The Woolwich before a light breeze

Oil painting of the 'Woolwich' in port-broadside view, apparently just having made sail since she is hoisting in her port bower anchor, with a smaller single-deck Royal Naval warship under her stern firing a salute. The 'Woolwich' was a 54-gun fourth rate ship of the line, built by Phineas Pett III at Woolwich Dockyard and launched in 1675. She was rebuilt in 1702 and the compleletely taken to pieces at Deptford Dockyard in 1736 before again being rebuilt on the lines of a 50-gun fourth rate. Relaunched on 6 April 1741 she was finally brken up at Woolwich in 1747. It is now established beyond reasonable doubt that this painting , along with two others also on panel, are three survivors from a set painted by the van de Veldes for the cabin of the royal yacht 'Charlotte' built at Portsmouth for Charles II in 1677. The others are of the yacht 'Portsmouth' (dated 1675, BHC3556), and the 'Charles Galley' (dated 1677, BHC3254). For further information see Richard Endsor's article on, 'The van de Velde paintings for the Royal Yacht "Charlotte", 1677', in the 'Mariner's Mirror', vol 94, no. 3, August 2008, pp.264-75. All were given to Greenwich Hospital by the Hon John Forbes, Admiral of the Fleet, in 1791. Forbes (1714-96) was a highly respected naval officer who had considerable historical interests: he passed on much information about the Hanoverian navy to Captain William Locker, Lieutenant Governor of Greenwich Hospital in the 1790s. He presumably obtained the pictures after the 'Charlotte' was broken up and gave them to the Hospital so that they would be preserved in interested naval hands.

Object Details

ID: BHC3732
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Velde, Willem van de
Vessels: Woolwich 1675
Date made: circa 1677
People: Forbes, John; Velde, Willem van de
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Measurements: Frame: 916 mm x 1106 mm x 95 mm;Painting: 762 mm x 939 mm

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