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In August Jason and I went to Providence, Rhode Island, to the John Carter Brown library and looked at an original copy of a broadsheet with a detailed engraving and description of the Battle of Tobago. It seems that the artist worked either from personal observation, or – far more probably – from the description of an eye witness. The geography is very nearly accurate. The naval battle is depicted at the height of the action, with Bescherming, Commandeur Jacob Binckes’ flagship, and Zeelandia¬†already aground (right corner of the image), the Spherae Mundi, one of the transports on board of which were hidden the women, children and slaves, is already ablaze and in front of her is another of the transports. Spherae Mundi is easily recognizable, because she was a fluyt, with the characteristic pear-shaped stern: the only part of the vessel that is clearly visible in the flames.

Here is a link to the broadsheet:


In right centre of the naval action, are visible two ships ablaze: the French flagship, La Glorieux and the Dutch ship Huis de Kruiningen.