Object Title

Gun - English Falconet, 2-pounder & Carriage

Gun - English Falconet, 2-pounder & Carriage



Object Number



Manufactured by an unknown party at the request of the City of London for William, Duke of Gloucester (1689-1700) son of Queen Anne (1665-1714) reigned between 1702 and 1714.

Physical Description

The barrel is elaboately decorated in part. There is a decorated base ring with a decorated cascable and button. On the muzzle side of the base ring are two fillets, a ring and a further fillet then a partially decorated vent field before a prominent vent field astragal and fillets. Then the first reinforce which is plain in its middle portion has a band of decoration at each end. The first reinforce ring has two fillets on its muzzle side then an ogee and a further fillet. The second reinforce has elaborate decoration and holds the trunnions. There is then a fillet, a chase astragal which is decorated and two further fillets. Just on the muzzle side there is then a band of decoration before a plain centre section before the same band of decoration before the muzzle astragal and fillets and a further band of decoration on the muzzle side. The muzzle has a flare with decoration and three mouldings on the muzzle face. The field carriage is original with the cheeks carved with trophies of arms and, with the Sidney arms, the trail carved with foliage.





BarrelBore58 mm
BarrelLength48.5 in
BarrelLength54 in
BarrelLength1232 mm
BarrelLength1372 mm
BarrelWeight152 kg
BarrelWeight335 lb
CarriageDiameter48 in
CarriageDiameter1168 mm
CarriageLength73 in
CarriageLength1854 mm


Serial Number None visible


58 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Decorative pattern
Chased foliage
Either side of each astragal and ring
In relief
The arms with the crest and supporters of Hnery Sidney, Earl of Romney, Master General of the Ordnance 1693-1702. Motto `Quo Fata Vocant` (Whither the Fates Call).
Second reinforce
In relief


Places England

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.68-69.


This gun, together with the pair to it XIX.36, are traditionally said to have been a gift from the City of London to William, Duke of Gloucester (1689-1700), son of Queen Anne. (Carman, 1784 edit). No mention of such a gift exists in the City records however, and it may be remarked that the royal arms appropriately differenced do not form part of the decoration of the guns as might be expected were the story correct.
The presence of the Earl of Romney's arms alone, prominently displayed on both guns and on the surviving carriage, suggests that they were made in the first place for the Master General. Whether intended from the outset as a gift for the young Duke is not known. When only five years old he was allowed a small company of boy soldiers whose officers had 'hats and feathers and the soldiers all red caps' which he drilled in Hyde Park. He celebrated 'all remarkable days, such as the birthdays of the King, & the Princes and Princess, the coronation day, & the wedding day of the latter, by discharging seven guns he had viz., four iron ones, given him at Tunbridge, & two others, bought at Windsor, and a very fine one made by order of Prince Rupert, which the governor of Windsor-castle gave him, besides his small guns'(N.Luttrell, Diary, III, 265-6; J. Lewis, ' Memoirs of Prince William Henry Duke of Gloucester (1789),53). The Romney guns would have been given to him when he was ten, for bills for the carriage indicate that they were made in 1699. The carved cheeks were constructed by Henry Hayward, Master Carpenter to the Ordnance, whose bill, dated 30 June 1699, reads: 'for ye carriage work under mencion'd by him perform'd for ye Service of his Royall Highness the Duke of Gloucester Pursuant to a Warrt Dat 22d Aprill 1699, certified per Collr George Browne Mar Gunner of England vizr.
2 Body's of Travellg Carriage for Falcon:
Off right Wainscott smooth wrought Wth 4 Pannells revealed and carved richly Wth my Lord Romneys Supporters, Coronett & Crest, Wth various sort of Trophy's on ea. side, 4 pannells carved Wth modern Trophy's, 12 pannnells more Wth Severall Sorts of Ornamts as ffoldridge, Lawrell branches Wth husks and berry's with Astrigall mouldings round Ye sides of the same and carving 2 mask faces on Ye topp at 22li 10s ae: £45.00.00' (W.0 51/58, cf105)
There was also a 'Small Morterpeice Carriage: Carved Wth Astrigall and other Ornaments round the coynes and Handspikes' charged at £3. Hayward supplied numbers of plain carriages to the Ordnance and was responsible for the ordinary carpenter's work in the various Ordnance buildings. In this case he seems to have supplied mainly the decorative work as there is another bill dated 30 June 1700 from Thomas and John Bateman, the Master Wheelwrights for:
`4pr of Wheeles and Travelling Carriage being by them made for his Highness Ye Duke of Gloucester Pursuant to a Warrt annext to their bill Dat. 2d May 1699 viz.
For 2pr of ffore Wheels Wth ffore Carriages compleat Extra, works and letting in ye Iron Workes om ea Carriage at £4 15 ea.
2pr of hind Wheels Wth Extrees for Ditto & Letting in Ye Iron Work all Extra work at £4 10ea.
For makeing 2 Extra, Back & Belly Bands for Ye above said Carriages at 10s ea.
For carving 4pr of shafts for Ye Sd Carriages at 15s ea. pr.
For carving Severall other Ornaments belonging t Ye said Carriages being 7 Days work @ 6s per Die'
(Total £24 15s 0d, W.O.51/60.f.72r).
Before agreeing to pay the last bill in February 1701 the Board reduced it to £22. Hewitt, in the 1841 Guide (pp.45-6), wrongly identifying the Sidney arms, suggested that the Guns had been presented to the Duke by the Earl of Leicester. In 1856 the damaged barrel XIX.36 was exhibited at the Mechanics Institution, Manchester. The following year the complete gun, XIX.35, on its carriage, was among a large collection of weapons sent from the Tower to the Guildhall, London, for the Lord Mayor's Festival. NB THESE ARE AS A PAIR. An Inventory file exists for this gun.