The ‘Victory’ after Trafalgar

By F. J. Roskruge, published September 1921


The article reproduces Roskruge’s pen and ink drawing of an 1830 painting of the Victory immediately following the Battle of Trafalgar. It is the work of Paul Harris Nicolas who, like his client John Carslake, served at Trafalgar. Roskruge believes that it is an accurate representation of Victory as she appeared on the evening following the action. Consulting written records he was able to establish that the damage to the rigging is accurately portrayed, as is the damage to the hull, which appears to be not particularly severe.  The sketch shows, immediately after the battle, good detail of the damage to the hull, masts and rigging. The bowsprit is destroyed, foremast is fished with the fore-topmast, the main yard wrecked, the mizzen shot away, a launch sail is mounted on the ensign staff and another on a sheer-legs slightly forward, to keep her head to the gale. The sketch shows trousers on the figurehead supporter; unlikely garb for the supposed cherub. The starboard hull has clean shot-holes but no severe damage.

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Filed under: Napoleonic War | Atlantic | Nelson
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies

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