The Wreck of the 'Gloucester' off Yarmouth, 6 May 1682

This dramatic painting represents the wrecking of the ‘Gloucester’ while carrying the Duke of York to Leith. The ship had foundered on the Lemon and Oar sandbank off Yarmouth as a result of the pilot’s negligence. The Duke escaped with several other notable figures, including John Churchill, afterwards Duke of Marlborough, but about 130 people perished in the incident. Desperate crewmembers are frantically abandoning ship, some swimming to a boat that is already full to overflowing. Three sailors are praying for their lives on the tiny sandbank. In the background other ships of the line stand by. Although this painting shows the ‘Gloucester’ beached on the sandbank, there was apparently about twelve feet of water over the Lemon. Johan Danckerts was a Dutch-born painter who came to work in England to work. He was joined by his brother, Hendrick, who became court painter to Charles II.

Object Details

ID: BHC3369
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Danckerts, Johan
Vessels: Gloucester (1654)
Date made: circa 1682
Exhibition: Time and Longitude
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Frame: 1055 mm x 1581 mm x 72 mm; Weight: 29.4 kg; Painting: 1435 x 900 mm

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