A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL [OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA

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A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL
[OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA
A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL
[OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA

A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL


“Battle of Madagascar”






While serving aboard HMS GALATEA, (a 36 Gun Apollo class frigate) John Knight saw action involving three French frigates, the capture of RENOMMEE and the surrender of the NEREIDE off the east coast of Madagascar.


[OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811]

To.
JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman) “Captain of the Foretop”
John was apparently press ganged at Port Royal, Martinique, but quite what he was doing there is unclear. It is of course possible he had jumped ship from a previous civilian vessel and was clearly taking part in a civilian life. As a 24 year old he was a prime target for the Royal Navy Press Gang with predictable results.

John was born in Dumfries, Scotland c, 1782 and ‘entered’ the Royal Navy aged 24 on 7th June 1806 and was rated as an Ordinary Seaman until 16th May 1808 when he was made an Able Seaman. Appointed “Captain of The Fore Top 1st November 1808. Served with HMS PELICAN until 20th September 1810. Further biography is contained in the extensive papers.

John was 70 years old when he received his medal.

A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL
[OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA
“ONLY 78 CLASPS ISSUED”

The Battle of Tamatave (Sometimes called the Battle of Madagascar or the Action of 20 May 1811) was fought off Tamatave in Madagascar between British and French frigate squadrons during the Napoleonic Wars.

The action was the final engagement of the Mauritius campaign of 1809–1811, and it saw the destruction of the last French attempt to reinforce their garrison on Mauritius.

A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL
[OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA
Although the news had not reached Europe by February 1811 when the reinforcement squadron left Brest, Mauritius had been captured in December 1810 by a British invasion fleet. The French defences were hampered by the lack of the supplies and troops carried aboard the frigate squadron under the command of Commodore François Roquebert in Renommée.

Roquebert's heavily laden ships reached Mauritius on 6 May and discovered that the island was in British hands the following day, narrowly escaping a trap laid by a squadron of British frigates ordered to hunt and destroy them.

On 20 May the British squadron, under the command of Captain Charles Marsh Schomberg, discovered the French off Tamatave and attacked, both sides were hampered by light winds which impeded movement for much of the day. During a period of calm weather early in the battle, the French were better positioned than the disorganised British squadron and Roquebert's ships inflicted severe damage on several British vessels before an increasing breeze allowed Schomberg to press home his attack.

As the evening approached, the French attempted to escape, Roquebert sacrificing his flagship and ultimately his life to allow the frigates Clorinde and the badly damaged Néréide to escape.

Five days later, Schomberg's squadron rediscovered Néréide at Tamatave and persuaded the town's commander to surrender without a fight. The battle was the last action of the Mauritius campaign and confirmed British dominance of the seas east of the Cape of Good Hope for the rest of the Napoleonic Wars.

An historically important & very rare medal in EF on original ribbon with silver claw top brooch. Only 78 clasps issued with an estimated total of only 25-30 extant survivors.

A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL
[OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA
A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL
[OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA
With original ribbon and silver “four claw” silver top brooch. Complete with an extensive file of research documents and copies of various ships logs.

Provenance: Glendennings 1909.


£6995 With part-exchanges welcome.

A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL
[OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA

A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL [OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA
£6995

A Rare & Desirable NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL [OFF TAMATAVE 20 MAY 1811] “Battle of Madagascar” JOHN KNIGHT (Landsman)“Captain of the Foretop” (Press Ganged in Martinique) HMS GALATEA