Admiral Sir Francis Geary, 1709/10-1796

Geary was a rear-admiral under Hawke in 1759, but was not present at the Quiberon Bay action that November. In May 1780 Sandwich appointed him, then 70-years-old, to the command of the Channel fleet on the death of Sir Charles Hardy, during a critical period of threatened French invasion. The fleet was at sea for 76 days, and on his return to Spithead in August Geary, worn out, gave up the command for health reasons. Geary may be credited with holding the Channel Fleet together at the navy’s lowest point in the second half of the 18th century.

He is shown half-length full-face and is wearing flag officer’s full dress uniform, 1774–87. He is holding a telescope in his left hand and his right elbow rests on a rock. The date of about 1780 and stylistic considerations rule out a previous attribution to Francis Cotes who died in 1770. For Romney’s full-length portrait of Geary see BHC2707.

Object Details

ID: BHC2706
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Cotes, Francis; British School, 18th century
Date made: circa 1780
People: Geary, Francis
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund.
Measurements: Painting: 915 mm x 710 mm

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.