It received city rights in 1415.
During the American Revolution, Texel was used as a haven port by John Paul Jones after the Battle of Flamborough Head off the Yorkshire coast in September 1779. In that action, Jones defeated and captured the British ship HMS Serapis, which he sailed to Texel for desperately needed repairs. This event further complicated Anglo-Dutch relations.
It is famous in military history as the only place where a navy was defeated on horseback. Occupying Holland in January 1795, the French continental army learned that the Dutch navy had been frozen into the ice around Texel, so Commandant Louis Joseph Lahure and 128 men rode up to it and demanded surrender. No shots were fired.
In 1799, HMS Lutine, a British frigate loaded with British gold, sank along the Texel coast in a storm. Her wreck shifted in the sands; despite several intensive, well financed searches, only a few treasures have been found. A beaker made from a silver bar is displayed in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. Her bell was recovered and is now in the headquarters of Lloyds of London, where it is tolled before announcing important news.