Derek G M Gardner , RSMA
"The Western Squadron" , Indefatigable, Jason, Concorde and Duke of York (lugger) leaving Falmouth, April 1795.
Oil on canvas
12 x 30 inches
Edward Pellew, born in 1757, became one of the outstanding naval officers of the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars. As a young man he had distinguished himself in operations during the War of American Independence and later, when war broke out in 1793, he fought the first successful frigate action when his ship the "Nymphe" took the French "Cleopatre" in the Channel. For this he was knighted and early in 1795, after further active service, he became senior officer of a small squadron based in Falmouth which was mad up of his own command the "Indefatigable", 44, the frigates "Jason", 38, and "Concorde", 36, the brig "Fortune" and the armed lugger "Duke of York".
Two years later, while still commanding the "Indefatigable" and with the frigate "Amazon" in company, he drove the French ship-of-the-line "Droits de L'Homme" ashore on the French coast after a long harassing chase in a severe gale. This was undoubtedly one of the outstanding achievements of his career and a masterpiece of frigate warfare.
In this painting the "Indefatigable" is seen with the "Jason", "Concorde" and "Duke of York" leaving Falmouth on a bright spring morning in April 1795 to carry out a patrol in the approaches to the Channel.