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

'A View of a Dutch Fort taken from the Pallas whe[n] passing it supposed to be Artez [Anzer]' [Bray album]

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From the Collection

Description

From an album of drawings by Gabriel Bray. No. 46 of 74. Titled and dated as above, and signed and dated 'AVprGB Mar 75' (to the life by Gabriel Bray) on the backing sheet. It also bears the watercolour inscription in the image 'NW 1/2 W 6 Miles' (i.e. north-west and half a point west). The scene is probably what the log of the 'Pallas' calls the Dutch fort of Anzer, one of at least three between Fort Appollonia and Cape Coast Castle - although that name does not figure in the longer list by A. W. Lawrence ('Trades Castles and Forts of West Africa', 1963) on that stretch: Ankobra, Axim, Akwide, Butre, Takoradi, Shama, Commenda and Elmina. The 'Pallas' passed it to seaward on 19 March 1775. Like all such forts it would have been a trading (and slaving) station. The 'Pallas passed it to seaward on 19 March 1775. It was presumably a Dutch trading (and slaving) station.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.

Image Licence

Image Credit

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

From the Watercolour World

Location

Benyin, Ghana

Country

Medium