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Views of naval engagements and maps of battles

Robert Dodd (1748-1815)

Strait of Malacca and Pulau Aur, 1804


Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; laid down on paper, the paper backing brought round the edges of the recto | 48.9 x 70.9 cm (image) | RCIN 735109

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A view of the attack on 15 February 1804 by Rear-Admiral Charles-Alexandre Léon Durand, comte de Linois (1761-1848) on the East India Company fleet, homeward bound from China, commanded by Commodore Nathaniel Dance (1748-1827), resulting in the French squadron retiring from the action. Napoleonic Wars (1803-15).

Commodore Dance sailed with the homeward-bound East India Company's fleet of 16 Indiamen, laden with trade goods and other property, and 11 other ships from Canton on 31 January 1804. Two weeks later, off Pulo Aor (now Pulau Aur) they encountered a French squadron whose admiral, Linois, mistook them for fighting ships of the line. After firing a few shots the French fled, pursued for a while by Dance. His successful and bold action in safely escorting the trade ships earned him a knighthood and considerable pecuniary rewards.

  • Robert Dodd (1748-1815) (engraver, aquatinter and publisher) [bottom right of view:] R D; [bottom centre, below title:] Published Jan.y 1805, by R,, Dodd, Charing Cross, London.

    Dutch East India Company (dedicatee)

  • Watermark: Cropped, illegible

    Condition: no fold lines; surface dirt on verso

  • 45.0 x 70.9 cm (neatline)

    48.9 x 70.9 cm (image)

    52.5 x 76.5 cm (platemark)

    54.0 x 78.1 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    LINOIS ATTACKING the CHINA FLEET. [bottom centre, below view]


    To the Commanders of the Honorable East India Company's homeward bound Ships from China; THIS VIEW of the Attack on them by the French Squadron, under the / Command of Rear Admiral Linois, consisting of one 84 Gun Ship, three Frigates, and a Brigg; on the 15,,th February, 1804: / is most respectfully inscribed by their Obedient Servant, / Robert Dodd.


    (Recto) [bottom left, black pencil, in a modern hand:] XV 109 CMB May ’87 [i.e. 1987]; [bottom left, black pencil:] 8. (Verso) [bottom left, black pencil, in Evelyn Heaton-Smith's hand?:] 163.c.(i); [bottom right, black pencil or ink, obscured by paper backing:] Pair £1.11.6.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement View of the Attack on the East India Company's homeward bound Ships from China, by a French Squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral Linois, on the of Feb.y 1804: by R. Dodd, 1805. [Marked as 'Missing Dec 87' by Christian Bailey.]

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

  • Subject(s)

    Strait of Malacca, Malaysia (02°00'16"N 102°20'55"E)

    Pulau Aur Island, Johore, Malaysia (22°70'00"N 104°31'00"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, London, 1911, no.163.c

    J.K. Laughton, 'Dance, Sir Nathaniel (1748–1827)', Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004; online edition 2008.

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