1821, with 2in. objective lens, silver plated fittings and interchangeable draw tubes signed Dollond London, each further engraved Commodore the Honble. Sir Charles Paget K.C.H. from his esteemed & beloved Sovereign George 4th, On Board the Royal George Yacht, Cowes Roads, Augst. 4th, 1821,
Contained within fitted mahogany box of issue – 40 1/4 in. (102cm.) diameter.
The tapering mahogany main tube with 2in. objective lens and single draw signed J&W Watkins/Charing Crofs/LONDON and further inscribed This glafs belonged to/His Majesty William the 4th/when he was at Sea/was given by him/to Lord Adolphus Fitz Clarence/who gave it to/Berkeley Paget/1831, the eyepiece with dust-slide (missing lens cap) — 25¼in. (64cm.)
Sir Charles Paget (1778-1839) entered the navy in 1790 under the patronage of Sir Andrew Snape Douglas. He enjoyed rapid promotion and on 30th March 1803 he commissioned the large frigate Endymion, and commanded her for the next two years, cruising in the channel, the Bay of Biscay, and on the coast of Spain or Portugal.
In 1804 he captured four Spanish treasure ships from South America, gaining £26,000 prize money, much of which he spent on a country seat and a wife. Afterwards he commanded various frigates or ships of the line in the channel, and from 1812 to 1814 the Superb (74 guns), in the Bay of Biscay and on the coast of North America. Between 1817 and 1819 he was in command of the Royal Yacht George in attendance on the Prince Regent and was made a KCH on 19th October 1819. He continued his rise through the ranks until 10th January 1837 when he was made vice-admiral and commanded on the North America and West Indies station until his death from yellow fever at St Thomas, Jamaica, on 27th January 1839.
Jeremiah and Walter Watkins only worked between 1794 and 1798 from 5 Charing Cross, London, the partnership ending with Walter’s death. Stocking a full range of optical and philosophical instruments of high quality, they were telescope makers by Royal Appointment to the Duke and Duchess of York and the Duke of Clarence, later William IV. The lot offered here bears a striking resemblance to the instrument held by the Duke whilst wearing his full dress naval uniform in the famous portrait painted by Sir Martin Archer Shee, circa 1800.
Lord Adolphus FitzClarence (1802-1856) was the seventh child (fourth son) of the happy-but-illegitimate family of five sons and five daughters created by the Duke of Clarence (later William IV) and the comic actress Dorothea Jordan at Bushy Park, Middlesex. Adolphus was sent to sea at the age of eleven, receiving his commission in 1821. In December 1826 he was made captain and had several commands before his father’s coronation and thereafter he commanded the Royal Yacht until 1853 when he was promoted to flag rank. He died unmarried on 17th May 1856 at Newburgh Priory, Yorkshire.
The Hon Berkeley Paget (1780-1842), a politician, was the younger brother of Henry Paget (Marquis of Anglesey); Sir Arthur Paget; General Sir Edward Paget; and Sir Charles Paget, another naval officer who commanded the Royal Yacht prior to William and was given a fine telescope by George IV (please refer to sale 004 lot 109, 21 Oct 2009 in these rooms). It is presumed that Berkeley made the acquaintance of Lord Adolphus through his elder brother although in his own right he was a successful politician serving as MP for Anglesey from 1807 and later Milborne Port in 1820, and was a Lord of the Treasury between 1810-1826. Marrying well, he was well-connected in society and between this and his other illustrious brothers, was no doubt well acquainted with the Royal Family.