This coin is a gold Portuguese 6400 Reis, minted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1754,
during the reign of Jose l (1750-77). This coin was recovered from a wreck in the Indian
Ocean and is believed to be part of the “Clive of India treasure” circa 1755.
The British East Indiaman “Doddington” sailed from The Downs in England for
Fort St. George and Bombay in India on the 22nd of April 1755, in a fleet of five
ships. There were two hundred soldiers on board including a company of the
Royal Regiment of Artillery. In addition to supplies and munitions for the war
against the French in India, the cargo consisted of copper plates, trade goods
and gold and silver coins. One passenger, the wealthy and prominent Robert Clive,
a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, changed ships but left the major part of
his wealth on board the Doddington.
On the stormy night of 17th July, 1755, the Doddington wrecked without warning
off Bird Island, near present day Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with an appalling
loss of life. A mere twenty-three of the two hundred and seventy people aboard
reached the island and were marooned for seven months, until completion of
a sloop, the “Happy Deliverance”, built from the wreckage of the Doddington.