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The Capture of Saint Lucia, 26 February 1762
|Description||The capture of St Lucia from the French took place when England and France were once again in dispute, during the Seven Years War, 1756-63. This conflict was fought around the globe and involved the world’s major powers. In the autumn of 1761 Captain the Honourable Augustus John Hervey was ordered to the West Indies to join Admiral Rodney in his expedition against the French island of Martinique. He assisted in the successful attack, and was then ordered by Rodney to proceed in the ‘Dragon’ with five other vessels to demand the surrender of St. Lucia from the French. On his arrival off St Lucia, Hervey summoned the governor to surrender. Disguised as a midshipman and acting as an interpreter, he went ashore to ascertain the enemy’s strength. The French governor, de Longueville, initially refused to surrender, but recapitulated the following day when he saw the extent of the British preparations underway to attack the town. Saint Lucia passed into British possession on 25 February 1762, but on 10 February the following year, the Treaty of Paris handed Saint Lucia back to the French. This major painting commemorates the capture of this strategically significant West Indian island. With a raised perspective, it looks towards the entrance of the harbour of the island with the British ships of the English Squadron anchored in the bay. The painting focuses on the commencement of the landing of the troops, organised by Hervey. The men can be seen standing in a double line along the centreline of the special flatboats, flanked by seated seaman rowers. The painting is inscribed ‘To Taking of the Island of St Lucia by “Comd”. Hervey. Feb 26 1762’.|
|Credit||National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection|
|Measurements||Painting: 889 mm x 1524 mm; Frame: 1020 mm x 1670 mm x 90 mm|
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