Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (16 December 2003)

Date of Auction: 16th December 2003

Sold for £2,700

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500

Alexander Davison’s Medal for The Nile 1798, silver, neatly engraved in the reverse field (James Lowry Lieut. H.M.S. “Minotaur”) fitted with rings for suspension, scratch to obverse field, otherwise generally good very fine and scarce £2000-2500


James Lowry was born on 18 April 1773, and entered the Navy in 1785. He served on board Sprightly and Termagent on the Falmouth station until 1787. In December 1795 he joined the Castor as Midshipman, and was next, from September 1796 until February 1806, continuously employed under the orders of Admiral Sir Thomas Louis, in the Minotaur, Conqueror, Leopard, Ambuscade, and Canopus. During his time in the Minotaur, of which ship he became an acting and a confirmed Lieutenant on 10 October 1798 and 28 January 1802, he had charge of her forecastle at the battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798; witnessed the evacuation of Genoa by the French in June 1800; commanded the ship’s launch at the first debarkation of troops, and participated in all the after operations of the campaign in Egypt in 1801; and on 3 September 1800 had under his orders one of eight boats which had brought out from Barcelona Roads, after having sustained a loss of 3 men killed and 5 wounded, the Spanish corvettes Esmeralda and Paz, of 22 guns each, although defended by a heavy fire from four strong batteries, 10 gun-boats, two schooners, armed between them with 4 long 36-pounders, and a fort upon Mount Ioni which threw shells. In this affair the enemy had 3 men killed and 21 wounded.

In the Leopard Lieutenant Lowry was in charge of a fire-vessel in an attack on the Boulogne flotilla in October 1804, and in Canopus took part in Nelson’s pursuit of the combined squadrons to the West Indies, and also in Sir John Duckworth’s action off St Domingo on 6 February 1806. As First Lieutenant of the Ajax, his assistance was acknowledged on the occasion of a gallant affair in which the British with a slender force beat back a powerful division of the Toulon fleet on 20 July 1810. He was appointed to the Transport Service in April 1812; in January 1821 to the command of the Camelion revenue vessel; and in February 1822, as First Lieutenant to the Apollo yacht, Captain Hon. Sir Charles Paget, under whom he had the honour of escorting George IV to Scotland. He was in consequence promoted to Commander on 12 September 1822 but did not again serve afloat. Commander James Lowry died during 1847.