The 'Pitt' engaging the 'St Louis', 29 September 1758

The action between the English East Indiaman the ‘Pitt’ and French ship ‘St Louis’ was a minor event which occurred off Fort St David, near Pondicherry. When Commodore Wilson, the captain of the ‘Pitt’ tried to engage the ‘St Louis’ in blowy weather he was unable to operate his lower tier of guns. So he was forced to break off the engagement after a brief exchange and escaped by out-sailing the Frenchman.

The painting shows the two ships firing into each other, with the ‘Pitt’ on the left. The painting is inscribed ‘Commodore Wilson of the ‘Pitt’ engaging the ‘St Louis’ French ship of the line belonging to the Squadron of Monsieur de Ache on the 28th Septem 1759’, although the date written is incorrect.

Object Details

ID: BHC0385
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Dunn, Lawson
Vessels: Pitt 1757; St Louis fl.1758
Date made: 18th century
People: French Navy; Honourable East India Company Wilson, William
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Frame: 962 mm x 1216 mm x 48 mm; Painting: 815 mm x 1015 mm

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