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Print made by Pierre Charles Canot, ca. 1710–1777
after Thomas Milton, active 1739–1756
shipping scene after John Cleveley the elder, ca. 1712–1777

Geometrical Plan of his Majesty's dockyard, at Sheerness

Materials & Techniques:
Line engraving on medium, moderately textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 22 1/8 × 28 11/16 inches (56.2 × 72.8 cm), Plate: 19 13/16 × 26 15/16 inches (50.4 × 68.5 cm), Image: 18 7/8 × 25 9/16 inches (48 × 64.9 cm)


Lettered within image, upper center: "A Geometrical Plan, Weft Elevation | Of His Majefty's Dock Yard and Garrison, at | Sheernefs, with the Ordnance Wharfe & c."; center left: extensive inscriptions of references to the plan; center: extensive inscriptions; center right: extensive inscriptions of references to the plan; lower center: "Part of the River Medway"; below: "To the Honble Lewis Monfon Watson | Knight of the Shire for the County of Kent, and | Auditor of the Impreft This Plate is | humbly Infcribed; by his most Obedient Servt,, Tho Milton."; below, left: "Tho. Milton Surv. et del. Publish'd according to Act of"; right: "Parliamt. 14 April 1755. Shipping by I. Clevely. P.C. Canot Sculp."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
cartographic materials | coat of arms | dockyard | flags | longboats | marine art | sailboats | ships | town | Union Jack
Associated Places:
England | Kent | Medway | Sheerness | Sheppey | Thames | United Kingdom
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IIIF Manifest:

One of a series of views of the six Royal Dockyards, which were by the mid-eighteenth century the world's largest industrial complex and the state's biggest investment. These engravings present the dockyards as orderly, efficient, and rational; each makes reference to the specific functions of the dockyard represented, which depended in part on location. In November 1750, when employed at the Deptford dockyard, John Cleveley wrote to the Navy Board (which oversaw the dockyards) to notify them that he had, “In Pursuance to your Order of the 28 of September,” traveled to Sheerness to make a drawing of the Amazon, “and also a sketch of that Port,” for which service he was paid 6s 8d per day; it is tempting to surmise that the sketch was made for the purpose of the dockyard views. In accordance with its function as a dockyard primarily used for ship repairs, the vignettes bordering the primary image in this print show methods of repair and upkeep, including a view of a ship “heaving down” at Port Mahon, the navy’s main base in the Mediterranean.

Gallery label for Spreading Canvas - Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting (Yale Center for British Art, 2016-09-09 - 2016-12-04)

Spreading Canvas - Eighteenth - Century British Marine Painting (Yale Center for British Art, 2016-09-09 - 2016-12-04) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Eleanor Hughes, Spreading Canvas : Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2016, pp. 207, 209-12, cat. 72, no. 72, ND 1373.G74 S67 2016 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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