Special Collections

Sold on 6 July 2004

1 part


Prize, Training Ship, Nursing & Other Medals from the James N. Spencer Collection

James N Spencer

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№ 954


6 July 2004

Hammer Price:

Chichester Training Ship Medal (2), by W. J. Taylor, London, figure of Hope standing by rocks on the seashore, mantle flowing behind, one hand raised, the other resting on an anchor, a sailing ship in the background, all enclosed by a plain band; reverse: inscription in raised letters (name engraved), ‘“Chichester” Training Ship, Presented to Farmer Hodges for Special Good Conduct while on board the Ship’, 38mm., silver, swivel ring suspension; another, same obverse; reverse with inscription (name and year engraved) ‘“Chichester” Training Ship, Presented by the Committee to Alfred Jones on his return from Second Voyage with Good Character, 1870’, 39mm., silver, swivel ring suspension, good very fine (2) £60-80

The 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, founder of the National Refuge for Homeless and Destitute Children (Shaftesbury Homes), in 1866 persuaded the Admiralty to lend him an old frigate, the Chichester, so that some of the boys might be trained for employment at sea. This was done and on 18 December 1866 the first 50 boys were sent to the ship from the Parker Street Refuge. During the next year the number of boys that could be accommodated was increased to 134. The Chichester was moored at Greenhithe on the south bank of the lower Thames. The need for additional accommodation was soon evident and in 1874 another old frigate, the Arethusa, was acquired and moored astern of the Chichester. By the 1880’s some 200 boys were being accommodated and trained on the Arethusa with a further 100 on the Chichester, however, with the inexorable change from ‘sail’ to ‘steam’, the demand for sea-trained boys had fallen and in response the society’s committee decided to reduce the number of boys it would train and to that end decided to dispose of the Chichester. In 1889 the Admiralty gave the ship to the society, which then promptly sold it for breaking up. With the money it purchased the schooner Ballerina. Altered to a brigantine and renamed the Chichester, it was used as a sailing tender for training boys in seamanship and in sail handling. By the 1930’s, the Shaftesbury Society was under pressure to both to replace the fast deteriorating Arethusa and to move her from her berth at Greenhithe. In 1933 the society purchased the ex-German nitrate carrier Peking, which was converted, renamed Arethusa and moored at Upnor on the River Medway; the old Arethusa was scrapped. The training ship school was closed in 1974 and the Arethusa was sold and converted into a museum ship. Reverting to her original name, the Peking is now part of the South Street Seaport Museum in New York.