Vice-Admiral James Saumarez (1757-1836)

A full-length portrait of James de Saumarez in vice-admiral’s full dress uniform. He wears the ribbons and stars of the Bath and the Swedish Order of the Sword, and the medals of the battles of St Vincent and the Nile. He is shown standings on a shore leaning on his fighting sword.

At the very beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars, de Saumarez, was in the ‘Crescent’ when he captured the French frigate ‘Reunion’ for which he was knighted. He commanded the ‘Orion’ at the battle of St Vincent, 1797 and was second in command to Nelson at the battle of the Nile in 1798. As a rear-admiral he commanded a detached squadron and in 1801 attacked a small French squadron lying under the guns of the shore battery in Algeciras Bay. When the French sailed, reinforced by a Spanish squadron, de Saumarez was able to follow them and defeat them. From 1808 for five years he commanded the squadron in the Baltic with his flag in the ‘Victory’ supporting British interests there with great diplomatic skill. He was the last honorary general of marines.

The painting is a copy made in 1862 by Edwin Williams of the original portrait by Thomas Phillips and is inscribed ‘Edwin Williams after Thos Phillips RA 1862’.

Object Details

ID: BHC3010
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Edwin Williams
Date made: 1862
People: Saumarez, James; de Saumarez, James Saumarez, 2nd Baron
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Measurements: Painting: 2387 mm x 1498 mm; Frame: 2680 mm x 1760 mm x 130 mm

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