English School, The Wreck of Sir Cloudesley Shovel's Flagship The Association

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
The Wreck of Sir Cloudesley Shovel's Flagship The Association
Stairs Leading To Second Floor And Landing
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 75 cm, Overall width: 171 cm
English School
Catalogue Number


On 22 October 1707 a British fleet commanded by Sir Cloudesley Shovell foundered in bad weather on rocks off the Isles of Scilly on the return from a mission during the War of the Spanish Succession. Four ships were lost, including Shovell’s flagship HMS Association. The entire crew, together with Shovell, drowned. Altogether, more than 1300 British seamen were lost, making it among the greatest maritime disasters in British naval history. Shovell’s body was eventually recovered from a makeshift grave on the beach and was interred in Westminster Abbey, commemorated by an imposing monument in the south choir isle. Oliver Millar, who inspected the picture at Doddington in 1952, noted, ‘Seapiece. Sir Cloudesley Shovell, wrecked off the Scillies; stormy picturesque scene, all rather fluent, watery and brown and freely painted.’1

Cole noted that the picture was brought to Doddington from the house of the Gunman family in Dover, Captain James Gunman having been first Lieutenant to Sir Cloudesley Shovell on board the Association. Gunman, however, avoided the shipwreck since he was in command of another boat in the fleet.

by Martin Postle


  1. Oliver Millar Notebook VIII, 191, Paul Mellon Centre Collection.


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