AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L'Estrange. HMS MAIDSTONE.

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AN ASTONISHING THREE GENERATION FAMILY GROUPING, COMPRISING
(a) Naval General Service.(Midshipman) HMS MAIDSTONE
(b) Indian General Service. (Surgeon) PERAK 8th & 18th Foot.
(c) Queens South Africa (Captain) Rifle Brigade
(d) Great War Pair, Lieut R.A.S.C. (Served in East Africa)

WELCOME TO THE SECOND PART OF THIS LISTING WHICH DESCRIBES THE ACTION RELATING TO THE CLASP:
[8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814]


 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L  AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L  AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L  AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L















AN IMPORTANT "THREE GENERATION" FAMILY GROUP
CONTAINING AN HISTORIC
NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (WITH TWO CLASPS)
For
 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812"

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L


[Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813]
&
[8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814]


To: Midshipman, Frederick L'Estrange. HMS MAIDSTONE  AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L






((CLASP TWO)) "The Attack on Pettipauge "

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814]


 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L [HMS MAIDSTONE]
Essex is one of the few American towns to ever be attacked by a foreign power; this occurred on April 8, 1814, and the economic losses were among the largest sustained by the United States during the War of 1812.
28 vessels, with a total value estimated to be close to $200,000 (at a time when a very large two story home in Essex, then known as Potapoug Point, would have been worth no more than $1,000), were destroyed by the British.

One historian has called it the "Pearl Harbor" of the 1812 War.

It was indeed a pivotal turning point in the developmental history of American Naval Power in that this raid was the catalyst that led the U.S. government to determine that a substantial navy should be built as a guarantee and total assurance that never again would the country experience an attack of this nature.

The ramifications of this British raid and it's effects on American naval defence policy still resonate in the maintenance of the currently massive U.S. Navy.


On the 8th April 1814, approximately 136 British marines and sailors under the command of Richard Coote (or Coot) rowed 6 boats from four British warships (the Hogue, Endymion, Maidstone and Borer) anchored in Long Island Sound, 6 miles up the Connecticut River, past the unmanned fort in Old Saybrook, arriving at the boat launch at the foot of Main Street in Essex close to 4 A.M. The boats were armed with swivel guns loaded with grapeshot, the officers armed with swords and pistols, the marines with "Brown Bess" muskets, and the sailors with torches and axes; they responded to the single cannon fired by the town's surprised defenders with a massive volley, neither side incurring any casualties. They quickly commandeered the town, eliciting a promise of no resistance from the Essex militia in return for promising not to harm the townspeople or burn their homes, while a messenger rode to Fort Trumbull in New London for help. A dubious local myth states that Coote did not burn the town as a favor to a local merchant who greeted him with a secret Masonic handshake.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. LThe British marched to the Bushnell Tavern (now the Griswold Inn), then seized the town's stores of rope (each ship of that time requiring 8 miles of rope) and, according to the April 19, 1814 Hartford Courant, "$100,000 or upwards" worth of rum (acquired from the East Indies in trade for beef and wood from Connecticut).

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L Their main targets, however, were the newly constructed privateers in the harbor, ready or nearly ready for sail, which they burned. Within 6 hours, their mission was accomplished, and The British went downstream with two captured ships in tow, including the Black Prince, a vessel that may well have primarily inspired the raid. Stranded in the river by low tide, they were forced to wait at the extreme range of the shots of the volunteers from the nearby town of Killingworth who lined the riverbanks; 2 marines were killed and the captured ships had to be destroyed, but the rest of the men escaped safely when the tide turned.

