Troughton and Simms Compass
Owner : Morgan Crofton Molesworth
About the compass:
This compass is circa 1855 and it is engraved with the original owners name.
The compass is in first class condition. The two swiveling sun filters ( one amber and the other green) on the prism , a brass swiveling guard for the eyepiece and an adjustable folding mirror on the back sight are all intact.
The crystal is unmarked and clear.
The needle card is green and swings unhindered to find North.
The face , prism and filters are shielded when not in use by a lid that acts as a protective cover and also retains the transit lock lever in a locked position.
The cover has the words " Morgan C Molesworth, Royal Engineers" finely engraved in the beautiful copper plate style typical of that era.
About the owner:
Morgan Crofton Molesworth was born on May 3rd, 1837 in Phillipstown, Offaly, Ireland and died extremely young in 1867. Commissioned as a Gentleman Cadet from the Royal Military Academy Woolwich, he joined the Royal Engineers in 1855 at the age of 18 years old. After several promotions , he reached the now defunct rank of Second Captain before his death.
A plaque in the Royal Garrison Church in Portsmouth, England marked his passing - it reads " The above window is dedicated to the glory of God and in memory of Morgan Crofto Molesworth 2nd Captain Royal Engineers who died on July 10 1867. he was highly distinguished in his profession and greatly esteemed in the Garrison and by the community. He laboured for the restoration of this church with a fervent spirit serving the Lord and during the process of the work at the early age of 30 was himself laid to rest."
Sadly, there is no indication of what brought about his death, although a notice appeared in the Hobart Mercury as shown in the extract in the slide show. In addition, there are also extracts from the Government Gazette that outline Morgan's promotions.
The family line of Morgan Crofton Molesworth can be traced back to Walter de Lindsay, Lord of lamberton and Molesworth, who was born in Scotland around 1256. Three hundred years later a branch had established itself in Ireland where the first Viscount Molesworth was created.
The Australian branch of the family formed around 1852 when Robert Molesworth moved to Auburn, Victoria where he died on October 1890 after receiving a knighthood.
Comment from the Author
I purchased this very old compass from a gentleman in Ireland along with the unique provenance documentation. The compass has a genuine place in history.
The purchase was even more exciting when I found out that Morgan's relatives had settled in Australia in the suburb adjacent to where I was raised.