Although undated, this highly atmospheric painting of the aftermath of a severe storm may represent the violent tempest which struck Plymouth Sound during the night of 19-20 January 1817. The weather had been deteriorating all day on the 19th and, by nightfall, a southerly gale of great force was blowing. The only two vessels actually lost that night both foundered at about 4 o'clock on the morning of the 20th; one was a brig-sloop, H.M.S. Jasper, and the other a schooner, H.M.S. Telegraph. The protruding masts of the two wrecks seen off Drake's Island seem to match the rigs of Jasper and Telegraph. In the foreground, a frigate announces her distressed condition by flying an inverted red ensign and although the sky is clearing to indicate the worst is over, the scene would appear to mirror Plymouth Sound shortly after dawn on 20 January 1817.