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HMS 'Mercury' Cuts Out the French Gunboat 'Leda' from Rovigno, 1 April 1809

Photo credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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One of a pair commemorating actions in the Adriatic by the frigate 'Mercury', 28 guns, under Captain the Hon. Henry Duncan: the other is BHC0592. On the evening of 1 April 1809, Duncan sent in his ship's boats commanded by Lieutenant Watkin Owen Pell, under heavy fire, to cut the French gunboat 'Leda' out of the French-held harbour of Rovigno, Italy, on the Istrian peninsula 40 miles south-south-west of Trieste. Five men were killed in the action. This picture shows the 'Mercury's' boats under sail, headed by her launch, rounding the mole enclosing the harbour as they make their way with their prize back to the 'Mercury'. The 'Leda' is shown under her courses (lower sails) only, with her topmasts sent down. At the peak of the gaff she flies English colours over an indeterminate white flag with a red central element.

National Maritime Museum



after 1809


oil on canvas mounted on board


H 46 x W 61 cm

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