Although unproven, this lot probably depicts an incident during the winter of 1811-12 when, on 24-25 December, the Baltic and North Seas were subjected to a series of severe storms resulting in the loss of several vessels of the Royal Navy. The 98-gun Second Rate H.M.S. St. George and the 74-gun Third Rate H.M.S. Defence were both sunk in separate tragedies whereas the loss of H.M.S. Hero off Texel on Christmas Day seems a much more likely subject for this dramatic work by Elmes. Hero was escorting a convoy of about thirty ships when she was caught by the weather; she herself sank with only twelve survivors from her crew of 530 and many of the other vessels with her were in serious difficulties before the storm finally abated.