Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp had for many years insisted on the construction of a new flagship to replace the Brederode, which was too lightly armed with only 56 guns. For reasons of cost and impracticality, Dutch home waters being very shallow, this was refused until the events of the First Anglo-Dutch War made it painfully clear that much heavier ships were needed. The Admiralty of de Maze based in Rotterdam, one of the five autonomous Dutch admiralties, therefore, in 1652 laid the keel of a larger ship. In February 1653 it was decided that the cost was to be shared confederately by the seven provinces of the Netherlands. Due to conflicts about cost, size and materials, Eendracht was only finished in January 1655 when the First Anglo-Dutch War had already ended and Tromp was dead.
She fought successfully in the Northern Wars, defeating the Swedish fleet in the Battle of the Sound on 8 November 1658. In the Battle of Lowestoft on June 13,1665, the first battle of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, Eendracht, then armed with 73 guns, duelled the much heavier 80-gun English flagship Royal Charles. The Dutch chain shot killed a number of courtiers standing next to Lord High Admiral James Stuart on the English ship, but in the early afternoon Eendracht was hit in the powder room and exploded. There were only five survivors out of the crew of 409.
The Royal Charles and the Eendracht (on the left) in the Battle of Lowestoft. Artist and date unknown