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Title Snuff box - Admiral J L Stokes
Nationality British
Period 1836

This important box is made of Cuban mahogany from the wood of the Spanish ship Phoenix, renamed HMS Gibraltar, captured by Admiral Rodney at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1780 and finally scrapped in 1836. It is 100mm in diameter and the lid bears a silver plaque engraved 'Capt. J.L. Stokes R.N.'. Captain Stokes eventually became an Admiral.

The inner lid has an inscription on paper under glass with a description of the capture and ultimate fate of the ship.

Admiral John Lort Stokes (1812-85) joined the crew of the Beagle in October 1825 and was involved in surveying the waters of South America from 1828-30. The Beagle was recommissioned and, from 1831-36, Stokes was on board with Charles Darwin. Following the second voyage, Stokes was promoted to Lieutenant. Later he sailed on the voyage of discovery to Australia, where he was severely wounded by the natives in 1840. In 1841, Stokes took command of the Beagle, surveying Timor and New Zealand. On his return to England in 1843, Stokes wrote 'Discoveries in Australia with an account of the coasts and rivers explored and surveyed during the voyage of the Beagle, 1837-43', which was published in 1846. In July 1846, Stokes was promoted to Captain and commanded the steam ship Acheron, surveying New Zealand for four years. He retired in 1863, was promoted to Rear Admiral in the same year, Vice-Admiral in 1871 and Admiral in 1877.

Copies of service papers, confirming that he was First Mate on the Beagle during Darwin's cruise, are available with this item.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Miscellaneous : British : 19th Century]


The sword arrived safely and I am extremely pleased with the purchase.

B T, Canada, 05.12.2011

The buckle arrived, thank you very much! Very good package!! Thanks for the good and fast service..

C U, Germany, 07.04.2009