Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria, to include the Brian Ritchie Collection (Part II) (2 March 2005)

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Date of Auction: 2nd March 2005

Sold for £14,000

Estimate: £10,000 - £12,000

The unique Second Mahratta War medal to Major-General Sir Archibald Galloway, K.C.B., Bengal Infantry, later Chairman of the Honourable East India Company, one of only five European recipients of the clasp for the Defence of Delhi

Army of India 1799-1826, 2 clasps, Defence of Delhi, Capture of Deig (Lieut. Archd. Galloway, 14th N.I.) short hyphen reverse, officially impressed naming, very fine and of the highest rarity £10000-12000


Ex Christie’s November 1988.

There were only five European recipients of the Defence of Delhi clasp, all with unique clasp combinations:

Sergeant J. Brown, Bengal Artillery - 5 clasps, Allighur, Laswarree, Defence of Delhi, Battle of Deig, Capture of Deig.

Riding Master C. J. Davis, 4th Light Cavalry - 4 clasps, Allighur, Defence of Delhi, Battle of Deig, Capture of Deig.

Lieutenant (later Major-General Sir, K.C.B.) Archibald Galloway, 14th N.I. - 2 clasps, Defence of Delhi, Capture of Deig.

Lieutenant (later Lieutenant-General Sir, K.C.B.) John Rose, 14th N.I. - 3 clasps, Allighur, Battle of Delhi, Defence of Delhi.

Major (later General, C.B.) Edmund F. Waters, 17th N.I., later commanding Dingapore Battalion - 5 clasps, Allighur, Battle of Delhi, Defence of Delhi, Nepaul, Ava.

Archibald Galloway was the son of James Galloway of Perth and Margaret, née Forester, and was baptised on 12 February 1780 at Blairgowrie. He became a Cadet on the Bengal Establishment in 1799 and was appointed Ensign in the 14th Native Infantry on 29 October 1800. He arrived in India aboard the Lady Jane Dundas on 8 December of that year and was promoted Lieutenant on 18 May 1802. His first field service was as a volunteer with the 2/4th N.I. during the ‘Mud War’ in the Jumna Doab where he participated in the actions at Sansi, Bijaigarh and Kachaura.

In September 1804, during the Second Mahratta War, Galloway was present with his parent regiment, the 2/14 Bengal N.I., at Delhi when it was unsuccessfully besieged by Holkar of Indore whose forces outnumbered the defenders by more than ten to one. There were no British regiments present. On 14 September, the seventh day of the investment, Holkar, fearing the approach of the Grand Army under Lord Lake, made a final effort to take the city. ‘They opened a tremendous fire from their artillery, upon the whole extent of the walls, upon the gates and breach, and about sun-rise their infantry were seen advancing in large bodies, in various directions, with scaling ladders. They were repulsed in every quarter, and after some ineffectual attempts of their leaders to get them back to the assault, they retreated, leaving their scaling ladders behind. The remainder of this day they were remarkably quiet, and it was suspected that another attempt would be made in the afternoon. As soon as it was dark, however, they commenced silently sending off their heavy guns, and in the course of the night got off with the whole of their baggage, and by keeping their pickets as usual close under the walls till a little before day-break, completely prevented the garrison from having any suspicion of their movement. As soon as it was ascertained, a party was sent out to harass their rear, but they had too much start, and nothing could be done against them.’ Lake arrived three days later and Galloway joined the Reserve in the pursuit of Holkar. At the end of October he marched with Lake to the relief of a detachment under Colonel Burn and his Major of Brigade, John Rose (qv), who had been cut off by 20,000 Mahratta horse at Shamli, and at length took part in the deliverance of the detachment from its ‘extreme distress.’

From 11 December until Christmas morning 1804, when the fortress fell and the Union flag was planted on the walls, Galloway was engaged in the Siege of Deig. In early January 1805, he arrived with the Grand Army before Bhurtpoor, which the fierce and obstinate Lake, flushed with his string of recent successes, believed would fall in short order despite his deficiency of artillery and lack of sufficiently long scaling ladders. The first assault, made on 9 January, set the tone of the seven week siege and was beaten back. After further ineffectual cannonading, a second assault was planned for the 21st, and in this attack Galloway, leading the Pioneers, was wounded in the windpipe. After two more unsuccessful assaults, Lake conceded defeat on 23 February and marched off next day. Events in Europe meant that Britain could ill afford to be at war with anyone but the French and a peace was arranged soon after with the Rajah of Bhurtpoor and later with Holkar.

In 1807 Galloway was appointed Adjutant and Quartermaster of the 14th N.I. In 1811 he became an examiner in Arabic and Persian at the Company’s short-lived College at Fort William. He was promoted Captain on 19 December 1812 and from 1813 to 1821 held the post of agent for the manufacture of gunpowder at Allahabad. He was afterwards the agent for gunpowder at Ichapur until 1829. Having been made Major in 1824, he was transferred to the 29th N.I. (late 2/14 N.I.) and was posted as Lieutenant-Colonel to the 2nd N.I. in 1826. In 1830, during the enlightened Governor-Generalship of Lord William Bentinck, Galloway was appointed a Member of the Military Board. He retired in 1835 and was gazetted Colonel of the 58th N.I. on 22 September 1836. In 1838 he was appointed a Director of the Honourable East India Company and created a Companion of the Bath.

Galloway, who was made Major-General in 1841, was the author of a variety of books on Indian subjects. Most notably he produced Notes on the Siege of Delhi in 1804 and On Sieges of India. The latter became the standard work issued to the Army on the orders of the Marquis of Hastings and was used widely in the Company’s military colleges. In 1849 Galloway was made a K.C.B. and the following year became Chairman of the Honourable East India Company.

Sir Archibald, who was thanked for his many and varied services to the Indian Government by ‘commanders-in-chief in India on nine different occasions, and by the supreme government of India, or the court of directors, and superior authorities in England on upwards of thirty occasions’, died in Upper Harley Street on 6 April 1850 aged 70 years.

Refs: Hodson Index (NAM); Dictionary of National Biography; Officers of the Bengal Army 1758-1834; IOL L/MIL/10/20; IOL L/MIL/10/49; IOL L/MIL/9/257.