Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (13 January 2021)

Date of Auction: 13th January 2021

Sold for £6,000

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

A fine Indian Mutiny C.B. group awarded to Major J. W. Carnegie, Provost Marshal of Lucknow and in charge of the Intelligence Department throughout the defence, and who was ‘hit twice’ and had his ‘horse shot under him’ during the final capture of the city

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Civil) Companion’s, breast badge, in 18 carat gold, hallmarks for London 1859, complete with swivel ring suspension and gold riband buckle; Indian Mutiny 1857-59, 2 clasps, Defence of Lucknow, Lucknow (Capt. J. W. Carnegie, Provost Marshal.); together with a second officially impressed medal in the rank of Major but this with last three letters of surname engraved and ‘Civil Service’ erased from edge, good very fine (3) £5,000-£6,000


Provenance: Ritchie Collection, Dix Noonan Webb, September 2005.

John William Carnegie, the son of David Carnegie, Senior Surgeon, Bombay Establishment, was born in Aberdeen on 21 April 1814 and was nominated a Cadet in the Bengal Service by C.E. Prescott, Esq., on the recommendation of J. Magenis, Esq. He arrived in India aboard the Asia in June 1834 and was posted to the 15th B.N.I. at Cawnpore. From January 1836 until March 1848 he served as Interpreter and Quartermaster of his corps. In 1850 he was appointed Acting Cantonment Magistrate at Ambala till 1852 when he was appointed to the same position at Peshawar. In addition to his other duties he was also charged with the responsibilities of Superintendent of Abkaice and to have charge of the Sudder Bazaar. In February 1856 he became Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Lucknow.

A month before the Defence of the Residency began he took part in quelling ‘an insurrection’ in the city on 31 May 1857, which was the day after mutinous Sepoys set fire to the 71st’s officers mess at Maraion and the bungalows in the European cantonment. Carnegie does not appear to have been present at Chinhut. He was however a member of the original garrison and was acknowledged by Brigadier Inglis for his services with the Intelligence Department in the following terms: ‘Capt. Carnegie, the Special Assistant Commissioner, whose invaluable services previous to the commencement of the siege I have frequently heard warmly dilated on, both by Sir H. Lawrence and by Major Banks, and whose exertions will probably be more amply brought to notice by the civil authorities on some future occasion, has conducted the office of Provost Marshal to my satisfaction’ (London Gazette 16/1/1858). He also gained the thanks of the Government for services with others at the head of the Intelligence Department (London Gazette 22/12/1857), and was permitted ‘to reckon 1 year’s extra service for Defence of the Residency’.

Following the final relief of Lucknow in November 1857, he served as Provost Marshal to Outram’s Division during the siege and capture of the city in March 1858. During the latter operations he was ‘hit twice’ and his ‘horse shot under him’. Promoted Brevet Major on 24 March 1858, he was mentioned in the despatch of Major A. Hume for an action near Bhumore Ghat (Calcutta Gazette 3 November 1858). Carnegie was subsequently appointed Civil Officer with the Kapurthala Contingent and made a Companion of the Bath in May 1860. Major Carnegie resigned his commission in June 1862 and died at Gipsy Hill, Norwood, on 6 January 1874.

Sold with a comprehensive file of research

A third medal named to Carnegie is in the possession of the Royal Military Police Museum.