Original British Napoleonic Wars Dutch Warship Grog Bucket Prize - Dated 1806
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an item our from TV series "Family Guns" brought to us in a private Maritime Collection purchase in England, and it is a fascinating piece of Naval memorabilia.
In 1806 almost all of continental Europe was under the French control of Napoleon Bonaparte, not unlike what happened with Germany and Adolf AH in 1940. The result was that the Navies of these French Dominated countries, although former allies of the British, were now all considered enemies.
On 18th October 1806 there occurred an action between the Royal Naval Frigate H.M.S. CAROLINE, and a Dutch squadron including the much bigger Dutch Frigate MARIA REIGERSBERGEN, at Batavia roads just off the shore of the large Dutch Naval base of Batavia in Java.
The British Captain, Peter Rainier, relentlessly attacked the larger vessel under Captain Claas Jager. The Dutch vessel opened fire while still at a great distance and had over thirty smaller Dutch Gun boat vessels in support. Captain Rainer remained calm and held his broadsides until he had closed to within 40 yards of the enemy. In fewer than 30 minutes the Dutch warship struck her colors, having had over fifty seamen killed compared to the British loss of only three. Considered a great British Victory this action was only a part of Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Pellew's campaign to rid the East Indies and the Indian Ocean of all French allied War Ships. By year's end he had accomplished the task.
As a result the REIGERSBERGEN was commissioned into the Royal Navy as H.M.S. JAVA under the command of Captain George Pigot, however just 6 months later H.M.S. JAVA was lost with all hands in a hurricane during February 1807 in the western Indian ocean.
Now this huge Water or Grog carrier is constructed of wooden staves with multiple iron barrel hoops. It has a substantial iron lip around the top and an integral iron "ear" grip to the rear. It stands almost 18 inches tall and is 10 inches diameter at the widest point.
On the front side it bears a heavy brass plaque engraved-
From the Dutch Ship MARIA REIGERSBERGEN,
After the action in the BATAVIA ROADS 18th. Oct. 1806
Clearly a Naval "prize" that at least had some practical application at the time.
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