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A Field Marshal’s Small Salver, 1805
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A Field Marshal’s Small Salver, 1805

Measurements: Overall: 14cm (5.5in)

£1950

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Silver gilt. Of plain circular form with Greek key border raised on three scroll feet, the centre engraved circa 1847 with Earl’s coronet of Field Marshal John Byng, 1st Earl of Strafford, his family crest and the crest given as an augmentation of honour by the Prince Regent in recognition of Byng’s heroic action at the Battle of the Nive (1813) - viz ‘out of a mural crown an arm embowed, grasping the colour of the aforesaid 31st regiment, and pendent from the wrist by a ribband the gold cross presented to him by His Majesty's command, as a mark of His royal approbation of his distinguished services’. Maker’s mark of John Emes. Hallmarked London 1805.

Field Marshal John Byng, 1st Earl of Strafford  (1772-1860) of Wrotham Park, Hertfordshire, and No. 5 St. James's Square, London, was educated at Westminster School and commissioned into the 33rd (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) of Foot in 1793. He was wounded in the Flanders campaign in 1795 and again in the Irish rebellion of 1798. In 1804 he transferred to the 3rd Foot Guards, and commanded the flank companies of the 2nd battalion in the Walcheren Campaign. He went to the Peninsula in 1811 in command of a brigade under General Rowland Hill. At Ronscesvalles in the early morning of 25 July 1813 his brigade held up a major French assault for three hours allowing Lowry Cole to bring up reinforcements, and Wellington time to consolidate enough troops to win the Battle of the Pyrenees. Byng subsequently fought at Nivelle and the Battle of the Nive in late 1813; at the latter he led his troops in an up a hill charge, planted the colour of the 31st Foot at the top and cleared it of the enemy.

During the Hundred Days he was appointed to the command of the 2nd Guards Brigade, and led it action at Quatre Bras. At Waterloo it was the light companies from his brigade that were heavily engaged in the successful defence of Hougoumont and thus were crucial to the Allied victory. He went on to be Commander-in-Chief, and in 1831 was elected as Whig Member of Parliament for Poole in Dorset becoming one of the few military men who supported the Reform Bill, for which he was rewarded with the barony of Strafford of Harmondsworth. In 1847 he was raised further in the peerage as Viscount Enfield and Earl of Strafford.

 

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