Unusual medallion celebrating Admiral Vernon's naval victory at Portobello, during the War of Jenkin's Ear.
Edward Vernon ("Old Grog") (12 November 1684 - 30 October 1757) was an English naval officer. DuringWar of Jenkins' Ear, Vernon was promoted Vice-Admiral (of the Blue) on July 9,1739 and, as he had prominently spoken for both the war and the Navy, he was given the command of a squadron of six ships. The Gentleman's Magazine reported England's preparations for war against Spain in July 1739, noting that Vernon had been recalled to active duty and promoted and that, on July 10, 1739, King George II had instructed the Lords of the Admiralty to prepare Letters of Marque; and (a week after the fact) it reported Vernon and his squadron had sailed for the West Indies on July 20, 17399.
Despite the unmistakable signs of Great Britain preparing for a naval war in the summer of 1739, the formal declaration of war against Spain was not announced in London until October 23, 1739. On 21 November 1739 Vernon captured the Spanish colonial possession of Porto Bello (now in Panama) using just six ships (against the 90 men Spanish garrison). Vernon was subsequently granted the Freedom of the City of London and commemorative medals were produced.