Admiral Lord Exmouth, English School

Artist unkown

about 1815

Ink, watercolour and gouache on paper

66 x 54.2 cm

Born in 1757, Sir Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, entered the Navy in 1770 at the age of 13.  He eventually became a captain, was knighted in 1793, and two years later commanded a frigate squadron in the 44-gun heavy frigate HMS Indefatigable in the Channel, a picture of which can be seen on the right of the picture. In 1797, during the war with France, Pellew’s Indefatigable was engaged in one of the most daring battles in British naval history with the Droits de l’Homme and won. Pellew became a Member of Parliament for Barnstaple in 1802, a full Admiral in 1814, and was later made a Viscount. He died in 1833.

Recognised for his personal courage and strength, Lord Exmouth led by example. During his time as a captain on HMS Indefatigable there was not a single duty on the ship that he could not perform.  Possessing a superiority of seamanship and good tactical skills, he was also a strict disciplinarian.  However, he always cared for the welfare of the men under his command.