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British naval forces engage the Taipings

Bedwell, Frederick Le Breton 'Engagement with the Tae-Ping rebels at Nanking, by Her Majesty's ships Furious, Retribution, Cruizer, Dove and Lee on the 20th of November 1858, during their passage up the Yang-Tse-Kiang. Conveying to Han-Kan his excellency the right honourable the earl of Elgin... H.M's minister plenipotentiary'. London lithographed by T. G. Dutton, published by Day & Son [1858?]
First edition Coloured lithographed print, 340 x 464 mm, on its original mount with caption, 480 x 740 mm Slight crease in lower side of mount. In a modern window mount.
Morrison II, p. 547

Although the British used force against the Chinese government to secure a commercial treaty, they had no wish to overthrow the government itself. Therefore, they chose not to support the Taiping rebels, who had captured Nanking in 1853, and were prepared to take action against them, as in this vividly depicted incident during the second Opium War. The artist was a British naval officer.