A Geometrical Plan, & North East Elevation Of His Majesty's Dock Yard, at Deptford, with Part of the Town &c

PAI5606 is another copy taken in colour image. A geometrical plan and north east elevation of the dockyard at Deptford including letters which act as a key for identifying the major buildings. This is one of a set of such prints of the Royal Dockyards by Milton. Deptford, Woolwich, and Portsmouth were published in 1753-4; Sheerness, Chatham, and Plymouth in 1755–6 with the shipping by John Cleveley the elder, though he may have had a hand in the earlier set too since he was a Deptford dockyard shipwright as well as a painter. Apart from identifying the ships shown, either under construction or lying in the river, this view also illustrates the original Tudor dockyard storehouse, far right, labelled as derelict on the plan by the caption 'Victualing Storehouse ruins'. Woolwich and Deptford yards were both founded by Henry VIII in 1513-14, only that at Portsmouth created by his father Henry VII being earlier.

The whole set has decorative borders with captioned vignettes of shipbuilding or shipping and lettered keys set in them. The shipbuilding vignettes here, working clockwise from top left show: 'Floors a cross [sic]', 'Launching', 'Frame Timbers up'; (right border) 'all Timbers up'; 'Head view compleat'; (bottom) 'Ready to Launch', 'Bilge ways under'; (left border) 'Planking', 'Frame Top Timbers up.' The left cartouche lists 'References to the Plan; A. Gateway, B. Porter's Lodge, C. Officers' Apartmts: & Gdns, D. Sail Field & Loft, E. Commissioner's Office, F. Pay Office, G. Other Principal Offices, H. Different Work Shops, I. Ma[ste]r Shipwright's Apartmts: K, Cranes, L, Double Dock, M, Grand Store Houses, N. Landing Place & Look Out, O. Single Dock, P. Launching Slips, Q. Wet Dock, R. Mast Pond, S. Boat Houses, T. Plank Houses, U. Mast Houses, W. Cabbins, X. Sawpits, Y. Storehouses, Z. Stables'. The right cartouche lists 'References to the Elevation; a. Lower Watergate , b. Middle Ditto, c. Upper Gate, d. Master Shipwright's House, e. Cambridge 80 Gun Ship Build[in]g, f. Harwich 50 ditto repairing, g. Grand Store House, h. Landing Place, i. Preston 50 Gun Ship Build[in]g, k. Medway 60 Guns ditto, l.King's Yatchs [sic] in Wet Dock, m. Plank Houses, n. Mast Houses, o. Cranes, p. Reed House, q. Sawpits, r. Boat Houses, s. [Tudor period] Victual[lin]g store house ruins, t. The Hulk, u. King's Ships in Ord[inary], w. Sloop of War fitt[in]g for Sea, x. Gravesend Tiltboat, y. Charlotte Yatch, z. A 50 Gun Ship rigging.'

Thomas Milton was son of John Milton, a minor marine artist (active c. 1743-76). Thomas was only born in 1742/3 and died in 1827 so it has to be assumed that even if he did survey and draw the yard as the inscription on this print suggests, his father was probably also involved and was bringing him to notice as a printmaker and topographical draughtsman in this way. The name 'I. Milton' , suggesting John as surveyor and delineator appears on the Chatham print, unless this is just engraver error.

Object Details

ID: PAJ3961
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Milton, Thomas; Canot, Pierre Charles
Places: Deptford Dockyard
Date made: 30 Jul 1753
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 550 x 745 mm

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