Orders, Decorations and Medals (19 & 20 March 2008)

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Date of Auction: 19th & 20th March 2008

Sold for £1,700

Estimate: £1,400 - £1,600

A rare Victorian Royal Marine M.S.M. dated ‘1848’ on obverse awarded to Sergeant Henry King, R.M.

Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal, V.R., dated ‘1848’ below bust (Hy. King, Serjt. R.M. Chatham Divn. 30 Years) officially engraved naming, edge bruising, otherwise very fine £1400-1600


One of probably only 39 Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medals issued with the ‘1848’ dated obverse.

Sergeant Henry King was born in the parish of South Hall, near Uxbridge, Middlesex. He was 20 years of age and a clerk by trade when he attested for the Chatham Division, 21st Company, of the Royal Marines at Rochester, Kent, on 27 October 1826. He served as a Private from 27 October 1826 to 20 January 1831 (4 years 86 days), as Corporal to 30 June 1840 (9 years 162 days), Sergeant to 3 August 1844 (4 years 34 days), Colour Sergeant to 24 July 1846 (355 days) and, on resigning his Colours, as Provost Sergeant to 5 April 1847 (1 year 255 days), and finally as Hospital Sergeant to 21 June 1861 (14 years 77 days) for total servitude of 34 years 239 days, of which 10 years 280 days were Afloat and 23 years 324 days were At Home. He embarked on the Orestes from February 1828 to March 1831 (3 years 24 days), the Winchester from July 1834 to June 1838 (3 years 336 days), and the Queen from October 1840 to July 1844 (3 years 285 days). Henry King was ‘Set Off the Rolls’ on 28 June 1861, discharged due to length of service.

He was awarded the Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal and an Annuity of £5 from 13 January 1857. This sum was increased to £10 from April 1877 and he was still receiving this after 1884. Provost Sergeant King also received the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Wide Suspender) without a Gratuity in January 1862. Sold with several copied pages of Attestation, Discharge, and Letter Books.