At the time of the raid, Essex (then known as Potopaug or Pettipaug ) had been a major center of shipping and shipbuilding, but was suffering under a blockade by The British; as a result, the privateers were being constructed. Captain Richard Hayden, a prominent shipbuilder, had advertised his Black Prince in a New York City newspaper as "a 315 ton sharp schooner that would make an ideal privateer." This may have caught the attention of The British, who then investigated Essex and launched the successful raid.Perhaps as a consequence of the practical, but somewhat less than heroic, response of the town to the raid, shortly afterwards, the name of the town was changed to Essex.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L On the second Saturday of each May since 1964, the "Sailing Masters of 1812" of Essex commemorate the "Burning of the Ships" with an ancient fife and drum corps parade down Main Street and ceremony at the steamboat dock, wearing the United States naval uniform of that period; by tradition, this event is unpublicized. The Connecticut River Museum, situated at the site where Coot landed, now hosts an exhibit portraying the raid, featuring a large diorama by Russell Joseph Buckingham, a musket ball believed to have been fired then and a plank from the ship Osage, burned by The British. Plans are to expand the celebration of "the town's worst day in history" in future years, according to the museum's executive director, Jerry Roberts.

On that cold April night in 1814 the British raiding force rowed six miles up the Connecticut River to burn the privateers of Essex, then known as Pettipaug. Before the raid was over they had torched 27 ships and taken or destroyed thousands of dollars’ worth of rigging materials. The raid resulted in the single greatest loss of American shipping of the entire war.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L During the War of 1812 the British navy’s blockade of Long Island Sound nearly shut down commerce along the Connecticut coast. In shipbuilding towns such as Pettipaug many hard-pressed merchant ship owners were unable to carry out the normal coastal and West Indies trade that their livelihoods depended on. Some began arming their vessels as privateers. These were privately owned warships meant to attack and capture British merchant ships on the high seas. The captured vessels and their cargos were sold at auction and the profits split between the owners, the captain and crew, and the US government. For the young United States with its extremely limited federal navy, privateering was an important part of the war effort.

Despite the obvious risks, the building and financing of privateers represented a potentially lucrative investment opportunity while also serving the national cause. Pettipaug was already a well-known shipbuilding center. That several vessels were now being armed and new privateers were being built there did not escape the Royal Navy’s attention.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L [GOING IN]
But a raid on Pettipaug would not be easy. Essex is located six miles up the Connecticut River from Long Island Sound and a great sand bar at the mouth of the river prevented large naval vessels from entering. A raiding force would have to penetrate deep into the American heartland without the direct support of warships. Still, the British recognized that the chance of destroying a large number of privateers in one place, rather than having to hunt them down one by one on the high seas, was worth the risks involved. The raid was led by Captain Richard Coote of HMS Borer and involved crews mustered from four British warships of the squadron blockading New London and the Sound. They anchored off the mouth of the Connecticut River on the evening of April 7 and dispatched 136 sailors and marines in six heavily armed ships’ boats.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L Detail from the map Connecticut, from actual survey, Hartford, CT: Hudson & Goodwin, 1811 – University of Connecticut Libraries’, Map and Geographic Information Center (M.A.G.I.C.)

Their first task was to secure the fort at Saybrook, which dominated the mouth of the river, so the raiding force would not be trapped on the way out. Unbelievably, two years into the war, the British found the fort without a garrison, guns, or ammunition. They continued to row upstream against wind and tide, arriving on the Pettipaug waterfront at 3:30 the next morning.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L According to Coote’s report to the Admiralty,“We found the town alarmed, the militia all on alert, and apparently disposed to oppose our landing with one four pound gun.” But the British had come with overwhelming force, their boats undoubtedly armed with swivel guns and carronades. “After the discharge of the boat’s guns and a volley of musketry from our marines,” Coote continued, “they prudently ceased firing.

No one in the sleepy village had expected the war would be brought so far inland. But here it was. According to a report published in the Connecticut Gazette a few days after the raid the British made a simple ultimatum to the town’s people gathered there in the wee hours. “Captain Coote informed them that he was in sufficient force to affect the object of his expedition, which was to burn the vessels; and that if his party were not fired upon, no harm should fall upon the inhabitants, or the property unconnected with the vessels…” In other words, the message was, stay out of our way and you can keep your town. The good people of Pettipaug looked at the marines, did the math, and withdrew. Quietly, riders were sent out into the night to seek military assistance from New London and surrounding communities.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L As British marines secured the town, sailors set to burning ships and removing naval stores from waterfront chandleries and warehouses. They also took the town’s considerable stocks of West Indies rum, an important commodity in an age when soldiers and sailors on both sides were issued half a pint of rum a day as part of their compensation.

