An Anglo-Swedish skirmish in the Channel in 1704 signed 'J.Berger' and dated 1857 (lower right) oil on canvas 96.5 x 148.6cm. (38 x 58 1/2in.)
This splendid retrospective depicts an extremely obscure incident in Anglo-Swedish history in 1704 when both nations were at war but not with each other. Whilst England was deeply committed to the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-13), Sweden was equally preoccupied waging her own feud with Russia in the Great Northern War (1700-21) although neither conflict was in any sense connected with the other. On 28th July 1704, a Swedish convoy, under the command of Gustav von Psilander in the 50-gun flagship Oland, was attacked by a squadron of nine English ships under the command of Sir William Whetstone off Orfordness, Suffolk. The cause was Psilanders refusal to salute the colours of the English warships, a perennial problem in British waters during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but after an inconclusive engagement lasting four-and-a-half hours, the two squadrons parted and the Swedes continued on their way without their honour having been compromised.