His Majesties Ship the Blenheim
17 x 14
A delightful etching in bold original colour depicting HMS Blenheim, one of the gunships of the Royal Navy. Engraved by Elisha Kirkall after Thomas Baston and published in London circa 1760.
There was no doubt who the most powerful maritime nation was in the middle of the C18th. England and her Royal Navy dominated the high seas from the Far East through the Mediterranean and out to the West Indies. The might of the British navy was known throughout the western world and here we have an example of one of the ships that were amongst the most important in the fleet. HMS Blenheim, boasting 90 guns, was launched in 1761 and most famously took part in the action at the Cape of St. Vincent in 1797. She appears to have disappeared, presumed sunk, off the coast of Madagascar in 1807. Victories against the French and farther afield in India in the 1750s secured the navy's reputation and lay the foundation for future successes and imperial expansion throughout the late C18th and early C19th.