Terence Lee

Terence Lee biography...

The Seafire

Terence Lee The Seafire
Oil on Canvas
Canvas size : 27.5” x 19.75”

The Seafire

The painting depicts Supermarine Seafire NX942 of 736 Squadron, School of Air Combat operating out of RNAS Yeovilton high over the south coast of England in May 1943.

NX942 was ordered from Supermarine Vickers Aviation, Castle Bromwich on the 23rd August l941 under contract B19713/39 for 904 aircraft. It was built in April l942 as Spitfire MkVc serial No. EN763 and delivered to 33 Maintenance Unit on the 25th April l942. On the 10th May it was taken on charge of 421 Squadron RAF but on the 5th May 1943 it was converted to Seafire 1B configuration by Air Service Training at Hamble in Hampshire and delivered to the Fleet Air Arm 736 Squadron School of Air Combat at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset. The role of this squadron was to teach experienced naval fighter leaders the latest techniques in air combat. Following a period at RNAS St Merryn, Cornwall NX942 was returned to the RAF in December 1944.

The Spitfire MkV was fitted with the Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 engine driving a three blade variable speed propeller. It could reach 331 mph at 16,000 ft. and 359 mph at 25,000 ft its operational ceiling being 32,800 ft. Its range was 395 miles. The aircraft was armed with 4 x 20 mm cannon although this configuration could vary.

The MkV was produced in large numbers in four major versions the most successful was considered to be the F Mk V variant. Many airframes were used as trials and experimental aircraft or converted to other marks. The Mk V would not have been developed had it not been for the Luftwaffe’s change of tactics towards the end of 1940. The German mass attacks began to dwindle by the end of October largely due to the valiant efforts of Fighter Command’s front line squadrons. In November 1940 small numbers of the new German Me 109e fighter began to appear over the south coast of England. These machines could fly higher and faster than their predecessors. The Spitfire Mk 1 and Mk11 lost any advantages which they formerly had over the earlier Me109 fighter. As the result urgent work was undertaken in developing the Spitfire’s performance. This resulted in the MkV variants.

Due to the urgent demand for a variant which could successfully challenge the new German fighter the MkV was put into production without delay and issued to operational squadrons. The inevitable teething troubles soon became evident and were corrected by appropriate modifications. However one particularly disturbing problem arose with the MkVb resulting in several fatalities when aircraft were reported to have unaccountably dived into the ground. Subsequent investigations found the cause was due to two probabilities. 1. When the cannons were fired the oxygen regulating apparatus was dislocated or damaged so that the supply of oxygen to the pilot could not be varied. 2. The longer the oxygen supply pipe was the greater chance that condensation freezing in the pipe would restrict the oxygen flow causing the pilot to black out. The rectification of this particularly nasty fault undoubtedly saved many lives.

Terence Lee
1st February 2019

Spitfires over the south coast

Terence Lee Spitfires over the south coast
Oil on Canvas
Canvas size : 20” x 30”

Spitfires over the south coast of England

The painting shows Spitfire IIAs of 118 Squadron on a fine afternoon over Beaulieu on the 18th April 1941 immediately prior to landing at their new airfield at Ibsley a few miles north of Ringwood in Hampshire. RAF Ibsley was completed in February l941 as a satellite station to Middle Wallop.

118 Squadron was initially engaged on convoy and anti-shipping patrols over the Channel and in November 1941 together with 234 (Madras Presidency) Squadron formed a wing carrying out escort duties. With the arrival of 66 Squadron, and the inevitable increase in the operational workload, Ibsley quickly assumed the role of a front line airfield.

Spitfire P7913 was a MkIIA presentation aircraft bearing the name of the donor ‘City of Birmingham’ on the side of the engine cowling. Built by Vickers Armstrong at Castle Bromwich in February l941 it was fitted with a Merlin XII engine driving a Rotol three blade propeller. The aircraft was capable of speeds of 370 mph at 13000 feet and 290 mph at sea level. It carried 85 gallons of 100% octane petrol which gave it a range of 70 – 80 miles into France from the south coast of England. Armament consisted of 8 wing mounted Browning 303 machine guns. P7913 was delivered to No.9 Maintenance Unit on the 3rd February 1941 and then to 66 Squadron on the 4th March. 118 Squadron received the aeroplane on the 9th April. On the 25th February 1943 it was transferred to the Central Gunnery School. Its operational service here however was short lived when as the result of an engine fire it was abandoned in mid-air and crashed at Middle Drove in Norfolk on the 8th June 1943. The airframe was signed off charge on the 30th June with a total flying hours of 413.50.

