A Collection of Medals to the 42nd Highlanders and 73rd Foot (Black Watch)

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Date of Auction: 28th February 2018

Sold for £8,000

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

The rare Napoleonic Wars group of four awarded to Sergeant William Sutherland, 42nd Foot, later Sergeant-Major of the Royal Perthshire Militia

Military General Service 1793-1814, 5 clasps, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse (W. Sutherland, Serjt. 42nd Foot); Waterloo 1815 (William Sutherland, 42nd or R.H. Reg. Infantry.) fitted with original steel clip and hinged silver straight bar suspension, naming heavily bruised over last part of unit; Army L.S. & G.C., W.IV.R. (W. Sutherland, Serjeant 42nd Regiment Foot. 1832) fitted with original steel clip and hinged silver straight bar suspension; 42nd Foot Medal 1819, by Parkes, obverse: in the upper section - St. Andrew with his cross, legend above, ‘Nemo Me Impune Lacessit’, in the lower - soldiers marching through mountainous country; reverse: winged figure of Fame above the battle honours, ‘Corunna, Fuentes d’Onor, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula’, in a rectangle below, ‘42 R.H.Rt.’, edge impressed (Serj. Wm. Sutherland), 32mm., silver, with hinged silver straight bar suspension, the first about good very fine, the remainder fine or better, a rare group (4) £6000-8000


Provenance: Glasgow Quarterly Sale, October 1929; Thomas Lees Collection, Sterling, 1931; Lees Collection, Sotheby, March 1986.

William Sutherland was born on 3 March 1794, in the Parish of Alness, near Dingwall, Ross. He enlisted into the 42nd Foot on 3 October 1811, a labourer by trade, aged 18. He served in Portugal and France from 21 April 1813 to 11 July 1814, and in Flanders from 18 May to 19 December 1815. He was present at Waterloo in Captain Thomas Wade’s company, earning an additional two years service. He was promoted to Corporal on 27 September 1817, and to Sergeant on 19 November 1821, then to Hospital Sergeant on 26 November 1830, also Colour Sergeant and Assistant Sergeant-Major.

Sergeant Sutherland served at Gibraltar from November 1825 to 5 August 1831, when he was sent to the depot companies at Berwick-on-Tweed. He was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medal in 1832, and was discharged at Berwick on 13 June 1832, at his own request to a ‘modified pension’ He was described as a ‘good and efficient soldier, seldom in hospital, trustworthy and sober.’ After discharge, he served as Sergeant-Major of the Royal Perthshire Militia and died at Perth on 21 February 1850. The monumental inscription in Greyfriars, Perth, describes him as “Late Colour Sergeant 42nd Royal Highland Regiment, aged 56 years, widower of Ann McKeone, died 13 May, 1845, aged 43 years.”

Sold with copied discharge papers and other research.