John Martin Medal

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Norman Watson Medal

In 2004 Mr Norman Watson of Aylsham, Norfolk kindly gifted to the Community of Haydon Bridge a medal. This was originally in the collection of his grandfather John G. Watson. This bronze medal had been presented to John Martin and the face is so inscribed.

martin medal facemartin medal obverse
Frederick The Great (II) Commemorative Medal 'The Battle of Prague' 1757. Medal diameter is 48 mm. Obverse Legend: FRIDERICVS MAGN. D.G.REX BORVSS. EL. BRAND. DVX SILES. Reverse: FAMA PRVDENTIA VIRTVTE. Engraver Holtzhey In exergue: AVSTIR-EXERC- PROPE-PRAGEVNDIT-CAESOET-PRAGA OBSESSA VI MAJI MDCCLVII. Half-length bust right, rev Victory kicks Bohemia, knocking off her crown, 48mm
Frederick the Great
Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia (24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786)

It is confirmed that the date on the medal is 1757 and it shows Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia (24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786). He is remembered as a brilliant military campaigner. Interested primarily in music and philosophy and not the arts of war during his youth, Frederick unsuccessfully attempted to flee from his authoritarian father, Frederick William I, with childhood friend Hans Hermann von Katte, whose execution he was forced to watch after they were captured. Upon ascending to the Prussian throne, he attacked Austria and claimed Silesia during the Silesian Wars, winning military acclaim for himself and Prussia. Near the end of his life, Frederick physically connected most of his realm by conquering Polish territories in the First Partition of Poland.

The medal commemorates Battle of Prague or Battle of Šteboholy on May 6, 1757 Frederick the Great's 67,000 Prussians forced 60,000 Austrians to retreat, but having lost 14,300 men, decided he was not strong enough to attack Prague.

The circumstances of the presentation of this medal to John Martin are not known. This battle was, of course, earlier than Martin’s birth. It is thought that it was probably presented to him between 1830 and 1850 when he gained so many honours from the European Kings of the day (Czar Nicholas, the Sardinian Bonapartes, Leopold of the Belgians and Louis Philippe of France were admirers around these dates). So, it was probably presented in acknowledgement of his paintings possibly given to Frederick William III or Frederick William IV of Prussia. FW IV was a particular patron of the arts and reigned from 1840.

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