Object Title

68 pr carronade and trail carriage with trucks

68 pr carronade and trail carriage with trucks



Object Number



Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The gun bears on the reinforce the crest, coronet and moto of John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (1732-1809) and the incised weight 30-3-23. There are no trunnions, the gun having a heavy pierced loop on the underside through which passes a bolt securing it to two corresponding loops on the mounting. The large cascabel button, which is surmounted by a breeching-loop, is pierced and threaded for the elevating screw. Fitted to the extremity of the button by means of a collar are two iron handles curved towards the muzzle. The cascabel is deeply incised with a Broad Arrow.

The carronade is mounted on a wooden block trail carriage with two iron trucks. It was renewed after the fire of 1841 and has been extensively repaired since. There is no elevating gear


Dimensions: Length: 51 in (129.5 cm), Length overall: 79 in (200.7 cm) Weight: 30 cwt 3 qtr 23 lb (1572.5 kg)


Serial Number None visible


7.25 in (18.4 cm)


Places Scotland

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976,P.145.


The carronade, so called from the first examples being manufactured by the Carron Iron Company at Falkirk in Scotland, was a form of gun-howitzer, short and light in relation to the calibre. The design is usually attributed to Charles Gascoigne, manager of the Carron Company which produced the first guns in 1779.
Other claimants are, however, Generald Robert Melville and Patrick Miller, an Edinburgh banker, both of whom were certainly associated with the development of the guns. c.f. Nos. 235, 236.
John Earl of Dunmore, was Governor of New York 1769-70 and later of Virginia 1770-75. From 1787 he was Governor of the Bahamas and the carronade was possibly cast for the defence of the islands during his term of office. He appears to have had an interest in the Carron Company and in 1779 was responsible for influencing the King to order a trial at Woolwich of the newly-designed carronades.

The Carron Company was founded in 1759 as a partnership of seven men, being known initially as Roebuck, Garbett and Cadell after the names of the three progenitors, the Englishmen John Roebuck and Samuel Garbett and the Scot William Cadell. The factory was built on the banks of the river Carron near Falkirk, Scotland. From the outset a variety of domestic articles was made; pots and pans, stoves, grates, pipes, railings nails, etc. In 1761 the Company began to experiment with cast-iron cannon but the first batches supplied to the Board of Ordnance were failures, a high proportion being rejected in proof. In 1773 the Ordnance cancelled its contracts and all Carron guns were removed Hom H.M. ships. The Company was forced to adopt new methods of casting and boring. These were successful and the quick adoption of the carronade in 1779 as a popular government and private armament brought prosperity back to the firm. After the American War it continued to make guns for the East India Company and for overseas customers including foreign governments. During the Napoleonic Wars it became the foremost iron foundry in the country. Amongst the interesting items which it helped to develop and subsequently made in large quantities were the shells invented by Henry Shrapnell. The Company continues today as iron founders and engineers (Campbell, 72-103, 219-22).