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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, after having run LA MINERVE on board, with a View of the Rochefort Squadron / and the Frigates sent... published 7 Mar 1807

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; laid down on paper, the paper backing brought round the edges of the recto | 46.8 x 64.7 cm (image) | RCIN 735128

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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, having suffered considerable damage after ramming the larger French frigate Minerve to her left. In the background can be seen the fort from which flies the French flag at the top of the cliffs on the Île-d'Aix. The ships in the right background are from the French Rochefort Squadron.

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 companion print is at RCIN 735127.

  • Nicholas Pocock (1740-1821) (draughtsman, etcher and publisher) [bottom left, below edge of view:] Drawn & Etched by N. Pocock; [bottom centre, below title:] Published March 7th 1807, 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: [on print:] J WHATMAN [date cropped]

    Condition: no fold lines; induced discolouration and slight surface dirt on verso

  • 42.1 x 64.7 cm (neatline)

    46.8 x 64.7 cm (image)

    49.0 x 67.8 cm (platemark)

    51.5 x 69.9 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE LORD HOWICK LATE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY, / this plate representing His Majesty's Ship PALLAS, after having run LA MINERVE on board, with a View of the Rochefort Squadron / and the Frigates sent to assist La Minerve and Brigs, / is most respectfully dedicated. [bottom centre, below view]

    Additional text:

    [bottom left, left of title:] Pallas 32 Guns [bottom right, right of title, a list of the four French ships and the number of their guns.]

    Annotations:

    (Recto) [bottom left, below ‘Pallas’, ink:] Capt the Rt Hon: Lord Cochrane; [bottom left, black pencil:] XV-128. May 14-1806. (Verso) [bottom, left of centre, black pencil:] 181.a.(ii); [bottom right, black pencil, obscured by paper backing:] 16/ [or 16f]; [centre, black pencil eighteenth/nineteenth-century hand?]: 1806-23; [centre, black pencil, obscured by paper backing:] 1806-23.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement View of H.M. Ship Pallas, Captain Lord Cochrane, after having run la Minerve on Board, 14.th May 1806, with a View of the Rochefort Squadron and the Frigates sent to assist la Minerve and Brigs: by N. Pocock, engraved by Wells, 1807.

  • 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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