Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (19 - 21 June 2013)

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Date of Auction: 19th - 21st June 2013

Sold for £17,000

Estimate: £15,000 - £18,000

The Army Gold Medal awarded to Field Marshal Francisco de Paula Azeredo, Portuguese Army, who commanded the 23rd Infantry at Salamanca and was severely wounded at Vittoria

Field Officer’s Gold Medal 1808-14, for Salamanca (Major F. de Paula Azeredo) complete with gold ribbon buckle, contained in a damaged red leather case of issue with named ivorine label, the rim with contact marks from other decorations, otherwise good very fine and rare on the market to Portuguese officers £15000-18000


Francisco de Paula Azeredo was born at Semodaes, Portugal, in 1768. He first enlisted into the 23rd Infantry Regiment on 30 January 1791, becoming a Lieutenant in 1805, a Captain in 1809, and a Major in 1812. He was present in the Spanish-Portuguese War of 1801, also known as the War of the Oranges, and the campaigns also of 1808 to 1816, and as a Major was present at the assault and capture of Badajoz, the battle of Salamanca, and the battle of Vittoria, at which battle he was seriously wounded in the left leg. He was mentioned by Wellington in his Salamanca despatch as having distinguished himself in command of the 23rd Portuguese Regiment, and also in Army Orders following the battle of Vittoria, for which he received promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel.

He transferred to the 8th Infantry Regiment in October 1814, and became Colonel in the King’s Division in June 1815, taking part in the campaign in the Eastern Province of the Rio da Prata, and in various conflicts from 1816 until the end of 1819. He was decorated with the Portuguese Cross for five Campaigns, with the Commander’s medal for the assault of Badajoz, and for the battle of Salamanca, for which battle he also received the ‘Medal of England’. He was also decorated with the Medal for Loyalty, was a Commander of the Order of Christ, and was decorated for ‘the battle of Torre and taking part in Espada and for services in Montevideo.’

Promoted to Brigadier in May 1820, Azeredo was made Provincial Governor of Beira Baida in June 1821, and Governor of the Province of Beira Alta and of Almeida in May 1823. He was appointed Governor of the Port of Douro in December 1826, and promoted to ‘high-ranking’ Field Marshal on 28 December 1826.

Azeredo’s memoirs were later compiled and published by his son with the title Apontamentos biographicos de Francisco de Paula d'Azeredo, conde de Samodães.

Sold with copies of his Portuguese service records with appropriate translations and other research.