The Doyle Cup is one of two presented to Lieutenant General Sir John Doyle by the Freemasons of Guernsey in 1806, one of a number of generous gifts presented at that time including a set of captured horse furniture originally intended for the Viceroy of Mexico. This cup was presented by Orange Lodge 116 and was purchased by the Library and Museum in 1938.
Lieutenant General Sir John Doyle was Deputy Grand Master. He had a distinguished military career but nearly ruined himself financially due to his generosity while Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey. He died in 1834.
The cup combines aspects of Doyle’s freemasonry and military career. The lid bears the arms of the Masonic Ancients Grand Lodge and a Royal Crown. The handle is a crocodile, the unofficial badge for all officers who had served in the Egyptian campaign under Ralph Abercromby which drove Napoleon from the country and the spout bears the Prince of Wales feathers – these had multiple relevance as Doyle was Colonel of the Prince of Wales Royal Irish Regiment, had been initiated in Prince of Wales Lodge and the Prince of Wales was Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of which he was a member.
Two upper panels show scenes from ancient Rome and mythical characters including Britannia, Hercules and Mercury. The central panels are, on one side, the battle for Chew’s House in Germantown (now part of Philadelphia) during the American Revolution (Doyle was on of the officers defending the house and was wounded in this action) and on the other an ornate group of Masonic symbols.
On the front is a panel with a lengthy dedication to Doyle. Around the base faith, hope and charity are represented as female figures and above them is a band of foliage.
The second cup, presented by Mariners Lodge remains in Guernsey and is very similar except that the battle scene is that of Hobkirk Hill in the American Revolution (Doyle was Brigade Major at the battle) and its finial is a representation of the order of the crescent as presented to Doyle while in Egypt.