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Views of naval engagements and maps of battles

Nicholas Pocock (1740-1821)

Île d'Aix, 1806

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE LORD HOWICK LATE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY / this plate representing His Majesty's Ship PALLAS, passing to Windward of LA MINERVE and between her, and LA LYNX, PALINURE and SYLPH Brigs; / at one... published 15 Dec 1806

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; laid down on paper, the paper backing brought round the edges of the recto | 47.0 x 64.5 cm (image) | RCIN 735127

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A view of HMS Pallas passing under the batteries of the Île-d'Aix on 14 May 1806. Napoleonic Wars (1803-15).

Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860), 10th Earl of Dundonald, had been appointed to command the then new 32-gun frigate Pallas in 1804. Sent on operations in the Bay of Biscay in 1806, and while reconnoitring the French fleet in the Aix Roads, she was attacked by the 44-gun French frigate Minerve. This view shows the Pallas, flying a Red or Blue Ensign, with the French frigate Minerve to her left. In the background can be seen the smoke from the cannon fire from the batteries at the top of the cliffs on the Île-d'Aix.

Lord Howick, to whom this print is dedicated, was Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845), First Lord of the Admiralty between February and September, and Prime Minister from 16 November 1830 to 8 July 1834. He used the courtesy title Viscount Howick between April 1806 and 14 November 1807, when he inherited the earldom on the death of his father.

The upper-case lettering in the title is engraved in outline, suggesting the possibility that this example is a proof impression. The companion print is at RCIN 735128.

  • Nicholas Pocock (1740-1821) (draughtsman, etcher and publisher) [bottom left, below edge of view:] Drawn & Etched, by N. Pocock; [bottom centre, below title:] Published Dec.r 15.th 1806, by N. Pocock, Great George Street, Westminster.

    John Wells (active 1784-1809) (aquatinter) [bottom right, below edge of view:] Acquatinted by J. Wells, Drawing Master, to Christ's Hospital.

    Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845) (dedicatee)

  • Watermark: Print: J WHATMAN [date cropped]. None on backing paper.

    Condition: no fold lines. Verso: induced discolouration

  • 42.4 x 64.5 cm (neatline)

    47.0 x 64.5 cm (image)

    48.9 x 67.6 cm (platemark)

    51.3 x 69.8 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE LORD HOWICK LATE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY / this plate representing His Majesty's Ship PALLAS, passing to Windward of LA MINERVE and between her, and LA LYNX, PALINURE and SYLPH Brigs; / at one o'Clock on the 14,,th May 1806. under the Batteries of the ISLE D'AIX, with a view of the French Squadron. / Is most respectfully dedicated. [bottom centre, below view]

    Annotations:

    (Recto) [bottom left and bottom right, ink: the names of the ships and the number of their guns]; [bottom left, black pencil:] XV.127. (Verso) [bottom, left of centre, black pencil:] 181.a.(i); [centre, black pencil, eighteenth/nineteenth-century hand?]: 1806-22; [centre, black pencil, obscured by backing paper:] 1806-22 [and] 22; [bottom right, black pencil, obscured by paper backing:] 16f.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement View of H.M. Ship Pallas, Captain Lord Cochrane, passing to windward of La Minerve, and between her and la Lynx, Palinure and Sylph Brigs, at one o'clock on the 14.th of May 1806 under the Batteries of the Isle d'Aix; with a View of the French Squadron: by N. Pocock, engraved by Wells, 1806.

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

  • Subject(s)

    Ile-d'Aix, Poitou-Charentes, France (46°01'14"N 01°10'19"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.181.a

    E.A. Smith, 'Grey, Charles, second Earl Grey (1764–1845)', Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; online edition 2009.

    A. Lambert, 'Cochrane, Thomas, tenth earl of Dundonald (1775–1860)', Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; online edition 2012.

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