Product images of Presentation cup awarded to James Fitzjames
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Presentation cup awarded to James Fitzjames
Presentation cup awarded to James Fitzjames RN for lifesaving in the River Mersey 1835.
Silver cup of goblet shape, with gilt interior, chased and embossed overall with shell and flower decoration, with a matching circular foot, the stem composed of three sailors leaning on anchors. On one side of the bowl is Neptune in his sea chariot and on the other, two sailing cutters. Inscribed below the cutters is: 'PRESENTED to Mr Fitzjames R.N. of the Euphrates Expedition By his friends in Liverpool'. Under Neptune is inscribed : 'A token of their admiration of HIS GALLANT HEROISM in saving a drowning man in the River Mersey ON SUNDAY 1st Feb 1835 at the imminent hazard of his own life'.
William O'Byrne's 'Naval Biographical Dictionary' of 1849 records the presentation: 'On 1 Feb. 1835, while the Euphrates expedition was fitting out in the River Mersey, Capt. Fitzjames particularly distinguished himself by his heroism in plunging overboard, in face of a strong gale and lee tide, and saving the life, at the imminent hazard of his own, of a custom-house officer. A piece of plate was in consequence presented to him by the merchants, and the freedom of the city by the corporation of Liverpool; and the Royal Humane Society and London Shipwreck Institution each voted him a silver medal.'
James Fitzjames joined the Royal Navy in 1825, and between October 1834 and March 1837 was Mate of the 'Euphrates' steamer on the expedition to the river of that name under Colonel Chesney, during which he was injured and taken prisoner. In 1842 he was promoted to Commander, and in 1845 to Post Captain, in command of HMS 'Erebus' and was lost on Sir John Franklin's expedition in search of the North West Passage.
- Image reference: S0534-001
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London