Launch of the brig 'Lewes Castle'
A naive painting on panel showing the launch of the brig 'Lewes Castle' on the River Ouse. The buildings on either side of the river have been included and there are cows grazing on land at the bend in the river. The masts of other ships can be seen in the distance. The ship is decked with flags and a large number of people can be seen on its deck. Figures at the bow and stern wave their hats towards the assembled crowds in small boats and on the small wooden jetty. The painting has a wealth of social detailing, focusing in particular on the clothing and bonnets of the women in the crowd. The 'Lewes Castle' was a 64-ton schooner built at Lewes, on the River Ouse in Sussex, for Johnson & Co. in 1839. Johnson's partner was believed to be the 'Lewes Castle's' first master E. Florence. The ship was registered at Newhaven at the mouth of the Ouse eight miles east of Brighton, and used for trading between Southampton and Cork. By 1849 she was registered as a coaster on the run to Cork which continued until 1856, she may have been lost late in that year. The 'Lewes Castle' was a small coaster that passed her whole career under family management with the same local owner.
- Image reference: BHC3447
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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