Battle of Culloden commemorative gold medal expected to make £100,000

The gold medal bears the bust of the duke on one side and a naked Apollo leaning on his bow and pointing to a dragon wounded by his arrow on the other. Image: Baldwin's of St James's

Only around 50 medals of this type are thought to have been struck. It is expected to make over £100.000 at auction.

The medal was made to commemorate the battle in which the Duke of Cumberland's loyalists defeated the Jacobite rebellion in 1746. This is the last time a pitched battle was fought in Britain.

Daniel Fearon, of Baldwin's of St James's, of London, said: "Fifty or so medals were struck for the society and surprisingly very few of them have survived so this medal is extremely rare."

The Battle of Culloden, 16th April, 1746

The Jacobite Rising was a rebellious attempt to overthrow the House of Hanover, restoring the House of Stuart to the throne.

Having failed to gain traction the Jacobites had retreated all the way back to Scotland, constantly tailed by the King's 6,000 man army. The Jacobites were pushed right up to Scotland, setting up camp at Inverness. Against advice the Jacobite leader, Charles Stuart, set up a defensive position on boggy land.

The battle was incredibly bloody. 1,500 Jacobites were slaughtered while less than 60 of the supporting troops lost their lives. This was mainly due to the Government troop's tactical use of the bayonet. Any rebels that escaped the battlefield were hunted and mercilessly killed. Charles quickly departed to France.

The harsh treatment of the remaining Jacobites in the weeks following the battle earned the Duke of Cumberland the nickname 'Butcher' Cumberland. To commemorate the battle he created the 'Cumberland Society', members of which were given a gold medal that was to be worn at any reunion or battle.

The medal being sold by Baldwin's of St James's is an example of the medal given to members of the 'Cumberland Society'. Daniel Fearon also said: "You may find a few of them in museums but virtually none are on the private market."

The auction will take place on January 14th.

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