First Light Gallery
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Reuben Chappell – Earl of Latham of Liverpool


Earl of Latham of Liverpool

13.5″ x 20.5″. SOLD


More details about Reuben Chappell and Robert’s book on him ‘Pierhead Painter’ can be found here. As a bonus offer any purchase of these paintings will also include a free signed copy of the Robert Jones Reuben Chappell book.


ON91172; wooden three-masted schooner; built 1885 by Ferguson & Baird, Connah’s Quay; 132 tons gross; 94.5’ x 23.2’ x 10.4′; owned by G.T. Raynes; reg. Liverpool.

In this painting Reuben Chappell has depicted the Earl of Latham with reduced sail in stormy seas. The Eddystone Light is on the starboard side as the ship heads east up the channel after leaving the clay ports. On the distant horizon a tan sailed ketch-rigged boat is seen.

On 5th May 1915 the U-boat U2O, commanded by Kapitanleutnant Walther Schweiger, lay off southern Ireland primarily waiting for British troops ships and supply vessels heading from British ports to the Dardanelles. When the 132 ton schooner Earl of Latham was seen off Queenstown the ship was boarded and inspected by the German crew. The men aboard the unarmed schooner were ordered to leave in the ship’s boat, and the U-boat opened fire, sinking the sailing ship. The next day the U20 sank merchant steam ships Candidate; 6,000 tons, and Centurion; 5,495 tons, south of the Conibeg Lightship. On 7th May a large four-funnelled passenger liner was spotted. It was the Lusitania, which, when built in 1907, was the largest ship in the World and had won the Blue Riband for fastest transatlantic crossing several times. Having left New York on 1st May and crossed the Atlantic, she was in sight of the Coast of Ireland. The luxurious British Cunard-line ship was sailing under an American flag, and among the passengers were 128 Americans including the multimillionaire Alfred Vanderbilt. With one torpedo from the submarine the liner was hit and following the initial explosion there was a violent secondary blast. The Lusitania went down in 18 minutes, and of the 1,918 passengers 1,155 perished. This caused considerable anti-German feeling throughout the world, and public outrage in America. Although the event did not directly bring them into the war, it did create a climate of public opinion that would later allow America to enter the conflict in 1917.