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Historically important China 1842 Medal

Officially impressed naming to: C. RICHARDS, COMMANDER, H.M.S. CORNWALLIS

Fitted with silver pin bar, very fine.

Charles Richards was the son of the Vicar of Britford and Cheverell. He entered the Navy in 1811 under the auspices of the Hon. Admiral Bouverie on board the Medusa frigate, and subsequently served aboard the Queen and Albion line-of-battle ships until 1816, when in the latter he shared in the bombardment of Algiers. He served as Midshipman with Sir Edward Parry in the Fury and Hecla, and remained with him during his two voyages to the North Pole in search of a north-west passage 1821-25 (on Polar Medal Roll).He accompanied Parry in 1822, when he discovered Fury and Hecla Strait. Richards Bay near the south entrance of Fury and Hecla Strait was named after him.

Upon his return he was nearly four years off the coast of Newfoundland in H.M.S. Rattlesnake, and afterwards engaged in the survey of Port Philip, and to buoy the Channel up to Melbourne, and thence to keep the pirates in check in the Indian Ocean. He was next recalled to be Flag-Lieutenant to his long-tried friend, Admiral Bouverie, on board the Victory at Portsmouth.

On his promotion to the rank of Commander in 1841, he was appointed to the Cornwallis, just then commissioned for the flag of Sir William Parker, in which he proceeded to China with Sir Henry Pottinger. He was mentioned in Admiral Parker’s despatch for the destruction of a battery of twenty guns, together with the barracks and magazines by a party of seamen and marines under his command. He was further mentioned by Parker as one of the officers present in the assault on the outworks of the city of Ciing-Keang, 21 July 1842, and also at the capture of Chapoo and the attack on the batteries at Woosung.


When, in 1842, the peace was concluded with the Chinese, he was selected by the Commander-in-Chief to carry home the despatches of our brilliant exploits in China. For his able and gallant conduct, and long and unintermitting services from the time he entered the Navy, he was made Post Captain and a Companion of the Bath. Immediately on his arrival in England, however, he was seized with a sudden and violent illness, in consequence of the hardships he had endured. Captain Charles Richards, C.B., R.N., died at Bishop’s Waltham, Hampshire, on 3 December 1844.

Product Code: EM1896

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