The John Goddard Collection of Important Naval Medals and Nelson Letters

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Date of Auction: 24th November 2015

Sold for £17,000

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

Able Seaman David Piggott, who fought on board the 36-gun frigate San Fiorenzo at the capture of the French 32-gun frigate Psyche in the Bay of Bengal in February 1805

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 1 clasp, San Fiorenzo 14 Feby 1805 [12] (David Piggott.) nearly very fine £6000-8000


Provenance: Glendining’s, March 1992.

San Fiorenzo 14 Feby 1805 [12 issued] - John Acton, L.M.; George Barney, Ord. ((Honeyman Collection, Huntington Library, U.S.A.); William Beck, Pte. R.M. (Known); Edward Collier, Lieutenant R.N. (Leicester City Museum); Daniel Hoskins, Pte. R.M. (Patiala Collection, Sheesh Mahal Museum, India); Peter Hughes, A.B. (Known); Nathaniel Kenny, A.B.; George Love, Ord. (National Maritime Museum); Samuel Marsingall, Midshipman; John Pacey, A.B.; David Pigott, A.B. (Known); Peter Trout, Ship’s Corporal (Royal Naval Museum).

Only the medals of Peter Hughes, Samuel Marsingall and David Piggott have single-clasp entitlement for this action.

Able Seaman David Piggott, born in Middlesex, was mustered aboard the San Fiorenzo from 24 June 1804, aged 25 years of age. He was invalided out of the ship on 16 June 1805, but no further details are given in the Muster Book.

San Fiorenzo captures the French frigate Psyche

On 13 February 1805, the 36-gun frigate San Fiorenzo, Captain Henry Lambert, discovered three ships at anchor near Vizagapatam in the Bay of Bengal. These were the Psyche 32, Captain Bergeret, and two prize captures, which immediately weighed and made off, pursued by the San Fiorenzo. After a chase of thirty-six hours, Captain Lambert came up with one of the ships which he recaptured. Leaving a Midshipman in charge of the prize, Lambert stood after the frigate and her companion, which he found had been the Pigeon, but was now the Equivoque 10-gun privateer, with forty men commanded by one of Captain Bergeret’s lieutenants. Soon after 8 p.m. the San Fiorenzo got within gun shot of the French frigate, and a hot action commenced, the Equivoque giving assistance from time to time, which lasted until 11.30 p.m., when the San Fiorenzo hauled off to repair her rigging. Thirty minutes later, Captain Lambert bore up to renew the contest but, just as he was about to reopen his broadside, a boat with a French officer came alongside with a message that the Psyche had surrendered. On boarding the captured ship the cause of her striking became evident. Her second Captain, two lieutenants, and fifty-four men lay dead on her deck, and seventy officers and men were wounded. The San Fiorenzo had a midshipman and eleven men killed, and her master, two officers and thirty-three men wounded.

Sold with copied Muster Book entries and London Gazette action report.