Established 1976  


Gallery: Catalog: Details List 108-22

Rapin / Tindal, An Exact Drought Of The Bay And Harbour Of Vigo... 14 x 18. Colored. VG. Another episode in the dynastic War of Spanish Succession in which the British destroyed a Spanish squadron and 24 French ships-of-the-line on October 12, 1702. $450.00

Combined operations led by the Duke of Ormond and Admiral Rooke, who redeemed their failure at Cadiz by an overwhelming victory at Vigo Bay where the Spanish Treasure Fleet was sheltering. This feat allowed them to "sustain the Treasury and appease Parliament" as Churchill put it (History of the English Speaking Peoples / Age of Revolution, pp. 43-44). The welcome addition to the Treasury amounted to two million pounds, according to DuPuy & DuPuy, "perhaps the largest [booty] ever taken in action." (Encyclopedia of Military History, p. 625.)

The actions of Sir Cloudseley Shovell are noted in a caption. Apart from Vigo Bay, Shovell ably participated at Barcelona in 1705, and the capture of Gibraltar in 1704. Sadly, the wreck of his flagship with other vessels at the Scilly Islands in 1707 resulted in his death and that of nearly 2000 seamen. This tragedy, one of many such, led Parliament in 1714 to offer prizes, depending on accuracy, up to the princely sum of 20,000 to anyone who solved the problem of the longitude (An Act for Providing a Publick Reward to such Person or Persons as shall Discover the Longitude at Sea) a story familiar to anyone who has read Dava Sobel's Longitude.

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