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Large Sailor's Woolwork Picture of a Ship- HMS Hero.

Sailor's Woolwork Picture of a Ship,

HMS Hero,

Circa 1870.

(Ref: ny9083-pan)

A large starboard side view of a fully-dressed ship sailing on a white-capped sea.

Dimensions: 25 1/2 inches x 35 1/2 inches wide

This ship was the fourth to be named "Hero".  It was a screw-propelled 91-gun second-rate. launched in 1858 and sold 1971.

On July 1860 the Prince of Wales embarked on board HMS Hero [Albert Edward (Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, and the future King Edward VII), was then 19 years of age, and en route to Newfoundland, Canada and the United States. He was the first member of the British royal family to visit North America.

In 1860 the Queen intended to pay a visit to Canada to open a new bridge over the St. Lawrence River and lay the first stone of the Federal Parliament building in Ottawa. At the age of forty-one, stress prevented her from travelling.

Prime Minister Lord Palmerston suggested that Bertie could represent the Queen in the Canadian trip. Victoria and Albert had some doubts about whether Bertie could rise to the occasion but at last, it was decided that he should go.

On July 10, 1860, Bertie boarded the HMS Hero for Canada. On July 23, the ship arrived to Terranova. The Prince of Wales and his party travelled around Canada (Terranova, New Scotland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick).

By the second week of August, the HMS Hero sailed up the St. Lawrence River and anchored in Quebec. The Prince was successful with Canadian society; he visited Quebec and Montreal presiding over several public acts. In Ottawa he laid the first stone of the Parliament building.

When he visited Niagara Falls, he watched the French acrobat Blondin walk across by tightrope He invited the Prince to cross back with him over the Falls but was prevented by Bruce.

Bertie then visited the United States following an invitation by President James Buchanan. In Washington, the President organised a reception at the White House in Bertie's honour. When he visited New York, the Prince was acclaimed by the crowd. His American journey was a great success. President Buchanan wrote to Queen Victoria: "He (Bertie) has faced a very difficult task for a person his age, and his behaviour in all this has been that of his age and position. He has shown himself honourable, frank and affable and he won the respect of the sensible and wise people". At the end of the journey, Bertie had gained maturity and self-confidence.

Prince Albert refused to believe in Bertie's success. To him, the joyful acclamations of the Americans and Canadians were not really for Bertie but a sign of loyalty to the Queen.

Nellie Clifden

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