The Elliott Collection focuses on the maritime history, land and seascapes recorded by 19th century army and navy officers who, as part of their service, were tasked with recording images of the island and its activities. In the days before photography, they were able to capture landscapes quickly and efficiently.
These recordings were vital for military planning and intelligence gathering as well as in the construction of the bases that were integral to the protection of the British Empire and its trade.
Their drawings, sketches and paintings were also visually appealing and often captured scenes well outside the military sphere. They give us a sense not only of the land and sea, but of how residents of Bermuda worked and interacted, and form a vital part of Bermuda’s historical narrative.
The artists include Thomas Driver, Gaspard Le Marchant Tupper, Michael Seymour and Admiral Sir Willoughby Lake. Their collective works reveal important events and activities, sailing, shipping and a changing Bermuda vista. These works were all created between 1816 and 1857 and are considered vital to Bermuda’s historical visual record.
Fay and Geoffrey Elliott entrusted this collection of over 200 watercolours to the Bermuda National Trust. It is held at the Bermuda Archives available for viewing by the Bermudian public. The dedication shown by the Elliotts in collecting early Bermuda watercolours has ensured that Bermudians will be able to bear witness to early Bermuda and our maritime heritage for generations to come.