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Sir Thomas Pasley (1734–1808), Admiral of the White

Photo credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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A half-length portrait of Pasley, when a rear-admiral, facing to the right in the 1787–1795 undress uniform. He wears the gold chain and medal awarded to flag officers engaged at the Battle of the Glorious First of June 1794, in which he flew his flag as a recently promoted rear-admiral in the 'Bellerophon' and lost his left leg below the knee. This action prompted production of this medal, with a smaller version for the captains engaged with a top and bottom bar and short suspension ribbon in blue and white for fixing to the left lapel or jacket breast. Both continued to be awarded for later actions of the French wars and they were the first regular official naval battle decorations. The captain's foreshadowed the general form familiar today but the Battle of the First of June was the only one for which chains were awarded, which were in fact presented in 1794, while the medal only followed in 1796 after production was completed.

National Maritime Museum





oil on canvas


H 76.5 x W 63.8 cm

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National Maritime Museum

Romney Road, Greenwich, London, Greater London SE10 9NF England

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