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medal

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    M.5875

  • Description

    Pewter medal.(obverse) Two ships, the Kent to left in flames and the Cambria to right sending two boats to rescue sailors.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1825
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 48 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        obverse
      • Inscription Content

        1 . MARCH . 1825.
      • Inscription Comment

        In exergue.
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        reverse
      • Inscription Content

        TO
        COMMEMORATE THE
        DESTRUCTION OF THE
        KENT EAST INDIAMAN
        BY FIRE, IN THE BAY OF
        BISCAY: AND THE RECEPTION
        ON BOARD THE BRIG
        CAMBRIA,
        WILLIAM COOK, MASTER,
        OF 547 PERSONS,
        THUS PROVIDENTIALLY
        DELIVERED FROM
        DEATH.
      • Inscription Comment

        Inscription within circle of legend.
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        reverse
      • Inscription Content

        FROM FALMOUTH, TRURO, HELSTON, PENRYN, AND ST IVES.
      • Inscription Comment

        Around.
  • Curator's comments

    Brown 1
    Some examples of this medal have the recipient's name on the edge. The East Indiaman Kent of 1,350 tons was bound for India with officers and men of the 31st Regiment. Heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay on the 1st March occasioned the dropping of a lighted lamp into a hold and this set fire to some spirits which had escaped from a damaged cask. The flames spread rapidly and virtually engulfed the ship when the Cambria, a brig of 200 tons, came up and saved all but 82 lives. The crew of the Kent saved some of their passengers but seeing the seriousness of the flames refused to return for more. William Cook, the master of the Cambria assisted by thirty-six Cornish miners, refused to let the crew of the Kent return to his ship until all the passengers had been saved. The survivors were taken to Falmouth and were cared for by the inhabitants of that and the other towns mentioned on the reverse of the medal.

    A full account of the tragedy is to be found in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for 1825, vol. I, p. 268.

    Bibliography: Grueber, H. A., English Personal Medals for 1760, 'Numismatic Chronicle', third series vol. X, 1890/74; Milford Haven, Admiral the Marquis of. 'British Naval Medals', London, 1919, 578; Sandwich, The Rt. Hon. the Earl of. 'British and Foreign medals relating to naval and maritime affairs', 2nd ed., London, 1950, S/60.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Brown 1 p305.1250 bibliographic details
  • Subjects

  • Associated events

    • Commemoration of: Destruction of the East Indiaman Kent, 1824
  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Coins & Medals

  • Registration number

    M.5875

  • C&M Catalogue number

    • MB3p305.1250

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Object reference number: CME6678

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