A Cased Pair of Percussion [from flintlock] Man Stopper Pocket Pistols by Clark. 7" overall, 1 ¾” turn off round steel 20 bore barrels. London proof marks to breeches, rectangular engraved actions with 'Clark' to the left hand side & 'Royal Holborn London' to the right hand side. Centre mounted cocks with sliding safeties, triggers guards. Walnut slab sided butts. Contained in their purple velvet lined rosewood case with bookplate of Captain Sir Thomas Dyer inside the lid, his name also engraved on the brass escutcheon plate on the lid. Partitions loose no accessories bar a barrel key.
Pistols in good condition, a good quality conversion to percussion.
“Sir Thomas Swinnerton Dyer, born 4 Nov. 1771, eldest son of the late Thos. Dyer, Esq., by Mary, relict of Wm. Berney, Esq., of Barbadoes; brother of Sir John Dyer, K.C.B., who was killed 2 July, 1811; and nephew of Sir John Swinnerton Dyer, Bart., a Lieut. -Colonel in the Army, and a Groom of the Bedchamber to George IV., when Prince of Wales, who died in 1801. He succeeded his first-cousin, the late Lieut.-General Sir Thos. Rich. Swinnerton Dyer, as eighth Baronet, in April, 1838. This officer entered the Navy in 1782, on board the Union 90, Capts. Dalrymple and Moistin, and, toward the close of the same year, was present at the relief of Gibraltar, and in Lord Howe’s partial action with the combined fleets of France and Spain. Between Aug. 1783 and the receipt of his first commission, 29 June, 1793, he appears to have next served, on the Home and Mediterranean stations, in the Elizabeth 74, Capt. Moistin, Culloden 74, Capt. Cotton, Carysfort 28, Capt. Matthew Smith, Leander50, flag-ship of Admiral Joseph Peyton, Bulldog 16, Capt. Thos. Peyton, Alfred 74, Capt. John Bazely, and Victory 100, bearing the flag of Lord Hood. Joining then the Egmont 74, Capts. Archd. Dickson and John Sutton, he served on shore at the occupation of Toulon in Aug. 1793, and, early in the following year, contributed to the reduction of Corsica, where he landed at the taking of the tower of Mortella, and witnessed the capture and destruction of the French frigates Minerve and Fortunée. While in the same ship, Mr. Dyer, besides participating in Hotham’s action of 13 July, 1795, boarded, and assisted in bringing out of Tunis Bay, 9 March, 1796, the French vessels Nemesis of 28, and Sardine of 22 guns. Prior to the peace his appointments were, next, to the Mahonesa 40, Capts. John Ferris Devonshire and John Giffard, Hector 74, Capt. Peter Aplin, Blenheim 90, bearing the flag of Sir John Orde, Diadem64, Capt. John Dawson, and to the command, for 13 months, of the Ready gun-brig. On the renewal of hostilities, Mr. Dyer joined, 5 July, 1803, the Sea Fencibles at Rye, in Sussex, where he remained until appointed, 3 July, 1805, First-Lieutenant of the Vesuvius bomb, Capt. Jas. Lillicrap. In Nov. 1805, meditating an attack upon the flotilla in Boulogne Roads, Rear-Admiral Sir Wm. Sidney Smith, then in command of the British squadron off Dover, issued a general notification, expressive of the intention of Government to reward any signal act of bravery that might be performed during the approaching operations. In consequence of this announcement, Mr. Dyer volunteered the command of a boat with only nine hands, and presently had the good fortune, at a distance of four and a half mUes from the squadron, to blow up, by means of a carcass expressly prepared, and in the centre of 26 of the enemy’s vessels, one of the only two that were destroyed on that occasion. Yet, although six of his men had been wounded, he received no other acknowledgment for this very gallant exploit than that of being personally complimented by the Rear-Admiral. Alter a brief attachment to four other ships (under Capt. Wm. Mounsey, Lord St. Vincent, and Capts. Wm. Gordon Rutherford and Edw. Codrington), Mr. Dyer, a few days subsequent to his removal to L’Athenienne 64, Capt. Robt. Raynsford, was wrecked, on the Esquerques Rocks, near Tunis, 27 Oct. 1806, on which occasion the Captain and 396 of the crew perished. By that untoward event he suffered an uncompensated loss of property to the amount of 276l. Until paid off on his return to England in July, 1807, he next served in the Pompée74, bearing the flag of Sir W. S. Smith, and Juno 32, Capts. Henry Richardson and Hon. Granville Leveson Proby. He also held command for some time of the Centurion receiving-ship at Halifax, and, on 12 July, 1810, was at length, through the influence of the Duke of Kent, promoted to his present rank in the Driver 18. He paid that sloop off 8 Jan. 1811; and has not since been employed. Sir Thos. Swinnerton Dyer, who is senior Commander of 1810, was admitted to the out-pension of Greenwich Hospital 24 April, 1837. He married, 14 April, 1814, Mary, daughter of John Davis, Esq.” Source: A Naval Biographical Dictionary by William Richard O'Byrne.