No fewer than four Anglo-Dutch wars took place between 1652 and 1784. On August 19, 1666, the Dutch fleet present in the Vlie was almost completely burned down by the English and they decided to pay a visit to Terschelling. Less than 1/10 of the existing buildings on West-Terschelling survived the conflagration, including the Brandaris and the Dutch Reformed Church. The story goes that a company of Englishmen would have moved further east to 'burnt' the other villages on the island. Due to weather conditions, the English at the height of Baaiduinen could not see well who the standing figures were in the distance. They asked this to an old woman, who answers with the famous words (on the island): "There are by the hundreds and there are by the thousands". She was referring to the tombstones of the Stryper Cemetery. The English were so frightened by this that they turned back. This is how the Stryper Wyfke would have saved the other villages and hamlets of the island.
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