Midshipman Augustus Brine

Artist: John Singleton Copley (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1738–1815 London)

Date: 1782

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Richard De Wolfe Brixey, 1943

Accession Number: 43.86.4


Augustus Brine (1769–1840) was the son of Admiral James Brine of the Royal British Navy, by his first wife, Jane Knight. At the age of thirteen, in 1782, Brine enlisted in the Navy as a midshipman aboard the "Belliqueux" under the command of his father. In 1790, he was made lieutenant and, eight years later, he became a commander. During the War of 1812, he commanded the "Medway" and successfully captured the American brig "Syran." He was named rear admiral in 1822. This portrait of young Brine was painted in 1782, seven years after Copley had arrived in England.