Art Collections Online

Captain William Owen (1763-1822)

BRITISH SCHOOL, 19th century

Captain William Owen (1763-1822)

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 54.5 x 42.6 cm

Acquired: 1993; Gift; Miss Humphreys Owen

Accession Number: NMW A 2360

The son of a Montgomeryshire gentry family, Owen served in the Navy in India during the Seven Years War (1756-63), and lost his arm in a battle against the French in 1760. Unemployed when the war ended, he settled in Nova Scotia (now part of Canada). Back in the Navy again, he died in India in a drunken accident.

Comments (2)

Marc Haynes
24 October 2018, 13:32

Dear Mr van der Merwe,

Thank you very much for your comment, which I have brought to the attention of our Art department. I will notify you of their response when I receive it.

Best wishes,

Digital Team

Pieter van der Merwe (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich)
24 October 2018, 01:55
I placed the following comment on the Art Detective pages of Art UK in May this year: it would be good if you would acknowlegde there that it has been hoisted in, and to see your description of it amended accordingly as regards Owen's final substantive rank (commander) and the fact he is shown here in lieutenant's uniform between 1760 and 1767:

'Just to observe that 'Captain' was apparently only the sitter's courtesy title, since he was a lieutenant of 1758 ( he was born 1737) and only appears to have reached the substantive rank of Commander in 1777 in command of the sloop 'Cormorant', 14 guns, then died before going further. This portrait was also presumably painted between 1760 (when he lost his right arm) and 1767 since he appears to be in the 1748-67 lieutenants uniform.'

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