South Foreland, Kent, England
From an album of drawings by Gabriel Bray. No. 24 of 74. A view on the 'Pallas's' fo'c'sle at sea, looking forward over one of her chase guns, with the starboard clew of her fore-course visible above her bowsprit. It is possible the seaman is a forward lookout, or just relaxing, and there is another sitting out on the spritsail yard to starboard with a harpoon, possibly to spear dolphin. The scene suggests light weather conditions running down into lower latitudes on the way to Africa. The name 'Pallas' is carved or painted on the quoin (breech wedge) of the gun.This is one of 73 drawings by Bray (plus one signed 'NF 1782') preserved in a 19th-century album. They have now been separately remounted. Bray (1750-1823), was second lieutenant of the 44-gun ‘Pallas’ under Captain the Hon. William Cornwallis (1744-1819) – later a well-known admiral - on two voyages (1774-77) to report on British interests in West Africa, including the slave trade. The dated drawings refer only to the first of these, from December 1774 to September 1775, though a few may be from the second. Others comprise country views, some of Deal, Kent (where Bray may have come from), and others of social-history interest.
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Purchased with the assistance of the Society for Nautical Research Macpherson Fund
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