Object Title

18 pr gun

18 pr gun



Object Number



Recovered from the wreck of H.M.S. Association off the Scillies by members of the Fleet Air Arm Diving Club in 1967, and acquired by the Tower in 1969.

Physical Description

The reinforce has two adjacent shields in low relief bearing the arms of France and Navarre respectively; these are surrounded by a crown. Below are crossed anchors entwined with a ribbon inscribed LE DUC DE BEAUFORT. The chase is decorated with fleurs-de-lys and bears at mid-length a crowned L (for Louis XIV). At the base by the first reinforce ring there is a ribbon on which no inscription is visible. There is a fore sight in the shape of a salamander. The dolphins are naturalistic; the trunnions, placed a little below centre, are slightly conical


Dimensions: Length: 115 in (292.1 cm)


Serial Number None visible


5.4 in _ (13.7 cm)


Places France

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.116.


Three other bronze 18pdr guns, also French and very similar though not identical, were recovered from the wreck by a different diving team; one of them bore the name VIGO incised on the vent field. This may indicate that the guns were captured at the battle of Vigo when the Spanish treasure fleet with its French escorts were attacked in Vigo harbour by an Anglo-Dutch force under Sir George Rook on 12 October 1702. The 'Association' was present at this action and the log book of her captain, William Bokenham, describes her part in it. On 12 October, having assisted in the landing of the Duke of Ormonde and his men and in the capture of a fort of about 30 guns, they 'fell along side the North Battery which we took after fireing of 3 Rounds'. On the following day with their rigging badly damaged they 'beat the Enemy out of [the Platform] which had 18 Good Gunns mounted 3 of which we split and 2 Dismounted' (Adm 51/4120/2). Although there is no record of any French guns having been placed aboard her, No XIX.218 may well be a trophy from this action. In 1707 the 'Association' took part in the seige of Toulon. On the 22 October on her way home and flying the flag of the Admiral, Sir Clowdisley Shovell, she was caught in treacherous currents off the Scillies and wrecked.
'Francois de Vendome, Duc de Beaufort' 1616-69, held the position of 'Grand Maitre Surintendant du Commerce et de la Navigation', 1665-9. This title replaced that of 'Grand Amiral' during the regime of Cardinal Richelieu (cf. XIX.237) the older title not being revived until 1669. A similar gun to No XIX.218 is in the Musee de la Marine, Paris. This was found on the Moroccan coast, near Ceuta.