Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (30 March 2011)

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Date of Auction: 30th March 2011

Sold for £6,200

Estimate: £4,500 - £5,500

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 2 clasps, 1 June 1794, Trafalgar (William Osborne) nearly extremely fine £4500-5500


Ex Glendining, July 1909; Baldwin, February 1954, and Spink, May 2003.

William Osborne served as a Landsman in H.M.S. Impregnable at the defeat of the French fleet on 1 June 1794, and as Carpenter’s Crew in H.M.S. Revenge at Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. Two other men of this name appear on the Admiralty roll, one for the Nile and another for Trafalgar.

William Osborne was born in Hartford, Devon, and served as a Landsman in H.M.S. Impregnable, 98 during the fleet action that became known as "The Glorious First of June" - the defeat of the French fleet. A total of seven large Naval Gold Medals and 15 small Naval Gold medals were awarded for this action. Osborne served as Carpenter’s Crew in H.M.S. Revenge, 74 during the major fleet action off Cape Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. 

‘On 1 June both fleets formed line of battle about 6 miles apart.
Impregnable, 98 was the eighth ship from windward. In the resulting action Impregnable was much damaged in her sails and rigging, losing her three top-gallant masts and fore-topsail-yard. Her master, David Caird and six seamen were killed; Lieut. William Butler, Mr Patterlo, boatswain, and 22 seamen wounded, the Lieutenant mortally. (Ref. Age of Nelson)

At Trafalgar Revenge ‘was in the lee column. In attempting to pass through the enemy’s line and secure an advantageous position athwart the hawser of the French Aigle, she fouled the latter’s jib-boom, and while the ships were interlocked delivered a couple of broadsides into the Frenchman’s bows. Then, standing on, she was in the act of hauling up on the port tack, when a tremendous fire was poured into her lee quarter by the Spanish Principe de Asturias. Three two-deckers also hemmed her in, and greatly punished her until they were driven off by the approach of other British vessels. Her injuries in the battle were in consequence severe and her losses heavy, the latter amounting to twenty-eight killed and fifty-one wounded, including her captain. Her bowsprit, three lower masts, maintop mast, and gaff, were badly injured. She received nine shots below the copper; her stern, transoms, and timbers, and several beams, knees, riders, and iron standards, were very much damaged, and so was her hull generally. She had several chain plates shot away, several of her lower deck ports destroyed, and three of her guns dismounted.’ (Ref. The Trafalgar Roll)