A View of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich
21½ x 15½
This dramatic view shows the full sweep of the Maritime Hospital buildings at Greenwich with the Queen's House in the distance. The foreground is enlivened by all manner of shipping on the Thames.
On Thames's bank in silent thought we stood:
Charles II had ambitious plans for the construction of a new royal palace at Greenwich but the scheme hit the buffers through lack of investment and it was finally left to Queen Mary to revisit the project and decree that the buildings should be completed and used to provide a Royal Hospital for disabled seamen. These buildings were designed by Wren and Hawksmoor, the leading architects of the day, and form the basis for The Royal Naval College that still stands to this day. Samuel Johnson came to live in Greenwich in 1737 and was moved by the sight of such imposing architecture:
Where Greenwich smiles upon the silver flood;
Pleased with the seat which gave Eliza birth,
We kneel and kiss the consecrated earth.