DR John Sinclair
Dr. John Sinclair M.D. Assistant Surgeon, H.M.S. Excellent, Portsmouth, June 30th 1840
Watercolour on paper
H.M.S. is the Portsmouth naval gunnery school, and at this time consisted of a series of hulks in the Fareham Creek. On 25th October 1840 Dr. John Sinclair was thrown from a horse drawn gig between Southampton and Titchfield and died of his injuries. He was buried in the Portsmouth Garrison Chapel graveyard. The previous day he had won a raffle for a statue of Old Mortality and his Pony, based on the characters in the Sir Walter Scott novel of the same name. His parents erected the statue as a memorial, which can still be seen as part of Dumfries Museum in Scotland. Ubsdell painted portraits of officers on their ships. Some of these would later form the basis of The Royal Navy series of aquatints published by Ackermann, including No. 2 which shows Jane Austen’s brother Sir Francis Austen depicted as the Admiral.
(Chris Brindle Collection)