Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (1 & 2 March 2017)

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Date of Auction: 1st & 2nd March 2017

Sold for £12,000

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 1 clasp, Lion 15 July 1798 (James Bowdry.) good very fine £6000-8000


Provenance: Cheylesmore Collection 1930, Buckland Dix & Wood 1995 (incorrectly catalogued as ‘Bowdrey’) and DNW, June 2009.

Approximately 23 clasps claimed for this action.

James Bowdry (or Boardy) served as a Boy 3rd class in H.M.S. Lion during her action with four Spanish frigates off Cathagena, 15 July 1798, which resulted in the capture of the 42-gun Santa Dorotea.

On 15 July 1798, the Lion 64-guns, Captain Manley Dixon, about thirty leagues off Carthagena met with four Spanish frigates, one of them, the Santa Dorotea 42-guns, having lost her fore-topmast. The Spanish ships formed in line of battle, but the Lion having the weather gage, bore down, and succeeded in cutting off the Santa Dorotea, left astern by her consorts. This ship though her topmast was gone, sailed nearly as well as the Lion, and the other three frigates tacked, and made three attempts to support her, but each time receiving a broadside from Captain Dixon, at length hauled off, and stood away to the north west. The Lion then got alongside the Santa Dorotea and engaged her yard arm to yard arm, shooting away her mizzen mast and damaging her main mast and rudder, till seeing herself abandoned by her comrades, and having twenty of her crew killed and thirty-two wounded, she struck her colours. The Lion who was fifty men short of her complement, had a midshipman and one man wounded. The Santa Dorotea was afterwards, under the same name, added to the British Navy as a thirty-six gun frigate.