- Museum number
- Object: The British tar at Omoa
The storming of the fort of Omoa in the Bay of Honduras by British sea and land forces on 16 Oct. 1779. A British sailor has just entered the fortifications from a ladder (l.) up which two soldiers with fixed bayonets are climbing. He holds a cutlass in each hand, offering one to a Spanish officer who is unarmed and incompletely dressed, wearing a nightcap, one leg being bare, and his stocking ungartered. The sailor says "Damn your Eyes, Don, take your Choice!"; the Spaniard answers "Ah Misericordia Segnor Inglese! me beg to be excused". In the foreground British troops with fixed bayonets advance towards Spaniards who flee in disorder, holding up their hands in alarm. The Spanish flag has been hauled down, and is under the feet of the British sailor; above it flies the Union Jack. A British ship (l.) is firing at the fort. 1 January 1780
- Production date
Height: 249 millimetres
Width: 352 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
This incident attracted great attention at the beginning of 1780. An English sailor, having scrambled over the wall, a cutlass in each hand, met a Spanish officer just roused from sleep who had forgotten his sword; the sailor therefore gave him one of his cutlasses, saying "he scorned any advantage; you are now upon a footing with me". 'Ann. Reg.' 1780, p. 214. See also Walpole, 'Letters', xi. 79-80, and BMSat 5624.
Has some resemblance to the manner of Gillray.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number