This Print is humbly addressed to the British Nation:and more particularly designed as an expression of gratitude to the memory of William Hickes Esqr., a Merchant of Hamburgh, whose Legacy contributed largely towards the support of the Marine Society. The advantages derived from this Institution by Fitting out Men and Boys for Sea Service in time of War; and promoting Commerce & Police in Peace, by relieving Boys in the most dangerous and distressed Condition, will ever merit the munificence of a free, generous and Maritime People. The Groupe of Charity and the Boy (being the Gift of Thomas Nash Esqr. a Citizen of London) alludes to the Figure now standing on a Pedestal, with its proper Inscription on the South Side of the Royal Exchange.
Publish'd as the Act directs April 20th. 1774.
Etching and engraving coloured by hand, 540 x 330mm. 21¼ x 13". Some staining; tatty extremities.
Charity represented as a woman receiving poor boys for service at sea. Dedicated to a major donor to the Marine Society. On 25 June 1756, following the outbreak of the Seven Years War, John Thornton joined his friend Jonas Hanway and some 22 interested parties in the King’s Arms Tavern in the City of London to discuss the effect that the war was likely to have on trading conditions. By the end of the evening, The Marine Society had been formed, with John Thornton as Treasurer. Sponsorship for naval recruits was offered by The Marine Society “to all stout lads and boys, who incline to go on board his Majesty’s ships, with a view to learn the duty of a seaman, and are, upon examination, approved by the Marine Society, shall be handsomely clothed and provided with bedding, and their charges born down to the ports…” Following incorporation in Act of Parliament the Society commissioned in 1786 the first pre-sea training ship in the world, the 350 ton sloop Beatty and went on to provide sea training all the way up to the Second World War. By 1763, the Society had recruited more than 10,000 men and boys, supplying 5% of the total intake during the seven year war. Early reports from commanding officers had indicated that the number of desertions might be reduced if boys equipped by the Society were given a period of training before being sent to sea. The Society thus became the first organisation in the world to pioneer nautical training for boys in its special school ship. From 1756 to 1940 the Society recruited more than 110,000 men and boys for the Royal Navy, the East India Company and Merchant Service. Conscription during World War II meant that the Marine Society no longer had to continue with recruitment. A very rare print.
Not in BM.
[Ref: 8851] £890.00