'Ruined tower on the site of the old town of Panama, destroyed by Morgan the Buccaneer in 1670, March 1850'

No. 37 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849 - 52. Captioned by the artist on the album page below the image, as title. The drawing shows two views of the same scene; a detail of the tower on the left and, on the right, its setting in the coastal jungle with other ruins. In a letter to his mother from the 'Daphne' at Panama, dated 25 March 1850, Fanshawe noted that 'About three miles to the eastward is a fine old tower amongst thick jungle which marks the site of the original Panama, sacked and burnt by Morgan the buccaneer...' (Fanshawe [1904], p.257). A footnote to the page explains that Henry Morgan (later knighted as Deputy Governor of Jamaica) captured and burnt Panama in 1671 and that 'some years afterwards the buccaneer fleet in the Bay of Panama was able successfully to defy the Spaniards....The modern town of Panama was begun a couple of years after Morgan's raid, at a few miles distance from the old site.' Morgan's raid was in January 1671 and the tower is only part of the ruins of the original cathedral, built 1619-26, which remains the principal feature of Old Panama. Today the site has been cleared of jungle and preserved as a historic monument. Fanshawe kept four views of Panama, all made in March 1850: the others are PAI4641, PAI4643 and PAI4646.

Object Details

ID: PAI4644
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Fanshawe, Edward Gennys
Places: Panama
Date made: Mar 1850
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 75 x 177 mm
Parts: Album of watercolours of Madeira, Brazil, the Falkland and Pacific Islands, Chile, Panama, Mexico, Vancouver, and California (Album)

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