The Bombardment of Algiers, 27 August 1816 (study), ca. 1836
Oil on canvas
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England
On August 27, 1816, a British naval squadron under the command of Admiral Sir Edward Pellew arrived in Algiers, seeking the release of the British Consul, who had been detained, and over 1,000 Christian slaves, many being seamen taken prisoner by the so-called Barbary pirates, who had plagued European commerce in the Mediterranean for years. No reply came, so the fleet bombarded Algiers, one of several such attacks that eventually broke the power of the pirates.
This painting has nothing at all to do with any act of piracy against the United Kingdom that may or may not have been undertaken this evening by parties that shall remain nameless. And now I'm off to watch the new Doctor Who special.