Watercolour of Vice Admiral Bulkely Mackworth-Praed, commanded HMS Crash in 1797
A particularly fine watercolour of Vice Admiral Bulkely Mackworth-Praed attributed to Walter Stephens Lethbridge (1771-1831). Mackworth-Praed wearing his naval blue coat with gold epaulettes. The painting sits in a fine glazed wooden box frame with ornate golden border. The frame made by the notable (1830s) London framer maker E.F.Watson, Piccadily.
Size with frame: 24cm x 22cm. Size of painting: 11cm x 11cm.
Note: Mackworth-Praed entered the navy on 21st September 1780, as a first-class volunteer on board the “Canada”. Shortly after, he joined the “Nonsuch” under Captain Truscott and remained on this ship until 1782. Between 1793 and 1786, Mackworth-Praed served aboard the following vessels as a midshipman, “Jupiter”, “Sybil”, “Soleray”, “Culloden”. He also served aboard “London”, “Romney” and “Princess Royal” (flag-ships of Rear-Admiral Goodhall) in the West-indies, Channel, and Mediterranean. During the occupation of Toulon, Mackworth-Praed was aide-de-camp to Rear-Admiral Goodhall, and also to Lord Hood. He was subsequently employed on the home station in “La Perle” and also the “Atlas.”
Having been promoted to Lieutenant in 1797, Mackworth-Praed took command of HMS Crash, the 12-gun Acute-Class gun-brig. In May 1798, whilst still commanding HMS Crash, he participated in operations overseen by Sir Home Popham against the Locks and sluice gates of the Bruges canal, being captured by the enemy shortly afterwards off the coast of Holland, and later escaping.
In August 1799, Mackworth-Praed was assigned command of the “Firm”, and spent two and a half years on that vessel, operating off the English coast. In July 1804, Mackworth-Praed was appointed to the Durham District of Sea Fencibles (patrolling the coasts of Great Britain against possible invasion by the French.
Following the disbandment of the Sea Fencibles in 1810, Mackworth-Praed was put on the reserved half-pay list, and in 1837 was placed on the retired flag officers list. In 1840, he was put back on the active list, and promoted to Vice-Admiral of the White in 1846. In 1850 Mackworth-Praed was made Vice-Admiral of the Red. Mackworth-Praed died on 15th October 1852 at his seat, Acton Castle, Nr. Marazion, Cornwall. He was 82.
Provenance: By family descent. Together with the painting are various copied documents relating to Mackworth-Praed, including a copy of his Last Will & Testament, and a letter from the family.
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