He was a strong advocate of the groupflashing system as a means of differentiating lights, and invented an arrangement for carrying it into effect optically, his plan being first adopted for the catoptric light of the Royal Sovereign lightship, in the English Channel off Beachy Head.
Flamborough Head, the South Foreland, Beachy Head and the Needles are examples of the fine scenery into which chalk weathers where it fronts the sea, and these white cliffs gave to the island its early name of Albion.
A full account of the battle of' Beachy Head, written with ample quotation of documents, and for the purpose of vindicating Herbert, will be found in Admiral Colomb's Naval Warfare (London, 1 899).
It is unique, however, among the great promontories of the south coast of England, the accretion of gravel banks falling into deep water contrasting with the cliff-bound headlands of the North Foreland, Beachy Head and the Lizard, and with the low eroded Selsey Bill, off which the sea is shallow.
On the 1st of July 1690 the allies were badly beaten at sea off Beachy Head, but on the same day William himself won a decisive victory over James's army at the Boyne in Ireland.
Thus in succession there are the famous white cliffs about Dover, terminating the North Downs, the low coast of Romney Marsh, projecting seaward in Dungeness, the cliffs above Hastings, terminating an offshoot of the Forest Ridges, the low shore between Hastings and Eastbourne, to which succeeds the lofty Beachy Head, terminating the South Downs.
Of Beachy Head, the loftiest headland on the English Channel coast.
The cut edges of the escarpment forming the Hog's Back and North Downs on the north, and the South Downs on the south, meet the sea in the fine promontories of the South Foreland and Beachy Head.
He became rear-admiral in 1690, and fought at the battle of Beachy Head.