The John Goddard Collection of Important Naval Medals and Nelson Letters

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Date of Auction: 24th November 2015

Sold for £6,500

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

Able Seaman David Wilson, present in the boats of the 16-gun sloop Pylades in the attack against Dutch vessels off the island of Schiermonnikoog in August 1799

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 1 clasp, Schiermonnikoog 12 Aug 1799 [10] (David Wilson.) edge bruising, otherwise nearly extremely fine £4000-5000


Provenance: Dix Noonan Webb, June 2012, ‘Recently removed from a family estate in Canada who have been in possession of this medal since the 1930s.’

Schiermonnikoog 12 Aug 1799 [10 issued] - John Besheech, Gunner (National Maritime Museum); William Briscoe, L.M. (Known); Charles Curran, A.B. (Known); John Feary, Purser’s Steward (National Maritime Museum); Richard Keys, A.B.; George Kilner, L.M.; Thomas Searle, Lieutenant R.N. (Known); John Stroud, L.M.; Eaton Travers, Midshipman (Known); David Wilson, A.B.

David Wilson is confirmed on the roll as an Able Seaman aboard H.M.S. Espiegle, the only recipient from this vessel. He was born in Scotland and was 25 years of age when he entered the Espiegle as an Able Seaman on 1 June 1798. Four other men with this name are shown on the medal rolls for various clasps including Trafalgar, none of which have been recorded on the market.

This clasp was authorised for an action which took place between 11 and 13 August, 1799, resulting in the re-capture of the gun-brig
Crash, the attack on the Dutch schooner Vengeance, and the silencing of the gun battery on the island of Schiermonnikoog, off the Dutch coast, near Groningen, by the 16-gun sloops Pylades, Captain A. MacKenzie, and Espiegle, Captain J. Bowden, and the 10-gun cutter Courier, Lieutenant T. Searle, forming part of a squadron cruising off the coast of Holland, under Captain F. Sotheran of the Latona 38.

On 11 August this squadron was ordered to attack some vessels lying between the island of Schiermonnikoog and the mainland. This service was performed with much bravery, the gun-brig Crash, formerly of the Royal Navy, mounting twelve cannonades, being captured and brought out after a determined resistance of nearly an hour. The next day, Captain MacKenzie having manned the Crash and appointed Lieutenant Slade of the Latona to command her, in company with an armed schuyt captured from the enemy, and the launches and boats of the squadron, proceeded to attack the 6-gun schooner Vengeance and other vessels, which were moored under the guns of a battery on the island of Schiermonnikoog. In the face of heavy fire, Lieutenant Cowan of the Pylades landed and spiked the guns of the battery, the Vengence was set on fire by her crew and destroyed, and a row boat and twelve schuyts were captured without loss.

Sold with copied entries from the Muster-Table of H.M.S. Espiegle for the period 1 July to 31 August, 1799.