Joseph Newington Carter: The loss of the Scarborough Lifeboat Amelia, 1865Joseph Newington Carter: The loss of the Scarborough Lifeboat Amelia, 1865

Joseph Newington Carter: The loss of the Scarborough Lifeboat Amelia, 1865

£ 3,850.00






Framed Height: 22 inches (56cm) Width: 30 inches (72cm)

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This dramatic watercolour shows only the bow and the stern of Amelia as she is perilously close to being dashed against the sea wall with a wave completely swamping her amidships. Some of her crew have been washed out of the boat and would-be rescuers are wading along the promenade towards her bow. To her right, the schooner Coupland is rolling dangerously in huge waves. Scarborough Spa and crowds of onlookers are clearly visible through the storm. Signed J.N.Carter, 1865, Torquay. English, painted in 1865.

The attempted rescue of the schooner Coupland by the lifeboat Amelia on November 2nd 1861 is one of the most memorable and tragic in Scarborough lifeboat history. The 32 ft. long, ten-oared, self-righting Amelia, on her maiden voyage, went to the rescue of the Coupland crew, with disastrous results. She was dashed to pieces against the harbour wall and two of the crew were lost, while others had to swim or be pulled ashore by rescuers wielding ropes. Three of the shore based rescuers, Lord Charles Beauclerk, William Tindall and John Hiles, also lost their lives. Eight Board of Trade Medals for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea were awarded along with six RNLI medals and monetary grants. 

Joseph Newington Carter (1835-1871) was influenced by W. M. Turner and is known predominantly for his dramatic and compelling seascapes in oil and watercolour. His father, Henry Barlow Carter, was a seascape painter who exhibited several times at the Royal Academy and ran a drawing school in Scarborough. Henry Vandyke Carter, Joseph’s elder brother, illustrated editions of ‘Gray’s Anatomy’. Joseph was a pupil of and exhibited at the Royal Academy where his reputation was considerably enhanced when the Prince of Wales purchased two of his marine landscapes. He joined his family when they moved to Torquay in 1862, five years after the death of his mother, but his promising career was cut short when he died aged 36. It is well documented that his sister added ‘Torquay’ to his paintings posthumously, probably to emphasise the rise in the family’s fortunes and status. 

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