Object Title

12 in mortar and bed - Gomer Pattern

12 in mortar and bed - Gomer Pattern



Object Number



This mortar and No. XIX.136 are probably the 'two fine brass mortars' stated in the in the 1815 Guide to have been captured a St. Jean d'Acre (the modern Acre on the coast of Israel north of Haifa) in 1799 by the British naval force under Captain Sidney Smith (later Admiral Sir Sidney Smith). This information was repeated in subsequent Guides but Hewitt ommitted it from his 1859 Inventory and ffoulkes in 1916 gave the provenance to No. XIX.136 only.

Physical Description

The trunnions, positioned on the reinforce, have shoulders and are strengthened at the front by a flange. The single transverse dolphin is of Gribeauval type. The chase is engraved with a scroll inscribed LIBERTE EGALITE and the reinforce with the letters AN [Armee National] entwined in monogram. Another scroll on the breech bears the name of the founders FREREJEAN FRERES 'a fontes de Paux', and below is the date 'L'AN 3.' The right trunnion is engraved No.1 and the left with the weight, P 2575. The chamber is formed as a truncated cone, the mouth merging with the bore

Of iron and of Gribeauval design, but the wooden transomes together with the quoins and cap-squares are missing. The cap-squares may have been purposely removed since the flanged trunnions would make them difficult to fit


Dimensions: Length: 2 ft 10 in (34 in) (86.4 cm), Bed length: 5 ft (60 in), Bed width: 2 ft 7 in (31 in); Height: 900 mm; width: 1080 mm; depth: 1524 mm. Weight: 24 cwt 3 qtr 16 lb (1264.5 kg)


Serial Number 1 (?)


12.50 in

Inscriptions and Marks

Right trunnion: 1 Left trunnion: P 2575


Places France

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.131.


Mortars of this pattern were the design of Louis-Gabriel de Gomer, 1718-98, appointed inspector General of Artillery in l779, and underwent their first tests in 1785. They gave excellent results, and the form of chamber, though not necessarily the general design was later adopted by other countries, including Great Britain (c.f. No.209).