The Good Ship Waterloo

The Good Ship Waterloo

Apr 13 , 2022

Borrowing a classic East India Company commissioned painting by William Huggins, a typically heroic image of a merchant ship Waterloo, shown off Whampoa Island c.1820.

Traders from India, Arabia and Europe were required to keep their ships off Whampoa, while smaller ‘state-owned’ crafts ferried goods to and from the Thirteen Factories area off Guangzhou, allowing the Chinese to keep tight control of trade.

Whilst Huggins had a successful career first as seaman and then as a London-based artist, boasting an exhibition at the RA, the good ship Waterloo was less fortunate.

Having survived an early mutiny attempt, she was wrecked with the loss of all crew, at Table Bay off Cape Town on her unlucky 7th voyage in 1842 - the fate of many intrepid pioneers.