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George III’s maps and views showing the war from North America to India

John Boydell (1720-1804)

Naval engagement at Flamborough Head, 1779

The memorable Engagement of Capt.n Pearson of the SERAPIS, / with Paul Jones of the Bon Homme Richard & his Squadron, Sep. 23. 1779. // Combat mémorable donné le 22. 7bre. 1779, entre le Capitaine... published 1780

Engraving and etching; laid down on paper; the paper backing brought round the edges of the recto | 48.0 x 57.7 cm (image) | RCIN 734049

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A view of the Battle of Flamborough Head, 23 September 1779. American War of Independence (1775-83). 

A naval engagement off the coast of Yorkshire between an American Continental Navy squadron using borrowed French vessels under the command of John Paul Jones, and two British escort vessels guarding a Baltic merchant convoy fleet. The result was an American/French tactical victory; overall, it was a strategic draw.

  • John Boydell (1720-1804) (publisher) [bottom centre, below text:] Published Dec.r 1780, by John Boydell, Engraver in Cheapside, London.

    Richard Paton (1717-91) (artist) [bottom left, below edge of view:] Rich.d Paton Pinxit.

    Daniel Lerpiniere (1745-85) (engraver)

    James Fittler (1758-1835) (engraver) [bottom right, below edge of view:] Lerpiniere & Fittler Sculp,,nt

    Sir Richard Pearson, Captain R.N. (1731-1806) (dedicatee)

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: one fold line

  • 44.5 x 57.7 cm (neatline)

    48.0 x 57.7 cm (image)

    49.5 x 60.2 cm (platemark)

    49.4 x 60.7 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    The memorable Engagement of Capt.n Pearson of the SERAPIS, / with Paul Jones of the Bon Homme Richard & his Squadron, Sep. 23. 1779. // Combat mémorable donné le 22. 7bre. 1779, entre le Capitaine Pearson commandant / Le SERAPIS, et Paul Jones commandant Le Bon-Homme-Richard, & Son Escadre. [bottom centre, below view, in English and French, the titles separated by vertical bar]


    [bottom centre, below title:] To Sir Richard Pearson Kn.t whose Bravery & Conduct saved the Baltic Fleet, under his Convoy tho' obliged to / submit to a much superior force, This representation of that Action, Is with great Respect Inscribed, by his most obedient Servant, / Richard Paton.

    Additional text:

    [bottom, left of title and dedication, a list of the numbers of guns, men, killed and wounded on the Serapis, and the Bon Homme Richard, and of the enemy's forces; bottom, right of the titles and dedication, similar information in French.]


    George III heading: [black pencil:] Military Naval Engagement 23 Sep 1779 Port folio No 5 -5.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [bottom left, obscured by paper backing: the old heading, and:] XIV/49; [top left, black pencil:] 37; [bottom left, black pencil:] 78a; [left of centre, black pencil, obscured by paper backing:] 37; [top right, black pencil, a letter?].

    K. Mil. dummy sheet:

    Title [ink:] Representation of the Engagement of Capt.n Pearson of the Serapis, with Paul Jones of the / Bon Homme Richard and his Squadron, 23.d of 1779: - by R. Paton, engraved by / Lerpiniere and Fittler, published by Boydell 1780 / Port-folio N.o [black pencil:] 5 - 2 Table / [in a modern hand, crossed out in black pencil:] UL Naval / [George III heading, red ink:] Naval Engagement 23 Sep. 1779; [black pencil, erased, partly legible:] oversize [?] XIV. 
    Watermark: JWHATMAN 1811. 
    Size: 48.3 x 33.4 cm (sheet).

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement Representation of the Engagement of Captain Pearson of the Serapis with Paul Jones of the Bon Homme Richard, and his Squadron, 23.d of Sept.r 1779: by R. Paton, engraved by Lerpiniere and Fittler: published by Boydell, 1780.

  • From the collection of military and naval maps and prints formed by George III (1738-1820)

  • Subject(s)

    Flamborough Head, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK (54°06'59"N 00°04'38"W)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    H. Parker, Naval battles from the collection of prints formed and owned by Commander Sir Charles Leopold Cust. With an introduction by C.N. Robinson, 2 vols., London 1911, no.78

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