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2nd Duke Northumberland Medal 1816

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Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland (1786 - 1817)

1816 41mm Bronze by I.Porter BHM 916


Hugh was a General in the British Army who served with distinction in the Seven Years' War in Germany, and also in the American War of Independence. During the Great French War, when Napoleon threatened invasion, he raised a regiment of 1500 men from his tenantry, formed into three corps of riflemen, cavalry and artillery.


When agricultural prices fell after the Napoleonic Wars, the Duke reduced his tenants rent by 25%. In gratitude they raised money and supplied the labour to built The Percy Tenantry Column which was dedicated to the Duke. Unfortunately the old Duke died In July 1817 & soon after the new Duke increased the rents (conditions had improved though) which prompted the tenants to rechristen the column the 'Farmers Folly' It is a Doric column 22.8m high standing on a pedestal base 4.28m high with 4 supporting lions, atop the column is the Percy Lion.

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Thanks Becky & Drusus, as to the distinctive portrait, I was half expecting someone to comment that he could have been the model for Punch from 'Punch & Judy'


He was quite quite a character, born 14 August 1742, he was in later life a Member of the British Parliament.


In 1759, he joined the British Army as a teenager and was a captain of the 85th Regiment of Foot by age 17. He fought with distinction in 1762 at the battles of Bergen and Minden.


In 1774, he was sent to Boston with the local rank of Brigadier General, Colonel of the 5th Regiment of Foot and commanded the relief column that saved the retreating British forces at the Battle of Lexington and Concord by skillfully using limited artillery rounds to prevent a failed expedition from becoming a major defeat.

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