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Maps and prints of naval engagements collected by George III

Nicholas Pocock (1740-1821)

Ushant, 1794

To the Memory of the Brave Cap,,t John Harvey, the Officers & Crew who fell in the Action, and to the Surviving Officers and Crew of His Majesty’s Ship the Brunswick. / This PRINT representing the Brunswick and Le Vengeur after the... published 16 July 1796

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; laid down on paper, the paper backing brought round the edges of the recto | 45.4 x 60.2 cm (image) | RCIN 735028

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A view of the disabled British ship Brunswick and the sinking French ship Vengeur after the battle off Ushant, 1 June 1794. French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802): War of the First Coalition (1792-8).

The French fleet of twenty-five sail of the line and fifteen frigates had sailed out of Brest in order to bring in homeward bound merchant ships. The fleet was discovered by the British on 28 May and battle was given on the 29th. The action was interrupted by fog and battle was not re-engaged until 1 June when the British fleet prevailed and captured seven vessels.

The Brunswick, shown here in the centre, broadside on, was a 74-gun ship and so was the Vengeur (originally named the Marseillois, but re-named the Vengeur du Peuple in 1794). The Vengeur is shown sinking in the left foreground, and flying a Union Jack. According to William James 'It was about the same time that the Vengeur, who saw her fate approaching, displayed a union jack over the quarter, as a token of submission and of a desire to be relieved.' Meanwhile, the Brunswick...'became still less able to bestow any assistance upon the Vengeur, who had by this time removed the jack from her quarter to the larboard arm of her cross-jack yard'.

The battle between the two ships lasted four hours; the French crew were rescued by the British. Captain John Harvey (1740-94) was wounded three times, losing his right hand, and died from his wounds on 30 June.

Known as 'The Glorious First of June', this action was also known as the 'Third Battle of Ushant'. The British were commanded by Admiral Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe (1726-99), and the French were commanded by Admiral Louis-Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse (1747-1812). The British defeat of the French was only a tactical victory, the objective of capturing a French grain convoy was not achieved.

The title appears in the bottom, below view, to each side of the Harvey coat of arms which are suspended by a ring on a palm tree, flanked by naval flags and Britannia.

  • Nicholas Pocock (1740-1821) (artist and publisher) [bottom left, below edge of view:] Painted by Nicholas Pocock; [bottom centre, to each side of the coat of arms: London Published July 16.th 1796 by Nich:s Pocock Great George Street. Westminster.

    Robert Pollard (c. 1755/6-1839) (engraver)

    J. Widnell (active 1796) (engraver) [bottom right, below edge of view:] Engraved by R Pollard & J Widnell.

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: no fold lines

  • 41.4 x 60.2 cm (neatline)

    45.4 x 60.2 cm (image)

    47.8 x 64.6 cm (platemark)

    49.1 x 66.0 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    To the Memory of the Brave Cap,,t John Harvey, the Officers & Crew who fell in the Action, and to the Surviving Officers and Crew of His Majesty’s Ship the Brunswick. / This PRINT representing the Brunswick and Le Vengeur after the Action on the first of June 1794. The first totally disabled, the latter Dismasted, Water Logged and Sinking, is Respectfully / inscribed by / Nicholas Pocock. [bottom, below view, to each side of the Harvey coat of arms which are suspended by a ring on a palm tree, flanked by naval flags and Britannia]

    Annotations:

    George III heading [black pencil:] Military Naval Engagement 1 June 1794 Port folio No 5.

    Other annotations (Recto) none. (Verso) [bottom left, black pencil, obscured by paper backing: the old heading; bottom left, black pencil:] 102.t; [top left, black pencil:] 14; [top right, black pencil:] 14; [bottom right, black pencil:] 1794-14; [centre, black pencil, obscured by paper backing:] 14.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement Representation of the Brunswick and le Vengeur after the Action on the 1.st of June 1794, the first totally disabled, the latter dismasted, water logged and sinking: by N. Pocock, engraved by Pollard and Widnell. 1790 [sic].

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

  • Subject(s)

    Ushant, Brittany, France (48°27'27"N 05°05'46"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, London 1911, no.102.t. The lettering in the title is very faintly engraved compared with that of the artist, engraver, and imprint.

    J.K. Laughton, 'Harvey, John (1740–1794)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004.

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