WILLIAM EDWARD ATKINS
1842 – 1910
HM Troopship Serapis leaving Portsmouth Harbour
Frame size: 21 x 18¼ inches / 53.3 x 46.3 cm
Stock number: 820308/0818
A stern view of steam/sail HM Troopship Serapis built c.1866 heading out of Portsmouth Harbour on passage to India via the Suez Canal. Serapis was one of 5 Troopships, the other’s named Malabar, Euphrates, Crocodile and Jumna. They were ordered by the Indian Government and operated by the Royal Navy, painted white to deflect the summer heat and with the Star of India emblazoned on their bow’s. They were large enough to embark a Battalion and families but narrow enough to pass through the Suez Canal, thus saving a long passage around the Cape to India. They continued to operate for thirty years finally being withdrawn from service in 1896. The Serapis was used as a Royal Yacht for one trip 1875-76 for the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. Two paintings by Atkins of the Serapis dated 1876, with the Prince of Wales on board are in the collection of HM the Queen in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. Each ship had a different coloured line painted around their hull’s.