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HMS 'Pique' in a Gale during Her Return to England

Photo credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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This painting is one of a series of four in the same frame, recording an incident involving HMS 'Pique' after she went aground on rocks at Point Forteau, in the Straits of Belle Isle, whilst patrolling off Labrador. Several days later she was again caught in a gale and strong seas struck the rudder, already weakened by the first incident, and tore it from the stern post. The ship was then steered for 1,400 miles without a rudder and was able to return to England in October 1835. The painting shows the ship in distress in one of the gales she experienced on her journey home to England, perhaps off the coast of France. Her flags fly upside down as she calls for help. She eventually returned safely, when her captain was tried at Court Martial at Portsmouth Harbour in October 1835, but found not guilty of damage to the ship.

National Maritime Museum



HMS 'Pique' in a Gale during Her Return to England


mid-19th C–late 19th C


oil on panel


H 24 x W 34.5 cm

Accession number


Work type



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National Maritime Museum

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