Object Title

9 in gun

9 in gun

Date

1530

Object Number

XIX.94

Provenance

Captured at Aden in 1839 by Captain H. Smith, C.B., R.N., commanding H.M.S. Volage (1916 Inventory, p.464).

Physical Description

The piece is of large size and was probably made for stone shot. The muzzle has been damaged by fire and may have been shortened. It is cast without mouldings, the breech being flat without cascabel or button. A panel near the muzzle bears an inscription in Arabic script in relief: Sultan Suliman ibn Salim Khan, may his victory be great, Sultan of the Arabs and non-Arabs, ordered this gun to be made in the way of God to vanquish the foes of the State and the Faith, the infidels who enter the land of India, Portugal the accursed; in Cairo the preserved [of God] the year 937' (A.D. 1530-1). A second inscription of a smaller panel on the reinforce contains the name of the founder, 'The work of Muhammad ibn Hamza'

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 17 ft 2 in (206 in) (523.2 cm) Weight: 6 tons 16 cwt (6909 kg)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number None visible

Calibre

9 in (229.9 cm)

Associations

Places Turkey

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, P.173-174.

Notes

It was No.XIX.98 in the 1859 'Inventory' and was described in the 1845 'Guide', p.122, as having been made 'out of guns taken from Hindostan'. The inscription on the gun connects it with the Turkish expdition which sailed to India to expel the Portuguese in 1531. There is a very similar gun in the Rotunda Museum, Woolwich, No.II. 191, also captured at Aden, which has a length of 18ft 8in (568.9cm). Both guns were from a consignment of six Turkish guns taken at Aden and brought home in the 'Jupiter' troopship in 1840 as a present for Queen Victoria. Two of the guns were given by the Queen to the Committee for the Erection of the Nelson Monument for melting down. On the application of Robert Porrett, the Chief Clerk to the Principal Storekeeper of the Ordnance, it was agreed to preserve one of the guns for the Tower. In August 1844, No.XIX.94 was brought to the Tower (Armouries MS. 1. 78; W.O.44/524). On 31 August 'The Illustrated London News' reported that 'thousands of persons have been attracted to the river frontage of the Tower to inspect a MONSTER gun' whose weight was said to be 7ton 5cwt 15lb. L.A.Mayer ('Islamic Armourers' (Geneva, 1962), 85) states that there is another of these guns, called 'Nilam Top' in front of the Mosque in the Uparcot citadel, Junagarh, India.