[The Right Hon.ble Lord Rodney K.B. Vice Adm.l of Great Britain & Adm.l of the White &c &c &c]
[Published 12th. April, 1788. by B. Beale Evans in the Poultry, London.]
Mezzotint with large margins, platemark 610 x 390mm (24 x 15¼"). Slight paper tone; very fine proof before letters.
George Bridges Rodney, first Baron Rodney (1719 - 1792), naval officer and politician. Rodney became a national hero when in 1780 he defeated a Spanish fleet off Cape St. Vincent, thus relieving Gibraltar. His crowning victory was at the Battle of the Saintes, in the Caribbean (1782) off Dominica, when with thirty-five sail of the line he defeated the Comte de Grasse, who had thirty-three sail. The French inferiority in numbers was more than counterbalanced by the greater size and superior sailing qualities of their ships, yet five were taken and one sunk, after eleven hours' fighting. This important battle saved Jamaica and other British possessions in the region, restoring British prestige after recent defeats in the American War of Independence. Shortly before news of the victory became known, Rodney was replaced as commander-in-chief in the Leeward Islands. In part amends, Rodney was given an English barony and a pension. The Gainsborough portrait reproduced here (now Earl of Rosebery collection, Dalmeny) was commissioned by the Hon. Thomas Harley to commemmorate the Battle of the Saintes. It was engraved by the artist's nephew Gainsborough Dupont.
Horne 57 ii; CS 9 (undescribed state); Russell 9 i
[Ref: 36624] £950.00