Admiral Lord Nelson
Admiral Lord Nelson
Admiral Lord Nelson

Admiral Lord Nelson

1845 England

Offered by Timothy Millett Ltd.

£495 gbp
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Admiral Lord Nelson, Greenwich Pensioner's Medal, white metal, 1845, by E. Avern, uniformed bust of Lord Nelson left with garter around, ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN WILL DO HIM DUTY, rev. a view of Trafalgar Square with Nelson's Column in the foreground, TO COMMEMORATE THE OPENING OF THE NELSON TESTIMONIAL TRAFALGAR SQUR/ 21 OCTOBER 1844, 61mm (BHM -; MH 531; Hardy 97), pierced for suspension. Very fine and very rare.

These medals were presented to veteran pensioners of Nelson's battles at a ceremony in the Painted Hall of Greenwich Hospital on 2 April 1845, some 357 awards being made. Hardy (page 62) remarks "It is now recognised that this medal, treated as unimportant in the past, is a true and worthy piece of history, each having been owned personally by one of Nelson's sailors."

The National Maritime Museum has in its collection a report and engraving from the 'Illustrated London News' 12 April 1845, p. 240. It shows a Pensioner coming back down the Hall after receiving his medal between massed ranks of boys from the Greenwich Hospital School. The account of the ceremony includes a more detailed engraving of the presentation at the upper end of the Lower Hall and a portrait of Sir Robert Stopford, the Governor of Greenwich Hospital, who gave them out, and a biographical sketch of his career. An illustration in the previous issue of ILN, 5 April 1845 shows the medal, which commemorated the official inauguration of 'the Nelson Testimonial' (i.e. Nelson's Column) in Trafalgar Square on 21 October 1844. The text there explains that a subscription had been raised to commemorate this by giving a dinner (presumably in Trafalgar Square) for all the survivors of Nelson's main actions - St Vincent, Tenerife, the Nile, Copenhagen, Trafalgar - but that at local residents' request the more practical plan adopted had been to issue these medals to them, with a gratuity of ten shillings.
Timothy Millett Ltd.

Timothy Millett Ltd.
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