Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (5 July 2011)

Date of Auction: 5th July 2011

Sold for £2,200

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

Matthew Boulton’s Medal for Trafalgar 1805, white metal, the reverse field inscribed ‘Thomas Johnson, Achille’, the medal set in copper-gilt glazed frame with loop for wearing, very fine and scarce in such good condition £1800-2200


Thomas Johnson was born in London and entered the Achilles as an Able Seaman, from Hibernian, on 10 May 1805, then aged 47. He is confirmed as still present on board Achilles in the Muster for the period 1 October to 30 November 1805.

This ship was commonly but incorrectly called Achille. At Trafalgar she was in the lee column and closely followed the Colossus into action. She engaged the Spanish Montanez and then the Argonauta which ship supposedly surrendered. However, before Achilles could take possession of her, the French ships Achille and Berwick joined the action and a fierce contest began between the Achilles and the Berwick. The French ship, after more than an hour’s fighting, hauled down her flag and was taken possession of by Captain Richard King. The loss in the Achilles amounted to seventy-two killed and wounded, including nine officers. Her masts, although standing, were badly injured, and also her bowsprit and hull.