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A Midshipman’s View of Port Royal, Jamaica, 1857
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A Midshipman’s View of Port Royal, Jamaica, 1857

Measurements: Overall: 23cm (9in) x 29cm (11.5in)



Watercolour on paper mounted on card inscribed in the artist’s hand ‘Port Royal from the Harbour / Cecil S. Stanley / 1857’. Image: 12.5cm (5in) x 17cm (6.75in). Framed and glazed.

The present view of Port Royal was painted by Captain Cecil George Sloane-Stanley (1831-1891) while serving as mate of H.M.S. Intrepid, 6-guns, on the West Indies station. He previously served in the Crimean War and was in H.M.S. Albion when she was set ablaze in three places by the guns of the Russian Waif Battery at Sebastopol causing the loss over eighty officers and men. He subsequently transferred into H.M.S. Queen, 116-guns, and was frequently engaged with Russian defences until the fall of that place. Commissioned lieutenant in 1858, he afterwards served in Excellent at Portsmouth and Trafalgar, 90-guns, one of the last wooden line of battleships in the Channel Fleet. He was also the author of a well received account of his gunroom days - ‘Reminiscences of a Midshipman's Life. From 1850-1856’. His midshipman’s log is in the collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

The Royal Navy’s long-established dockyard at Port Royal was developed in the 1840’s as a coaling station to further serve the fleet in the Caribbean . The tower depicted centre left is presumed to be the storehouse with a clock tower that formed the centre piece of the establishment with the Port Admiral’s (later Commodore's) House and watch tower, originally built to counter the threat of privateers, adjacent. To the far right, the Dock Yard Guard parades on the shore line.The Royal Navy withdrew from its Jamaica station in 1905 and the dockyard closed. Many of the dockyard buildings (most of which were of timber construction) were subsequently demolished or destroyed (some in the 1907 Kingston earthquake, and others by Hurricane Charlie in 1951.