Object Title

Pattern 1815 Dutch Musket


After Napoleon's first abdication in 1814, French troops were withdrawn from Holland and Belgium and the two countries were brought together to form the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Prince William of Orange was declared King William I, and Brussels was chosen to be his capital.

The new Dutch-Belgian army consisted mainly of veterans that had served in Napoleon's army until a year previously – some of them in the Imperial Guard, the elite of the French army, others conscripted in 1811-13. As a result, the army was accustomed to French tactics and equipment. Their equipment initially included the old issue French musket – the Model 1777/ Year IX –many of which had been made by Malherbe of Liege but by the time of Waterloo the majority, if not all, of the Dutch Army was equiped with either the British India Pattern musket or the new Duch Model 1815 musket.

By the summer of 1815, the army of the Netherlands was in the midst of re-organisation and re-equipment. A Royal Dutch commission had been appointed the year before, and had recommended building a new musket, originally to be called the Model 1814 (later to be known as the Model 1815).

In outward appearance, the new musket would not be dissimilar to the French Year IX musket. It was built in two versions known as the No.1 and the No.2 – the difference being in the length of the barrel. The Model 1815 No.1 had a barrel length of 111.8 cm and the Model 1815 No.2 had a barrel length of 108.4 cm. In September 1814, the company Devilliers of Liege was contracted to supply 20,000 No.1 muskets and 8,000 No.2 muskets, the price of which was to be 13.15 francs each. It would have been these muskets that saw service on the field of Waterloo.

The quantities of Model 1815 Nos.1 and 2 (and No.3: a later percussion modification) that were made between 1814 and 1842 were:

* J Devillers: approx. 120,000 Nos.1 & 2
* Gebr. Malherbe: 52,000 Nos.1 & 2
* PJ Malherbe: 10,000 Nos.1 & 2
* MJ Malherbe de Goffontaine: 6,000 No.1
* JL de Loneux fils: 26,000 Nos.1 & 2
* P Lebens: 19,000 Nos.1 & 2
* J Walker (Birmingham): 8,000 Nos.1 & 2
* W&H Spangenberg: approx. 12,000 No.1

Use and Effect

Although some French muskets could be found in a few Dutch units at Waterloo, for the majority of the Dutch Field Army it was the British India Pattern musket and the Dutch Pattern 1815 Nr.1 and Nr.2 musket that they were eqiupped with. At the start of 1815 the five battalions of the 1st Brigade of the 2nd Netherlands Division (Count Bijandt in command), it was only the 7th Line Infantry Battalion that was still equipped with French Model 1777 An IX muskets, but they were rapidly re-equipped with new muskets before the battle.

The performance of the Pattern 1815 Nr.1 or No.2 musket was in essance no different to that of the British India Pattern musket.


Barrel length 108.4 cm (42.5 in)
Calibre 17.5 mm (0.69 in)
Country of manufacture Netherlands
Date entered service 1815
Loading Muzzle-loading
Overall length 149 cm (58.5 in)
Weight 4.5 kg (10 lb)


Mark Murray-Flutter