Object Title

4 pr gun

4 pr gun

Date

1785

Object Number

XIX.44

Provenance

The guns were part of the armament of a small frigate presented to Frederick, Crown Prince of Denmark (later Frederick VI), by his uncle King George III of England.

Physical Description

One each gun the arms of Charles, 3rd Duke of Richmond, Master General of the Ordnance 1782-3 and 1784-95, appear in low relief on the chase. On the reinforce are the royal arms encircled by the Garter, and further towards the breech are the royal arms of Denmark with supporters. The base ring bears the name of the founder and the date, P. VERBRUGGEN VOOLVICI IN ANGLIA FUDIT Ao 1785 (cf. No.240). The cascabel of XIX.44 is incised with the weight 7-2-24 and the left trunnion with No.5

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 54 in (137.2 cm), Overall length: 61 in (154.9 cm) Weight: 7 cwt 2 qtr 24 lb (391.9 kg)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number 5

Calibre

3.2 in (8.1 cm)

Associations

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, P.77.

Notes

The vessel, 200 tons, 10 guns, was delivered to Denmark in 1785 and was known in the Danish Navy simply as 'Kronprindsens Lystfregat' (The Crown Prince's Pleasure Frigate). In an intended courteous gesture the ship was not taken to England with the rest of the Danish fleet captured in 1807m but it was sent back later the same year, manned by British naval prisoners of war, with a message from the Danish Prince that he imagined 'it had been left in mistake.
XIX.44 appears in the 1845 Guide (p.119) and was formerly XIX.42 in the 1859 Inventory. The 1861 Inventory of guns in the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, includes two of the Danish frigate's guns, of which XIX.45 is probably the one whose weight is given as '7cwt. 3.3'. It was transferred to the Central Ordnance Depot, Donnington, in 1957 and from there to the Tower in 1964. The gun numbered 9 of this set is in the collection of Mr.W.Keith Neal.
'John Verbruggen'
Born in Enkhuizen, Holland in 1712 became Master Founder of the Dutch Admiralty Bell and Cannon Foundry there in 1746. In 1755 he was appointed Master Founder at The Hague ordnance factory using the new technique of solid casting and barrel boring. Here he was joined by his son Peter (b.1734). He incurred the enmity of General de Creuznach, the inspector General of Artillery, and from 1762 his methods of gunfounding were the subjects of numerous enquiries and criticisms. In 1765 his foundry ceased production and he was eventually replaced by Jean, the son of the famous Swiss gunfounder Samuel Maritz. In spite of this blow to their reputations John and Peter Verbruggen were chosen by the British Board of Ordnance to succeed Andrew Schalch as joint Master Founders at Woolwich in 1770. Here they introduced a new type of horizontal boring machine, models of which can be seen in the Rotunda Museum, Woolwich, and the Science Museum, London. John died in 1782, Peter continuing alone until his death in 1786. A collection of fifty watercolour drawings of c.1776 showing the various processes of cannon founding at the Royal Brass Foundry under the Verbruggen's direction, now in a Dutch private collection, may have been painted by either John or Peter. Both men had artistic talent, John, the more accomplished, exhibiting in England in 1772. See M. H. Jackson & C. de Beer, 'Eighteenth Century Gunfounding' (Newton Abbot, 1973). Cf. Nos. 60, 106-7.