Admiral Sir William Parker (1743-1802) by James Scouler

Admiral Sir William Parker (1743-1802)

James Scouler

Fine art poster

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Admiral Sir William Parker (1743-1802) by James Scouler zoom

Admiral Sir William Parker (1743-1802)

An oval bust-length miniature in an oval gilt metal suspension frame with a scalloped edge. The sitter is turned to his left, but with his head facing out to the viewer. He is shown as a captain, wearing the 1774-1787 full-dress uniform, apparently with his hair powdered and curled rather than a wig. Parker came from Kent and entered the Navy in 1756. He was present at various major events on the American station in the Seven Years War and was promoted lieutenant in 1766 and captain in 1777. He was commodore and commander-in-chief in the Leeward Islands, 1787-1790, and in 1792 took command of the 'Audacious' (74 guns) under Howe in the Channel fleet, playing a distinguished role in the Battle of the Glorious First of June 1794. Later that year he became a rear-admiral and commander-in-chief at Jamaica until 1796. In 1797 he again played a good part as third-in-command at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, for which he received his baronetcy and other rewards. He considered himself slighted by the appointment of Nelson, (his junior), to command British re-entry to the Mediterranen in 1798 and also became estranged from St Vincent as his commander-in-chief for other reasons, though remaining in the Mediterranean fleet until 1799. His last appointment was as commander-in-chief at Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1800 but he was recalled for a disciplinary enquiry the following year and, though his career would have continued, the Peace of Amiens and his sudden death from apoplexy on 31 December 1802 ended it. He died a rich man and this, with the meticulous conditions of his will and his long station commands, suggest administration was one of his strengths. Scouler, the artist, (circa 1740-1812) was of Scottish family and son of an organ builder. He won a Society of Arts premium for drawing in 1755 when about fourteen, attended the St Martin's Lane 'Academy' run by Hogarth and others and also studied in the Duke of Richmond's sculpture gallery from 1758. As a miniaturist and pastel portraitist he exhibited at the Society of Artists, 1761-1768, and according to Redgrave was a member of the Free Society in 1763. He only showed work at the RA from 1780 to 1787. The sitter's age here suggests the miniature might mark his promotion to post rank in 1777.
James Scouler

  • Image reference: F9506

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