A Collection of Naval General Service Medals 1793-1840

Date of Auction: 18th June 2020

Sold for £3,800

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 1 clasp, 25 July Boat Service 1809 (David Hume.) toned, extremely fine £4,000-£5,000


Provenance: Whalley Collection 1877; Lord Cheylesmore Collection, July 1930; Dalrymple White Collection, June 1946; Alec Purves Collection, Christie’s, November 1988; Spink, July 2011.

Approximately 36 clasps issued for the Boat Service action of 25 July 1809.

David Hume is confirmed on the roll as an Able Seaman aboard H.M.S. Princess Caroline. He was born and baptised in the Scottish coastal village of Kinghorne, Fife, on 7 May 1779, to David Hume and Margaret Drysdale. His record of service first shows him aboard the Texel on 23 May 1807, the ship’s musters indicating that he was a ‘pressed’ man and rated Able Seaman. He next served aboard the Monmouth, August 1807 to September 1808; Princess Caroline, September 1808 to February 1811; Cressy, February 1811 to March 1812, as Able Seaman, and from March 1812 to May 1814, as Quarter-master’s Mate. He was discharged to H.M.S. Prince on 7 May 1814, as an Able Seaman and was discharged from the Navy on 14 May 1814. Sold with copied record of service and other research.

On 25 July 1809, Captain Charles Dudley Paten, commanding a British squadron, composed of his own ship the Princess Caroline 74, the Minotaur 74, Captain John Barrett, the 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Cerberus, Captain Henry Whitby, and the 18-gun ship-sloop Prometheus, Captain Thomas Forrest, permitted the latter to lead the boats of the squadron, 17 in number, to the attack of four Russian gun-boats and an armed brig, lying at Fredericksham, near Apso roads, in the gulf of Finland. After dark the boats, commanded by Captain Forrest, pushed off from the squadron, and at 10.30 p.m. commenced the attack. After a most desperate and sanguinary conflict, three of the gun-boats, mounting two long 38-pounders each, and having on board between them 137 men, besides an armed transport brig, with 23 men, were captured and brought off.

Costly, indeed, were the prizes. The British loss amounted to one lieutenant, one second lieutenant of marines, one midshipman, and six seamen and marines killed; Captain Forrest himself, one lieutenant, three midshipmen, and 46 seamen and marines wounded. The Russians, on their side, acknowledged a loss of 28 killed and 59 wounded, making a total of 47 men killed and 110 wounded, in obtaining possession of three gun-boats. One of these gun-boats, No. 62, was so obstinately defended, that every man of her 44-man crew was either killed or wounded before she surrendered, 24 of these being killed. The result of this enterprise was a defeat to the Russians certainly, but under circumstances that reflected the brightest honour upon the character of their navy. For the gallantry he had shown on the occasion, Captain Forrest was promoted to post-rank.