World_Coin_Nut's Blog

27 Aug 2020

1st Earl of Eldon

Medals | World_Coin_Nut

This was an impulse buy from Heritage in 2019. I just now got around to doing some research.
The catalog number is BHM-1308 which is part of the British Historical Medals series.
Diameter: 46mm
Composition: Silver
Engraver: Voigt

John Scott, 1st Earl of Eldon, was a British barrister and politician. He served as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain between 1801 and 1806 and again between 1807 and 1827.
His wife was the eldest daughter of Aubone Surtees, a Newcastle banker. The Surtees family objected to the match and attempted to prevent it, but a strong attachment had sprung up between them. On 18 November 1772, Scott, with the aid of a ladder and an old friend, carried off the lady from her father's house in the Sandhill, across the border to Blackshields, in Scotland, where they were married. The father of the bridegroom objected not to his son's choice, but to the time he chose to marry. It was a blight on his son's prospects, depriving him of his fellowship and his chance of church preferment.

In 1782, he entered Parliament for Lord Weymouth's close borough of Weobley in Herefordshire, which Lord Thurlow obtained for him without solicitation. In Parliament, he gave general and independent support to William Pitt. In 1788, he was appointed Solicitor-General and was knighted, and at the close of this year, he attracted attention by his speeches in support of Pitt's resolutions on the state of the king (George III, who then labored under a mental malady) and the delegation of his authority. In 1793, Sir John Scott was promoted to the office of Attorney-General, in which it fell to him to conduct the memorable prosecutions for high treason against British sympathizers with French republicanism, among others, against the celebrated Horne Tooke. These prosecutions were no doubt instigated by Sir John Scott and were the most important proceedings in which he was ever professionally engaged. He has left on record a defense of his conduct in regard to them.

In 1799 the office of chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas became vacant. Sir John Scott's claim to it was not overlooked, and after seventeen years' service in the Lower House, he entered the House of Lords as Baron Eldon. During this time Lord Eldon was revered for his work in consolidating equity into a working body of legal principles.

The chancellorship was given to him in 1801 professedly on account of his notorious anti-Catholic zeal. He was responsible for conducting the negotiations which resulted in the recall of Pitt to office as prime minister. Lord Eldon was continued in office as chancellor under Pitt, but the new administration was of short duration. On January 23rd, 1806 William Pitt died and his ministry was succeeded by a coalition, under Lord Grenville. The death of Fox, who became foreign secretary and leader of the House of Commons, soon, however, broke up the Grenville administration; and in the spring of 1807 Lord Eldon once more, under the Duke of Portland's administration, returned to the woolsack, which he continued to occupy for about twenty years.

In 1827, shortly after George Canning became Prime Minister Lord Eldon resigned in protest at the age of 76. This medal dates to this time period. He spent the rest of his life trying to regain his position.
I've managed to acquire a mid-size but growing collection of British Historic Medals. They have quite the following in the collecting community so the ones with an appealing theme can go for good money but the mintage was generally very low. This medal got graded by NGC a lowly MS60. For the life of me I can't figure out the low (in my opinion) grade but it is probably part of the reason I was able to purchase at a bargain price.



Doug S.

Level 4

Cool medal!! Impulse buys...not me! LOL Regards Doug


Level 5

I though we talked about impulse purchases? lol. Nice Medal and great background.


Level 5

Nice medal. Ive acquired an interest in medals this year. I believe medals might be my area now. Seeing nice medals makes me want to look around for a nice one. Nice post.


Level 6

Beautiful medal. MS 60? I don't think so. As you say it's the medal that counts. It is now in a safe slab. Great history. Thanks.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Looking at that medal, I can understand why you are so surprised by the grade, it looks exquisite and I can only assume the graders had no experience with this medal and just gave it an arbitrary MS60 to acknowledge its uncirculated status. Weird, but a beautiful medal nonetheless, have you ever thought about requesting a regrade?


Level 5

I have but this is not a highly sought after medal so it wouldn't really help the value much. I'm not going to send it off just to do it.


Level 7

Well some of us like these old pieces to hold and then put in a air tite. It figures the father of the bridegroom had to get involved with the choice that was made. Great huistory. MS 60. I don't think so. It should be a MS 64 . I don't know if you know but the token group many have been replaced. In there spot graders who are not familiar with them had taken there place. I sent 8 in two had mistakes.. It not the grade that counts. It's the token itself. And you did a great job. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks.

The medal looks like a solid uncirculated piece, so I'm not sure why it got graded so low either. Voigt makes some memorable medals. I wonder why this medal was commissioned after everything happened to him.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

This is interesting thanks for teaching us

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