This is the first of four short notes prompted by the acquisition of a shilling sized disc of silver engraved with a three masted sailing ship and the motto “Succefs to the LORD RODNEY”. In this note the life of Admiral George Brydges Rodney will be described, along with a few contemporary tokens and engraved coins. Prior to Admiral Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Rodney was one of the most significant characters in British maritime history.
Subsequent notes will describe some more tokens, coins and medals etc. that were struck in celebration of Lord Rodney and his naval successes. The final note will present the story behind the engraved coin that started this work and the ship The Lord Rodney.
One thought on “Admiral George Brydges Rodney (i) History and Contemporary Tokens – Gary Oddie”
Following a note from Hugh Pagan about the token engraved BRAVE RODNEY FOR EVER HUZZA/BRAVE CLINTON FOR EVER HUZZA and a revisit of the BM catalogue entry. It is likely this piece refers to General Sir Henry Clinton (?1730-1795), the son of Admiral George Clinton (c.1686-1761). From Clinton’s side, the piece was most probably engraved 1775-1781, i.e. after the battle of Bunker Hill and before Clinton’s fall from grace with Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown on 17th October 1781. From Rodney’s side, his fame grew immensely after the battles of Finisterre on 8 Jan 1780, and continued after the battle of Saintes 8-12 April 1782. Thus within a few weeks the token was probably engraved 8 Jan 1780 – 17 October 1781. I have found contemporary plays, broadsheets and ballads using the same language: Brave Clinton Huzza and also several of the medals (Part iii) use the phrase Brave Rodney and Rodney Forever.