Date of Auction: 1st December 2004
Sold for £12,000
Estimate: £10,000 - £12,000
The Most Honourable Order of The Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s breast badge, 22 carat gold and enamels, hallmarked London 1815, maker’s mark ‘IN’, complete with wide swivel-ring suspension and gold ribbon buckle; Naval General Service 1793-1840, 1 clasp, Copenhagen 1801 (Chas. Plenderleath) the first with minor damage to a few petals of green enamel wreath and a small blemish to one reverse arm, the second lightly lacquered, otherwise extremely fine and very rare (2) £10000-12000
FootnoteEx Glendining, February 1953 (Lots 133 and 134). The small Army Gold Medal awarded to Plenderleath for the battle of Chrystler’s Farm was formerly in the David Spink Collection and now resides in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa.
Twenty-three medals were issued to the 49th Foot for Copenhagen, together with two to the Rifles and one to the Artillery. The 49th Foot, under Colonel Brock, together with two companies of the Rifle Corps, and a detachment of Artillery, were embarked aboard various ships of the fleet, under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, with Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson as second-in-command. It was during this engagement that Neslon famously ignored Parker’s signal of recall when, with his glass to his blind eye, he said, ‘I have a right to be blind sometimes... I really do not see the signal.’
Charles Plenderleath served as a Captain in the 49th Foot on board the Ardent 64 at Copenhagen, in which battle she formed one of the squadron under the orders of Lord Nelson, and compelled four of the Danish flotilla, one of which was the Jutland of 60 guns, to surrender. The Ardent received considerable damage, and sustained a loss of 29 men killed and 64 wounded, not counting about 40 others who were rendered hors de combat but who were not included in the casualty returns. Early on the following morning, Lord Nelson went on board the Ardent to thank her commander, Captain Thomas Bertie, officers, and people, for their conduct and exertions on the preceding day.
In the American war of 1812-14, Plenderleith for the most part had command of the 49th Foot, including the actions of Stoney Creek and Chrystler’s Farm, in both of which actions he was wounded. The following extracts are taken from an account of Stoney Creek given by Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon, 49th Foot, in a private letter, dated 7 June 1813, to the Rev. James Somerville, of Montreal: ‘Major Plenderleath came immediately after to that portion of the line which I had quitted, and, with the men I had left in charge of a sergeant, and a few others, he rushed forward against the guns and took four of them - two and a tumbril were brought away. The others could not be, our men having bayonetted the horses. Major Plenderleath pushed on with about 20 men, following the main road, the men stabbing every man and horse they met with... This handful of men with Major Plenderleath took at this dash, besides the two generals [Chandler and Winder], five field officers and captains, and above 100 prisoners, and brought them off.’
‘I am of opinion that, had not Major Plenderleath made the dash he did, the Americans would have kept their ground and our ruin would have been inevitable, but finding our people so far advanced in their centre, they broke and fled in every direction and their fire ceased at a time when our line was, as it were, entirely routed.’
Although the Americans claimed Stoney Creek as a victory, their defeat at Chrystler’s Farm was complete. Plenderleath again commanded the 49th and was again wounded. Five Lieutenants of the 49th were also wounded, as well as five men killed and three sergeants and thirty-four men wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Plenderleath subsequently received a C.B. and the Field Officers’ Gold Medal for the action at Chrystler’s Farm.
Lieutenant-Colonel Plenderleath was placed on the Half Pay of the 49th shortly afterwards and saw no further active service. He died in 1854.