Object Title

4.5 in mortar - Coehorn Mortar

4.5 in mortar - Coehorn Mortar



Object Number



Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The Monogram of George III is engraved on the reinforce, the name of the founder and date, H &C King being inscribed above the vent; below the vent is the weight as given below. The base ring bears the number of the piece LXXX, repeated on the underside of the breech in Arabic numerals


Dimensions: Length: 12.75 in (32.4 cm) Weight: 3 qtr 19 lb (46.7 kg)


Serial Number LXXX


4.5 in _ (11.5 cm)


Places Britain

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, P.104.


'John & Henry King' Appointed Founders of the Royal Brass Foundry at Woolwich in 1784, and Foreman and Assistant Foreman in 1789 being promoted to Master Founder and Assistant Founder on the revival of these offices in 1797. John King continued in the post until his death in 1813 when he was succeeded by his brother Henry (W.O.47/116, p. 692; W.O. 47/2560, p.414; W.O. 47/2630, p.1143), until his retirement in 1818, when the post of Master Founder was abolished. Cornelius King, the son of John King, was appointed foreman at the Royal Brass Foundry at Woolwich in 1805, and on the death of his father was promoted to Assistant Founder. On the retirement of his uncle, Henry King, he remained in charge of the foundry with the rank of Acting Founder. He retired in 1822 to be succeeded by William North.
In 1713 the first Cohorn mortars appear and in 1726 Royal mortars are listed as well. The Cohorn mortar was the smallest of the standard mortars and was named after its inventor the Dutch military engineer Baron Menno van Cohorn (or Coehorn), 1641-1704. Known as the Dutch Vauban he was renowned mainly for his methods of siegecraft and fortification. His mortars were first used at the siege of Grave in 1674.