Captain Sir William Hutcheon Hall (1797?-1878)
A half-length portrait seated very slightly to left in a captain's undress coat and epaulettes. His sword is the one presented to him by the crew of 'Nemesis' and rests in the crook of his left arm. His right hand is gripping the scabbard. He wears his C.B. flanked by medals for China and the Baltic. In the left background is what appears to be the bombardment of Bomarsund. The sitter had an unusual service career. Joining in 1811 he was a master by 1822 until 1836 when his interest in steam propulsion prompted him to study it in Glasgow and the USA. In 1839 he accepted the command of a new armed iron paddle steamer, built for the East India Company the 'Nemesis'. In 1841 he took her to China to fight the Opium War and did so well that by orders in council, he was created a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, the service of the 'Nemesis' to be regarded as if she was a Queen's ship. He was subsequently promoted to commander in 1843 and then to captain the next year. In this rank he served against the Russians in the Baltic in 1854-1855 in command first of the 'Hecla' and then the 'Blenheim' and was awarded the C.B. It was during this period that the portrait was painted.
- Image reference: BHC2733
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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