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Maps, views and documents from 19 wars

John Hassell (active 1789-1823)

Boston, 1813

To the Right Honorable Lord Viscount Melville first Lord of the Admiralty / This print of His Majesty's Frigate the Shannon, Capt.n Broke, Commander, carrying the American Frigate, Cheasapeake, (Commanded by Capt. Lawrance) by... published 1 Sep 1813

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; laid down on paper, the paper backing brought round the edges of the recto | 42.6 x 53.4 cm (image) | RCIN 735181

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A view of the capture by HMS Shannon, commanded by Captain Philip Bowes Vere Broke (later Sir Philip, and Rear-Admiral; 1776-1841) of the USS Chesapeake, commanded by Captain James Lawrence (1781-1813) off Boston Harbour on 1 June 1813. Anglo-American War (1812-15).

The crew of the Shannon, a 38-gun frigate, was exceptionally well trained in gunnery by their captain. The Chesapeake was larger, with heavier guns, but less well-trained men and, within fifteen minutes, the captain and crew of the Shannon had boarded and taken the American ship. The brilliance of Broke's action caused a sensation in Britain and America.

This view shows the two frigates just before they engaged; the Chesapeake is flying a large white flag from the foremast proclaiming 'Free Trade and Sailors' Rights', referring to America's pre-war grievances against British policies.

  • John Hassell (active 1789-1823) (publisher) [bottom centre, below title:] London Pub. Sept .1-1813 by Hassell, & C.o 11 Clements Inn.

    Thomas Whitcombe (?1763-1824) (artist) [bottom left, below edge of view:] Painted by Tho.s Whitcombe

    Joseph Jeakes (1778-c. 1829) (aquatinter) [bottom right, below edge of view:] Aqua.a Jeakes

    Robert Dundas Melville, 2nd Viscount (1771-1851) (dedicatee)

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: no fold lines. Verso: brown discolouration

  • 38.1 x 53.4 cm (neatline)

    42.6 x 53.4 cm (image)

    44.8 x 57.2 cm (platemark)

    47.9 x 60.2 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    To the Right Honorable Lord Viscount Melville first Lord of the Admiralty / This print of His Majesty's Frigate the Shannon, Capt.n Broke, Commander, carrying the American Frigate, Cheasapeake, (Commanded by Capt. Lawrance) by boarding in sight of Boston Harbour / is respectfully inscribed by his [space] Most obedient and devoted Humble Servant / J. Hassell. [bottom, below view]

    Additional text:

    [bottom right, below title, a note of the number of guns and men of the Chesapeake and the Shannon.]

    Annotations:

    (Recto) [bottom left, black pencil:] XV-181-; [bottom right, black pencil:] 8. (Verso) [bottom left, black pencil, in Evelyn Heaton-Smith’s hand?:] 231.e.(i); [top right, black pencil, obscured by paper backing:] 8.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement H.M. Frigate the Shannon, Captain Broke, carrying the American Frigate Chesapeake, Captain Lawrance, by boarding, on the 1.st of June 1813, in sight of Boston Harbour: by T. Whitcombe, engraved by Jeakes and published by Hassell, 1813.

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

  • Subject(s)

    Boston, Massachusetts, USA (42°21'30"N 71°03'35"W)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    J.K. Laughton, 'Broke, Sir Philip Bowes Vere, first baronet (1776–1841)', Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; online edition 2009.

    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. This is a different state to Parker 231.e which has the imprint date as 1814, and the publisher as 'Hassell & Rickards, No. 344 Strand'

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