Object Title

4.2 in gun

4.2 in gun

Date

1672

Object Number

XIX.34

Provenance

Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The gun is short in relation to the diameter, the breech being heavily reinforced. The face of the muzzle is incised with CR, for Charles II, divided by a Broad Arrow with the date 1672 below. The chase bears the number 13430, above which was another number, apparently deliberately obliterated. The weight 19-2-21 is incised on the first reinforce

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 55 in (139.7 cm), Overall length: 61 in (155 cm) Weight: 19 cwt 2 qtr 21 lb (1000 kg)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number 13430

Calibre

4.2 in _ (10.7 cm)

Associations

Places England

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.67.

Notes

This is possibly a 'Punchinello' gun invented by Sir Anthony Deane, the shipwright who was a Commisioner of the Navy from 1672 to 1675 and from 1686 to 1688. He was a great friend of Samuel Pepys with whom he was committed to the Tower in May 1679 on suspicion of carrying on a secret correspondence with the French Government. Pepys makes frequent acknowledgments to Deane in his Diary, for initiating him into the many mysteries of 'shipwrightry'. He describes the trial of Deane's cannon, 'which, from the shortness and bigness, they do call Punchinello, at the Old Artillery Ground, London, on 20 April 1669. The number 13430 is the serial number of the gun probably added in c.1698 when an inventory of all cannon in the country under the control of the Board of Ordnance was prepared and each given a consecutive number. In this Inventory the gun was then in the Tower and was classified as a demi-culverin. It is noted in the 1838 Guide as 'A brass gun, time of Charles II, remarkable on account of its extraordinary proportions'.