The Collection of Medals formed by the late John Seabrook

Date of Auction: 28th March 2002

Sold for £2,300

Estimate: £1,400 - £1,800

Military General Service 1793-1814, 8 clasps, Corunna, Barrosa, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse (W. H. Hartman, Captn. 28th Foot) correction to rank, otherwise very fine £1400-1800


Ex Glendining March 1903, and Leyland Robinson Collection, Glendining October 1952. The maximum number of clasps to an officer in the 28th Foot. The medal roll gives his rank as Subaltern, hence the correction.

William Henry Hartman was appointed Ensign in the 28th Foot on 9 July 1803, became Lieutenant on 28 March 1805, and Captain on 30 October 1812, all steps being without purchase. He served in the expedition to Hanover in 1805-06, at the siege of Copenhagen in 1807, and in Portugal and Spain in 1808-09, including the actions relating to the retreat of the Army and battle of Corunna. He also served in the expedition to the Walcheren in 1809, and in the Peninsula and France, including the defence of Tarifa and Cesar Viegas, the battle of Barrosa, actions at Arroyo del Molino and Almarez, Maya Pass, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Bayonne, Orthes, affair at St Palais and the battle of Toulouse.

After the battle of Barrosa in 1812, Hartman made representations to H.R.H. the Duke of York for promotion to a captaincy, there being then several vacancies in his regiment, stating ‘that in the action of Barrosa he was the Senior Lieutenant of that Army in the Field which induced him to Memorial the Commander in Chief Sir David Dundas through the medium of Lieut.-Genl. Graham, and the reply to that Memorial induced Memorialist to indulge the utmost hopes of Promotion’. these representations appear to have had the desired effect and Hartman was duly promoted to Captain in October 1812.

After the battle of Vittoria, Captain Hartman distinguished himself in the action on the heights of El Ariba, when the outlying picquets of the brigade, which he commanded, were attacked by a strong force of the enemy. Hartman gallantly defended his post for seven hours, until turned on both flanks, and when obliged to retire, he covered the retreat of some Portuguese, who were hard pressed, for which he received the thanks of Sir Rowland Hill on his re-joining the brigade. Later that afternoon, some Portuguese were giving way on being attacked by a superior force of the enemy, when, fortunately for Sir Rowland, Captain Hartman happened to be close by with two companies of the 28th. Hartman was ordered to their support, with instructions to rally the Portuguese, and then drive the enemy down the hill. The first instruction was instantly accomplished, and the point of the bayonet very soon effected the other. On their return, Colonel Rook was sent by Sir Rowland to thank Captain Hartman.