Spitfire P8088 also a MkIIA presentation aircraft bearing the inscription ‘Borough of Lambeth’ beneath which was a figure of ‘Capt. Reilly-Ffoul’ of the Daily Mirror fame. Also a Castle Bromwich airframe its specification was identical to that of P7913 having been part of the same building contract. Completed in February 1941 it was delivered to No 39 Maintenance Unit on the 1st March and then to 66 Squadron on the 21st March. On the 9th April it transferred to 118 Squadron where it remained until the 9th July joining 152 Squadron. On the 23rd June l942 it served with 19 Squadron and then to 61 Operational Training Unit on the 21st September. On the 19th May l943 it suffered Cat. B damage and following repair it passed to the Central Gunnery School on the 1st August. On the 22nd February l944 it received attention at the Miles Aircraft Company being handed over to an Operational Training Unit on the 1st July. On the 23rd September P8088 was destroyed when it dived into the ground at Prees, Salop. No details of the incident are available.
It was signed off charge on that date. Terence Lee
1st February 2019

Remember the Battle of Lissa

Terence Lee Remember the Battle of Lissa
Oil on Canvas
Canvas size : 31.5” x 23.5”
Framed size ; 37.5” x 29.5”

Remember the Battle of Lissa

Between 1807 and 1814 the British and French conducted a series of naval operations contesting control over the Adriatic. During this period the French had occupied territories surrounding the Adriatic including ‘client’ states which supported Napoleon’s designs on his planned eastward expansion in the Balkans.

The Royal Navy being dominant in the Mediterranean since 1805 sought to disrupt French convoys crossing the Adriatic and in 1807 following the Russian withdrawal dispatched a frigate squadron commanded by Captain William Hoste to operate in the area. Captain Hoste captured the Illyrian island of Lissa (Vis) and using this as a base began a campaign against the French and their allies forcing the French commander Bernard Dubourdieu to deploy a disproportionate number of his forces to combat the problem. Despite this, the disruption by the British escalated until on the 13th March 1811 Commodore Dubourdieu in desperation decided to attack the island of Lissa. It is perhaps worth detailing the forces which he had at his disposal in comparison to those available to Captain Hoste.

The French fleet consisted of three 40 gun frigates – Favorite, Danae and Flore, three Venetian frigates – Corona, Bellona and Carolina, the Venetian 16 gun brig-corvette Mercure one 10 gun schooner one 6 gun xebec and two gunboats with 400 – 500 troops aboard ready to re-garrison Lissa when taken. Captain Hoste’s squadron consisted of the three frigates, 32 gun Amphion, 38 gun Cerberus, 38 gun Active together with the 22 gun Volage. Despite this disparity in strength, the French squadron was defeated and Commodore Dubourdieu mortally wounded. As the British squadron formed up prior to the engagement, Captain Hoste hoisted the signal - ‘Remember Nelson’. Dubourdieu had attempted to emulate Nelson’s initial tactics in the opening stages of Trafalgar when he broke the line. The irony was no doubt not lost on Captain Hoste!

Following the Battle of Lissa, the badly wounded Hoste returned to England. Captain James Brisbane took over command in the Adriatic conflict. Due to the widely dispersed nature of the campaign, he decided to delegate command to the commanders of the various small squadrons. The commander on Lissa in November 1811 was Captain Murray Maxwell of the Alceste 38. Supporting him was Captain James Alexandre Gordon of the Active 38, the 18 pounder 36 gun frigate Unite, Captain Edwin Henry Chamberlayne and the 20 gun ship Acorn, Captain George Miller Bligh.

