Object Title

3.75 in saker

3.75 in saker



Object Number



Presented to the Tower. Captured at Chusan in 1842.

Physical Description

The muzzle is of decagonal section; the second reinforce bears a shield in relief charged with a bend and the first reinforce is inscribed RICHARD PHILLIPPS MADE THIS PECE ANO DNI 1601. The chase and base ring have been incised with inscriptions in Chinese characters at a later date


Dimensions: Length: 109 in (276.9 cm), Overall length: 116 in (294.6 cm) Weight: 19 cwt 3 qtr 10 lb (1007.8 kg)


Serial Number None visible


3.75 in (9.5 cm)


Places England

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976. No.36, p.62.


According to the 1845 Guide (pp.123-5), this gun was captured at Chusan in 1842. In fact the island of Chusan, off the Bay of Hang-chow on the east coast of China, was captured twice by British forces, in July 1840 and again in October 1841. No.36 was captured twice by British forces, in July 1840 and again in October 1841. No.36 was one of 91 guns, mainly Chinese, taken on 5 July 1840 and is mentioned in a Return of Ordnance Captured at Chusan dated 10 July 1840 (United Service Journal (London, 1841), Pt.1, 125). It was brought back from China, in 1842, with three Portuguese guns which were captured in the Bocca Tigris forts on the Canton River by the same forces under the command of Commodore Sir J.J.Gordon Bremer. Of these three guns two were sent to the Tower (Nos.92,93) and the third to the Rotunda Museum, Woolwich (No. II.144) (W.O. 44/524). The 1845 Guide gives the following translation of the Chinese inscriptions:

On the chase:
'The member of the military board and governor of Che-Keang province and the general of the army, We-yeun-wan, have caused this gun, which was obtained at Soo-fuh-che-le to be tried, to ascertain that it was perfect and worth preserving.
Yuen-Seuh, the governor of the garrison Kea, at the east of the province Che, having made trial of its strength, now testifies by this engraving that it comes up to the correct standard; that it has no defects of any kind; that it is mounted on an appropriate carriage; that at each discharge it sent forth a thundering sound equal to 10,000 keun; that its power is perfect without a flaw; its bore a correct circle; and the lenth of the bore a straight line.
In Kea-king's 5th year (A.D.1800), on a genial day favourably granted by heaven, we desired to use it; and found its virtue to consist in the substance of the red soil and the colour of the yellow metal. It is Tuh-shin's adorned tribute from his victory over the 'folded-toes nation'. Twice used, it is found to be a cannon of good workmanship and of intimidating power. This inscription is engraved according to the usual forms'.

On the base ring:
'The General in command of the army, with the officers and troops, by the favour of Heaven, obtained and used it'.

'Richard Pillips' John and Richard Pillips of London were brothers working in partnership in the last quarter of the 16th century. Their names appear jointly on two demi-cannon dated 1590, 1596, recovered in 1978 from a wreck in the bay of Bahia, Brazil. Richard, who is known to have had a foundry at the Fyerball in Houndsditch, was appointed one of the 'Founders of Brasse Ordnance' at 12d per day by letters patent in 1603 (B.M. Royal MS XXXI). He died in 1633 and was buried in the churchyard of St. Botolph Aldgate (Guildhall M.S 9222/2).