Lot 284

A FINE 1796 PATTERN INFANTRY OFFICER'S SWORD BY WRIGHT, SWORD CUTLER, NO. 72, ST JAMES'S STREET, LONDON, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY of regulation type, the fullered blade etched and gilt with foliage, the crowned Royal arms, a trophy-of-arms centring on a Britannia shield on one face and with a further trophy-of-arms, crowned GR cypher and the seated figure of Britannia on the other (worn), gilt-brass hilt including foliate quillon and folding side-guard with blued spring, the grip bound with plaited silver wire between gilt collars, in its tooled leather scabbard with gilt-brass mounts comprising chape, locket and middle-band, the latter two with a ring for suspension, the locket signed with the maker's details on the reverse and the owner's crest on the front 81.0 cm; 31 7/8 in blade The crest is hat of Besley, Craddock, Foley, Ford, Roper or Warren. John Francis Cradock, First Baron Howden (1762-1839) was educated at Trinity College, Dublin after which he rose quickly in the army, entering as cornet in 1777 in the 4th regiment of horse. In 1779 he transferred as ensign to the 2nd (Coldstream) guards, was promoted lieutenant in 1781 and in 1785 to major in the 12th light dragoons. In 1786 he exchanged into the 13th regiment, in 1789 he was promoted lieutenant-colonel and in the following year commanded the regiment when it was ordered to the West Indies. In 1791 Cradock returned to England on being appointed acting quartermaster-general in Ireland but in 1793 he accompanied Sir Charles Grey to the West Indies as aide-de-camp where he was given command of two picked battalions selected for dangerous services. At their head he served throughout the campaign in which Grey seized the islands of the French West Indies, and he was wounded at the capture of Martinique. At its conclusion he received the thanks of parliament and was promoted colonel of the 127th regiment. On 1 October 1795 he was appointed assistant quartermaster-general, and on 1 January 1798 was promoted major-general. In 1798 his local knowledge was invaluable to Lord Cornwallis in the suppression of the Irish uprising. Cradock was present at the battle of Vinegar Hill and the capture of Wexford, accompanied Cornwallis against the French general Humbert, and was wounded in the affair at Ballinahinch. He sat in the Irish House of Commons as MP for Clogher, co. Tyrone (1785-90), Castlebar, co. Mayo (1790-97), Midleton, co. Cork, from 1799 to April 1800, and Thomastown, co. Kilkenny, in May 1800. In parliament he was a staunch supporter of the government, and on 17 February 1800 acted as second to the Rt Hon. Isaac Corry, chancellor of the Irish exchequer, in his famous duel with Henry Grattan in Phoenix Park, Dublin. At the same time, he strengthened his political connections by marrying, on 17 November 1798, Lady Theodosia Sarah Frances Meade (d. 1853), third daughter of John Meade, first earl of Clanwilliam. Abridged from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The maker, Wright, is recorded at this address circa 1797-1811, after which his widow continued the business until 1816. See Southwick 2001, p. 261.