The Battle of The Saints, 12 April 1782

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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The Battle of The Saints, 12 April 1782. This picture still has its original Naval Gallery 'tablet' labels, the one at the top of the frame naming the donor to Greenwich Hospital as William Tennant of Staffordshire, 1829. It is one of two presented as a pair, of which the other is of Rodney's 'Moonlight Action of 1780 off Cape St Vincent, against Langara's Spanish fleet' (BHC0429). The gift is recorded in the first volume of GH Commissioners' minutes after the Hospital's change of governance in 1829: 'Read a letter from the Governor (Admiral Sir Richard Keats)... that William Tennant Esq. had desired, through him, to present to the Naval Gallery of the Hospital, two large sized original Paintings by Paton, descriptive of Lord Rodney's actions; one of the defeat of the French Fleet on the 12th of April 1782, when the Compte de Grasse was made Prisoner – the other of the defeat and capture of Don Juan de Langara on the 16th January 1780'. The Board ordered thanks to be extended to the donor and the pictures placed in the Gallery. The Saints picture does not appear in the last edition of the Naval Gallery catalogue (1922), so was then hanging elsewhere, and until 2011 a duplicate record of it on the Hospital database, and the fact that Paton engraved both this image and another of the Saints which appears to be its compositional pair, caused some confusion that there might be a third unlocated canvas. The minute above makes it clear, however, that Tennant only present two paintings and that both came to the Museum as part of the original Greenwich Hospital loan arrangement of 1936.

National Maritime Museum



The Battle of The Saints, 12 April 1782


mid-18th C–late 18th C


oil on canvas


H 101.5 x W 143.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

National Maritime Museum (Greenwich Hospital Collection)

Work type



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