Object Title

13 in mortar and bed

13 in mortar and bed



Object Number



Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The piece was probably for sea service or coast defence. It is cast 'a plaque', that is, in one piece with the bed and has a distinctive spherical breech. The bore is cylindrical with a restriction separating it from the rounded chamber. The chase is incised No.28 MARINE. The bed, which is rectangular with a deep downward projection or step at the front, bears in relief a fleur-de-lys with, below, the initials SG, probably those of the foundry


Dimensions: Length: 4 ft ) (48 in) (121.9 cm)


Serial Number 28


13.3 in (33.8 cm)


Places Spain

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, P.148-149


A similar mortar, marked No.25 MARINE, was formerly in the Armouries but is now in the collection of Mr.L.J. Cadbury, Birmingham. Both mortars were described by Hewitt (1859) and ffoulkes (1916) as being Schulemberg mortars (see No.XIX.138) but there is no evidence that they came from Corfu, apart from Hewitt's statement, probably a mistaken one, that they were presented by the Ionian Government in 1845. Another mortar of similar form in the Museo del Ejercito, Madrid, No.6026, bears the inscription BARCELONA 20 AGOSTO 1778 and PARA PLAZA. The same type of mortar is illustrated in an Italian MS military dictionary in the Armouries Library (No.1.106), dated 1732, where in fact, this mortar has been catalogued in the past as Italian. But, apart from its similarity to Spanish mortars, it also conforms to the specification of the French 'mortier de 12 pouces (cf.'No.XIX.132 and 133), and the initials SG may be those of the 'Saint-Gervais' foundry in South France.