Watercolour heightened with white
30 x 45 cm
The schooner Eclipse was dispatched to the harbour at Opotiki to rescue Rev. Grace during the Maori Wars of 1865
Schooner Eclipse and An Incident in the Maori Wars
The schooner Eclipse played a central role in the Volkner Incident, a tragic event at Opotiki on the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, in 1865. She was ancillary to the principal naval vessel of the same name, HMS Eclipse, a barque rigged steam gunboat designed and built on the Thames for the bombardment of rebellious native populations.
Two missionaries had been taken prisoner by Maori insurgents: Rev Volkner was ritually murdered as revenge for an atrocity by British troops in the recent Second Taranaki War, leaving Rev. Grace as a captive. The Royal Navy gunboat steamed into the bay and dispatched the schooner Eclipse under the command of a Mr Levy to the harbour at Opotiki.
The rescue was straightforward, as the rebels had gone inland leaving Rev Grace unguarded. He reported that he had been well treated, and fed plenty of potatoes.
Frederick Garling arrived in Sydney in 1815 as a boy, when his father, Frederick, a London solicitor, was encouraged to emigrate to NSW by the Colonial office. He was appointed Crown solicitor of New South Wales. Garling Junior was one Australia’s first locally trained European artists. His principal subject matter and personal passion was for Maritime subjects although he was also an accomplished topographical artist. His love of ships was perhaps inspired by his childhood passage to Australia,1814-1815, which took ten months after the Francis and Eliza was captured by pirates off Madiera.
He spent his life in public service as an officer at the Customs House.