James Ward after John Hoppner
The Right Hon.ble Adam Duncan
An imposing full-length, mezzotint portrait of Admiral Duncan; engraved by James Ward after the portrait by John Hoppner and published in London Boydell in 1798.
Lord Duncan was one of the most accomplished and successful admirals of his generation. His most famous victory was secured against the Dutch at The Battle of Camperdown in 1797. It was one of the most strategic battles of the French Revolutionary Wars and arguably the most significant British naval victory of all time. During the battle the Dutch navy, under the command of vice Admiral Jan de Winter lost eleven ships whilst the British under Lord Duncan lost none. The battle was keenly fought, however, and casualties on both sides were high with over 200 British and over 500 Dutch meeting their end. Famously de Winter handed over his sword as a symbol of defeat, but Lord Duncan refused to accept it and instead offered his assailant his hand saying, "I would much rather take a brave man's hand than his sword".