As the harbor blazed throughout the night, several heroic but futile attempts were made to save individual ships by towing them out of sight or extinguishing flames with buckets of water. Despite these efforts, however, by 10:00 the next morning the British had torched 25 vessels, keeping meticulous records of the names, tonnage, rigs, and potential armaments of each, from the 400-ton ship Osage to 25-ton coastal sloops. They loaded the stolen chandlery supplies and rum into two captured privateers, the brig Young Anaconda and the schooner Eagle. With militia from neighboring towns beginning to reach the area, it was time for Captain Coote and his men to make their escape.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L [GETTING OUT]
As the British towed the two captured ships down river against the wind on a falling tide, the Young Anaconda went aground a mile south of the town. Its cargo was transferred to the schooner, and the brig was torched. Despite being exposed to sporadic musket fire from shore, Coote decided that proceeding through the narrower stretch of river farther downstream in broad daylight posed a greater risk than waiting for the cover of darkness. He anchored the schooner and his boats and waited for nightfall.

Detail of a letter to the Commander of the British Marine forces requesting his surrender signed by Major Marsh Ely – Connecticut Historical Society

At this point, Major Marshe Ely, commanding the growing American militia forces from Lyme and Saybrook, sent a small boat under a flag of truce to deliver a message to the British. Ely was confident he now had Coote at his mercy: “Sir, To avoid the effusion of human blood is the desire of every honorable man. The number of forces under my command are increased so much as to render it impossible for you to escape. I therefore suggest to you the propriety of surrendering your selves prisoners of War and by that means prevent the consequence of an unequal conflict which must otherwise ensue.”

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. LCoote disagreed with Ely’s assessment. In his report to the Admiralty he wrote with typically British understatement, “My reply was verbal, assuring the bearer, that tho’ sensible of their humane intentions, we set their power to detain us at defiance.”

At sunset the British transferred the stolen supplies and rum to the boats, set fire to the schooner, muffled their oars, and began slipping downstream under cover of darkness. US marines dispatched by Stephan Decatur from New London had begun to arrive, along with federal troops and additional militia and volunteers. Several artillery pieces were quickly set up on both sides of the river. The British came under increasing musket and cannon fire from both banks. Two British marines were killed as the boats ran the gauntlet, now illuminated by bonfires and picket boats with torches. The musket and cannon fire from the narrows (today spanned by the I-95 Baldwin Bridge) was intense. Coote reported, “I believe no boat escaped without receiving more or less shot.” Yet the black of night and the swift outbound current enabled the British to drift silently past the fort at Saybrook, drawing only ineffectual parting shots from the defenders now gathered there.

By 10:00 p.m. the raiding party had reached the safety of the British warships. For the loss of only two men killed and two seriously injured the British had torched more than two dozen American ships and taken or destroyed thousands of dollars’ worth of supplies and equipment—not to mention all that rum. It was perhaps one of the most successful small boat raids in history.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L [The Aftermath]
“List of vessels destroyed by the British at Pettipauge”, April 8th, 1814 – American Mercury

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L A LIST OF VESSELS DESTROYED BY THE BRITISH AT PETTIPAUGE 8th APRIL 1814




SHIP 'Guardian' 318 tons .......Hayden & Starkey
SCHOONER 150 tons .......Hayden & Starkey
SLOOP. 60 tons........Hayden & Starkey
SCHOONER 'Black Prince' 318 tons.Richard Hayden & Others.
SLOOP (on the stocks). 30 tons.......Richard Hayden & Others
SLOOP 'Comet'. 30 tons.......Richard Hayden & Others
SHIP 'Superior'. 300 tons.......J & A Pratt & Others
SHIP 'Osage'. 340 tons......Horatio Alden & Co. (Hartford)
SHIP 'Atalanta'. 300 tons......Eben & Hayden
SCHOONER 150 tons.......Joseph Hill & Co.
BRIG. 180 tons.......Joseph Hill & Co.
SCHOONER. 150 tons......Horace Hayden & Others
SLOOP 'Emerald'. ......Owned by J. Plats
BRIG ' Felix'. 130 tons......Justin Lyman
SLOOP 'Washington'. 60 tons......Justin Lyman
SLOOP 'Thetis'. 80 tons......J & H Pratts
BRIG. 340 tons......owned at Middletown SLOOP. 80 tons......owned at Middletown
SLOOP. 70 tons......owned at Middletown
BRIG. 160 tons.....owned at Middletown
SLOOP. ( Name not known ). 60 tons

Two pleasure boats, one brig, two schooners, set on fire but extinguished and a large quantity of sails, rigging & anchors taken from the stores, the houses did not suffer much by being plundered.

