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Views of naval engagements and maps of battles

George Andrews (active 1794-1813)

Sombrero Passage, 1805

TO CAPTAIN Z. MUDGE, the OFFICERS and CREW of HIS MAJESTYS late FRIGATE the BLANCHE. / This Plate representing the gallant Defence made by that Ship in the Sombero Passage, on July 19.th 1805. / against a French Squadron... published 1 Sep 1806

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; laid down on paper, the paper backing brought round the edges of the recto | 44.7 x 62.6 cm (image) | RCIN 735119.b

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A view of the attack on H.M. frigate Blanche by a squadron of French ships in the Sombrero Passage, 19 July 1805. Napoleonic Wars (1803-15)

Zachary Mudge (1770-1852; later, Admiral Mudge) had been promoted Post Captain on 15 November 1800 and was given command of the 32-gun frigate Blanche in September 1802. The action depicted in this view shows the Blanche, which was carrying dispatches from Jamaica to Lord Nelson at Barbados, being attacked by a small French squadron. The Blanche was sunk and Mudge was subsequently brought before court martial for having made an insufficient attempt to defend himself but was acquitted, being complimented on his gallant conduct.

The 'Sombero Passage' named in the title of this view may refer to an area of sea near Sombrero Island, Anguilla (18°36'00"N 63°26'00"W).

The lettering of the title is faintly engraved, and the upper-case letters are engraved in outline, suggesting the possibility that this example may be a proof impression.

  • George Andrews (active 1794-1813) (publisher) [bottom centre, below title:] Published Sept.r 1. 1806, by G. Andrews, N.o 7, Charing Cross.

    Zachary Mudge (1770-1852) (dedicatee)

  • Watermark: None

    Condition: no fold lines. Verso: slight surface dirt

  • 40.5 x 62.6 cm (neatline)

    44.7 x 62.6 cm (image)

    48.0 x 67.5 cm (platemark)

    50.0 x 69.5 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    TO CAPTAIN Z. MUDGE, the OFFICERS and CREW of HIS MAJESTYS late FRIGATE the BLANCHE. / This Plate representing the gallant Defence made by that Ship in the Sombero Passage, on July 19.th 1805. / against a French Squadron commanded by M. Baudin / Is respectfully dedicated by their most Obed.t Serv.t / Geo.e Andrews. [bottom centre, below view]

    Additional text:

    [bottom left, left of title, the number of guns and men of the Blanche; bottom right, right of title, the numbers of guns and men of the five French ships.]

    Annotations:

    (Recto) [bottom left, black pencil:] 9; [top left, black pencil:] XV-119-2. (Verso) [bottom left, black pencil:] 172.a; [centre, black pencil:] 9; [centre, black pencil, obscured by paper backing:] 9.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement View of the gallant defence made by H.M. Frigate the Blanche, Captain Z. Mudge, in the Sombrero Passage on the 19.th of July 1805, against a French Squadron commanded by M. Baudin: by G. Andrews, 1806.

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

  • Subject(s)

    Sombrero Island, Anguilla (8°36'00"N 63°26'00"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.172.a

    J.K. Laughton, 'Mudge, Zachary (1770–1852)', Dictionary of National Biography, 2004.

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