Beginning of Knowles' action off Havana, 1 October 1748
When Rear-Admiral Charles Knowles was cruising in search of a Spanish treasure fleet off Havana in 1748, he heard of a squadron of seven Spanish men of war nearby. He met them on 1 October and a brisk action ensued. One of the Spanish ships, the 'Conquistador', was captured by the admiral. The Spanish flagship was so badly damaged that her crew fired her to prevent her capture two days later. Despite the English advantage, it was thought that Knowles had not handled his squadron well and on his return to England he was court-martialled and reprimanded. The right of the painting is taken up with Knowles's squadron, in loose order. The ships are heading away from the painting on the right towards the unseen Spanish squadron. The nearest ship, the 'Cornwall' is leading, with the two-decker with red galleries to weather of her. In the left background there are also a number of merchantmen. This is one of a pair with BHC0374.
- Image reference: BHC0373
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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