Admiral Edward Boscawen (1711-1761)

A full length slightly to right of Boscawen, wearing flag officer’s undress uniform and grey tie wig. His clothes are carefully shown, including the embroidered detailing on his white silk stockings He stands on the rocky shore littered with sea creatures, and with his back to a stormy sea. A ship is visible in the distance on the left, flying a blue flag at the fore on the left. The sitter distinguished himself when commanding the ‘Namur’ at the battle of Finisterre in 1747. In the same year he commenced the abortive expedition against Mauritius, having been made a rear-admiral. At the beginning of the Seven Years War he commanded a squadron in North America but was forced to return home when there was disease in the fleet which killed some 2,000 men. As the admiral at Portsmouth in 1757 he signed the order to shoot Admiral Byng. In the following year he commanded the fleet at the taking of Louisbourg and in 1759 he fought an action off Lagos with the French Toulon squadron which was trying to join the Brest Fleet. In this action three of the enemy were captured and two destroyed, including the flagship. Boscawen ranks among the most important of the navy's officers in the mid-18th century. He was nicknamed Old Dreadnought by sailors and certainly his interest did much to improve their health and living conditions. This is a nineteenth-century copy of an original painting by Joshua Reynolds, which is owned by Lord Falmouth. Reynolds’s portrait was painted between March 1755 and early 1757. (Updated April 2019.)

Object Details

ID: BHC2565
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Reynolds, Joshua
Date made: circa 1824-25
People: Boscawen, Edward; Falmouth, Earl of
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Measurements: Painting: 2335 mm x 1525 mm; Frame: 2680 mm x 1765 mm x 150 mm

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