The Field Officer’s Small Gold Medal awarded to Major Richard Chetham (later Strode), who commanded the 2/47th Foot at the battle of the Nive
Field Officer’s Small Gold Medal, for Nive (Major R. Chetham, 47th Regt.) complete with gold ribbon buckle in its Rundell Bridge & Rundell red leather case of issue, this in unusually good and fresh condition, together with original Horse Guards enclosure letter dated 1 July 1815, extremely fine £14,000-£18,000
Richard Chetham was born on 29 November 1771, the younger of twins with his brother Thomas. He entered the army as an Ensign in the 47th Foot in 1796, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1799; Captain, 25 May 1803; Major, 14 January 1813. He commanded the 2/47th Foot in the Peninsula, from September 1813 to April 1814, including the crossing of the Bidassoa, battles of Nivelle and Nive, and the sortie from Bayonne, after which the battalion returned home and was disbanded at Portsmouth, Major Chetham in consequence being placed on the half-pay of his regiment. He subsequently received the gold medal for Nive and was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel.
In 1827 he took the surname of Strode in addition to and after that of Chetham, as announced in the London Gazette of 30 October:
‘Whitehall, October 24, 1827.
The King has been pleased to grant unto Richard Chetham, of South-hill-house, in the parish of West Cranmere, in the county of Somerset, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army on half-pay of the 47th (or Lancashire) Regiment of Foot, His royal licence and authority, that he and his issue may (in compliance with a clause contained in the last will and testament of his maternal uncle, John Strode, late of South-hill-house aforesaid, Esq., a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Somerset Militia, deceased) henceforth take and use the surname of Strode, in addition to and after that of Chetham, Strode in the first quarter; provided such arms be first duly exemplified according to the laws of arms, and recorded in the Heralds’ Office, otherwise the said royal licence and permission to be void and of none effect. And also to command, that the said concession and declaration be registered in His Majesty’s College of Arms.’
Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Chetham Strode did not, however, survive many months to enjoy his new title and inheritance, his death being announced in The Gentleman’s Magazine in 1828:
‘July 27. At South-hill-house, near Shepton Mallet, aged 55, Lieut.-Col. Richard Chetham Strode, late of the 47th Foot.
This gentleman, who took the name of Strode only in last October, entered the army as Ensign in the 47th regiment in 1796. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1799, of Captain in 1800; was in 1803 appointed to a Captaincy in his regiment; obtained the brevet of Major in 1812, and a Majority in the 47th in 1813. He served in the East and West Indies and in the Peninsular War, and wore a medal for the battle of the Nive.
On the 11th of last September died his twin brother, Thomas Chetham Strode, esq. Colonel of the East Somerset militia; and on the 30th of the following month Colonel Chetham received his Majesty’s licence to assume the name of Strode, in pursuance of the will of his maternal uncle, John Strode, esq. The Colonel married, in 1810, Miss Thomlinson, daughter of the Rev. R. Thomlinson, Rector of Clay in Norfolk, but has left no family. His next brother, Randle Chetham, esq. succeeds to the estates, and assumes the name of Strode.’
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