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British Warship Leaving Portsmouth Harbour

Photo credit: Hampshire County Council’s Fine Art Collection

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The painting shows a small Royal Naval vessel with George III on board, leaving Portsmouth. The likely occasions are during one of his visits, over several days, to review the fleet at Spithead in June 1773 (though not the review day itself on 22nd June) or in May 1778. However, on both occasions, he is only recorded as using the royal yacht 'Augusta' which had four guns in the broadside (eight in total) while the vessel shown has seven (14 in total). While the ship's decoration suggests it is a yacht, none of the time had that armament, so its identity and the exact occasion remain to be clarified, as a marine painter is unlikely to have made errors in such details. Naval ships lying in Spithead in the right distance are shown firing salutes.

Hampshire Cultural Trust Headquarters, Winchester (Hampshire County Council’s Fine Art Collection)





oil on canvas


H 35 x W 56 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1991

Work type



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Hampshire Cultural Trust Headquarters, Winchester (Hampshire County Council’s Fine Art Collection)

Chilcomb House, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8RD England

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