Royal Naval interest:
a rare Victorian Scottish 18ct gold presentation snuff box, oblong with serpentine shaped sides and reeded borders and thumbpiece, engraved all over with floral scrolls, trelliswork and a scroll cartouche on the cover, inscribed "From James Roy Esq. to Lieut W.Spiers R.N. 1845" *, by J.Nasmyth & Co, Edinburgh 1843, (contained in a lined and fitted case) - 3cm x 5cm x 9.75cm, approx 6.75oz.
* SPIERS, (Lieutenant, 1811)
William Spiers entered the navy, 4 Feb. 1804 as Ordinary, on board the Conquerer 74. Capt. Isreal Pellew, employed in the Channel and Mediterranean. Removing, in July, 1805, to the Canopus 80, Capts. Fras. Wm. Austen, Thos. Geo. Shortland, and Chas. Inglis, he fought in the ship as Midshipman, under the flag of Sir Thos. Louis, in the action of St. Domingo 6 Feb, 1806 and was Master's Mate of her at the passage of the Dardonells and in the expedition to Egypt in 1807. He co-operated also in the capture, in June 1809, of the islands of Ishia and Procida: assisted in causing the self-destruction of the ships-of-the-line Robuste and Lion of Cape Cette, 26 Oct, following: and besides, contributing to the annihilation of a gun boat flotilla on the coast of Italy, assisted, as Acting-Lieutenant, in the defence of Messina against the French in 1810. He subsequently acted for three months as Lieutenant in the Termagant 18, Capt. Henry Evelyn Pitfield Sturt; and on 3 Jan. 1881 he was confirmed into the Leydon 84, Capt. Edw. Chetham. In the course of the same year we find him serving off Cadiz in the Columbine 18, Capts Wm. Shepheard and Geo. Augustus Westphal; and, in Feb. and Nov. 1813 appointed to the Minos 19 and Cornwall 74, Capts Jas. Aberdour and W.C.R.Owen on the Newfoundland and North Sea stations. While in the latter ship, in which he continued until April, 1814, he landed at the head of a division of seamen on the island of South Beveland, and was publicly thanked for the conduct he displayed. Since he left the Cornwall he has been on half pay.
O'Bryne's Naval Biography, 1848.