GREAT BRITAIN Queen Anne, Capture of Tournai. 39mm silver medal 1709 by John Croker. (MI II 354/190) NGC AU-58
Obverse: Bust of Queen Anne facing left., ANNA DG MAG BRI FRA ET HIB REG.
Reverse: Pallas seated by trophies, holding Medusa shield, TORNACO EXPVGNATO, (trans: Tournai stormed) MDCCIX
On 3 September 1709, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713), the French fortress of Tournai, under the command of Marshal de Villars, was captured by an army commanded by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy.
Tournai, designed by Louis XIV's famous military architect, Marquis de Vauban, was almost impregnable. The Allies surrounded the fortress in late June, but it held out until September. Besieging it cost Marlborough over 5,000 men and the fighting included extensive mining operations.
John Croker (1670–1741), engraver of English coins and medals, of German origin, was born at Dresden Germany. John Croker's godfather, took him as an apprentice to his business of goldsmith and jeweller at Dresden. During his leisure hours Croker worked at medal-engraving and tried to improve his knowledge of drawing and modelling. He later went to Holland, eventually coming to England towards the end of 1691. In England he worked with a jeweller, but later began to work exclusively as a medallist. In 1697 he was appointed an assistant to Captain Harris, the chief engraver of the mint. In this year Croker produced his first known English medal, relating to the peace of Ryswick. He was to become the chief engraver in 1705