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12th Light Dragoons - Peninsula War Campaign Cutlery

A suite of silver fiddle pattern spoons comprising a Portuguese made table spoon and tea spoon, bearing marks for Lisbon 1803-1813; together with two table spoons and three dessert spoons by John Osment, hallmarked Exeter 1823; all engraved with regimental title, the pine tree armorial, and E.P. monogram of Lieutenant Edward Penfold, 12th (Prince of Wales’s) Light Dragoons. Contained in a modern fitted case (35cm x 27cm x 4cm).

Lieutenant Edward Penfold (1789-1861) was the son of a banker of Loose Court, Maidstone, Kent, and was commissioned Cornet in 12th Light Dragoons in August 1811. He became Lieutenant by purchase in April 1812 and was posted to the Peninsula at the end of the year. After a brief halt in Lisbon he joined the regiment in field, which, on coming out of winter quarters crossed the Douro under Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Ponsonby. Advancing with Anson’s brigade, Penfold participated in the long drive north that culminated in contacts with Joseph Bonaparte’s loot-laden army pulling back after its year long and most recent occupation of Spanish territory. On 21 June 1813 Penfold was present at the Battle of Vitoria where Wellington’s army finally proved that French dominance on the Continent was slipping from Napoleon’s grasp. Penfold’s involvement included a smart action on the flank where his regiment cut the road leading to Pamplona at Gamara Mayor dispersing large bodies of enemy cavalry and infantry. With the turn of the tide in the autumn of 1813, Penfold crossed the Bidassoa with his regiment and was accordingly present at the battles of Nivelle and Nive when Marshal Soult counter-attacked in mid December. Thereafter Penfold, and his Portuguese spoons, went into winter quarters at St Jean de Luz before advancing across the Adour to take part in the blockade of Bayonne.  At the war’s end and with Napoleon booted into exile on Elba, Penfold returned to England via Calais in July 1814. Placed on half pay in 1817, he afterwards made his home at Tiverton in Devon where he subsequently ordered at Exeter the additional table and desert spoons to match those also offered here which he had used on campaign during the Peninsula War.

© The Armoury of St James's 17 Piccadilly Arcade London SW1Y 6NH