On the 28th November at 0700 hrs whilst lying in Port St. George, Lissa, the telegraph on Whitby Hill announced three suspicious sail to the south. Captain Maxwell prepared to make sail but in view of an expected attack on Lissa decided to leave Captain Bligh of the Acorn together with 30 seamen and marines from the Alceste and Active to defend the port. Due to a strong east-north-easterly wind the squadron began warping out of the harbour and did not clear the land until 1900 hrs. At 2130hrs whilst off the south end of Lissa a strange sail was sighted which fired two guns. Unite boarded the ship which proved to be a neutral and was informed by a Lieutenant John McDougal formerly of the Unite, who was en-route to Malta, that he had sighted three French frigates 40 miles to the south. Anticipating an imminent action he decided to re-join his old ship! At 0930 hrs on the following day the Active made the signal for three strange sail in the east north east off the island of Augusta. At 1000hrs the strangers were identified as the three French frigates Pauline 40 gun, Commodore Francois-Gilles Monfort, the Pomone 40 guns, Capitaine Claude-Charles-Marie Ducamp-Rosamel and the frigate built store ship Persanne of 26 guns, Capitaine Joseph-Andre Satie. The ships had left Corfu on the 16th bound for Trieste loaded with a quantity of iron and brass ordnance for the squadron there. At first the French frigates formed in line on the larboard tack and stood towards the British but realising their mistake Commodore Monfort bore up to the north west setting studding sails. The Alceste and her companions set an equal press of canvas and gave chase. At 1100 hrs the Persanne seeing that she was unable to keep pace with her consorts bore away to the north east. The Active began to steer after her but was quickly recalled by Maxwell who deployed the smaller Unite instead.

At 1150 hrs the Alceste and the Active were clearly gaining on the heavily laden French frigates. It was at this point that Captain Maxwell telegraphed the Active with the signal ‘Remember the Battle of Lissa’ At 1230 hrs with the island of Pelagosa bearing from the Alceste south west five leagues the first shots of the engagement occurred when the Persanne fired her stern chasers at the Unite which returned fire from her bow-chasers. At 1320hrs the Alceste running at nine knots with the wind on the larboard quarter fired a shot from her foremost starboard gun striking the larboard quarter of the Pomone. At the same time the Pomone hoisted a French pennant and ensign firing a single shot which splintered the Alceste’s main t’gallant mast. The Pauline close ahead of the Pomone hoisted her colours with a commodore’s broad pennant. At 1324 hrs the Alceste still under a full press of sail in order to fetch the Pauline and with the intention of leaving the Active to engage the Pomone opened a broadside at the Pomone receiving fire in return. At 1340 hrs when abeam of her with every chance of drawing nearer to the Pauline which had taken in her royals, the Alceste received a shot from Pomone which carried away her main topmast just above the cap. The wreckage of the topmast together with the t’gallant and royal studding sails fell over the starboard side causing the Alceste to drop astern. Cheers of ‘Vive l’empereur!’ were heard to come from the crews of the French ships but as Captain Maxwell stated later, “they thought the day their own, not aware of what a second I had in my gallant friend Captain Gordon who pushed the Active up under every sail”

At 1400 hrs Active gained station on the starboard lee quarter of the Pomone commencing a close action. At 1420hrs the Pauline re-set royals braced up and tacked standing for the weather beam of the Alceste becoming closely engaged at 1430 hrs. At 1540 hrs a sail was sighted in the distance which proved to be the 18 gun ship-sloop Kingfisher, Captain Ewell Tritton. On seeing the approaching British ship and deciding that the Pomone had little chance of defeating the Active, Commodore Monfort set all sail and stood to the westward. Shortly afterwards despite backed topsails, the Active began to haul ahead of the Pomone as it did so the firing ceased. At 1540 hrs the Alceste arrived on the Pomone’s larboard side and as she opened her first broadside, the main and mizzen masts of the Pomone went by the board shortly followed by the foremast. Only at this point did the French captain declare the surrender of his ship by hoisting a Union Jack.

