Cf. Robin Reilly, Wedgwood, Volume II (1989), p. 460, pl. 731 for a black basalt plaque of Admiral Sir John Jervis, modelled by John De Vaere, and D. Gordon Pugh, Naval Ceramics (1971), pl. 33C for a similar medallion.
Admiral Sir John Jervis, Earl of St. Vincent (1735-1823) in 1788 Wedgwood first produced a portrait medallion of Jervis as part of a series titled Heads of Illustrious Moderns, as he was considered a great naval commander and also a important statesman. On the 14th February 1797 Jervis who was then Admiral and commander-in-chief of the British fleet in the Mediterranean, defeated a Spanish fleet although outnumbered and in honour was created Earl of St. Vincent. As a boy Jervis had run away from school to go to sea . In 1748 he served on board the Gloucester under Commodore Townsend. Seven years later he was promoted to lieutenant. In 1777 he engaged a French privateer off Cape Gata. In 1789 he led the advanced squadron in charge of transports past Quebec. He was promoted commander and appointed to the Porcupine. In 1760 he was promoted captain and in 1782 he was rewarded with a knighthood for his capture of Pegase a 74 gun vessel off Brest harbour while on command of the Foudroyant. Along with many naval victories Jervis was elected member of parliment for Launceston in 1783 and for Yarmouth the following year. In 1801 he was made First Lord of the Admirality, retiring in 1804 on the downfall of Addington's ministry. In 1806 Jervis compeleted his last navel engagement when he commanded the Channel fleet on an expedition to Portugal at the age of seventy-two.