China 1842 Medal to Andrew Burns Petty Officer HMS Harlequin
Andrew Burns was born in North Shields, Northumberland c 1818. He was the son of Andrew Burn and Margaret Carr.
The census records show that Andrew Burns described himself as a mariner all his life. His experience with Her Majesty's navy though was somewhat short lived. He served less than 4 years virtually all of it aboard HMS Harlequin.
His time aboard Harlequin was primarily in the Far East and he was eligible the China medal as a result of its participation in the last major battle of the war at Chinkiang on July 21, 1842. Harlequin was actively involved in the suppression of Pirates off the coast of Sumatra in early 1844.
The ship returned to England in 1845 and it appears that the first thing Burns did was get married. He and Susannah Goodman were joined in holy matrimony in Tynemouth.
He continued to live in the Tynemouth area until his death in 1885. Several Tyne River Pilots over the years were named Burn or Burns and I speculate that he may have been related to them or served with them in some capacity as a mariner.
HMS Harlequin was a brig-sloop launched at Pembroke in 1836. She carried 16 guns . Her distinctive figurehead (shown left) is at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The figurehead which is approximately 5 feet tall was made in 1845 by Hellyers of Portsmouth at a cost of almost 7 pounds and was housed at the Devonport dockyard before being presented to the NMM in 1936