It was a hard fought action and the casualties were high. The Alceste had 1 midshipman and 6 seamen killed, 1 lieutenant, 11 seamen and 1 marine wounded. The Active lost 1 midshipman, 5 seamen and 2 marines killed. Mid-way through the action Captain Gordon who was standing on a shot bag and leaning on the capstan was struck in the knee-joint by a 36 pound shot which entered through a gun port grazed a carronade carriage, took the leg off a seaman and left Captain Gordon’s leg hanging by the tendons. He managed to retained consciousness directing his first lieutenant Mr Dashwood to fight the ship. As the captain was being carried below he ordered his second Lieutenant Mr Haye to take over if anything should befall Mr Dashwood. Shortly afterwards Lieutenant Dashwood had his right arm shot away and command of the ship fell to Mr Hayes for the rest of the action. Captain Gordon’s leg was amputated and complete with a wooden leg he returned to active service in command of the Seahorse within the year. Captain Gordon received £477 9s 10d prize money for Persanne. An ordinary seaman received £5 5s 4d equivalent to three months wages! The Pomone was found to be carrying 42 iron guns chiefly 18 pounders and nine brass guns in addition to 220 iron wheels for gun- carriages. The Persanne was carrying 130 iron 24 pounders and 20 brass 9 pounders. The Pauline was no doubt carrying an equivalent number. The loss of the two ships and ordnance was a serious blow to the French army in the Balkans and it is considered that it may have been one factor which influenced Napoleons decision to abandon his plans to invade the Ottoman Empire and concentrate on the invasion of Russia.

Captain Rosamel and his crew fought with a gallantry which was acknowledged by their opponents. Captain Maxwell stated: “Captain Rosamel fought his ship with a skill and bravery that has obtained for him the respect and esteem of his opponents”. Etiquette of service demanded that as the senior officer, Captain Maxwell should receive the sword of the French captain who would deliver it to no-one else but Captain Maxwell. However on receiving it he presented it to Captain Gordon considering that the Pomone was the ‘fair conquest of the Active’ Commodore Monfort’s decision to abandon Pomone to her fate was considered by the French authorities to be an act of cowardice. He was court- martialled and relieved of his command. Napoleon clearly remembered the significance of the action. In 1817 whilst returning from the East Indies following the loss of the Alceste, Captain Maxwell visited St. Helena . He met Napoleon who informed him that: “Your government must not blame you for the loss of the Alceste, for you have taken one of my frigates”.

The painting depicts the moment when the Active is about to overhaul the Pomone and is firing her last broadside. Her main topmast and t’gallant are braced aback in an effort to take the way off the ship. Although the Pomone has a lower fore studding sail set on the larboard side and an upper main studdingsail on the starboard side they have little effect on her speed due to her heavily laden state and the fact that she has at this stage of the engagement taken on 4 – 5 feet of water. The Alceste can be seen in the background minus her main topmast but is still making way. The island of Pelagosa is distant on the left of the picture.

H.M.S. Active
A fifth rate 38 gun frigate of the active class ordered on the 27th April 1796. Built at Chatham Dockyard, laid down in July 1796 and launched on the 14th December 1799 She carried a crew of 284. Armament consisted of 28 x 18 pounders on upper deck, 8 x 32 pounder carronades on quarter deck, 2x 9 pounders + 2 x 32 pounder carronades forecastle She served throughout French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars capturing many enemy vessels. She returned to service. After the wars being refitted as a receiving ship at Plymouth between October 1825 and February 1826. Renamed Argo on the 15th November 1833 she was broken up at Plymouth on 21st October 1860.

H.M.S. Alceste
An Armide class 38 gun frigate laid down in May 1804 at Rochefort for the French navy as Minerve. Launched on 9th September 1805 and completed in November. Carried a crew of 284. Armament consisted of 28 x 18 pounder on upper deck. 14 x 32 pounder carronades on quarter deck. 2 x 9 pounder + 2 x 32 pounder carronades on forecastle. She was captured by the British in an action on the 25th September 1806 and renamed Alceste. She served throughout the Napoleonic Wars. On the 18th February 1817 she was wrecked on a reef in the sea of Java plundered and burned by Malay Dyak pirates.

