Object Title

4.5 in demi-culverin - The Commonwealth gun

4.5 in demi-culverin - The Commonwealth gun



Object Number



Purchased June 1984.

Physical Description

Made of iron. With pronounced mouldings at breech and muzzle and between the two reinforces. The breech ring is incised with the weight 26-2-0. The second reinforce bears the Commonwealth arms (St George's cross and Irish harp)


Dimensions: Length: 96 and 1/4 in, Overall length: 106 in Weight: 26cwt 2qtrs


Serial Number None visible


4.5 in


Places England


The cannon was found by the vendor, a fisherman, in 1983, in the North Sea in the area believed to be the site of the Battle of Terheyden or Scheviningen, fought 31st July/1st August 1653. Only one sizeable English ship was lost, the ' Oak', 32 guns, and it is therefore possible that this is one of her cannon. However, amongst the ships lost by the Dutch were two 'The Garland' and the 'Bonaventura' which had been captured from the English in the previous year (see Atkinson, letters and papers relating to the first Dutch Wars, vol V, p.372); and it is possible that these were still armed with artillery captured with them. The order for the fitting out of the 'Oak' was issued on 24th December 1652 (WO55/462), and it is therefore probable that it would have been equipped with new guns cast with the arms of the Commonwealth.