Timothy Franklin Ross Thompson (British, born 1951)
H.M.S. Victory and Agamemnon cruising in company off the coast signed 'T.F.Thompson' (lower right) oil on canvas 56 x 76.2cm (22 x 30in).
H.M.S. Victory, the oldest ship in the world still in commission, is undoubtedly the most celebrated vessel in the long history of the Royal Navy as well as being one of the tiny handful of illustrious ships whose fame transcends national boundaries and which are recognised across the globe. So famous is she that it is unnecessary to retell her story here except to remind readers that she was launched in 1765 and had been a hugely successful ship-of-war throughout the forty years which preceded her finest hour at Trafalgar. Selected as a flagship on numerous occasions, she survived Trafalgar despite serious damage and, after extensive repairs, returned to sea and active service until 1824. Thereafter given a permanent mooring in Portsmouth Harbour for almost another century, she was finally drydocked there in 1921 where she still remains.
H.M.S. Agamemnon, 64-guns, was built at Bucklers Hard and launched in 1781. After service during the second half of the American War of Independence which ended in 1783, she was then laid up for much of the following decade until recommissioned by Captain Horatio Nelson in January 1793 when war with Revolutionary France became imminent. Sent to the Mediterranean that May, Agamemnon's exploits made Nelson's name and he always claimed that she was his favourite ship. When Nelson left her in 1796 however, her career was far from over and she went on to see action at the battles of Copenhagen, Trafalgar and St. Domingo. Refitted back home over the winter of 1806-07, she then took part in the second Copenhagen Expedition in 1807 before being sent to South American waters where she was wrecked off the River Plate estuary in June 1809.