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.
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 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.
Brielle is the birthplace of the famous admiral Martin van Tromp, and also of Admiral van Almonde, a distinguished commander of the early 18th century.
In May forty sail of their war-ships appeared off Dover under command of Martin Harpertzoon Tromp - then the best known of their admirals.
Blake came into the Straits of Dover with his ships, and on the 19th of May a sharp collision took place between him and Tromp. Bourne joined his countryman after the action began.
Soon after Blake had gone, Tromp appeared in the Downs with a stronger force and threatened an attack on Ayscue.
Tromp was also most intent on collecting the homecoming Dutch convoys, and seeing them safe into port.
Their herring fishery was ruined for the year, and the outcry against Tromp was loud.
They did not fight well, and their failure was attributed in part to the discontent of their seamen with the removal of Tromp, and the unpopularity of de Witt.
The states-general found it necessary to replace Tromp, who was at once sent to sea, again with the charge of seeing the outwardbound trade down Channel, and waiting for the homewardbound.
Thus when Tromp appeared "at the back of the Goodwins" with a fleet of 80 war-ships and a crowd of merchant vessels on the 29th of November, Blake was not in a position to engage him with any assured prospect of success.
The Council of State saw the necessity for making a strong effort against Tromp, who ranged the Channel unopposed.
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.
Tromp had to complain of the conduct of several of his captains.
When, therefore, Tromp was next sent to sea, it was with an unhampered fleet of war-ships, and for the purpose of bringing the English fleet to battle.
The bulk of it was, however, ready for service, and Blake's colleagues, Monk and Deane, attacked Tromp on the 2nd of June.
Tromp, conscious that his ships were weaker in build, at first drew away, firing at the spars of the English ships in order to cripple them.
Tromp was driven into port and told the states-general that they must build better ships if they wished to beat the English at sea.
Between the 26th and the 30th of July Tromp, by a series of skilful manoeuvres, united the divided Dutch squadrons in the face of Monk's fleet, and on the 30th he stood out to sea with the wind in his favour, and gave battle.
The vessels thus cut off fled to the Maas, and Tromp with the others retired to the Texel.
But the pursuit of the English fleet was feeble, and the retreat of the Dutch was ably covered by Cornelius van Tromp, son of Martin Tromp. Much scandal was caused by the mysterious circumstances in which an order to shorten sail was given in the English flagship, and doubts were expressed of the courage of the duke of York.
On the ist the Dutch van, under Cornelius van Tromp, bore the brunt of the English attack.
During the 2nd of June the fleets engaged again, and on this day the self-will of Van Tromp, who commanded the rear in the battle, and the misconduct of some of the ships in the van, prevented De Ruyter from making full use of his numbers.
The French were kept in play by a small squadron under Bankert, while De Ruyter drove Prince Rupert in the centre out of the line, and in the rear Cornelius van Tromp fought a desperate duel with the English rear division commanded by Sir E.
Attacked by a small Dutch fleet under Admiral Marten Tromp, royal with William, the only son of the stadholder.
Tromp kept watch over them until he had received large reinforcements, and then (21st of October) boldly attacked them as they lay in English waters.
The triumph of Tromp had, however, a bad effect on public feeling in England.
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.