Royal Commonwealth Society : The Tweed in Colombo Harbour, 1888

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p>This beautiful oil on canvas painting by the marine artist Sidney Fever depicts the tea clipper The Tweed about to sail from Colombo Harbour on 8 April 1888. The Tweed began life as the armed paddle steamer Punjab, built in Bombay and launched in 1854.  In 1862, she was converted to a fully rigged sailing ship with the removal of her paddle and guns, and renamed The Tweed.  Sadly, this was to be the ship’s final voyage, for she was dismasted in a gale off Algoa Bay in July 1888, and broken up soon after.  The painting looks out across Colombo Harbour east-north-east from the Old Customs Sheds, with Tamil dockyard workers loading tea chests and other cargo into lighters. The harbour had been built between 1875 and 1883, providing safe anchorage behind its three breakwaters for approximately 50 ships.  During the final decades of the nineteenth century, the Great Ceylon Tea Trade, mainly shipped from Colombo, would replace the import of tea from China.</p> <p>See Janus record <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0115%2FRCMS%20365%2F5%2F24'>here</a></p>


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