Liverpool on the River Mersey

Liverpool on the River Mersey

Robert Salmon, signed, 1809

William Parr, who later became partners with Robert Bagott, owned these vessels, including the center ship and the brigs Betsy to the left and Phoenix on the right. The world was a dangerous place in 1809, when French and Spanish privateers and naval vessels roamed, ready to snap up unprepared merchant ships. Indeed, Betsy had been taken from the French.

The unknown ship-rigged vessel in the center is powerfully armed, 8 guns to the side. She is probably a privateer, a privately armed vessel licensed to take prizes.

Salmon’s knowledge of the details of seafaring is exemplified here. Liverpool is laid out carefully, something common in his paintings. Shipboard activity is precise and accurate down to the goat aboard Phoenix to provide milk and eventually fresh meat. Phoenix  was American built in 1801.

Database ID: 
Robert Salmon