Lloyd's Patriotic Fund

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Lloyd's Patriotic Fund was founded on 28 July 1803 at Lloyd's Coffee House, and continues to the present day. Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund now works closely with armed forces charities to identify the individuals and their families who are in urgent need of support.

The contributors created the fund to give grants to those wounded in service to the Crown and to set up annuities to the dependents of those killed in action. The Fund also awarded prizes to those British combatants who went beyond the call of duty. The rewards could be a sum of money, a sword or a piece of plate.[1][2] The awards were highly publicized to help raise morale during wartime.[3] In 1807 the fund also donated £61,000 to the Royal Naval Asylum, giving Lloyd's Patriotic Fund the enduring right to nominate children to the school.[4]

On 24 August 1809 the Fund held a general meeting of its subscribers. The subscribers decided at that time to discontinue awards for merit. The Peninsular War was putting such demands on the Fund that it was felt that priority would have to go to support for the wounded and the dependents of those killed. Still, when the Fund awarded officers money for wounds received, some officers asked that the Fund give them an inscribed sword instead.


The Fund issued 15 swords worth £30 each, to midshipmen, masters' mates and Royal Marine lieutenants. Also, 91 swords worth 50 pounds each went to naval lieutenants and Royal Marine captains. It issued 35 swords worth £100 each to commanders and naval captains. In addition, it issued 23 swords, worth £100 each, to naval captains who fought at Trafalgar. Some 60 officers requested a piece of plate of equal value instead of a sword. Lastly, a number of officers opted for cash instead, either for themselves or to distribute to their crew.

One engagement might result in multiple awards. When a cutting-out party from HMS Franchise captured Raposa in 1806, naval lieutenants John Fleming and Peter Douglas, and Lieutenant of Marines Mend, each received a sword worth £50, while Midshipman Lamb received one worth £30.

Not all the officers who received swords or other merit awards were naval officers or Royal Marines. Some were captains of privateers or East Indiamen. The Fund awarded Mr. Thomas Musgrave, captain of the private man of war Kitty an honour-sabre worth £30 for the action in which Kitty captured the Spanish ship Felicity (or Felicidad). After the Battle of Pulo Aura, Lloyd's Patriotic Fund gave each captain a sword worth £50, and one to Lieutenant Robert Merrick Fowler (RN), who had distinguished himself in a variety of capacities during the engagement, and one worth £100 to Captain Nathaniel Dance, who had been the commodore of the fleet.


  1. ^ "Lloyd's Patriotic Fund". Lloyd's Patriotic Fund.
  2. ^ Low p165
  3. ^ Lincoln p95
  4. ^ Gawler p55


  • Low, Sampson The charities of London in 1861: comprising an account of the operations Sampson Low, Sons & Company. 1861
  • Lincoln, Margarette Representing the Royal Navy: British sea power, 1750-1815 Ashgate 28 December 2002. ISBN 978-0-7546-0830-1
  • Gawler, Jim Britons Strike Home: A History of Lloyd's Patriotic Fund, 1803 - 1988. ISBN 0-9520337-0-4

External links[edit]

  • Lloyd's Patriotic Fund [1]