Object Title

2.75 pr swivel gun

2.75 pr swivel gun

Date

1650-1690

Object Number

XIX.238

Provenance

Transferred in 1963 from the Royal United Service Museum (Cat. No.2682) to which it was presented by Captain J.C. Wickham, R.N.

Physical Description

The chase bears in relief the cypher of the Zeeland Division of the Dutch East India Company, the second reinforce is stamped with the control mark of the foundry of Middleburg, the capital of the province of Zeeland, and the number 182A, the weight in Amsterdam pounds (1 'pond'= .494kg.), is incised just front of the breech opening. The cascabel is chased with acanthus foliage. There is an iron traversing lever, now corroded and split and bent into an upward curve, which may or may not be the original shape. There are two slots in the base of the breech for the wedge securing the chamber and a third slot in the under side; these slots are usual in this type of gun. The trunnions are fitted with an iron pivot, of which much of the spike is missing. An original chamber is preserved. Made of metal similar to that of the gun, it is of smaller internal diameter than the bore, tapers slightly from base to mouth and has a rectangular lifting handle; the base has a projecting lip to engage with the securing wedge. The chamber bears a repition of the control mark on the gun. The vent is spiked.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 44 in (111.8 cm), Overall length: 48 in (121.9 cm), Length chamber: 9 in (22.9 cm).

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number nvn

Calibre

2.9 in _ (22.9 cm)

Associations

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.50.

Notes

Captain Wickham, an experienced surveyor, was appointed the command of the 'Beagle' in 1837 to make a survey of the Australian coast and Bass Strait. The gun was discovered on 24 April 1840 onthe largest island (promptly named Gun Island) of the Pelsart Group. With it was a quantity of ornamental brasswork, glass bottles and pipes. John Nort Stokes, who took over the command of the 'Beagle' when Widckham was invalided home in 1841, describes the incident and illustrates the gun in his 'Discoveries in Australia; with an Account of the Coasts and Rivers explored and surveyed during the Voyage of the Beagle, in the Years ' 1837-43 (London, 1846), II, 149. Three ships belonging to the Chamber of Zeeland were lost in this area: The 'Ridderschap van Holland' in 1692; the Aagtekerk' in 1726; and the frigate 'Zeewijck' in 1727. There seems little doubt, however, that it was the relics of the last ship which were found on Gun Island.
The maker of the gun may have been 'Johannes Burgehuys' who worked at Middleburg as a naval gun and bellfounder until his death in 1679 when the foundry was closed. It was not until 1754 that another gunfoundry was established in the town.