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Engagement between three East Indiamen and two French vessels, 8 March 1757

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Honourable East India Company
Depiction: France: Navy
Historical Association: Wilson, William
EventsSeven Years' War, 1756-1763
VesselsSuffolk, Houghton, Godolphin

Object details:

Object ID BHC0379
Description A painting of an engagement between three East India Company ships and two French vessels, 8 March 1757'. Three homeward bound East Indiamen, the ‘Suffolk’, ‘Houghton’ and ‘Godolphin’ were intercepted by two French privateers off the Cape of Good Hope. The merchantmen were heavily laden and represented great riches for the French privateers. However they were unable to capture them when the Indiamen formed a line and beat them off after a three hour engagement. This relatively minor skirmish was a major success for the East India Company, which could have lost three ships and their valuable cargoes. The board of Directors amply rewarded all the ships’ companies. The action shows the ships split into two groups. In the centre is the largest ship in the engagement, the French ship ‘Comte de Provence’ under the command of the Marquis de la Chaise. She is in action with the ‘Suffolk’ on the left under the command of Commodore Wilson and another Indiaman beyond. On the right is the ‘Sylphide’ in action with the third Indiaman. The painting is signed ‘L. Dunn’ and two engravings were made of this action, one was by P.C. Canot, see PAH7688.
Date made 18th century

Artist/Maker Dunn, Lawson
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 915 mm x 1525 mm; Frame: 1050 mm x 1050 mm; Overall weight: 31 kg
  • Engagement between three East Indiamen and two French vessels, 8 March 1757 (BHC0379)
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