Object Title

Breech-Loading Iron Gun and Bed

Breech-Loading Iron Gun and Bed



Object Number



An iron gun recovered from the Mary Rose in 1840, together with XIX.167, and purchased in the same year by the Board of Ordnance.

Physical Description

Only forty-four hoops remain entirely detached from any longitudinal bars. Only a few rusted remains of these bars survive. Blackmore in 1976 described it thus: of built-up construction, being formed of flat iron bars with iron hoops passed over them and shrunk on. The iron bars forming the bore having disappeared for over half the length, leaving the hoops unsupported. The breech and an unknown length from the muzzle end are missing. One hoop with eyes for approx two rings remains, one ring being preserved.

The bed, possibly that belonging to the gun, is formed from a heavy piece of elm of square section only the rear portion being preserved and this has split longitudinally. The upper part is hollowed out to take the barrel and its chamber and has a vertical drainage slot. An opening at the rear of the bed was possibly originally a slot for a wooden upright to prevent recoil. An unknown length, probably not less than five feet, is missing from the front and some six inches from the rear. There are three rectangular holes on either side which probably held ringbolts.


Dimensions: Present length: 72 in (182.9 cm),, BED: Length right side: 74 in (188 cm), Length left side : 58 in (147.3 cm), Width max: 20.5 in (52.1 cm), Depth max: 17 in (43.2 cm)


Serial Number None Visible


Approx 6 in _ (15.2 cm)


Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London.


At the time of purchase it was with its own chamber on the original wooden bed and is apparently the gun illustrated by Sir S.D. Scott in 'The British Army' (London, 1868), II, pl.18. When ffoulkes catalogued it in 1916 it still had its 'rings for lifting; chamber and wooden bed'. Cf. No.XIX.2, 163 and 167.