Battle of the First of June | Lord Howe's Action - (Chevron History series) - Framed Print - 12"H x 16"W
Battle of First of June | Lord Howe's action - (Chevron History series) - Framed Print - 12"H x 16"W
The Glorious First of June (also known in France as the Bataille du 13 prairial an 2 or Combat de Prairial) of 1794 was the first and largest fleet action of the naval conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars.
Lord Howe's action, or the Glorious First of June is a 1795 painting by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg of the victory of British naval forces under Lord Howe over a French force led by Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse on the Glorious First of June 1794.
In the centre are the two flagships are depicted fighting each other; HMS Queen Charlotte is to the left and Montagne to the right
The pair did engage during the battle, but never in the broadside position shown in the painting, and Queen Charlotte only lost her fore-topmast whilst already well astern of the Montagne, rather than during a broadside engagement shown here. This wrongly makes it appear that Queen Charlotte dropped behind Montagne due to the loss of this mast and thus failed to capture her, and led to criticism of the painting by Lord Howe and by James Bowen (Howe's Master of the Fleet, and a hero of the battle) - Bowen commented that Queen Charlotte would have captured Montagne if such a broadside engagement as shown had occurred in reality and that the painting was thus a slur on the Queen Charlotte's honour.