Luxury Design, Past & Present
The openwork gold pendent mount supports a three sided faceted quartz, each side seal engraved respectively with the crest of Hood within the motto ‘Tria Juncta in Uno for the Order of the Bath; the crest of Hood within the motto for the Order of the Bath and surmounted by a viscount’s coronet, and the coat of arms of Hood impaled with West for Alexander Hood, Viscount Bridport (1726-1814) who married Mary (c.1706–1786), daughter of Richard West, prebendary of Winchester. English, circa 1788.
Alexander Hood, Viscount Bridport (1726-1814) entered the Royal Navy in 1741, a few weeks before his elder brother Samuel, later Admiral Viscount Hood (1724-1816). Made post captain in 1756, Hood served through the Seven Years War commanding Minerva, 32 guns, at the Battle of Quiberon Bay on 20 November 1759. In 1761, Minerva joined the squadron which escorted Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg to England for her marriage to King George III. In a further sign of royal favour, Hood was then given command of the royal yacht Katherine III. In 1780, he was made rear-admiral and, with peace, turned his attention to politics as member of parliament for Bridgwater in Somerset. In 1782, he joined the relief of Gibraltar in Queen, 90 guns. On 7 May 1788 he was made Knight of the Bath and, with the outbreak of war with France in 1793, hoisted his flag in Royal George, 100 guns. In April 1794, Hood was made admiral shortly before he fought at the Battle of the First of June for which he received a naval gold medal and was created Baron Bridport in the Irish peerage (matched in the British peerage two years later). In 1796, Bridport was placed in command of the Channel Fleet in which position he was soon thrust into the Spithead Mutiny when he adopted a sympathetic approach to the seamen’s grievances, earning their gratitude and respect. Until April 1800 Bridport maintained the blockade of Brest with never less than 28 warships, a highly complex and stressful task which, now in his seventies and after nearly sixty years of service, took a heavy toll on his health. Made Viscount Bridport in 1801, he retired to Cricket St Thomas, his home in Somerset, where he died in 1814. On his death, Bridport’s viscountcy lapsed, but he was succeeded as second Baron Bridport by his great nephew Samuel Hood, who married Charlotte Mary Nelson (1787-1873), only daughter of first Earl Nelson and niece of Admiral Viscount Nelson.