Noble Numismatics Pty Ltd
Auction 132  27-31 Mar 2023
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Lot 4416

Estimate: 36 000 AUD
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Pair: Seringapatam Medal 1799, in silver gilt with incorrect ribbon and with buckle ribbon suspender; Sultan's Medal for Egypt 1801, in gold (48mm), with buckle clasp inscribed 'From The Grand Signior For Egypt 1801' and with buckle ribbon suspender, both medals encapsulated in glazed cases with brass frames which have the naming details around the edge. Captain. G. Molle. Grenadiers Scotch Brigade. on first frame edge and Captn. G. Molle. A,D,C, & Military. Secry. To Major General. D. Baird. on second frame edge. In a specially made fitted case, contact marks, otherwise fine - nearly very fine.

George James Molle was born at Mains, Chirnside, Berwickshire in 1773, the son of John and Margaret (nee Crow) Mow, established members of Scottish landed gentry. At the request of William Mow, George's eldest brother, the family name was changed to Molle by an Act of Sederunt of the Court of Petty Sessions on 11 August 1789.

In June 1793 George Molle was commissioned as an Ensign in the Scotch Brigade, later the 94th Foot. On 12 May 1794 he was promoted to Lieutenant and on 1 July 1795 to Captain in the army and then on 29 March 1798 Captain in the Scotch Brigade. On 3 September 1803 he became a Major with the 8th Battalion Reserve and on 2 June 1804 he moved to the 9th Foot attaining the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel on 2 September 1808. He was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 46th Foot on 3 June 1813 and on 20 June 1813 he was commissioned as Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of New South Wales. George Molle was appointed brevet Colonel on 4 June 1814.

In 1799 Captain Molle served in the 4th Mysore War with the Scotch Brigade. He was wounded at Seringapatam on 27 April 1799. He was stationed in India and Egypt where he was Aide-de-Camp to General Sir Douglas Baird in 1801-2. In 1803 he returned to England with dispatches from 1st Marquess Wellesley and after a few years he then served against Portugal and was severely wounded on 17 August 1808 at the Battle of Rolica, the first battle of the Peninsular War. After returning for a short while to England to recuperate he returned to Portugal and took part in the action near Oporto on 28 March 1809.

Molle had become acquainted with Lachlan Macquarie in India and Egypt in 1801-2 when they both served under Major General Baird. They met up again in 1805 on a visit to see General Baird but did not meet again until George Molle arrived in Sydney as commanding officer of the 46th Regiment of Foot to take up his appointment as Lieutenant-Governor of NSW. To honour his appointment a dinner party was held at Government House in Sydney on 28 March 1814 and on that occasion the departing Lieutenant-Governor, Lieutenant-Colonel O'Connell was also toasted.

George Molle and his wife took an active part in the Sydney society becoming patrons of the Female Orphan School and served on the committee of the Institution for the Civilisation, care and education of aborigines. Molle was also a member of the Masonic Lodge of Social and Military Virtues No.227 and participated in the first public Masonic ceremony in Port Jackson on 2 November 1816, namely the laying of the foundation stone of Masonic Brother Captain John Piper's house at Point Eliza, now known as Point Piper.

Unfortunately Molle and Macquarie had a falling out and things between him and his regiment with Macquarie and others such as William Wentworth became quite bitter. Finally Macquarie requested that the 46th Regiment be removed and in August 1817 the 48th Regiment arrived to relieve it. George Molle would later die at Belgaum, India on 9 September 1823. His son, William Macquarie Molle, inherited The Molle's Maines Estate in NSW, a land grant at Currans Hill made to Molle in 1816.

George Molle is remembered by a small stream near the NSW town of Wellington which was named Molle Rivulet in his honour by the Surveyor-General John Oxley in 1817. Also, in Queensland's Whitsunday islands there was a small group named the Molle group, North, South, Mid and West Molle, by Lieutenant Charles Jeffries RN. West Molle was later renamed Daydream Island. The other islands still bear his name.

Together with a considerable amount of research including copies of his various Oaths and Declarations when being sworn in as Lieutenant-Governor.

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