Original British Napoleonic Royal Navy Grouping of Captain Robert Mitford - Circa 1808-1815

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind grouping. This is a fascinating collection that consists of hand written documents all concerning British Royal Naval captain Robert Mitford, 1781 - 1870.

There are nine documents that date from 1808 to 1812 with one dated 1815. The documents cover correspondence largely with Captain Mitford's "Prize Agents" Wilson, Allardyce & Co. who handled the allocation of prize monies awarded by the Admiralty for captured enemy vessels.

The 1815 letter is a copy, endorsed by Admiral John Child Purvis (1746-1825), discussing the proceeds of the capture of the U.S. ship APOLLO by Purvis and Mitford in 1809.

These documents provide a fascinating look into the vast sums awarded British senior seamen for doing their duty. One specifies the massive sum of 35,000 pounds in 1811 money that equates to a million dollars today.

Together with this family archive come two ivory-hilted midshipman's dirks which were presumably the property of Mitford himself. The first curved, dating from the early 1790s and the second of straight dagger form similar in style to the one belonging to Lord Nelson after the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Although referred to as midshipman's dirks, these were regularly carried by senior officers on social occasions in lieu of a cumbersome heavy sword. This is a wonderful archive providing a mass of fascinating information, reading them is like a step back in time.

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