The John Goddard Collection of Important Naval Medals and Nelson Letters (24 November 2015)

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Date of Auction: 24th November 2015

Sold for £38,000

Estimate: £24,000 - £28,000

‘To Mr. Etough, the acting master, I am much indebted for the steadiness in which he conn’d the ship into action.’

Captain P. B. V. Broke’s published despatch refers.

The historic medal awarded to Commander Henry G. Etough, who was Acting Master of the Shannon and conned the ship into action at the capture the United States frigate Chesapeake in June 1813, being officially mentioned and promoted to Lieutenant for his services; he was afterwards wounded in the boat attack on American gun-boats on Lake Borgne in December 1814, before taking part in the operations against New Orleans

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 2 clasps, Shannon Wh Chesapeake [42], 14 Dec Boat Service 1814 [205] (H. G. Etough, Acting Master.) small edge bruise, otherwise nearly extremely fine £24000-28000


Provenance: Tombs Collection 1918; Phillips Collection 1925; Christie’s, July 1987.

Shannon Wh Chesapeake [42 issued] - including 8 officers: Henry Gladwell Etough, Acting Master (Promoted); Charles L. Falkner, Lieutenant R.N. (Promoted); John Law, 2nd Lieutenant R.M.; Edward Parry, Midshipma R.N. (Known); George Raymond, Midshipman (Patiala Collection, Sheesh Mahal Museum, India); John Samwell, Midshipman (Died of wounds; his mother applied for medal but not known if actually issued); William Smith, Master’s Mate (Promoted); Provo W. P. Wallis, Lieutenant R.N. (Promoted; Known).

14 Dec Boat Service 1814 [205 issued] - including 3 officers and 16 men serving in the boats of the Bedford.

Henry Gladwell Etough entered the Navy on 12 May 1805, as a First Class Volunteer on board the Druid 32, Captain Philip Bowes Vere Broke, with whom, after contributing to the capture of the Prince Murat privateer of 18 guns, and Le Pandour national brig of similar force, he removed, as Midshipman, in 1806, to the Shannon, of 50 guns, throwing a broadside weight of 538 lbs., and 306 men. In December 1807 he witnessed the surrender of the island of Madeira, and he also, at various times, assisted in taking a large number of the enemy’s armed and other vessels.

On 1 June 1813, being then Acting-Master of the Shannon, Mr. Etough distinguished himself, and was particularly recommended for his conduct, at the memorable capture of the American ship Chesapeake of 50 guns, yielding a broadside of 590 lbs., and 376 men, an exploit which was achieved after 15 minutes of intense combat, in which the British sustained a loss of 24 men killed and 59 wounded, and the enemy of 47 killed and 115 wounded. For the ‘steadiness in which he conned the ship into action’ he was particularly recommended by Captain Broke and in consequence promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, by commission dated 9 July, but he did not leave the Shannon until the month of November.

In the course of 1814, he was appointed to the Chanticleer 10, Captain Stewart Blacker, and Clarence and Bedford 74’s, Captains Frederick Warren and James Walker. In the boats of the Bedford, and those of the British squadron, Lieutenant Etough took part on 14 December 1814, in the capture, on Lake Borgne, of five American gun-boats under Commodore Jones, which did not surrender until the British, after a fierce contest, had suffered a loss of 17 men killed and 77 wounded, Lieutenant Etough being numbered amongst the latter.

Lieutenant Etough’s subsequent appointments were, 1 September 1815, to the Prometheus 16, Captain William Bateman Dashwood, from which vessel he was obliged to invalid in the following month, and, 8 May 1819, to the Alert sloop, Captain Charles Farwell, employed in the Downs. He afterwards commanded various vessels in the Revenue Service, and was promoted to Commander on Reserved Half-pay on 28 July 1851. Commander Etough died in 1854.