Trafalgar Vase

Lloyd's Patriotic Fund vase presented in memory of John Cooke, (1763-1805), Captain of HMS 'Bellerophon' who died at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805.

Silver vase and cover of amphora form with a flat cover surmounted with a lion passant. The body of the vase is in two pieces, with high handles. The upper section has an oak leaf border at the neck. The lower section has on one side a figure of Britannia holding winged Victory in her hand, and on the other side Hercules slaying the Hydra. The vase stands on a circular foot with an acanthus leaf border.

It is inscribed on the shoulder: 'IN MEMORY OF JOHN COOKE ESQR CAPTAIN OF HMS BELLEROPHON, who NOBLY FELL in the GLORIOUS VICTORY obtained over the COMBINED FLEETS of FRANCE & SPAIN off CAPE TRAFALGAR, on the 21st of October 1805. THIS VASE IS PRESENTED TO MRS LOUISA COOKE HIS WIDOW. From the PATRIOTIC FUND AT LLOYDS'.
The other side is inscribed: 'Sacred to Cooke let this fair vase proclaim/ To thine Trafalgar, join'd his Honor'd Name/ Pledge of his Country's Gratitude to tell/ How England Conquered when he Nobly fell'.

Cooke had previously served in the American War of Independence, at the Glorious First of June 1794, and Lord Bridport's action near Quiberon. There is a tablet to his memory in St Paul's Cathedral.

The Patriotic Fund was founded at a meeting at Lloyd's Coffee House at the Royal Exchange, London, in 1803. It set up a national subscription used to vote money to those wounded in action, and to the dependants of those killed, and also gave awards of merit in the form of money, silver and presentation swords. Fifteen Patriotic Fund vases were awarded after the Battle of Trafalgar, in different sizes according to value. Most were valued at £100, but this larger vase, awarded posthumously, was of £200 value. John Flaxman, the sculptor, produced the final design for the vases, which were supplied by the Royal Goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, and made by different silversmiths.

Object Details

ID: PLT0033
Collection: Decorative art
Type: Lloyd's Patriotic Fund Vase
Display location: Display - Maritime London Gallery
Creator: Smith, Benjamin; Smith, James
Events: Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Trafalgar, 1805
Vessels: Bellerophon (1786)
Date made: 1808; 1808-09 1808-1809
People: Cooke, John; Lloyd's Patriotic Fund
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Measurements: Overall: 546.1 x 292.1 mm
Parts: Trafalgar Vase
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