Following the French occupation of Holland soon after the outbreak of the Revolutionary Wars, the British Royal Navy alarmingly found itself having to face the not inconsiderable Dutch fleet in addition to the naval forces of France herself. Adopting the navy's habitual tactic, Admiral Duncan was dispatched to mount a blockade throughout the summer of 1797 to prevent the Dutch fleet menacing the security of Britain or simply harrassing her merchant ships. However, when Duncan was ordered home for a refit, the Dutch, under the command of Admiral de Winter, took the opportunity to put to sea, forcing the British to return to the coast and engage the enemy fleet on 11 October, 3 miles North-West of Kamperduin. The ensuing battle lasted many hours and casualties on both sides were enormous. When the Dutch flagship finally struck its colours and surrendered, the fleet was all but destroyed, effectively marking the end of Dutch sea power and the eclipse of the Dutch navy as a significant force in European history.
A work depicting a similar subject, by the British artist Robert Dodd (1748-1815), is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.