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Naval General Service Medal, Clasp '12 October 1798' To A Seaman, Hms Anson For Sale
Naval General Service Medal, 1793-1840, one clasp '12 Octr 1798' named to William Thomas.
Correct style of naming in deep indented Roman capitals.I have carefully examined the attachment of the clasp to the medal and there are no signs whatsoever of it having been tampered with.
Thereare two men of this name on the medal roll for this clasp,one anAble Seaman and the other an Ordinary Seaman. One served on HMS Canada (the flagship) and the other on HMS Anson. It would appear from the roll that this medal is the one awarded to the man serving on HMS Anson. There is a note beside this man's name on the roll which reads "duplicate prepared", but I think it highly unlikely that both men survived to 1849 to claim their medals and I amquite sure the other medal mentioned was never issued.
Provenance - the medal was sold at Christies, Londonin February 1982, and subsequently sold by Hamiltons of Glasgow the following year.
The Battle of Tory Island was a naval action of the Napoleonic Wars, fought on 12 October 1798 between French and British squadrons off the northwest coast of Donegal in Ireland. The last action of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the Battle of Tory Island ended the final attempt by the French Navy to land substantial numbers of soldiers in Ireland during the war. In May 1798 the Society of United Irishmen, led by Theobald Wolfe Tone, rose against British rule in Ireland. At therequest ofthe rebels a small French force was landed at Killala, but by early September both this expedition and the rebellion had been defeated. On 16 September, unaware of this defeat the French despatched 5,000 reinforcements. However the Royal Navy was on alert and when the squadron carrying the reinforcements left Brest they were soon spotted. After a long chase by a squadron of nine ships led by Commodore Sir John Borlase Warren in his flagship HMS Canada, the French were brought to battle in a bay off Donegal close to Tory Island. During the action the outnumbered French attempted to escape, but were run down and defeated piecemeal, with the British capturing four ships and scattering the survivors. HMS Anson, in company with HMS Kangaroo captured the French frigate Loire. Of the ten ships in the original French squadron, only two frigates and a schooner reached safety. British losses in the campaign were minimal. It is interesting to reflect that this was the last serious attempt to invade Britain until the Battle of Britain in 1940
HMS Anson, one of the nine Royal Navy ships which took part in the action was a 44 gun frigate of 1781. Of the total of 79 clasps claimed for this action only 7 were to HMS Anson, the remainder of her crew would probably have died before the medal was issued.
As a footnote, HMS Anson was wrecked in a stormon Loe Bar, near Porthleven in Cornwall in December 1807. Many of the sailors drowned in the wreck were washed onto the sandbar and were buried unceremoniously in unconsecrated ground in sand dunes nearby. This so scandalised a local solicitor Thomas Grylls and the local MP that it led tothe Burial of Drowned Persons Act of 1808 (The Grylls Act). Amonument to this act and the wreck ofHMS Anson still stands near the site. In addition Henry Trengrouse of Helston witnessed the wreck and was so distressed by the loss of so many lives so close to shore that hewas moved to invent the Rocket Life Saving Apparatus which bore his name and was still used for inshore rescues up to the time of the introduction of air-sea rescue helicopters.
NB - Picture 5, HMS Anson in action, is copyright Tom W. Freeman, 1994
On 28-Feb-13 at 21:44:35 GMT, seller added the following information:
I have managed to obtain the original medal news advertisement by A.D.Hamilton of Glasgow in which the medal was advertised, and from which it was purchased by the previous owner. This is shown at picture 6.
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Naval General Service Medal, Clasp '12 October 1798' To A Seaman, Hms Anson: $1,561