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The Bombardment of Algiers - A Pair of Proof Engravings, 1816
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The Bombardment of Algiers - A Pair of Proof Engravings, 1816

Measurements: Each overall: 51cm (20in) x 66cm (26in)

£1850

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Stipple and etching. Engraved by T. Sutherland after the paintings T. Whitcombe - ‘The Bombardment of Algiers, Augt. 27th 1816. / Dedicated to Adml. Lord Exmouth. G.C.B. Rear Adml. Sir D. Milne, K.C.B., the Captains, Officers, Seamen and Marines, - / The Royal Sappers and Miners, Royal Marine Artillery, & Royal Rocket Corps, on Board His Majesty’s Fleet, who so Nobly sustained the Honour of the British Flag on that glorious occasion / By their Humble. & Devotd. Servt. Jas. Jenkins’ - ‘Publifhed Novr. 1st 1816. by J. Jenkins, No. 48 Strand, London’. Framed and glazed.
 
The Bombardment of Algiers (1816) was an Anglo-Dutch attempt to end the slavery practices of Omar Agha, the Day of Algiers. It was commanded by the Lord Exmouth and was part of a wider campaign also waged by the U.S. Navy to suppress the piracy against European Christians by the North African Barbary states. Admiral Lord Exmouth attempted to negotiate with the Dey of Algiers over the ransom of Christian slaves. When the talks broke down and there seemed every likelihood that the mob would murder him and his embassy he returned to England. Soon word was received that a massacre of two hundred and ninety Christians - mostly fishermen from southern Europe - had violated the Congress of Vienna truce, and Exmouth was sent back to Algiers with seventeen ships and with his flag in the Queen Charlotte 100-guns  (Captain James Brisbane) to enforce the great powers wishes. His force was supplemented by six Dutch frigates. On 27 August he started to bomb the town’s strong fortifications and after using a tremendous amount of shot finally silenced the batteries and destroyed the Algerian fleet. His victory enabled the release of almost three thousand Europeans and allowed the great powers and the Americans, who had also been fighting the Algerians, to dictate terms to the Dey and abolish Christian slavery. Casualties on the British side were relatively high 128 killed and 690 wounded (16 percent killed or wounded) - British casualties at Trafalgar were only 9 percent.
 
 
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