The leaders on both sides - the Netherlanders Tromp (killed in action on the 10th of August 1653) and de Ruyter, the Englishmen Blake and Monk - covered themselves with equal glory.
The Old Church, founded in the 11th century, but in its present form dating from 1476, contains the monuments of two famous admirals of the 17th century, Martin van Tromp and Piet Hein, as well as the tomb of the naturalist Leeuwenhoek, born at Delft in 1632.
The bulk of it was, however, ready for service, and Blake's colleagues, Monk and Deane, attacked Tromp on the 2nd of June.
Their herring fishery was ruined for the year, and the outcry against Tromp was loud.
Soon after Blake had gone, Tromp appeared in the Downs with a stronger force and threatened an attack on Ayscue.
The vessels thus cut off fled to the Maas, and Tromp with the others retired to the Texel.
The Dutch acknowledged the supremacyof the English flag in the British seas, which Tromp had before refused; they accepted the Navigation Act, and undertook privately to exclude the princes of Orange from the command of their forces.
In May forty sail of their war-ships appeared off Dover under command of Martin Harpertzoon Tromp - then the best known of their admirals.
War was declared in May 1652 after a fight between Blake and Tromp off Dover, and was continued with signal victories and defeats on both sides till 1654.
The legend (for it is nothing more) that Tromp hoisted a broom at his mainmast-head to announce his intention to sweep the English off the sea, refers to this period.