Product images of Naval ensign of the Batavian Republic (1795-1806)
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Naval ensign of the Batavian Republic (1795-1806)
Part of a naval ensign of the Batavian Republic, this pattern in use 1795-1806. The ensign is said to have been captured during the Walcheren Campaign. The canton is the only remaining part. It is made of linen, with remnants of the hand sewn, horizontally striped red, white and blue, wool ensign attached. Painted in oil based colours on a white ground is the figure of Liberty, seated, holding a shield depicting the fasces in her right hand and in her left a staff with a hat on top. The lion of the Netherlands supports the staff from the other side.
The Batavian Republic was a French protectorate with a system of government based on the French model. This is reflected in the symbolism of the flag design. In 1806 Napoleon installed his brother as ruler of a new Kingdom of Holland and the design went out of use.
During 1809 Napoleon was gathering a fleet Antwerp and also at the Dutch port of Flushing on the island of Walcheren. The Admiralty decided to seize the mouth of the Scheldt and take or destroy the French ships before they could leave port. A large expeditionary force was assembled, but the French fleet under Rear-Admiral Missiessy, having been forewarned of the attack, withdrew up river. The island of Walcheren was occupied by the British and Flushing captured. It was then decided that the enterprise should be abandoned as there seemed no prospect of successfully taking the primary objective â”œÂ½Ã”Ã»Ãªâ”œÃ¯ Antwerp, and British forces had been weakened by a combination of diseases. Walcheren was evacuated in December after the basin, arsenal and sea-defences had been blown up.
The provenance of the flag is via Julia M. Lamb the granddaughter of John Lamb who she said: 'took charge of HMS Powerful at Walcheren 28 July 1809'. ADM37/786 (Powerful's muster book) states that Lieutenant John Lamb was transferred from HMS 'Agincourt' on 25 May 1809 and discharged when the ship paid off on 16 September. He was employed as a pilot. The fleet sailed on the 28th July from the Downs, the 'Powerful' being employed in troop transport duties during the Walcheren expedition. John's son Thomas is listed in the 1841 census as being resident in Deal with Jemima Lamb aged 60 (probably his mother) and employed as a 'mariner'. Pilotage was an importance source of employment in Deal.
Original size: 1041 mm x 1854 mm
- Image reference: L0152
- National Maritime Museum