101107 | UNITED STATES, GREAT BRITAIN & SPAIN. Adm Edward Vernon bronze Medal.
101107 | UNITED STATES, GREAT BRITAIN, PANAMA & SPAIN. Admiral Edward Vernon bronze Medal. Dated 1739. Commemorating the capture of Porto Bello in Panama. (34mm, 10.24 g, 5h).
ADMIRAL VERNON TOOK PORTO BELLO, half-length bust of Vernon facing slightly left, holding staff / WITH SIX SHIPS ONLY, view of the harbor at Portobelo, with six ships; NOV 22 1739 in exergue.
Betts 189; Adams-Chao PBv 12-J (R-5); MI –. Choice Very Fine. Warm brown surfaces.
A pivotal naval base for Spanish forces in the new world, Porto Bello (now styled Portobelo in the Colón Province of Panama) allowed for persistent harassment of British ships by their Spanish counterparts throughout the Caribbean. In 1739, British vice admiral Edward Vernon boasted that he could take the port with a fleet of just six ships and, in November of that year, did just that—a feat which garnered him tremendous popular acclaim and an issuance of numerous medals (such as the present piece) in his honor. This decisive naval engagement was a part of the War of Jenkins' Ear, itself a subset of the War of the Austrian Succession (the genesis of another conflict—the French and Indian War in the North American theater).