Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (9 & 10 May 2018)

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Date of Auction: 9th & 10th May 2018

Sold for £6,000

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

The N.G.S. awarded to Commander Molyneux Shuldham, Royal Navy, Lieutenant of the Edgar at Copenhagen, who was a prisoner of war at Verdun from March 1806 until April 1814, during which time he invented a carriage propelled by sails and an ice-yacht; his subsequent inventions were recognised by the gold Isis medal and two silver medals of the Society of Arts, and many years later he was an exhibitor at the Great Exhibition of 1851

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 1 clasp, Copenhagen 1801 (M. Shuldham, Lieut. R.N.); together with two silver medals of the Society of Arts, each inscribed on the reverse ‘To Lt. M. Shuldhan, R.N. MDCCCXVI For Improvement in Working a Capstan,’ and ‘To Mr. M. Shuldham, Lieut. R.N. MDCCCXVIII For a Method of Ballasting Vessels’; and a bronze Exhibitor’s Medal for the Great Exhibition of 1851, the edge impressed ‘United Kingdom. Class 8. No. 172.’, all contained in an old fitted display case, with provision for the ‘Isis’ gold medal and accompanying manuscript notes describing some of his several inventions, case lacking its glass, very fine £4000-5000


Molyneux Shuldham was born at Kilnwick Percy, Yorkshire, on 27 April 1871, third son of Arthur Lemuel Shuldham, Esq., of Dunmanway, co. Cork, and of Pallis Green, co. Limerick, who resided for many years at Deerpark, Devon, and was Deputy-Lieutenant for that county, and Lieutenant-Colonel of the East Devon Yeomanry Cavalry, by his first wife, Maria, daughter of the late Sir William Anderson, Bart., formerly of Kilnwick Percy, Yorkshire, and of Lea Hall, Lincolnshire. He is brother (with the present Edmund William Shuldham, Esq., of Dunmanway, Major-General E.I.Co.’s service, for some years Quarter-Master General at Bombay) of the late Lieutenant John George Evelyn Shuldham, R.N., of Mr. Henry Geo. Shuldham, Midshipman, R.N., who was killed at the taking of Surinam, and of the late Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Shuldham, E.I.C.S.

Molyneux Shuldham entered the Navy on 5 January 1793, as First-Class Volunteer, on board the Alarm, Captain Lewis Robertson, attached to the force in the Channel. On removing with Captain Robertson to the Veteran 64, commanded afterwards by Captain William Hancock Kelly, he took part, in 1794, in the attack made by Commodore Ford on the island of St. Domingo. He next, in the course of 1796-7, became Midshipman (a rating he had previously attained) of the Unité 36, Captain Charles Rowley, Braakel 54, Captain Thomas Bertie, and Lord Mulgrave, all on the Home station; and on 15 April 1799, about which period he suffered shipwreck on the coast of Ireland, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. His subsequent appointments were, 13 May 1799, to the Seagull, Captains Henry Wray and Thomas Lavie, stationed off Guernsey; 17 January 1801, to the Edgar 74, Captains Edward Buller, George Murray, and Robert Waller Otway, under the second named of whom he fought at Copenhagen 2 April 1801; 5 April 1803, and 15 March 1804, to the Royal Sovereign 100 and Kent 74, Captains Richard Curry and Pulteney Malcolm, employed in the Channel and Mediterranean; 18 April 1805, to the Royal William, Captain John Wainwright, lying at Spithead; and, 6 March 1806, to the command of the Adder gun-brig. The latter vessel being driven on shore and captured near Abreval 9 December following, he remained a prisoner of war in France from that period until April 1814. According to Napoleon and his British Captives, by Michael Lewis, Shuldham invented, at Verdun, a carriage propelled by sails and an ice-yacht. He accepted the rank of Retired Commander on the Senior List 10 June 1843.

In May, 1816, Commander Shuldham was presented with the gold Isis medal, and with the silver medal of the Society of Arts for his improved pullies and blocks, and his improvements in working a capstan; and in the session of 1817-18 he received another silver medal from the same Society for his ‘New Method of Ballasting Vessels.’ He was an exhibitor at the Great Exhibition of 1851 (Class 8, No. 172) with his ‘Patent revolving masts.’ Commander Shuldham died at Brighton on 25 February 1866.