Object Title

4 pr gun

4 pr gun

Date

1638

Object Number

XIX.182

Provenance

Formerly in the Victualling Yard, Deptford. Transferred fromthe Admiralty, 1937.

Physical Description

The second reinforce bears in relief the Tudor Rose badge between the initials CR, for Charles I. The number 14522 is incised below. On the reinforce is the inscription CAST IN PRESENCE OF HIS MAJty OCTO THE FIFTH 1638. MOUNTJOY EARLE OF NEWPORT Mr GENERALL OF THE ORDNANCE JOHN BROWNE MADE THIS PEECE. Below is the weight 2-3-5. The surface of this gun has been worn smooth by much polishing

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 44 in (111.8 cm), Overall length: 50 in (127cm) Weight: 2 cwt 3 qtr 5 lb (142 kg)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number 14522

Calibre

3.2 in (8.1 cm)

Associations

Places England

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.64.

Notes

By tradition this gun formed part ofthe armament of the 'Sovereign of the Seas', launched in 1637, although this seems unlikely as her complement of guns was completed by July 1638. It was at a later date mounted on the bastion of what was known as the Royal Victoria Yard, Deptford, together with other guns of similar calibre, as a defence against the threatened attack by the Dutch in 1667. It may be to these guns that Pepys referred in his 'Diary' under 14 June 1667:


'At night came home Sir W. Batten and W. Pen who only can tell me that they have placed guns at Deptford, and sunk some ships below Woolwich and Blackwall, and are in hopes that they will stop the enemy's coming up.'


The serial number 14522 is that given in the Ordnance inventory compiled in c. 1698 (see App. 1). There were then in an unnamed locality (perhaps Deptford) and undesignated, thirteen brass guns numbered 14520-32, all listed as 3.5ft long and approximately of the same weight. Other guns in this series, numbers 14520 (dated 1639) and 14524-5 (dated 1640), were found in the Deptford yard with the Tower gun and were transferred at the same time to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Only the Tower gun bears the royal casting inscription.
Mountjoy Blount, Baron Mountjoy and earl of Newport, 1597-1666, was appointed Master General of the Ordnance for life in 1634, but was formally discharged from the office in 1660 largely in view of his age. Cf.No. XIX.170.
'John Browne'
A member of a famous family of gunfounders, son of John Browne the elder, worked in partnership with his brother George, controlling furnaces at Horsmonden and Buckland in Kent and Surrey. In 1618, already a contractor for iron and brass guns, he was appointed a Royal Founder. During the Civil War he was forced to supply cannon to the Parliamentary forces and continued casting guns until his death in 1651. He is buried in St. Margaret's Church, in Horsmonden. On 2 October 1638, Edward Nicholas, a Clerk to the Council in Ordinary, wrote a letter to Edward Sherburne, Clerk of the Ordnance at the Tower, concerning a petition to the East India Company 'which could not be till Sunday next, in regard the King goes tomorrow into Kent, and will not be back till Saturday' (C.S.P. 'Dom., 1638-9, 46'). It would seem probable that it was in the course of this journey that the King visited one of John Browne's foundries in Kent, probably that at Brenchley, and witnessed the casting of this gun. Cf. XIX.170.