Thomas Whitcombe (British, 1760-1824) H.M.S. 'Pique', 40 guns, Captain C.H.B. Ross capturing the Spanish Brig 'Orquijo', 18 guns, 8th. February 1805 30.5 x 43.2cm. (12 x 17in.)

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Lot 84
Thomas Whitcombe
(British, 1760-1824)
H.M.S. 'Pique', 40 guns, Captain C.H.B. Ross capturing the Spanish Brig 'Orquijo', 18 guns, 8th. February 1805 30.5 x 43.2cm. (12 x 17in.)

Sold for £ 4,560 (US$ 5,705) inc. premium
Thomas Whitcombe (British, 1760-1824)
H.M.S. 'Pique', 40 guns, Captain C.H.B. Ross capturing the Spanish Brig 'Orquijo', 18 guns, 8th. February 1805
signed 'T.Whitcombe' (lower left)
oil on canvas
30.5 x 43.2cm. (12 x 17in.)

Footnotes

  • During the first few years of the nineteenth century, the frigate H.M.S. ‘Pique’, under the command of Captain Charles Ross, was stationed in the West Indies and kept fully occupied by a great deal of enemy activity, both French and Spanish. In between taking a French armed cutter in March 1804 and the spirited capture of the French brig-sloop ‘Phaeton’ on 26th March 1806, she also sighted, chased, engaged and took the Spanish brig ‘Orquijo’ off Havana on 8th February 1805. The ‘Orquijo’, 384 tons and mounting 16 guns, proved a handy little craft and was absorbed into the Royal Navy under her original [Spanish] name and put into service immediately. Her usefulness proved short-lived however when, on 7th November [1805], whilst cruising off Jamaica in company with H.M.S. ‘Penguin’, she was hit by a sudden squall which sank her almost immediately with significant loss of life, including her commanding officer Lieutenant John Balderston.

    H.M.S. ‘Pique’, 36-guns, was built and launched as the French frigate ‘Pallas’ which was captured by a British squadron off the coast of France on 6th February 1800. Assimilated into the Royal Navy and renamed ‘Pique’, she rendered valuable service throughout the Napoleonic Wars and was finally scrapped in 1819.

    Vice-Admiral Charles Bayntun Hodgson Ross, C.B., joined the Royal Navy in 1788 and was made Lieutenant in 1796. After an active and successful career, including distinguished service during the Anglo-American War of 1812-14, he received his final promotion to Vice-Admiral in 1848 and died the following year. His exploits in ‘Pique’ (December 1803 – August 1807) were particularly colourful and, during that period, he captured numerous prizes, four of which were added to the Royal Navy.
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