A full-length slightly to the right of Boscawen, wearing flag officer’s undress uniform and grey tie wig. His clothes are carefully shown, including the embroidered detailing on his white silk stockings He stands on the rocky shore littered with sea creatures, and with his back to a stormy sea. A ship is visible in the distance on the left, flying a blue flag at the fore on the left.
The sitter distinguished himself when commanding the ‘Namur’ at the battle of Finisterre in 1747. In the same year he commenced the abortive expedition against Mauritius, having been made a rear-admiral. At the beginning of the Seven Years War he commanded a squadron in North America but was forced to return home when there was disease in the fleet which killed some 2,000 men. As the admiral at Portsmouth in 1757 he signed the order to shoot Admiral Byng. In the following year he commanded the fleet at the taking of Louisbourg and in 1759 he fought an action off Lagos with the French Toulon squadron which was trying to join the Brest Fleet. In this action three of the enemy were captured and two destroyed, including the flagship. Boscawen ranks among the most important of the navy's officers in the mid-eighteenth century. He was nicknamed 'Old Dreadnought' by sailors and certainly his interest did much to improve their health and living conditions.
This is a copy by Reynolds of the painting owned by Lord Falmouth painted in 1755–1756.
Where to see this painting?
National Maritime Museum
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