HERO OF CAMPERDOWN 
Admiral Adam Duncan, 1731-1804 : A Bicentenary Exhibition

19 June - 5 September 2004 

Camperdown House, 
Camperdown Park, 
Dundee, DD2 4TF

This special exhibition, funded by Dundee City Council's Common Good Fund, marked the Bicentenary of the death of Adam Duncan - Scotland's supreme Naval Hero - who was born in Dundee in 1731. Admiral of the British Fleet in the North Sea, he won a Glorious Victory over the Dutch Navy at the Battle of Camperdown on 11 October 1797. Immediately created Viscount Camperdown, his exploits were commemorated in a brilliant series of paintings and engravings of the actual battle and portraits of Duncan himself.

Many of these were being lent by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Museums of Scotland for this special exhibition. Among the treasures were personal Duncan relics such as the ship's drum from his flagship, the 'Venerable', and the bronze bell captured from de Winter's flagship, 'Vryheid'. Duncan even had chairs made from the wood from captured Dutch ships.

Other key exhibits included an oil portrait of Captain Duncan aged 30 by Sir Joshua Reynolds and numerous prints, colourful jugs, cameos and commemorative medals which were rushed out as souvenirs to capture the enthusiastic celebrations of the moment.

The fact that this exhibition was held in Camperdown House, where the Duncan family lived for three more generations, was another cause for rejoicing. Many of the 'Duncan relics' came from the collection of Lady Buckinghamshire, an avid Duncan enthusiast, who was the last occupant of the House.

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