Object Title

9 pr gun

9 pr gun

Date

1500-1540

Object Number

XIX.90

Provenance

According to an undated (probably c.1845) MS Inventory of the Armouries this gun was obtained by purchase.

Physical Description

The piece was probably intended for a pivot mounting. The slender chase bears at the muzzle end the arms of Portugal and an armillary sphere, the badge of King Manuel I, 1495-1521. Where would normally be the first reinforce is an open breech for a removable chamber in place, and a third slot in the base was probably for inserting a rod to free the chamber after firing and for drainage. The cascabel has had an iron tail for aiming the gun but only the stump remains. Cf. Nos.238, 239, 9, 113.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 94 in (238.8 cm), Present length overall: 98 in (248.9 cm)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number nvn

Calibre

4.3 in _ (11 cm)

Associations

Places Portugal

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.139-140.

Notes

With this gun was an iron chamber which is also mentioned in the 1859 'Inventory' (the gun was then XIX.61) and in the 1916 'Inventory', but is now missing. C.f. Nos.171, 9, 239, 113. An almost identical gun, bearing the same arms and found in Majumba, in the French Congo, was formerly in the Zeughaus, Berlin (Z.H.W.K. IX [1921], 120). Another found at Angra do Heroismo, in the Azores, is in the Museu Militar, Lisbon, No.B.1. In 1775 a very similar but smaller bronze gun complete with its iron tail was found in the Goodwin Sands, off Ramsgate, England. This had the same Portuguese arms and armillary sphere on the chase with in addition the initials CFR (?) ('Archaeologia', V (1779), 145-59). A much later example of these bronze breechloaders, dated 1673 and bearing the arms of Portugal, was recently recovered from the wreck of the Portuguese frigate, the 'Santo Antonio de Tanna', which sank off Fort Jesus at the entrance to the old harbour of Mombasa, Kenya, in 1967. It is now in Fort Jesus Museum. (see
Nautical Archaeology' (1972), 1, 153-6).