, the disposition of prize goods and rewards to captains and crews of victorious ships. It offers an example of the lading of outward-bound Dutch East Indiamen of the period. This particular East Indiaman is also helpful in resolving a controversy over the design of such ships in the mid-seventeenth century. Finally, the article raises questions about a potential archaeological site near the arm of the sea in which the action took place.

Join Today To Read The Full Article

Filed under: North Sea
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies

Join Today To Read The Full Article

Join Now

If you are already a member please login here.