A 40 gun Sane designed Hortense class frigate built at Genoa for the puppet government of the Ligurian Republic which was annexed as a part of France in June 1805 a month after Pomone was completed. She was launched on the 10th February 1805 and presented to Jerome Bonaparte on his being appointed a ‘capitaine de fregate’ Like most of these presented ships the Pomone was hastily built of light scantlings and on being brought to England in September 1812 was found to be defective and broken up. During her brief time with the Royal Navy she was renamed Ambuscade.

Terence Lee
18th January 2019

The Final Farewell

Terence Lee The Final Farewell
Oil on Canvas
Canvas size : 18" x 24"

The Final Farewell

In July 1805 following his pursuit of the combined fleet to the West Indies Vice Admiral Lord Nelson made Gibraltar where he struck his flag and returned to England and his beloved Merton. He had been at sea for the best part of two years. On the 2nd September Captain Henry Blackwood called at Merton to inform Nelson of the activity of the combined fleet which had taken refuge at Cadiz but appeared to be preparing for sea again. The Admiralty without question and by common consent directed Nelson to take over command of the Fleet from his old friend Cuthbert Collingwood. Nelson took over command on the 29th September, he was 47 years of age. He accepted this responsibility with resignation. Prior to leaving Merton for Portsmouth he wrote to an old friend, Captain Richard Keats “I am now set up for a conjurer and God knows they will very soon find out I am far from being one. I was asked my opinion against my inclination, for if I make one wrong guess the charm will be broken”.

At 0600 hrs on the 14th September1805 Nelson arrived at the George Hotel in Old Portsmouth. Later that day he left the hotel via the rear entrance to avoid the gathering crowd. His entourage made their way on foot to the Spur Redoubt where a large crowd had gathered to get a last glimpse of their hero. Here Nelson boarded his barge from the beach to be rowed out to where the Victory was moored at the fleet anchorage off St Helens at Spithead. As the barge pulled away from the shore Nelson turned to Hardy and quietly said, “I had their huzzas. I have their hearts now”. Captain Hardy had been directed to prepare the Victory for sea and indeed Nelson’s flag had been hoisted at 1130hrs that day. It was at this time that Nelson’s coffin was taken aboard the Victory. It was presented to Nelson by Captain Hallowell formerly of the Swiftsure and was made of wood from the main mast of the French L’Orient which was destroyed at the Battle of the Nile.

Victory weighed anchor at first light on the 15th September but with light northerly airs was obliged to anchor at 0600 hrs getting under way again at 0800 hrs finally clearing St Helens in light breezes. HMS Euryalus (Captain Henry Blackwood) accompanied the Victory until the 26th September and was also present at Trafalgar.

The painting shows Nelson being rowed out to his Flagship H.M.S. Victory moored at Spithead on the 14th September 1805. His flag is hoisted at the fore as Vice Admiral He is accompanied by Captain Hardy. In the right distance can be seen H.M.S. Euryalus. A 74 gun 3rd rate is moored on the larboard side of the Victory. Preparations are being made to secure one of the cutters to the Victory’s starboard quarter davits. Men can be seen aloft on the Victory and the Euryalus overhauling parts of the rigging in preparation for the morrow. A dockyard hoy is lying alongside Victory having unloaded stores.

H.M.S. Victory is a 104 gun first rate ship of the line. She was ordered in 1758 and laid down at Chatham Dockyard on the 23rd July1759 being launched in 1765. She was designed by naval architect Sir Thomas Slade. An interesting fact concerns the launch of the Victory. On the day of the proposed launching a shipwright – Hartly Larkin designated ‘foreman afloat’ realised that the hull was too wide to pass through the dock gates. Measurements were hastily taken and it was confirmed that the gate entrance was 9” too narrow. Every available shipwright was summoned and sufficient wood was hewn from each gate to enable the hull to pass through. Once afloat the hull assumed a distinct list to starboard which was corrected by extra ballast. However the lower gunports were found to be only 4’ 6” above the waterline which meant that in rough weather the ports would need to be closed. The implications of this for any action in any rough sea meant that the guns of the lower deck could not be used. Fortunately the Victory was not involved in an action in rough weather. Following Trafalgar due to her poor structural condition her future hung in the balance. On two occasions the Admiralty decided that she should be scrapped only to be thwarted by the strength of the public outcry and finally by a decision by King Edward VII that she should be saved. In 1922 her condition was such that she could longer remain afloat and was subsequently towed into No2 dry dock in Portsmouth Dockyard, the oldest dry dock in the world where she remains to this day as the oldest commissioned ship in the Royal Navy. On the 5 March 2012 ownership of the Victory passed from the M.O.D. to the H.M.S. Victory Preservation Trust. She is currently undergoing the most extensive restoration programme since Trafalgar. This work is being undertaken by Defence Equipment and Support and BAE Systems with a 5 year contract to be extended to 10 years if required. It will be 12 years before the masts will be back in place. The multi-million restoration programme will undoubtedly secure the Victory’s future for many years.

