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Portrait of Captain Hartwell, R.N. - English School
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Portrait of Captain Hartwell, R.N. - English School

Circa 1780

Measurements: Overall: 34cm (13.5in) x 30cm (12in)



Pastel on board. Head and shoulders portrait wearing powdered and undress uniform coat. Inscribed verso ‘Capt Hartwell / Lieut - Governor of / Greenwich Hospital.’ Contained in a period gilt wood frame bearing the trade label of W. Cribb of 34 King Steeet, Covent Garden.

Captain Broderick Hartwell (fl.1725-1784) was commissioned Lieutenant on 12 June 1741 and spent some time in 1746 aboard the 50-gun Gloucester, sharing in the spoils of her capture of a Spanish register ship. He was promoted Commander  in 1757 and was given the sloop Cruizer, 8-guns in the Downs through to the end of the year before joining Porcupine 16-guns. During the autumn of 1758 he commanded the frigate Lizard (28-guns) on a temporary basis off Brest under the orders of Captain Hugh Palliser of the Shrewsbury (74). In the company of that vessel and the Unicorn (28), Captain Thomas Graves, he distinguished himself by placing his frigate between part of a convoy and its escort, consisting of two French frigates. This manoeuvre allowed one of the frigates, Calypso, to be driven ashore and destroyed in Audierne Bay, whilst many of the coasters were snapped up by the squadron. Shortly afterwards, on 2 October, he captured the privateer Duc d’Hanovre (14).

On 18 October 1758 Hartwell was posted captain of the Neptune (90), flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Saunders, and after going out to North America in February 1759 he served at the capture of Quebec. Returning to Europe he flew Saunders’ flag aboard the Neptune in the Mediterranean until she was paid off in 1762, barring a short time during 1760 when they were aboard the Thunderer (74). He then commanded the Blenheim (90) under Saunders, which vessel was brought out to the Mediterranean by Captain James Cranston in May 1762.

During the Falkland Islands dispute of 1770 he commissioned the new Trident 64 in October but left her shortly afterwards. 1774 saw him appointed to the Boyne 70, serving in North American waters from the autumn, and joining Vice-Admiral Samuel Graves in his largely unsuccessful attack upon the rebel privateer base of Falmouth on 17 October 1775. He returned home in March 1776 carrying Major-General John Burgoyne as a passenger. Hartwell next rejoined the Blenheim (90) recommissioning her in March 1777 and being present in the Channel Fleet retreat of August 1779. He accepted a less onerous position aboard the Plymouth guardship Cambridge (80) in the early part of the following year, and remained with her through to 1781 as flag-captain to Vice-Admiral Lord Shuldham, whose flag he had briefly flown aboard the Blenheim. After leaving this vessel he accepted the position of Lieutenant-Governor of Greenwich Hospital.