Historical and Commemorative Medals
  Collection of Benjamin Weiss



ROETTIER, Joseph Charles: France, 1758, Bronze, 61 mm
Obv: Louis XV (r)    LUDOVICO XV. OPTIMO. PRINCIPI. COMITIA ARMORICA (The Commune of Brittany to Louis XV, the Best of Princes)
Rev: Genius of Brittany, with a sword in her hand and her shield at her feet, is suspending on a palm tree a shield inscribed:  VIRTUS DUCIS ET MILIT (The Valor of the General and of the Soldiers). Mars, on the other side, armed with a fulmen, attaches to the tree another shield inscribed:  VIRUS NOBIL. ET POP. ARM. (The Valor of the Nobility and of the People of Brittany). Around:  ANGLIS AB AGUILLONIO DUCE PROFLIGATIS (The English Defeated by the Duc d'Aiguillon)
Exergue:  AD SANCTUM CATUODUM M.DCC.LVIII. (At St. Cast, 1758)
Signed:  R. FIL. (Joseph Charles Roettier, the Son)
Ref: M.I. ii, 690/414;  Weiss BW556
Very Rare

This medal commemorates a battle between the English and French during the period of the Seven Years War (1756-1763), which at that time was the main conflict between all the major powers of Europe. In 1758, the English expedition, under the command of General Bligh and Commodore Howe, attacked Cherbourg, an important seaport in northwestern France, where they destroyed the harbor, forts and many of the French ships. The force then proceeded south along the French coast to St. Cast, the troops being set ashore near St. Malo, a seaport in Brittany, south of Cherbourg. Here they met the advancing force of the Duc d'Aiguillon with 15,000 troops. At this point the English thought it expedient to re-embark, but left behind a rear-guard of 1500 men under General Dury, which engaged the French army. General Dury was wounded in battle and drowned trying to swim towards his ship. The English loss in killed and prisoners taken was nearly 1000 men while the French loss was even greater.

The medal was struck by the Commune of Brittany in honor of Louis XV.