Here Turner has produced a study of the four-masted barque The Columbus, which arrived off the south coast of England at the end of October 1824.1 She launched from the Isle of Orleans, Quebec, in July of that year, laden with over six thousand tons of timber bound for London. Having sprung a leak earlier in her voyage, she was hauled with the help of a fleet of pilots and steam tugs to Blackwall Reach in the East End of London. Turner pictures her moored at Blackwall in the present drawing with a ‘Whale Smack’ docked below, diminutive in relation to the freighter.2 The Columbus is depicted elsewhere in this sketchbook on Tate D18392, D18406, D18408; Turner Bequest CCX 49, 57, 58.
See catalogue entry for ‘The Columbus Captn Wm McKellar. As She Appears opposite the Folley House, Blackwall Reach’, Royal Museums Greenwich, accessed 24 February 2015, http://collections
.rmg and Ian Warrell, Turner’s Sketchbooks, London 2014, p.128. .co .uk /collections /objects /102536 .html
Warrell 2014, p.128.