H.M.S. Euryalus was a 36 gun frigate of the Apollo class. Built by Henry Adams at Bucklers Hard on the River Beaulieu in Hampshire she was launched in 1803. The Euryalus (Captain Henry Blackwood) escorted H.M.S. Victory from Portsmouth to Cadiz and led a squadron of 4 frigates observing the combined fleet in the prelude to Trafalgar. The combined fleet eventually sailed on the 20th October 1805. During the battle the Euryalus took Admiral Collingwood’s badly damage flagship Royal Sovereign in tow turning her to enable her to engage the French ship Formidable. Following the death of Nelson, Admiral Collingwood took command and transferred his flag to the Euryalus thus giving the frigate the distinction of becoming the flag ship of the British fleet for a period of 10 days. Following Trafalgar, Euryalus saw service in the War of 1812. On the defeat of Napoleon H.M.S. Euryalus spent more than two decades as a prison hulk ending her days in Gibraltar where in 1860 she was sold for breaking up.

Terence Lee
8th June 2018

Dispatches for England

Terence Lee Dispatches for England
Oil on Canvas
Canvas size : 17" x 23"
Framed size : 23" x 29"
On the 19th June 1805 Vice Admiral Lord Nelson arrived at Antigua in the West Indies in his pursuit of Admiral Villeneuve and the Franco-Spanish fleet only to discover that they had sailed for Europe. Lord Nelson deployed the Curieux brig sloop under Lt. George Bettesworth with dispatches to warn the Lords of the Admiralty. On the journey to England at latitude 33 12’ north longitude 58 west the Curieux sighted the combined fleet sailing north by west then north-north-west. Curieux was a fast vessel which enabled Lt. Bettesworth to avoid action arriving at Plymouth on the 7th July. The dispatches enabled the Admiralty to make strategic deployments ahead of Admiral Villeneuve’s arrival which played an important part in determining the outcome of the Battle of Trafalgar.

The painting depicts the Curieux shortly after sighting the combined fleet. Despite the weather showing signs of deteriorating Lt. Bettesworth is driving his ship hard under a full press of sail close hauled on a starboard tack.

Curieux was built by Enterprise Eth’eart at St Malo to a design by Francois-Timoth’ee Pestel. She was laid down in October 1799 and launched on the 20th September 1800 the only one of her class at the time and the prototype for the curieux class of brigs which the French began building in 1803.

Curieux was captured by the British at Martinique on the 3rd February 1804 and commissioned into the Royal Navy as a brig sloop armed with 8 x 6 pdr guns and 10 x 24 pdr carronades. She carried a complement of 67 men. During her five years with the Royal Navy she captured several privateers and engaged in two notable actions.

On the 8th February 1805 she chased the French privateer Dame Ernouf for twelve hours before bringing her to action. After forty minutes of hard fighting she took Dame Ernouf which had a crew double that of Curieux. The action cost the Curieux five killed and four wounded. The Dame Ernouf had 30 killed and 41 wounded.

In March 1806 John Sheriff took over command of Curieux and she was re-armed with 8 x 6 pdr guns and 10 x18 pdr carronades. On the 3rd December1807 off Barbados she engaged the 25 gun privateer Revanche. This vessel had been the slaver British Tar and was more heavily armed with a crew of 200 men. Curieux’s shrouds and backstays were shot away and her two top masts and jib-boom damaged. With her captain dead, Lt Thomas Muir wanted to board the Revanche but too few crewmen were willing to follow him. Subsequently the two vessels broke off the action. In addition to her captain, Curieux had seven dead and 14 wounded. It was with some irony therefore that a subsequent court martial into why Lt. Muir had not taken or destroyed the enemy vessel mildly rebuked him for failing to hove-to in order to repair his vessel once it became obvious that Curieux was in no condition to overtake the Revanche.

