7 - 8 April 2004
SMYTH, Lieutenant William (1800-1877)
Settlement at Port Louis. Berkley Sound. E. Falkland Isds Jany 19. 1834
inscribed and dated 'Settlement at Port Louis. Berkley Sound E. Falkland Isds Jany19. 1834' below the subject
pencil and grey wash on paper
5¾ x 11 7/8in. (147 x 303mm.)
Anon. sale, Christie's, 16 July 1993, lot 134.
Smyth served as lieutenant on the Samarang, 28 guns, in the Pacific between 1831 and 1835. A veteran of Beechey's Pacific voyage of 1825-28, he would later serve on Back's North-West Passage expedition to the Wager River, managing the 'Royal Arctic Theatre' on the ship and producing drawings to illustrate the official account of the voyage. He was promoted to Commander on his return, captaining the Grecian, 16 guns, in South America (where he produced fine watercolours of Rio de Janeiro) and at the Cape of Good Hope, before retiring.
Smyth was in the Falklands just a year after the British had retaken the islands in January 1833. The French had first established a colony at Port Louis on Berkley Sound in 1763 and Argentina formed a penal settlement there in 1820. After the settlement mutinied and was subsequently destroyed by the Americans, the British returned, establishing a garrison and civilian settlement, hoisting the British flag at Port Louis on 3 January 1833.
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