The Bombay Castle was one of the eight 'Elizabeth' Class of "74's" designed by Surveyor Slade in 1766. Originally called Bombay but subsequently renamed Bombay Castle, she was built by Perry on the Thames at Blackwall where her keel was laid in June 1780, during the War of American Independence. Launched on 14th June 1782, by which time that War was nearly over, she was paid for by the East India Company but was not, as is sometimes stated, a conversion from an East Indiaman. Measured at 1,612 tons and 168½ feet in length, her main armament consisted of 28-32pdrs. on her gundeck with 28-18pdrs. on her upper deck and 9pdrs. fore and aft.
Coming into her own when the war with Revolutionary France began in 1793, her first major action was the indecisive encounter with the French fleet off Hyères on 13th July 1795 after which she should have made a valuable contribution to any fleet she served with had she not been wrecked off the mouth of the Tagus whilst inbound for Lisbon on 21st December 1796. Although under the command of a local pilot, she was swept off-course whilst trying to avoid a storeship in difficulties ahead of her and she grounded on shoals. Despite strenuous efforts to save her, including unshipping two of her masts and lowering most of her yards, she could not be got off and was finally abandoned a week later.
It is obvious from the number of pictures extant that another contemporary artist, Thomas Buttersworth, was also familiar with the Bombay Castle from his time with the blockading squadron off Cadiz as he painted several versions of her wreck as well as a number of views of her prior to her loss.