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Maps and prints of naval engagements collected by George III

Archibald Robertson (1765-1835)

Toulon, 1793

To the R,,t Hon,,ble Lord Hood, Vice Admiral of the Red, Sir Sydney Smith, Capt.n in his Majesty’s Navy Knight Commander Grand Cross of the Royal Military Order of the Sword, & the other British & foreign / Officers who were... published 1794

Stipple with etching, aquatint and engraving; printed in colour; hand coloured; laid down on paper, the paper backing brought round edges of recto | 44.1 x 61.5 cm (image) | RCIN 735020.a

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A view of the destruction by the British fleet of the French ships and arsenal at Toulon on 18 December 1793 together with a printed sheet (RCIN 735020.b) with an explanation of the view. French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802): War of the First Coalition (1792-8).

Toulon was the French navy's principal Mediterranean port; it was occupied by the British fleet, under the command of Admiral Lord Hood. Between September and December 1793 the French Revolutionary forces, to whom was attached Napoleon Bonaparte as a colonel of artillery, had surrounded the port. The British fleet, Sydney Smith (later Admiral Sir Sydney Smith) was ordered to burn as many French ships and stores as possible. 

This view is taken from the entrance to the inner road; the bright explosion in the centre is a powder magazine. Beyond it, and to the right, the French navy and arsenal can be seen in flames. The fortification to the right of the harbour is Le Gros Tour and, to the left, Forts Balaguir and Auguilette. The rows of soldiers on the banks overlooking the harbour to the left are the French artillery.

  • Archibald Robertson (1765-1835) (publisher and engraver)

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: no fold lines

  • 40.1 x 61.5 cm (neatline)

    44.1 x 61.5 cm (image)

    45.2 x 65.0 cm (platemark)

    46.3 x 65.7 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    To the R,,t Hon,,ble Lord Hood, Vice Admiral of the Red, Sir Sydney Smith, Capt.n in his Majesty’s Navy Knight Commander Grand Cross of the Royal Military Order of the Sword, & the other British & foreign / Officers who were employ’d in the defence of TOULON, this Plate representing the CONFLAGRATION effected there, on the Night of the 18 Dec.r 1793, under the Orders & immediate direction of Sir Sydney Smith by which the Naval Power of / France received an important & decisive Blow, unparalleled in any former War, is respectfully inscribed, by Archibald Robertson. [bottom, below view]

    Additional text:

    [bottom left, below view title:] For the detail, see the London Gazette of Friday Jan.ry and the King's Speech from the Throne, Jan.ry 1794.


    George III heading [black pencil:] Military Toulon 18 Dec 1793 Port folio No 3 - G – 3.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [bottom left, black pencil, obscured by paper backing: the old heading; bottom left, black pencil:] 98.a; [top left, black pencil:] 18; [top right, black pencil:] 28; [bottom right, black pencil:] 1793-28; [centre, black pencil, obscured by paper backing:] 18.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Toulon View of the Conflagration effected at Toulon on the night of the Dec.r 1793 under the direction of Sir Sidney Smith: by Arch.d Robertson 1794: with an Explanation.

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

  • Subject(s)

    Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (43°07'00"N 05°56'00"E)

  • 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.98.a

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