Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (26 March 2009)

Date of Auction: 26th March 2009

Sold for £8,500

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 1 clasp, 14 Dec Boat Service 1814 (M. M. Wroot, Lieut. R.N.) attractively dark toned, extremely fine


Sold by B. A. Seaby 1938

Michael Milsom Wroot was born at Whitgift, near Howden, Yorkshire. He entered the Royal Navy on 6 March 1800, as a Midshipman on board the Requin brig; and in the early part of 1801 was wrecked on a sunken rock in Quiberon Bay. Owing to this disaster, twenty-one of the ship’s crew were taken prisoners, and the remainder only saved from almost certain death or captivity by the boats of the Excellent 74

During the last two years of the war with France, he served under the flag of Lord Amelius Beauclerk, in the Royal Oak 74, principally employed in cruising off the Azores, and between the North Cape and Iceland, for the purpose of intercepting the national ships and privateers of America. In May 1814, Lord Amelius having struck his flag, the Royal Oak, then commanded by Captain Edward Dix, was ordered to the mouth of the Gironde river, from whence she conveyed Rear-Admiral Pultney Malcolm to Bermuda and the mouth of the Potomac river, accompanied by troops under Major-General Ross, destined to capture the North American capital. On the termination of the operations against Washington, Baltimore, and Alexandria, Rear-Admiral Malcolm was left with a squadron under his command in the Patuxent, from whence he soon proceeded to Negril Bay, Jamaica, the grand rendezvous for the expedition against Louisiana

Wroot commanded the boats of Royal Oak and, together with those of a squadron under the orders of Captain Nicholas Lockyer, 45 boats in number, assisted on 14 December 1814, after a row of 36 hours, at the capture on Lake Borgne of a flotilla of five American gun-vessels under Commodore Jones, whose resistance was protracted until the British had sustained a loss of 17 men killed and 77 wounded. He afterwards took part in the unsuccessful attack upon New Orleans, where he served on shore in command of a party of seamen brigaded under Sir Edward Troubridge and was mentioned in despatches for his services (London Gazette 1815, p. 451

He afterwards served in the Active 46 in the West Indies; from May 1818, for about three years, in the Superb 78, in which he sailed under the broad pendant of Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy for the coast of Brazil; in the Bulwark 76; and as Flag Lieutenant to Lord Amelius Beauclerk, in various ships on the Lisbon station, where he was appointed by that officer, in May 1827, second captain of the Spartiate 76. At the beginning of July of that year he was appointed Governor of the forts at the entrance of the Tagus, garrisoned by British marines, which responsible office he retained until the presence of the army under Lieutenant-General Sir W. H. Clinton, sent out to protect Portugal from invasion, was no longer requisite. Commander Wroot returned home in the Spartiate in May 1828 and was afterwards placed on half-pay. He finally received promotion to Captain on 1 April 1856 and was still alive in 1869.