Orders, Decorations and Medals (22 September 2006)

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Date of Auction: 22nd September 2006

Sold for £4,700

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

The early India campaign group of four awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel A. J. MacKay, 16th Native Infantry

Ghuznee 1839
, contemporary engraved naming in reverse field, ‘Brevet Captn. Ae. J. MacKay, 16th Regt. Nat. Infy.’, old but damaged hinged-bar suspension; Candahar Ghuznee Cabul 1842 (Brevet Captn. AE. J. MacKay, 16th Regt. Nat. Infantry), contemporary engraved naming, with steel clip but lacking bar for suspension; Maharajpoor Star 1843 (Lieutenant A. E. J. MacKey (sic), 16th Regt. Grenadier), re-riveted backstrap with hinged-bar suspension; Sutlej 1845-46, for Moodkee, 2 clasps, Ferozeshuhur, Sobraon (Capt. E. J. MacKay, 16th Regt. N.I.), the whole contained within an old leather, velvet-lined fitted case, generally very fine, together with a portrait miniature of the recipient, in the style of John Cox Dillman Engleheart, in which he is portrayed as a young man wearing a blue jacket and gilt buttons, framed and glazed in a gilt mount, a superb quality shell-cameo of him facing left, signed ‘T. Saulini F.’ [who is recorded as working in London in the mid-nineteenth century], this set in a gold brooch mount for wearing, and his 16th Bengal Grenadiers’ officer’s shoulder-belt plate, with Battle Honours ranging from ‘Mysore’ to ‘Marajepoor’ (Lot) £4000-5000


Aeneas John Mackay was born in Edinburgh in January 1809, the son of Aeneas Mackay of Charlotte Square and was educated at Edinburgh High School,and Academy. Nominated for a cadetship in the Bengal Infantry on the recommendation of Lord Strathallan, he arrived in India in June 1826, when he was appointed an Ensign in the 16th Native Infantry. Advanced to Lieutenant in January 1829, and appointed Acting Adjutant of the Left Wing of his regiment in January 1839, he was present at the capture of Ghuznee in the latter year, for which services he received £15.3s.1d. of prize money. And he was subsequently present in operations against the Ghilzais in General Nott’s force and in the advance on Cabul 1841-42, gaining the Brevet of Captain in June of the former year. Next engaged at Maharajpoor in 1843, he went on to witness further action in the First Sikh War 1845-46, when he was present at Moodkee, Ferozeshuhur and Sobraon, for which services he received the Brevet of Major in April of the latter year. In fact he assumed command of the Bombay Grenadiers in the following month but, having returned to Europe on furlough at the end of the same year, he elected to retire in early 1848. Having received advancement to Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in November 1854, MacKay died at Gale Cottage, Keswick in 1865.