Watson And The Shark (1778), John Singleton Copley

At his death, Watson bequeathed the 1778 painting to Christ’s Hospital, with the hope that it would prove “a most usefull Lesson to Youth”.

Little did I know that the MFA version, which proved so useful to me in my own youth, was “a replica Copley made for himself.”

Not to worry, Brook Watson survived the attack depicted, and grew into this happy fellow:

Says the great Wiki article:

A verse penned by one of Watson’s political enemies poked fun at his ordeal (and perhaps at his abilities):

Oh! Had the monster, who for breakfast ate
That luckless limb, his noblest noddle met,
The best of workmen, nor the best of wood,
Had scarce supply’d him with a head so good.

Now, what does this have to do with the previous post? :

Three years later [Watson] was sent to supervise the expulsion of the Acadians from the Baie Verte area.

That’s in Havana harbor, btw.



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