There was no clear line of command with most responsible authorities giving hasty orders without bothering to co-ordinate them first. Charles did not take matters into his own hands, deferring mostly to the opinion of others. Not having been paid for months or even years, most sailors and soldiers were less than enthusiastic to risk their lives.
England had only a small army and the few available units were dispersed as Dutch intentions were unclear.
Additionally thirty large sloops were to be prepared to row any ship to safety in case of an emergency.
Sir William Coventry declared that a Dutch landing near London was very unlikely; at most the Dutch, to bolster their morale, would launch a token attack at some medium-sized and exposed target like Harwich, which place therefore had been strongly fortified in the spring.
The Raid on the Medway during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in June 1667, sometimes called the Battle of the Medway, Raid on Chatham or the Battle of Chatham, was a successful attack conducted by the Dutch navy on English battleships at a time when most were virtually unmanned and unarmed, laid up in the fleet anchorages off Chatham Dockyard and Gillingham in the county of Kent.
Hearing that the squadron of Frisia was not yet ready because of recruiting problems (impressment being forbidden in the Republic), he left for the Schooneveld off the Dutch coast to join the squadron of Zealand that, however, suffered from similar problems.