The British Naval Gold Medal (1793-1815)

The rare British Naval Gold Medal was commissioned by King George III after the Battle of the Glorious 1st of June to reward senior officers of the Royal Navy for command in battle. The Gold Medal continued to be awarded during the period 1793 to 1815 for actions during the French Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812.

Large Naval Gold Medal Awarded to Admiral Thomas Graves, Esq. for Defeat of the French Fleet at the Battle of the Glorious 1st of June

Small Naval Gold Medal Awarded to Captain Sir William Hoste for Defeat of the French Fleet at the Battle of Lissa

French Revolutionary War
Battle of the Glorious First of JuneBritain vs. FranceJune 1, 1974817
Battle of Cape St. VincentBritain vs. SpainFebruary 14, 1797615
Battle of CamperdownBritish North Sea Fleet & DutchOctober 11, 1797215
Battle of the NileBritain vs. French at Aboukir BayAugust 1, 1798114
Recapture of HMS HermioneBritain vs. FranceOctober 25, 179901
Napoleonic Wars
Battle of TrafalgarBritain vs. France and SpainOctober 2, 1805327
Battle of Cape OrtegalLast Action of Trafalgar CampaignNovember 4, 180504
Battle of San DomingoBritain vs. FranceFebruary 6, 180628
Capture of CuracaoBritain vs. FranceJanuary 1, 180704
Capture of Badere ZaffereBritain vs. TurkeyJuly 5-6, 180801
Capture of ThétisBritain vs. FranceNovember 10, 180801
Capture of FurieuseBritain vs. FranceJuly 6, 180901
Capture of Banda Neira (Spice Is.)Britain vs. DutchAugust 9, 181001
Battle of LissaBritain vs. FranceMarch 13, 181104
Capture of RivoliBritain vs. FranceFebruary 22, 181201
Capture of EtolieBritain vs. FranceMarch 27, 181401
War of 1812
Capture of USS ChesapeakeBritain vs. USJune 1, 181304
Capture of USS PresidentBritain vs. USJanuary 15, 181501

A total of 22 Large and 117 small medals were awarded during the period of its existence. The large Gold Medals measured 51mm in diameter and the small Gold Medals, 33mm. Award of the large medals was reserved for Admirals, Commodores and Captains of the Fleet. Smaller medals were awarded to Captains of a ship. A separate medal was awarded for each action. Lord Nelson, for example, was awarded three large Gold Medals for the battles of St. Vincent, the Nile, Trafalgar (posthumously).

The obverse of the medal features Britannia, being crowned with a laurel wreath by the figure of Victory, while holding a spear and standing on the prow of ancient galley. To the left and behind the figure of Britannia, is a shield charged with the Union Flag. The reverse is engraved with the rank and name of the recipient and the event and date for which the medal was awarded. The large medal is bordered by a wreath of oak and laurel.

Award of the Naval Gold Medal was discontinued after 1815 when would-be recipients of the Naval Gold Medal became eligible for the expanded Order of the Bath.

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