'Britannia' hove to in a calm to receive a boat, probably near Cape Carthage, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Dundas, 27 April 1852
Inscribed top left, 'Britannia / at sea April 27th 52 / Flag of Admiral Dundas'. The ship is shown in port broadside view, her sails hove to but slack in calm but threatening grey conditions, on an oily swell. Given the date it is likely to be near Cape Carthage (see PAI0867) with other units of the fleet. Unfinished elements are a ship's launch being rowed towards her, lower right, and another ship just outlined in pencil in bow view in the right distance. 'Britannia' was a 120-gun 1st rate, built at Plymouth Dockyard in 1820. At the time shown she was the flagship of the Mediterranean fleet under Rear-Admiral James Dundas (1785-1862), though he was promoted to vice-admiral in December 1852. It was his first sea-going fleet command which he executed with great competence into and through the main part of the Crimean War until 1855, despite being deliberately undermined both by political opponents and the personal ambitions of his second-in-command, Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons (to whom Mends's elder brother William was then flag captain). Dundas's red command flag as a rear-admiral flies here at the ship's mizzen.
George Pechell Mends
Original size: 255 mm x 372 mm
- Image reference: PZ0867-001
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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