To enquire about this item please enter your details below and we will contact you shortly.

(Your details will not be shared with any third parties)

Tick the box below if you would like to receive the Armoury of St James's Bulletin - a quarterly e-newsletter that showcases an exclusive selection of the latest military antiques offered at our premises in Piccadilly Arcade.

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
A Sixth Rate Frigate and H.M. Packet Duke of Montrose, 1806
Hover over image to zoom, click to expand.

A Sixth Rate Frigate and H.M. Packet Duke of Montrose, 1806

Measurements: Overall: 17.5cm (7in) x 23cm (9.25in)



Watercolour on paper. The Duke of Montrose with an armed cutter off her starboard quarter. Contained in period giltwood frame. Glazed.

In May 1806 the packet boat Duke of Montrose thwarted a French attempt to capture the Caribbean island of Dominica after a mutiny by the crew of the Royal Navy sloop of war, named Dominica, that was assigned to protect the island and the merchants’ sugar ships in Roseau Bay. The mutineers made for French Guadeloupe and reported the defenceless state of Dominica, causing the French to immediately mount an expedition against the British sugar island. In the absence of any larger French naval units, the mutineers were taken off the sloop and replaced with French sailors and troops. The British sloop was swiftly renamed Napoléon and set sail with a national schooner L’Impériale, a further sloop and couple of boats packed with stores and ammunition.

As the Dominica merchants gathered on the quay to watch the approach of the French ships, the Duke of Montrose and her escort the Archer-class gun brig H.M.S. Attentive made their timely appearance. The president of the island, General Dalrymple, immediately ordered Attentive to attack the French but the wretched sailing qualities that had induced the Admiralty to assign her to convoy duty in the first place, meant that she was unable to intercept. The preservation of the island now depended on Captain Bert Dyneley of His Majesty’s Packet Duke of Montrose.

However the ships of the Falmouth-based packet service though armed sailed under the orders of the Post Office with strict instructions to avoid engaging the enemy wherever possible. Dyneley, while prepared to risk his own life and that of his crew to protect the island, not unreasonably, requested that the merchants might cover the cost of any damage to his ship. This they flatly refused to do. Fortunately Dyneley’s patriotism prevailed over the miserly attitude of the merchants, and taking on board twenty-six men of the 46th Regiment and thirteen of the 3rd West India Regiment to serve as marines, he sailed into action. As he neared the most formidable of the French vessels,  the wind died, causing him to lower boats and tow his vessel into the attack, while Attentive occupied the attention of the Napoléon and the smaller vessels. When within pistol shot range, Dyneley opened fire with his eight guns. After a fight of three-quarters of an hour, the spectators on the shore saw the L’Impériale’s Tricolour being lowered and the Union Jack being hoisted in its place. Having taken possession of his prize, and with it the sword of the French General Hortard, Dyneley then immediately gave chase to the fleeing Napoléon which subsequently surrendered to the recently arrived H.M.S.Wasp.

On the Duke of Montrose’s return to England her commander was rewarded by the Admiralty with an honorarium of a 150 guineas and a handsome piece of plate from the Patriotic Society. At the end of 1806 the Duke of Montrose returned to the West Indies where after an unavoidable fight with a French privateer off Barbados, Dyneley was slain and his vessel taken as a prize.