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1. From Catalogue des Peintures de Marine: Musée Maritime de l'Ile Tatihou, 2008. 16¾ x 31½. Evidently unsigned.

8th April 1740

"The Princessa, a Spanish war, having sixty-eight guns and six hundred men, happened to fall in with the Lenox, on board of which was commodore Maine, the Kent, captain Durell, and the Orford, lord Augustus Fitzroy. The Spanish ship was high built, and thereby possessed the advantage of being able to fire her lower tier of guns in bad weather. She was larger than our first-rates, her guns of an uncommon size, and most of them brass. She was esteemed one of the finest vessels in the navy of Spain. The action began about eleven in the morning, and was maintained with great firmness, though with a cool and deliberate valour, until a quarter after five in the afternoon, when the Spanish captain¹ struck to lord Augustus Fitzroy. When she was brought into Portsmouth, her strength, and the appearance of the slaughter which had been made among her crew, testified the obstinacy of the combat. Captain Durell had one of his hands shot away in the action. She was taken off Cape Finisterre."

¹ Don Parlo Augustino de Gera. This action happened on the 8th day of April.

From The Naval History of Great Britain, Book VI, Chap II, p.115, by Frederic Hervey.

Several Versions

First posted in 2002, this page is now, July 2013, revised, as the previous information seemed garbled. The proliferation of versions now mount up to ten, not counting the print. Clearly, Monamy's most popular subject. It must have kept the lazy old fellow busy during 1740 and 1741, his sixtieth year. Not all, of course, were painted in these years.

It's difficult to tell what the sequence of production of these canvases might have been. The numbers given here are arbitrary, supplied for ease of reference. A couple of the images may be duplicated. Check them.

2. 15 x 19½. No signature currently noted, although reported above. NMM. BHC0357

3. 25¼ x 30¼. Southampton City Art Gallery. Purchased 1950. Titled "The Princesa Action".

4. Auctioned Phillips, 20 May 1980; 25 x 30; signed. Noted as bought by Hickinbottom, Jersey.

5. Measurements unknown. Print from negative number A/975 - 985. Obtained from NMM circa 1980
The existence of this negative is a real puzzle. Did the NMM once possess two versions of this painting?

6. Auctioned at Phillips, December 1984; 18½ x 35; unsigned. Hand-written note by Mr Cockett.

7. 25 x 30. Photograph negative 520343 from Phillips. Reproduced in Société Jersiaise, 1981.
Compare with version in Walker's Monthly, February, 1936. See below.

8. 25 x 30: from Walker's Monthly, Feb 1936

9. miniature version; paired with san joseph

The Line Print

P.Monamy Delin.           Publish'd according to Act of Parliament           N.Parr Sculp

The taking of the Princessa a Spanish Man of War,
April 8, 1740, by his Majesties Ships the Lenox, Kent, and Oxford.

N.B. The Princessa had 68 guns Mounted but was capable of Mounting 86. Her breadth by the Beam, is 50 foot 4 Inches, which is four Inches broader than our first Rates; 152 foot by the Keel, which is two foot longer than our first Rates; 166 foot 3 Inches on the Gun Deck, & draws 26 foot Water abaft and 23½ before which is a great deal more than our first Rates draw. She had 600 Men on board, 200 of whom were killed. Her Commander was an Old experienced Officer & bravely fought the Ship for 6 hours.
-------- London Printed for Bowles & Carver No 69 St Pauls Church Yard, & Robert Wilkinson No 58 Cornhill

"Oxford" is a careless misprint for "Orford". N.Parr is Nathaniel Parr.

Same print as above, with different hand-colouring, photographed in b/w. Photograph from Messrs Parker.

10. yet another representation of this action
presumably copied from the print

street ballad of the princesa
battles pre 1704
battles 1704 to 1739
battles post 1739
battles: introductory

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