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This painting depicts the action between HMS 'Russell' and the Spanish 'Glorioso' in the centre of the picture, both running in starboard-bow view. In a calm sea, the 'Glorioso', right, has lost her topmast, her ensign is being struck and there is a sailor on her bowsprit taking down the jack. To the left, the 'King George', in starboard-broadside view, is hove-to, with her sails in ribbons, her mizzen topmast gone and her foreyard shot in two. The topsails of the 'Prince Frederick' can be seen between the 'Russell' and 'Glorioso' over the gun-smoke. To their right in the background is a third privateer and to the right, port-broadside view, is the sinking, burning wreck of the HMS 'Dartmouth', her foremast still standing. Only fourteen of her crew survived.
The voyage of the Glorioso involved four naval engagements fought in 1747 during the War of the Austrian Succession between the Spanish 70-gun ship of the line Glorioso and several British squadrons of ships of the line and frigates which tried to capture it. The Glorioso, carrying four million silver dollars from the Americas, was able to repel two British attacks off the Azores and Cape Finisterre, successfully landing her cargo at the port of Corcubión, Spain.
Several days after unloading the cargo, while sailing to Cadiz for repairs, Glorioso was attacked successively near Cape St Vincent by four British privateer frigates and the ships of the line HMS Dartmouth and HMS Russell from Admiral John Byng's fleet. The Dartmouth was repeatedly hit and blew up, killing most of her crew, but the 92-gun Russell eventually forced the Glorioso to strike the colours. The British took her to Lisbon, where she had to be broken up because of the extensive damage suffered during the last battle. The commander of the ship, Pedro Messia de la Cerda, and his men, were taken to Great Britain as prisoners of war, but were considered heroes in Spain and gained the admiration of the British. Several British officers were court-martialed and expelled from the Navy for their poor performance against the Spanish.
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20 x 10 Inches = 50.8 cm x 25.4 cm
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The Capture of the Spanish Ship 'Glorioso' | Charles Brooking | 1747
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