Object Title

16 pr culverin

16 pr culverin



Object Number



The culverin was brought from Malta in 1838 together with a number of other guns (see XIX.77), most of which were returned in 1888

Physical Description

The piece is of exceptional length and finely ornamented in relief. The first reinforce bears two shields-of-arms, of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and of Alof de Wignacourt, Grand Master of the Order 1601-1622. Above the shields, on the second reinforce, is a figure of St. John the Baptist. The chase girdle is banded with fleur-de-lys and scrolling foliage with tongues of flame issuing from the astragals on either side. A prominent moulding at the muzzle and the muzzle astragal border a band of floral ornament. The dolphins are naturalistic. There is a band of scrolling foliage interspersed with monsters on the vent-field. The base-ring is incised with the number 90 and with the weight 71-3-0, the latter being a later addition. The cascabel is enriched with acanthus foliation, and the button is formed as a lion's head. There appears to have originally been a hinged vent cover, later deliberately removed


Dimensions: Length: 16 ft 5 in (197 in) (500.4 cm), Overall length: 17 ft 2 in (206 in) (5234.2 cm) Weight: 71 cwt 3 qtr (3644.9 kg)


Serial Number None visible


5 in (12.7 cm)


Places Flanders

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.112-113.


It is not known when this culverin was acquired but it is probably that described in the 1838 'Guide'(p.21) as 'No.23 A 7 pounder brass cannon from Malta, in 17ft 4in in length'. A number of Maltese guns which were brought to England in 1838 were deposited in the Royal Military Repository, Woolwich. One of these, a culverin of almost identical design, was inscribed on the cascabel with the name C. VANTERO or VANTEROL. The last gun and most of the others were returned to the island in 1888. For Alof de Wignacourt (see XIX.77)