A Very Rare & Fine Cased Colt London Hartford Navy Percussion Revolver. 13 ½” overall, 7 ½" octagonal barrel with bead foresight & engraved 'Address Saml Colt New-York City', London proof marks, naval cylinder scene with London proofs, frame stamped on left hand side 'Colts patent' brass small trigger guard & backstrap, all parts numbered 80. Varnished walnut grips. In its oak, dark blue velvet lined London Agency case with large Dixon’s Patent powder flask marked 'Colts Navy Flask', colts patent bullet mould, turnscrew, wooden cleaning rod, Eley 250 cap tin, oil bottle and key. Label of ‘W. Edwards & Sons Plymouth’ Round brass escutcheon engraved ‘Capt. Shelton 93rd Highlands’
No 80 made 1853.
Very rare early London sold Colt. Pistol in very good condition, barrel with most original finish, cylinder with very good engraved Naval scene, cylinder and action with nearly all original finish and crisp engraving. Walnut grips very good. Case in very good condition (no key). Sold with a file of research on Captain Skelton.
Frederick Shelton Ensign 1840 14th Foot, 1840 Lieutenant by purchase.1849 Captain. Served with 98th in China campaign also Punjab. Exchanged into 93rd and went to Crimea.
The regiment embarked for Malta and the on to Constantinople from Plymouth on the 27th of February 1854 and it must of been then the he acquired the Colt Revolver. Retired 1856.
The regiment arrived at Stirling Castle in October 1848 and provided a Guard of Honour for Queen Victoria on her visit to Glasgow in August 1849. It embarked for the Crimea for service in the Crimean War in February 1854. As part of Brigadier-General Colin Campbell's Highland Brigade, it took part in the Battle of Alma in September 1854. On 25 October 1854, it was stationed outside the British-controlled port of Balaklava as part of its very thin defences. The Russian Army sent a large force to attack Balaklava, precipitating the Battle of Balaclava. The Russian threat was countered in part by the charge of General James Scarlett's Heavy Cavalry Brigade but the rest of the Russian force headed straight for the 93rd Regiment of Foot.
Campbell told the men of the 93rd Regiment of Foot as he rode down the line: "There is no retreat from here, men...you must die where you stand." One of the troops, John Scott, responded: "Aye, Sir Colin. An needs be, we'll do that." As the younger soldiers moved forward for a bayonet charge, Campbell called out: "93rd, 93rd, damn all that eagerness! The Times journalist W.H.Russell commenting on the action reported:
The Russians dash at the Highlanders. The ground flies beneath their horses' feet; gathering speed at every stride, they dash on towards that thin red streak topped with a line of steel.
This led to the regiment's nickname: "The Thin Red Line". The historical author, Thomas Carter, wrote:
Advancing in great strength, supported by artillery, the Russian cavalry appeared on the scene. One portion of them assailed the front and right flank of the 93rd., but were instantly driven back by the vigorous and steady fire of that distinguished regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel [William Bernard] Ainslie.
The regiment also took part in the Siege of Sevastopol in June 1855 before embarking for home in June 1856.