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Colonel Charles Herries


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1819 Death of Colonel Charles Herries

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BHM 980 - Details - 50mm RRRR

 

I bought this piece about 10 years ago, scanned it and put it up on my site. At the time I was pretty thrilled because it was rare, cheap and in decent condition. One authority says that only three of these were produced in copper and in fact, I've never seen another one in copper or the nearly as rare white metal. This is an example of a private "death medal", produced usually by one or more friends of the deceased and handed out to attendees of either the funeral or the wake. It's unusual in that it is listed in British Historical Medals and death medals aren't commonly encountered there. Col. Herries was something of a big shot in the London militia and therefore met the criteria for inclusion, although I suspect just barely.

 

About five years ago another of the copper examples showed up at auction and then a few months later another and shortly later, yet another. I began to question the story of three examples until I realized that it was the same piece being sold and resold. The last sale, at over $300 was about 15 times what I bought mine for.

 

So why the "So what?" in the title? I'm guessing that the later piece was auctioned back and forth between a couple of specialists like myself (or perhaps a family descendant) until the person who really wanted it finally got it. The truth is, who was Colonel Herries and why would you want to buy a medal of him? Don't know, I'm still trying to figure out why I bought it. :ninja:

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It's an interesting medal. Perhaps this fellow has a deeper history that may cause demand for his medal.

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I found a note in Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica on Herries: link to PDF from site. Herries fought the French all over --Africa, India, Ceylon, Europe and North America. The guy must've been very tired when he died.

 

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(later edit) Rereading the geneology of the various different Herries, I may have been mistaken in thinking I had found Col Charles who died in 1819. Hmmm. Will keep checking.

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Personally, I think this is a fascinating story and even more so, the design! I appreciate it's simplicity in design and words. I assume the edge is unadorned and flat?

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Personally, I think this is a fascinating story and even more so, the design! I appreciate it's simplicity in design and words. I assume the edge is unadorned and flat?

 

Actually it was the helmet that drew my eye in the eBay listing back in '98. The edge is flat as most, but not all medals of the period are. There are some notable exceptions, the Italian strikes of the medals commemorating Napoleon's Italian campaigns of the 1790s come to mind.

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I found a note in Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica on Herries: link to PDF from site. Herries fought the French all over --Africa, India, Ceylon, Europe and North America. The guy must've been very tired when he died.

 

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(later edit) Rereading the geneology of the various different Herries, I may have been mistaken in thinking I had found Col Charles who died in 1819. Hmmm. Will keep checking.

 

I do wonder if they were related though? Could easily have been cousins; the one in the link the adventuresome sort and the subject of the medal more of a stay-at-home guy, defending the homeland and such. Here's a mention of the volunteers themselves and I found an image of a painting of the volunteers "commanded by Col. Herries" by Rowlandson being reviewed by George III in 1798. Can't seem to embed the painting image since it's on a site that reproduces them...

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I love that helmet :ninja:

If you collect London millitaria it would be a reason as he was the commanding officer of The Light Horse of London and Westminster Volunteers

One claim to fame of the regiment was that Spencer Percival the only British Prime minister to be assasinated was a member of the regiment LOL

 

http://www.danielfearon.com/item.php?ItemID=189

 

http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk/collage...=16208&sp=X

 

Quick note Frank I think you might have another Herris compare the dates of death LOL

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