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HMS Surprise by Geoff Hunt.


HMS Surprise by Geoff Hunt.

Captured French ship, rated fifth-rate. Though credited with 34 guns, this very small frigate might be better described as a corvette. Originally the French lUnite, she was captured by HMS Inconstant in April 1796 and is here seen arriving at Ajaccio. Renamed HMS Surprise, she served until 1802 but is now best known for her subsequent fictional career in Patrick OBrians novels. The Surprise was made famous by the writings of Patrick OBrian, in his books on the adventures of Captain Aubrey and the surgeon Maturin, described by the world famous writer as his favourite ship. The fabulous frigate was constructed in Le Havre as LUnite in 1794. It was a 24-gun corvette, armed with 8lb long guns. The British captured her in April 1796 in the Mediterranean, and her name changed to the HMS Surprise. She was re-armed and classed as a 28-gun ship. She actually carried 24 32 lb carronades on her main deck, 8 32 lb carronades on her quarter deck, and 4 6 lb long guns on her foredeck. French frigates were much sought after by the British, because of their manoeuvrability and speed. The streamlined design of the hull below the waterline meant that these frigates could out run most other ships. Her big moment came in October 1799 under the command of Captain Edward Hamilton for the daring rescue of the frigate Hermoine. The latters crew had mutinied, killing their commander and officers. The ship was surrendered to the Spanish, and was taken to the harbour at Puerto Cabello in modern day Venezuela. In trying to rescue the ship, the boats of the HMS Surprise was spotted and fired on by patrolling gunboats. They soldiered on, boarded the Hermoine, cleared the deck and sailed her out. Their losses were 12 wounded, whilst the Spanish suffered a loss of 216 wounded (including many dead) Captain Hamilton who led the rescue was knighted for his conduct, and the Hermoine restored to the British Navy.
Item Code : LA0011HMS Surprise by Geoff Hunt. - This Edition
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PRINT Signed limited edition of 750 prints.

Image size 10 inches x 13 inches (25cm x 33cm)Artist : Geoff Hunt65.00

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Artist Details : Geoff Hunt
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Geoff Hunt


Geoff Hunt

Geoff Hunt is one of the leading marine artists of his generation. After formal art school training, Geoff Hunt worked in marine publishing where he acquired a love of marine history. A member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists since 1989, and a Trustee since 1992, he was responsible for the RSMA's book A Celebration of Marine Art and The Tall Ship in Art. His work hangs in public and private collections around the world. There are 12 of his paintings in the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth.

More about Geoff Hunt

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