William John Huggins

The Hon. East India Co. ship 'Inglis', in two positions off Dover

Oil on canvas: 30.5(h) x 48.3(w) in /

77.5(h) x 122.6(w) cm

Signed and dated 1829

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BC 232



1781 – London – 1845


The Hon. East India Company ship Inglis in two positions off Dover


Signed and dated lower right: W.J.HUGGINS / 1820

Canvas: 31 x 49 ½ in / 79 x 126 cm

Frame size: 39 ½  x 56 ¼ in / 100.3 x 142.9 cm



Mr and Mrs Ian Cameron, The Old Rectory, Peasemore, Berkshire



William John Huggins served with the East India Company as a steward from 1812 to 1814 and painted many portraits of the Honourable Company’s ships. This work shows the Inglis in two positions off Dover. Probably named after Captain Nathaniel Inglis, whose exploits at the siege of Madras in 1758 were celebrated in the annals of the East India Company, the Inglis was built at Penang by Caleb Martin Taylor for Robert Hudson of Fenchurch Street, and launched on 22nd June 1811. She was a large merchantman of 1,312 registered tons, 133 ft in length with a 42 ft 9 in beam. Between September 1812 and May 1818 the Inglis made three round trips to China via India, under the command of her master, Captain William Hay. Captain Thomas Borradaile took her to China in 1819-20 and she continued trading to China via Bombay or Bengal until sold out of the East India Company’s fleet to Richardson Borradaile for £9,150 in 1834. The Inglis was in private trade to India and changed hands three more times until being reported wrecked in 1844.


1781 – London – 1845



William John Huggins began his career at sea, serving with the East India Company as a steward and assistant to the purser aboard the Provenance, which sailed for Bombay and China in December 1812, returning to England in August 1814. Shortly afterwards he set up as a marine painter in Leadenhall Street, near the East India Company offices.


Huggins specialised in ship portraiture and many of his works were engraved by his son-in-law Edward Duncan (1803-1882). He was popular with seafaring men and his large output forms a valuable record of ships in the early nineteenth century. Huggins exhibited at the Royal Academy 1817-44 and at the British Institution 1825-45. In 1836 he was made marine painter to the sailor-King William IV, who favourably compared his pair of paintings of the Battle of Trafalgar with the huge, ambitious Trafalgar by Turner now in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Huggins died in London in 1845.


The work of William John Huggins is represented in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; the Maritime Museum, Hull and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. 


MarineWilliam John Huggins