Chinese Armorial Crest Cup CAPTAIN LENNOX 1790
Superb Chinese armorial cup, very finely painted wit the crest for CAPTAIN CHARLES LENNOX of Old Woodhead House. Lennoxtown, Scotland.
Perfect condition, minor wear.
Early in his career, he had served under his uncle CAPTAIN JOHN LENNOX (who also ordered a Chinese armorial service). On the East Indiamen 'Southampton' he manged to delay the trip from Bengal to Madras by ten weeks ! A contempary account by Wiiliam Hickey reveals his uncle's anger:
‘Hoot awa, maun, do not ausk me, ausk that de’il’s cheeld, Chareley, who, with aw his coorsed loonor oobservations and his daumned roond-aboot vagaries, haas keept oos at sea saxteen weeks fra the peelot.’ The Chareley alluded to was his nephew and chief mate, who although an enthusiastic advocate of the then new mode of working the longitude from lunar observations was not sufficiently experienced in it to avoid mistakes, the ill-consequences of which they had experienced.
(From Campsie to Kedgerie by B.R.Tomlinson Page 774 )
On 28th January 1797 the then Captain Charles Lennox of the 'Woodford' met the French Fleet in the Bali Strait, as part of a rich convoy of merchant ships. The merchant ships raised the blue Naval Ensigns to disguise themselves as well armed ships. As a bluff, they charged the French. The deceit worked and the superior French Squadron led by Admiral Sercey departed. Lennox could not celebrate his victory: by June he succomed to illness and was given a burial at sea before he could return home.
A seasons voyages could earn a captain nearly 1 million pounds in today's money. The family built Lennox Castle and purchased land with the proceeds.
The castle was sold in 1922 and the family seat became Downton Castle.
Provenance ; Downton Castle.