Object Title

4 pr swivel gun

4 pr swivel gun

Date

1778

Object Number

XIX.127

Provenance

Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The piece is short and heavy; the trunnions are fitted with pivots and the cascabel button with a curved iron traversing lever. The cascabel is fluted

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 17 in (31.8 cm.), Length excluding tail: 18 in (45.7 cm)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number 180

Calibre

3.3 in (8.4 cm)

Inscriptions and Marks

Left trunnion: Carron 1778 with number 180 above.Right trunnion: 4P

Associations

Places Scotland

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, P.144.

Notes

One of the guns appear in the 1859 'Inventory', XIX.40 and the other was entered in 1865 as additional entry No.130
They appear to be the immediate forerunners of the carronade introduced in the British service in 1779. '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 from 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).