Situation of His Majesty's Ship Defence and her Prize the St Ildefonso

This is a plate from 'The Naval Chronicle', 1806, subsequently extracted and hand-coloured. It shows the day after the Battle of Trafalgar, with the captured and dismasted Spanish 'San Ildefonso' on the right and on the left her captor, the 'Defence', riding at anchor in the wake of the post-battle storm near Cadiz, with other ships wrecked on the coast around Rota in the distance. (The old pencil identification, lower right, identifying the scene as concerning the Battle of I June 1794 is wrong.)

The 'San Ildefonso' shows British colours flying above Spanish on a jury flagstaff fished to the stump of her mizzen. The Spanish ensign is clearly very large and is presumed to be the one from the ship hung in St Paul's Cathedral for Nelson's funeral, 9 January 1806 (see PAH7332), and subsequently preserved there until presented to Greenwich Hospital by the Dean and Chapter in 1907. It is now NMM AAA0567.

The print is also of interest since it was much later used by Clarkson Stanfield RA (1793-1867) as the basis of his last Nelsonic marine subject, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1863 with almost the same title as Lee's print: see ZBA4261. This is now in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Object Details

ID: PAD5735
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Gold, Joyce; Hall Lee, John Theophilus Gold, Joyce
Events: Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Trafalgar, 1805
Vessels: Defence (1763); San Ildefonso (1785)
Date made: 31 Jan 1806
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Mount: 5 3/4 in x 9 in

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