© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND
© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

HMS 'Daphne' off Cape Horn, 28 May 1852

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From the Collection


No. 63 (and last) in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849 - 52. Captioned by the artist on the album page below the image; 'Cape Horn, May 28th 1852'. Fanshawe left Panama about 20 March 1852, at the end of his Pacific commission in the 'Daphne' (carrying home a freight of Mexican silver). 'She put into Valparaiso [Chile] for the last time, was delayed by a gale to the west of Cape Horn, then got a fair wind and had fine weather for rounding the Cape on May 28th. The day before this she sailed faster than ever before, making 13 knots..' (Fanshawe [1904], p.296). This speed is the more remarkable since the ship was still under a reduced rig following dismasting at Mazatlan as can be seen here from the lowered height of her main and fore lower masts in relation to the slender replacement mizzen. The view none the less shows her running past the Horn under all plain sail - itself fairly unusual in that latitude - with the sea suggesting the aftermath of the earlier gale. She put into the Falkland Islands, and very briefly at Rio, before reaching Spithead, Portsmouth, on 6 August. She paid off at Chatham on 14 August. After an absence of nearly three years, Fanshawe rejoined his family and spent the next two with them ashore on half-pay before taking command of the 'Cossack' in August 1854. This he could well afford, not least from the sizeable commission on the official silver freight he brought home from Mexico. From an album of watercolours of Madeira, Brazil, the Falkland and Pacific Islands, Chile, Panama, Mexico, Vancouver, and California. It covers Fanshawe's commission in command of HMS 'Daphne' 1848-52, on the Pacific station based at Valparaiso, Chile, under Rear-Admiral Phipps Hornby in the 84-gun 'Asia'. The earliest dated drawing is of Madeira, 1 January 1849 on the way out, and the last of Cape Horn on the return, 28 May 1852. For further details, see collection online record.

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© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

From the Watercolour World


Cape Horn, Chile