Object Title

12 pr howitzer - Millar Pattern

12 pr howitzer - Millar Pattern



Object Number



Transferred from the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, 1972. Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The button is cast with a lump for a top breeching loop which has not been bored and there are no marks. The barrel has been fitted with an iron sleeve perhaps for rifling


Dimensions: Lenght: 45 in (114.3 cm), Overall length: 51 in (129.5 cm) Weight: 6.5 cwt (330.2 kg)


Serial Number None visible


4.58 in _ (11.6 cm)


Places England

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, P.89.


This Howitzer is of the design introduced by Lieut. General William Millar (see No.XIX.185 ).
'Lieut. General William Millar'
Responsible for the introduction of shell-firing guns of large calibre. The Palliser conversion system, named after the patentee Captain William Palliser and adopted in 1863, involved boring out the gun and inserting a coiled wrought-iron tube which was rifled and retained in position by an iron collar at the muzzle and a screw plug on the under side slightly forward of the trunnions. These 64pdr converted guns were first issued for sea service but became obsolete for naval use by the late 1870's and were then employed for land service ('Service Ordnance 1886),215-17.' Most of the conversions were done at the Royal Gun Factory. Hundreds were contracted out to the Elswick Ordnance Company, which in 1863 was incorporated into the Sir W.G.Armstrong Company. Armstrong, the renowned engineer, was the inventor of the rifled breech-loading gun with a steel core and a wrought-iron jacket adopted for British forces in 1859 and superseded by his rifled muzzle-loader The Ridsdale, Northumberland, began production in 1839.