Auction Catalogue

19 April 2023

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Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria

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№ 323


19 April 2023

Hammer Price:

The Small Army Gold Medal for Corunna awarded to Major Chichester McDonnell, 82nd Foot, a veteran of the American revolutionary wars of 1775-84

Field Officer’s Small Gold Medal, for Corunna 1809 (Major Chichester McDonnell, 82nd Foot.) complete with gold ribbon buckle, nearly extremely fine £12,000-£16,000

Hamilton-Smith Collection, Glendining’s, July 1927.

Chichester (MacDonell) Macdonell of Aberchalder was born in about 1761 in Inverness-shire, Scotland, the youngest son of Alexander Macdonell of Aberchalder. He emigrated from Scotland with his father and two uncles and all their extended family to New York on the Pearl in 1773. He enlisted in the Royal Yorkers (Kung’s Royal Regiment of New York) in 1778, during the American Revolution and served 6 years in total, being commissioned as a Lieutenant in Butler’s Rangers on 9 October 1781. In a Muster Roll dated November 1783 he is stated to be aged 18. After the Revolution, he settled in the township of Charlottenburgh, on the banks of the St Lawrence River, about six miles east of Cornwall, Ontario, with his brothers and father, where their seat was called Glengarry House (later burned down in 1813). Chichester continued his military service in the British Army with a commission as an Ensign in the 17th Foot at St Domingo on 7 April 1797. Promoted to Major in the 82nd Foot on 2 August 1804, he served in the Peninsula from August 1808 to January 1809 and was present at the battles of Roleia, Vimiera and Corunna. Macdonell received the Gold Medal for the battle of Corunna and, on 12 February 1809, was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. On 21 December 1809, he exchanged as Lieutenant-Colonel to the command of 34th Foot, which regiment he joined in India, where he died in 1811. Amongst his extended family who remained in North America, Colonel John Macdonell went on to become Major-General Brock’s military secretary and A.D.C., received the Gold Medal for the capture of Detroit, and was killed in action with Brock at Queenstown Heights; whilst Lieutenant-Colonel George Macdonell of the Glengarry Light Infantry received the Gold Medal for Chateauguay.