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BELIEVED TO BE
HMS AMELIA CAPTURING THE FRENCH PRIVATEER JUSTE
1768 - 1842
Oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches
Framed size 23 ½ x 27 ½ inches
Born in the Isle of Wight on 5 May 1768, Buttersworth became a seaman painter, who enlisted aboard His Majesty’s Receiving Ship ‘Enterprise’, which was moored off the Tower of London in 1795. He subsequently joined the ‘Caroline’, a new frigate fitting out for sea at Deptford, and was rated an able seaman at the age of twenty-seven. The following November he was appointed a master-at-arms and in 1800 a midshipman. That same year he was invalided at Minorca and sent home. Nothing more is known of his naval service but the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich has a number of large watercolours of the Battle of St. Vincent 1797, and of the subsequent inshore blockading squadron off Cadiz. There are also Mediterranean subjects dated 1800, 1799 and 1797, which must have been done out there.
Although Buttersworth was already painting, being invalided out of the Navy must have been the spur for him to become a professional artist.
He only exhibited one painting at the Royal Academy in 1813, and one painting at the British Institution in 1825.
Buttersworth also painted Queen Victoria’s visit to Edinburgh in 1842.
He was a very prolific and fine quality painter who understood the ships he painted.
Thomas Buttersworth died in London in November 1842.
Works Represented: City Art Gallery, Plymouth; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; The United States Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, U.S.A.; The Peabody Museum of Salem, U.S.A.; Mariners’ Museum, Newport, U.S.A.; Library of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; The Maritime Museum, Venice.
Bibl: Dictionary of Sea Painters- E.H.H. Archibald
Proserpine was a 38-gun Hébé-class frigate of the French Navy launched in 1785 and captured by HMS Dryad on 13 June 1796. The Admiralty commissioned Prosperine into the Royal Navy as the fifth rate, HMS Amelia. She spent 20 years in the Royal Navy, participating in numerous actions in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, capturing a number of prizes and serving on anti-smuggling and anti-slavery patrols. Her most notable action was her intense and bloody, but inconclusive, fight with Aréthuse in 1813. Amelia was broken up in December 1816.
During a dark and stormy night on 5 February 1801 Amelia captured the French privateer brig
Juste of St Malo. It was so dark that the two vessels did not see each other until the brig ran into the Amelia, which cost the brig her foremast and bowsprit. Juste, with 14 guns and 78 men under the command of Jean Pierre Charlet, had been out from Lorient for 30 days without making a capture. A prize crew brought Juste into Plymouth on 10 February, and Amelia returned on 21 February.
|Height||20.00 inch||(50.80 cm)|
|Width||24.00 inch||(60.96 cm)|
|External Height||23.50 inch||(59.69 cm)|
|External Width||27.50 inch||(69.85 cm)|
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