Object Title

1.3 in mortar and bed

1.3 in mortar and bed



Object Number



These mortars were purchased 1969, part of a set formerly in a private collection

Physical Description

They are of small calibre and are alike, virtually a pair although not made as such. Each is cast with a wide circular flange at the base of the breech by means of which it is secured to a wooden bed at an angle of 65 degrees. There are mouldings at the muzzle and another moulding midway along the barrel below which is the inscription R DOYLY ESQr DEPVt GOVERNr OFYe TOWER 1715. There is a priming pan, the edge of which is pierced in line with the vent to permit clearing with a pricker

Each bed consists of a heavy rectangular block of oak, with bevelled edges, towards one end of which the mortar is secured by two long rivets passing through the whole thickness of the wood


Dimensions: Length Blocks: 14 in (35.6 cm), Width: 10.5 in (26.7 cm), Depth: 4.8 in (12.2 cm), Weight: Total: 28 lb 10 oz (13 kg)


Serial Number None visible


1.3 in


Places England

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.96-97.


These mortars were intended for firing salutes or 'feux de joie'. Robert D'Oyley, the fifth son of Sir John D'Oyley Bart., of Chiselhampton, Oxfordshire, was appointed Major of the Tower of London in July 1702. From 1711 onwards he acted as Captain of Invalid Companies stationed at the Tower, Hampton Court and Chelsea Hospital. In the Tower Journal for 1712 there is a note that 'Majr D'Oyley claims the Sutlers house call'd Punchbowl'. He was promoted Deputy to the Lieutenant Governor (Deputy Governor) in February 1715 and held this position until his death in 1722. He died in debt and intestate (Charles Dalton, 'English Army Lists'(London) and 'George the First's Army' (London, 1910-12); W.D'Oyley Bayley, 'A Biographical, Historical, Genealogical and Heraldic Account of the House of D'Oyley' (London, 1845), 35).