Spithead, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
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From an album of drawings by Gabriel Bray. No. 25 of 74. A drawing dated and signed 'Decr: 74 AVprGB' (to the life by Gabriel Bray). This is a still-life study aft on the 'Pallas, with Marines' drums and leather buckets hoisted up out of the way and a gun and (probably) a water cask secured for sea. The gun has what is probably a lead or hardened leather cover lashed over its touch-hole. 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