On the 22nd September 1809 at about 0330 hrs Curieux struck a rock of Petit-Terre off the Iles des Saintes. The rock was 30 yards from the beach in 11feet of water. She was de-stored and her guns removed to HMS Hazard which managed to winch her off a quarter cable but Curieux slipped back and struck a reef when she bilged. The wreck was burnt to prevent it falling into enemy hands. A subsequent court martial found the officer of the watch, Lt John Felton guilty of negligence and he was dismissed from the service. An interesting post-script to this incident occurred on the 30th August 1860 when the Prince of Wales visited Sherbrooke in Canada to where Felton had emigrated. The Prince exercised his Royal prerogative and pardoned Felton restoring him to his former naval rank.

An Admiralty draft of the Curieux was taken off at Plymouth in 1805. Unfortunately the detail of the figurehead is missing and it has not been possible to determine what figurehead she carried. I have therefore decide to show the vessel with a simple scroll. Indeed by that period economies had been applied in the building of naval vessels particularly in respect of ship decoration and British built brigs rarely carried any figurehead or other elaborate decorations. The quarter galleries are false.

The draft also shows the channels fixed at deck level. This was a feature of French built brigs and is evidence that the bulwarks were lightly constructed. The French appear to have placed emphasis on speed rather than sea-keeping qualities. It is highly likely that following capture, the Curieux’s upper works required reconstruction in order to enable them to withstand the 24 and 32 pdr carronades fitted in British service. The channels would have been raised as shown in the painting. Indeed evidence of this fact is shown in Nicholas Pocock’s painting of the Curieux leaving Antiqua on her return to England in 1805. He shows the channels raised above deck level. Pocock was an experienced sailor having commanded ships. His work can therefore be relied upon to accurately reflect the technical aspects of ships of the period.

French built ships were not highly regarded by high ranking British naval officers due mainly to their light build and inadequate fastenings which did not stand up to the rigours imposed in British naval service. They frequently required expensive and lengthy refits which necessitated them being taken out of service. However French ship design enjoyed a popularity among junior naval officers primarily due I suspect to their fast sailing qualities. Contemporary Admiralty drafts of the Curieux show a sharp mid–ship section which suggests she was capable of a good turn of speed. This was demonstrated in practise during her fast passage from Antiqua to Plymouth in June/July 1805.

A final interesting fact about the Curieux concerns a former crew member. Lt Provo Wallis (1791 – 1892) later Admiral of the Fleet established a record for the length of naval service in the British Royal Navy. Records show that his name was still carried on the active list when he died at the fine age of 100years!

Terence Lee
7th August 2017

Advance Squadron

Terence Lee Advance Squadron
Oil on Canvas
Canvas size : 24” x 30”

Cochrane’s Coastal Raids

Terence Lee Cochrane’s Coastal Raids
Oil on Canvas
Canvas size : 24” x 32”

HMS Victory at Portsmouth November 1812

Terence Lee HMS Victory at Portsmouth November 1812
Oil on Canvas
Canvas size : 24" x 36"

HMS Sylph in pursuit of the L’Artemise

Terence Lee HMS Sylph in pursuit of the L’Artemise

"As a follower of John Chancellor for many years I was immediately drawn to the three pictures by Terence Lee in your gallery today. The fact that you only have two now and my immediate decision to purchase one of them is a testament to the artist!

His work is quite outstanding, and in many ways I feel he has carried on where Chancellor left off. He must surely rank as one of our great contemporary marine artists.

Kind regards

St Fiorenzo taking the Frigate Piemontaise

St Fiorenzo taking the Frigate Piemontaise
Oil on Canvas
Canvas size : 24" x 36"
Davidson Fine Art
22 High St, Totnes, Devon
01803 865774