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JOY, William

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Biography / Statement

William Joy and his brother John Cantiloe Joy were from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and are described as "elusive personalities". Eccentric Army officer Captain G.W. Manby "discovered" them as artists and apparently saw them as illustrators who could help him sell his invention, a Life Saving Apparatus.

From his early experience of painting and drawing shipwrecks for Manby William Joy gained an enduring ability to depict stormy seas and skies, as seen in his spirited watercolour of Queen Victoria visiting HMS Victory.

On Trafalgar Day (October 21st) in 1844 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were travelling from their Isle of Wight home, Osborne, back to Windsor Castle via Portsmouth Dockyard, and decided en route to board the Victory in Portsmouth Harbour and tour her from the deck to the hold where Nelson had died in 1805.

As was customary to mark the death of Nelson during his moment of triumph over Napoleonís fleet at Trafalgar, the ship was crowned with laurel wreaths on its mastheads and on the deck at the spot where Nelson was shot down by a French sniper.