Naval presentation sword and scabbard

This sword was presented in 1814 by passengers on board the packet ship the 'Duke of Marlborough' to Mr William Macdonnell, the ship's Master.


Steel & ormolu
Blade: 75.3 cm
Art Fund grant:
£4,134 ( Total: £9,828)
Acquired in:

Its inscription records that it was awarded for gallant conduct under his Captain, John Bull, in action against the British Royal Navy frigate the 'Primrose' in a wartime friendly fire incident in the Bay of Biscay in March 1814. As with other swords of the Napoleonic War period it is decorated with appropriately nationalistic and heroic symbolism such as a British lion-head pommel and engravings of Neptune and the Labours of Hercules.


Private collection; Bonham's.

Venue details

National Maritime Museum Cornwall Discovery Quay, FALMOUTH Cornwall TR11 3QY 01326 313388

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £12.50)

Daily, 10am – 5pm Closed 25 + 26 Dec