'Whitehall, June 16, 1667. The Dutch Fleet having the 10th Instant in the evening made themselves masters of Sheerness, on the 11th they advanced up the River of Medway, and though with much difficulty passed by several Vessels which had been sunk about Musselbank, which was the narrowest part of it, the better to put some stop to them in their passing; and with 22 sail came up towards the Chain ... Part of the Enemies Fleet hath since this Action continued about Muscle-Bank, where on Friday were seen 24 sail, on Saturday only 14 ...
In June 1667, during the Second Dutch War, the Dutch fleet under de Ruyter and de Witt(e) sailed into the rivers Thames and Medway to attack the English fleet laid up in their own harbours.
On 10-JUN they attacked the fort at Sheerness, driving off the garrison and landing troops. They advanced up the Medway to the protective chain across the river at Upnor. The JOHN AND SARAH was one of a number of fireships scuttled by the English in front of them in an attempt to block their passage. In the event, they caused the Dutch few problems and the upperworks were set on fire by them as they left. The remains were sold in OCT-1667.
JOHN AND SARAH, purchased 1666 as a fireship, and sunk to block the Medway in 1667. Dimensions 59 feet long x 20 feet 6 inches beam.
Sunk in June 1667 as a block ship in the Medway.
The JOHN AND SARAH was one of the first group of ships successfully sunk at the Mussel Bank by Captain Rand, the other two being the CONSTANT JOHN and the UNICORN, but this was described by Edward Gregory, Clerk of the Check at Chatham, as an 'unadvised piece of worke'.
On Lord Brouncker's and Peter Pett's recommendations, a second group of ships was also sunk at the Mussel Bank, the BARBADOS MERCHANT, DOLPHIN, EDWARD AND EVE, HIND, and (GOOD) FORTUNE.
A Dutch reconnaissance force ventured as far as the Mussel Bank on 11 June, where they saw the CONSTANT JOHN, UNICORN, and JOHN AND SARAH being sunk.
As the Dutch withdrew from the Medway, they set fire to the upper works of the ships sunk at the Mussel Bank.
In August 1667 James Norman, Clerk of the Survey at Chatham, replied to Pepys with a survey of the financial losses represented by the sunken ships. the DOLPHIN, CONSTANT JOHN, UNICORN, JOHN AND SARAH and BARBADOS MERCHANT, were valued together at £4,100, being in his opinion likely to be 'utterly lost'.
A valuation dated 4 October 1669 and sent to the Navy Board, valued the JOHN AND SARAH at £23, although she had been bought at auction on 22 September 1669 for £30 by one John Moore.
Purchased: 1666 (1)(2)(3)
Armament: 4 guns (1)(2)(3)
Owner: Royal Navy (all sources)
ALSO AT THIS LINK: a list and a short description of every ship, English and Dutch, lost in the Battle of the Medway.