Mourning Ring for Harry Harmood Esq Date 1808

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Perhaps once worn by his wife Mary.... or one of his two daughters Susannah or Fanny: a mourning ring for Captain Harry Harmood, ESQ 1739 - 1809. 

Engraved around the band: 'Harry Harmood ESQ OB 4 Feb 1809 AE 70' inside there hallmarks for London 1808-9, the head of George III and a maker's mark for Samuel Godbehere, who was apparently 'a good run of the mill maker'. 

Of gorgeous solid 18ct Gold, the band measures 7.26mm wide and is a ring size 'O and a half' or '7.25'. We have had the worn black enamel replaced to highlight the poignant message. 

 Our images include that of an oval miniature in watercolour on ivory, in an oval gilt metal suspension locket which is homed in the naval museum at Greenwich. He is shown head and shoulders against a neutral grey background, turned half to his right but looking at the viewer. He has brown eyes and wears his own hair curled and probably powdered, with a black queue ribbon visible, and is in the 1774-87 captain's dress uniform. Harmood was a younger son of Chane Harmood, a successful merchant (d.1756), and Mary (nee Daws, m. 1736). Harry's uncle, Commander James Harmood (c. 1713-1773), had earlier served with James Cook in the 'Northumberland' and his father paid for him to attend the Naval Academy at Portsmouth. He was commissioned lieutenant in February 1759, serving as second lieutenant of the 'Aquilon' from that year, first of the 'Arethusa' in 1771 and third of the 'Eagle' in 1776. As a commander from February 1777 he commanded the 'Falcon' ,16-gun sloop, which was the smallest of seven British warships burnt in Narragansett Bay in 1778, during the American War. He was promoted captain from October 1778 in the 'Conqueror', 74 guns, and in this ship was flag-captain to Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker in Byron's unsuccessful attempt to prevent the French taking Grenada in the West indies in July 1779. He progressed to the 'Princess Royal' in 1780, then in 1781 to the 'Cumberland' and 'Medway', 64 guns, in the Channel Fleet under George Darby. In December, under Kempenfelt, he was in the latter's action against De Guichen and from 1782 commanded the 'Ardent', 64, guardship at Portsmouth. In 1793 he became an Extra Commissioner of the Admiralty and briefly served (1793-94) as Commissioner at Gibraltar, then from 1796 as Commissioner of Sheerness Dockyard. He moved to Chatham as Dockyard Commissioner, 1801- May/June 1806, and may be the 'Harry Harmood Esq' who died at Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, London early in 1809, aged 70 ('Oxford Journal', 11 Feb.) though if so it is unusual that the press notice calls him Harmood 'Esquire' rather than using his naval rank, and he does not appear in the death notices in the 'Naval Chronicle', 1809-10. It is now known that his wife Mary's dates were 1747-1810 and they had two sons; Harry (1767-1833) and William (b. 1769). There is also another pair of drawings in the collection, 'Captain Harry Harmood' (1783) and 'Mrs A. Harmood', by John Downman (MNT0102, MNT0103). 

Most of our rings can be adjusted to fit for free, this can be done on purchase by making a note in the order form if you know the size, or at a later date if it is a gift. You can download our handy ring sizing guide here, but don't hesitate to contact us if you need further help with this. If visiting us size adjustments can usually be done in around an hour-ish. 

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