Jack Spurling (British, 1871-1933) H.M.S. Namur

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Lot 120
Jack Spurling
(British, 1871-1933)
H.M.S. Namur

£ 3,000 - 5,000
US$ 4,000 - 6,700
Jack Spurling (British, 1871-1933)
H.M.S. Namur
signed and dated 'J Spurling 1931' (lower left)
watercolour and bodycolour
35.5 x 51cm (14 x 20 1/16in).

Footnotes

  • Literature
    Warren Moore, Spurling, Sail and Steam, Patrick Stephens Ltd., (Cambridge, 1980), p.37-44, illustrated, p.39

    "Then straightaway we left them in grief to complain,
    Whilst we are carousing along the sail main,
    Pray God bless our fleet and his majesty too,
    And grant them success wherever they go
    Concluding as this, and my song to end,
    In Matthew's brave ship these verses were penned."

    Old Song, 'Admiral Matthew's Engagement', Namur, off Toulon 1744.

    Named after a town in Belgium which was considered a place of great strategic importance during the latter part of the 17th century, Namur was originally launched at Woolwich in 1697, before being taken to pieces and her remains sent to Depford for rebuilding at a cost of £29,403. At her re-launch in 1729, Namur was registered as a 2nd rate of 1,567 tons with 90 guns.

    Her active service before being rebuilt was largely contained to the War of the Spanish Succession under the command of Captain Christopher Myngs, where she was present at the capture of Gibraltar and the Battle of Velez-Malaga.
    In May 1731, she sailed for Cadiz as the flagship of Admiral Sir Charles Wager under Captain Edward Falkingham. Wager's mission was to assist the Marquis de Mari in conveying Spanish troops from Barcelona to Leghorn. Upon achieving these aims, Namur sailed back to port.

    With brief stints in Portugal and Spain between 1732 and 1740, Namur returned home and was laid up until 1741, when she was appointed to the Mediterranean fleet under Captain S. Cornish until being recalled to England in 1744.

    By January 1745, Namur had been cut down and razeed to 74-guns, joining the Western Squadron under Captain Honourable Edward Boscawen where, on 3 May 1797, she was involved in the First Battle of Finisterre capturing all but two French ships and £300,000 in prizes. On 29 May, the greater part of the ship's company began to mutiny. This was quickly suppressed and a court-martial held on 2 July where, out of 45 suspected, three were hanged and twelve whipped.
    On 19 July, Captain Marshall took command and sailed to the East Indies with orders to attempt a reduction in St. Lucia. This failed and the Namur sailed on to Fort St. David. Leaving briefly for a refit, on her return she was wrecked in a gale on 14 April 1749, with all 520 crew members perishing with their ship.
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