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The British tar at Omoa

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The British tar at Omoa
  • Description

    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 Etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1780
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 249 millimetres
    • Width: 352 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: "Pubd Jany 1. 1780 by W. H Strand."
  • 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.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 5623 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1780 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number




Image description



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Object reference number: PPA70756

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