Lloyds Patriotic Fund £50 presentation sword

Lloyd's Patriotic Fund £50 presentation sword owned by Captain Henry Wilson (Hon. East India Co.). The hilt consists of a gilt pommel and back-piece in the form of a lion's skin. The quillon is shaped as a Roman fasces and the guard meets this at right angles in the form of a Hercules’ club with a snake entwining about it and is attached to a loop in the lion's mouth. There is a diamond knurled ivory grip with triangular langets and a rectangular plaque at the base on which is a group in relief of cannon, anchor, trident, etc., with a floral pendant beneath.

The polished steel blade has blued and gilt decoration: rose, thistle and shamrock supported by mermaids, crown surmounting monogram 'GR' in wreath and palm branch, cherubs holding a wreath above a shield charged with an anchor, surrounded by guns and flags and Britannia seated. There are also two inscriptions, 'From the Patriotic Fund at Lloyds to H Wilson Esq Comng the HEICo ship Warley one of the fleet of merchantmen which on the 15 Feby 1804 defeated and pursued a squadron of French men-of-war under command of Adl.Linois in the Marengo of 84 guns as recorded in the London Gazette of the 11th August' and 'R Teed/Sword Cutler/Lancaster Court/Strand'.

This sword is also complete with a box and sword belt. The Museum also has a ship portrait of the 'Warley' off Blackwall by Robert Salmon (BHC3707) which was probably commissioned by Wilson since it came down in his family. This is dated 1804, though whether commissioned before or after the action is not known.

A similar 50-guinea sword, awarded to Captain James Farquharson for his role in the same action, was sold by John Nicholson Auctioneers at Fernhurst, 5-6 April 2011. Farquharson was a career sailor with the East India Company and commanded the 'Alfred' at the Battle of Pulo Aor. The estimate price (£10,000 to £15,000) was exceeded and the sword realised £38,000. It was sold to an Australian collector.

Object Details

ID: WPN1042
Collection: Weapons
Type: Presentation Sword
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Teed, Richard
Events: Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Pulo Aura, 1804
Vessels: Wardley fl.1804 (East Indiaman)
Date made: 1804
Exhibition: Traders: The East India Company and Asia
People: Lloyd's Patriotic Fund; Wilson, Hfl
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Blade: 749 x 38 mm

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