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Walking stick made from copper and oak from HMS FOUDROYANT

Date: 1897
Overall: 875 mm, 0.4 kg
Medium: Oak, copper, silver
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Dr A Marshall
Object Name: Walking stick
Object No: AX009950

User Terms

    Walking stick made from oak and copper from Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship HMS FOUDROYANT.
    SignificanceThis walking stick relates to the importance of Admiral Lord Nelson in the history of the Royal Navy and the esteem in which he was held for generations.
    HistoryHMS FOUDROYANT (French for Thunder & Lightning) was the second Royal Navy ship of that name. Launched at Plymouth in 1798 as a 2nd rate of line battleship with 80 guns it became Nelson's flagship in the Mediterranean from 1799 to 1800, taking part in the recapture of Naples from the French as well as the recapture of Malta and the taking of a number of French ships. In 1801, after a refit, it became the flagship of Admiral Lord Keith in the Egyptian campaign. In 1808 FOUDROYANT was Admiral Sir Sydney Smith's flagship for his expedition to South America, where it remained on the South America Station. The ship was finally paid off in November 1812 and remained in Plymouth in harbour service.

    In 1862 the old battleship was converted to a training ship and served at the gunnery school in Plymouth. Sold in 1892 to a German firm for breaking up, a public outcry that such an important relic relating to the great Nelson was being lost, resulted in the philanthropic George Wheatley Cobb purchasing and restoring the ship - for the enormous sum of £20,000. In order to recoup some of the costs, Cobb intended to display FOUDROYANT at English ports and undertake sail training activities.

    Undertaking the fund raising tour, FOUDROYANT was moored some two miles out to sea in Blackpool Sound between Central and North Piers in June 1897. During a severe storm she broke anchor and was beached, narrowly missing one of the piers. The 28 crew members were rescued by the Blackpool lifeboat. The ship was deemed unrecoverable and put up for public auction. From the records it appears the majority of salvageable material (timber and copper sheathing) was purchased by Goodhall, Lamb & Heighway Ltd of Manchester and Fletcher's Antique Furniture & the "Foudroyant" Company Limited of Blackpool.

    Both companies turn the scrap into souvenirs for sale to the general public. The timbers were crafted into various furniture pieces and the copper into more personal items such as wall plaques, match boxes and napkin rings. Some 25,000 copper medallions were made to raise funds for the Foreign and British Sailors' Society.

    The remains of FOUDROYANT were finally dashed to pieces by winter gales at the end of 1897.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Walking stick made from copper and oak from HMS FOUDROYANT

    Web title: Walking stick made from copper and oak from HMS FOUDROYANT

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