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The capture of the 'Guillaume Tell', 31 March 1800
This is the first of a pair of drawings of this action (PAF5878-9). Napoleon captured Malta in 1798, en route to invade Egypt, and the French held possession until a tight naval blockade delivered it into British hands in 1804. In 1800 the French Admiral Decres attempted to escape from the island in the 80-gun 'Guillaume Tell' (centre right) - one of the two major French ships that had avoided destruction or capture at the Battle of the Nile two years earlier. She was intercepted and captured by Captain Edward Berry in the 80-gun 'Foudroyant' (centre left), Nelson's post-Nile flagship - though he was not then on board - in company with the 'Lion', 64 (far left), and the 36-gun frigate 'Penelope' (far right). This shows an early stage in the action and the Museum also has Pocock's preliminary pencil and wash sketch for it (PAD8853). The other, showing the end of the action, is PAF5879. Signed and dated by the artist, lower right. Purchased from Mrs K. E. Maunsell, 1953, and formerly in the Berry Collection.
Original size: 265 mm x 406 mm
- Image reference: PW5878
- National Maritime Museum