The British raid devastated the local economy and nearly ruined the handful of old shipbuilding families who owned most of the vessels that had been destroyed. The prevailing local attitude was that the disaster had resulted from the federal government’s total neglect of its duty to protect this important shipbuilding community. This was made clear in a letter from the selectmen of Saybrook (which at the time included Pettipaug) to Connecticut Governor John Cotton Smith. “Your Excellency must be sensible that the Inhabitants of this Town feel Indignant at the General Government for declaring a war of offence & then leaving…the Mouth of the Connecticut River unprotected… under the guns of a large squadron of the enemy.”

Four months later the British bombarded Stonington. Unlike the strategic raid on Pettipaug, the attack on Stonington was a punitive bombardment of an extremely exposed, and as it turned out tenaciously brave, coastal town. Two weeks after that, on August 24, the British burned the nation’s capital. The raid on Pettipaug had been eclipsed, and the town did its best to forget this dark chapter in its history. Within two years it had changed its name to Essex, and the raid passed into obscurity and folklore.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L  AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L  AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L  AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L












We hope you have enjoyed reading about the events that led to the award of the two clasps on this exceptional Naval General Service Medal. Research is ongoing into the life of the recipient and into the surrounding circumstances and will be added to these two pages when available.

[CONDITION]
THE MEDAL, WHICH STILL RETAINS ITS ORIGINAL RIBBON & SILVER TOP PIN MOUNT, IS IN STUNNING & PRACTICALLY "GEM MINT STATE" CONDITION. IT DISPLAYS THE MOST GLORIOUS ORIGINAL TIME DEVELOPED DEEP BLUE/GREY TONING & PATINA. BOTH THE OBVERSE & REVERSE FIELDS ARE MIRROR-PROOFLIKE & EXHIBIT ONLY THE MOST MINOR HAIR LINES FROM A LIGHT CLEANING LONG AGO. THE OBVERSE ROYAL PORTRAIT IS IN STUNNING FROSTED CAMEO RELIEF.

OVERALL, THIS UNIQUELY BEAUTIFUL MEDAL RANKS AS ONE OF THE FINEST KNOWN EXTANT EXAMPLES. WE HAVE BOUGHT & SOLD NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE & VICTORIAN YOUNG HEAD MEDALS SINCE 1977 AND FROM A SHEER NUMISMATIC POINT OF VIEW THIS WONDERFUL MEDAL IS BY FAR THE FINEST EXAMPLE WE HAVE YET TO SEE.

IT IS A STUNNING CELEBRATION OF THE ARTISTIC SKILL & WORLD CLASS "BRITISH ENGRAVING GENIUS" OF WILLIAM WYON THE MAN WHO CREATED THE DIES FOR THIS SERIES.

If you have a place in your collection for this medal and wish to make a serious enquiry, then just drop us a line on:
" dragonbrit@aol.com " or give us a call on 01342-870926.
We would be delighted to hear from you to arrange a secure bank viewing.

Payment plans, part-exchanges and special terms are available to both private collectors, institutional buyers and museums.

We greatly look forward to hearing from you.

 AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for

AN IMPORTANT NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L'Estrange. HMS MAIDSTONE.
£ (PART 2) CURRENTLY RECEIVING OFFERS. 01342-870926

NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL. TWO CLASPS for "THE AMERICAN WAR of 1812" [Ap & May] BOAT SERVICE [1813] & [8th APRIL] BOAT SERVICE [1814] To: Midshipman, F. L'Estrange. HMS MAIDSTONE ((PART TWO))