Medals and Commemorative Pieces

1788 medal commemorating the distinguished service of Admiral Samuil Karlovich Greig (1735-1788). Greig was Admiral of the Russian Fleet from 1782 until his death in 1788. Greig was born in Scotland and was in the Royal Navy during the Seven Years War of 1756-1763. Due to a program of cutting expenditures, he found himself unemployed after the war and at the age of 29, along with several other British officers who had lost their jobs, he went to St. Petersburg to serve in the Russian navy. Greig quickly rose in rank and commanded a squadron of Russian ships in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean during Catherine the Great’s war against the Ottoman Empire. He participated in the great Russian victory at Chesma in July, 1770, at which time a Turkish fleet of nearly 200 vessels was almost totally destroyed. Catherine promoted him to rear admiral and then to vice admiral, conferred with him personally, awarded him the star of St. Alexander Nevskii and in 1782 made him an admiral. Grieg commanded the fleet of the Gulf of Finland during the conflict with Sweden in 1788. While holding the Swedish fleet at bay off Sveaborg in October, Greig fell ill, and died on October 15 (26 old style), 1788.

Collection of Coins and Medals
Yale University Art Gallery
Gift of Dr. W. Gilman Thompson
2001.87.341

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