Gallery

  • Sir Christopher Myngs, under whom Shovell served in the first years of his naval career. Flagmen of Lowestoft: Vice-Admiral Sir Christopher Myngs, 1625-66 by Peter Lely, RMG BHC2874.
  • Shovell and his wife Elizabeth bought an estate in Kent after Shovell’s appointment as MP. They called the estate May Place. May Place 1838, CTA Magazine. The May Place image is from: An Epitome of the County of Kent (1838) CTA
  • This plaque hangs in the Barnehurst Golf Club, which now stands where Shovell’s home of May Place Mansion once stood. Plaque Commemorating Sir Cloudesley Shovell in Barnehurst Golf Club, photo courtesy of Dennis Jarrett.
  • A few years later, Shovell had been named Admiral of the White, and led an attack on the Spanish port of Vigo with Admiral Rooke. They captured £1.750,000 worth of treasure, the largest naval prize of the day. The Takeing of Vigo by James Hulett, RMG Repro ID PU5186.
  • Queen Anne was so pleased with the victory that she had a special series of coins minted out of the captured Spanish silver with ‘Vigo’ written across the bottom. Vigo Coin, photo courtesy of Peter Daniel.
  • Two years later, Shovell and Rooke combined forces and captured the port of Gibraltar, which Britain still holds as a strategic harbour. Shovell was then promoted to Rear-Admiral of England, his highest honour. The Relief of Gibraltar, 29 August 1704, RMG Repro ID BHC0343.
  • Shovell’s final mission was to relieve the Duke of Savoy and lay siege to the port of Toulon in France, to protect Gibraltar. The mission was successful, and Shovell began the journey back to England. Map of the Siege of Toulon 1707.
  • While returning, Shovell had no indication of his fleet’s longitude, their east-west position. Because of this, the fleet navigated straight into the fatal rocks of the Scilly Isles just off Cornwall, and all but two ships were lost. Over 2000 sailors, including Shovell, his two stepsons, and his captain, died in the disaster. Sir Cloudisly Shovel in the Association with the Eagle, Rumney and the Firebrand, Lost on the Rocks of Scilly, October 22, 1707, RMG Repro ID 1034.
  • This map shows exactly where in the Scilly Isles Shovell’s ship, the Association, went down and where Shovell’s body was found. A Map of the Islands of Scilly. Shewing all the Rocks And Ledges, with the Soundings & Barings, And y e Exact Places wher e The Association Eagle Rumny, & Tierbrand was Lost. These Islands are In Number 53 and but 7 Of them Inhabited by Sidney Godolphin and Edmund Gostello, National Archives in Kew MPH 1/368.
  • In 1695, Shovell was named the naval MP for Rochester. His coat of arms can be seen today on a plaque outside the Rochester Guildhall. Plaque Commemorating Sir Cloudesley Shovell outside Rochester Guild Hall, photo courtesy of Peter Daniel.
  • 	Shovell was appointed Rear Admiral of the Red in 1692, and once again beat the French in the Battle of Barfleur. He was nearly killed in the battle, but systematically crushed the French cause to restore James II to the British throne. The Battle of Barfleur, 19 May 1692 by Ludolf Backhuysen, RMG BHC0331.
  • Under Myngs, Shovell learned the basics of sailing and naval policy. During their early voyages, they acted as privateers, seamen hired by the monarch in wartime to attack foreign ships. Pirates and Privateers, Look and Learn Magazine.
  • Shovell’s first major voyage under Sir John Narborough was to the Straits of Magellan, which Narborough had been told to map and report on. To the Honble. Sam: Pepys Esqr. This Mapp of the Streights of Magellan Drawn by Sr. Ion. Narbrough is humbly Dedicated by Sam Smith and Benj: Wallford by Sir John Narborough, Raremaps.com.
  • During the Four Days Battle against the Dutch fleet in 1666, Shovell famously swam amid the English ships with a message calling for reinforcements to deliver to the reserves. He successfully delivered the message, the English won the battle, and Shovell was called a naval hero. Young Cloudesley Shovel Swimming with Dispatches by W.H. Overend, CTA Magazine.
  • Several years later, Shovell served under Prince James, the Lord High Admiral, aboard the Royal Prince. The ‘Royal Prince’ Before the Wind by Jan Karel Donatus van Beecq, RMG BHC0976.
  • Between 1675 and 1676 he fought against the pirate stronghold at Tripoli under Sir John Narborough and helped negotiate a peace treaty. When the peace broke, and the pirates captured four English merchant ships and enslaved the crews, Shovell led a surprise attack on the pirates, burning and sinking a number of their ships. An English Ship in Action with Barbary Pirates by Willem Van de Velde the Younger, RMG BHC0893.
  • As a reward for his bravery and tactical prowess, Shovell received a gold medal from King Charles II worth £100. Gold medal given to Cloudesley Shovell by King Charles II.
  • After supporting King William III in his claim to the throne against James II in 1688, Shovell escorted King William to Carrickfergus in Ireland for the final conflict against James, the Battle of the Boyne. Carrek Fergus by Greenville Collins, RMG Repro ID F0237.
  • For his loyalty, King William knighted Shovell after the battle, making him Sir Cloudesley. William of Orange knighting Shovell aboard the Edgar by Michael Foreman.
  • After Shovell’s death, Queen Anne funded a massive memorial for him in Westminster Abbey. The Memorial of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, photo courtesy of Westminster Abbey Muniment Archive.