Re: [Revlist] Cannon cockers - Naval Flintlocks
- Jay, Patrick et al,
I know that I have posted some material about flintlock firing devices
being used by naval guns during the AWI. I think the material was in
relation to other items so searching the archives only by subject titles
might not produce the desired results.
The use of flintlocks ignition devices on naval guns goes back to
roughly the mid 1750s. It worked but the idea was discarded at least
twice before it gained firm acceptance during the Napoleonic period.
I'm busy with adding links and other improvements to the Army List
project at the moment and regret that I don't have the time to look up
the information on naval flintlocks. However, when I get this project
completed I'll be more than happy to look it up and post it.
Jay Callaham wrote:
> > From: Patrick J OKelley <goober.com@...>
> > Date: 2001/08/03 Fri AM 07:07:36 EDT
> > To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
> > CC: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
> > Subject: [Revlist] Cannon cockers
> > Howdy,
> > > You will be pleased to identify the "cannon-cocking" device in use
> > any
> > > one of the Royal Artillery field pieces deployed at Minden. I
> > respectfully
> > > observe that such would be of the greatest of interest to one and
> > of us
> > > :>) !!!
> > Just like an artilleryman. You have to let an infantryman
> > out where your cocker is.
> Now, now, Patrick. That question was asked by a Quartermaster, not an
> artilleryman. I'm sure it was missing from one of his invoices so he
> wanted to know where to look for it. ("Natives is not on my invoices,
> Mr. Harford - - ammunition IS! - - - and must be accounted for - - -
> AND the brass cartridge cases returned.")(/;^D
> > On a side note...weren't there flintlocks mounted on naval
> > carriages at this time? I knew they were around in the Napoleonic
> I was wondering the same thing. I've seen them illustrated on naval
> and garrison guns, but don't know when they came into use.
> Bart? Lee? other naval types?
> Cm Gds
> 4th Coy, Bde of Guards
> Jay Callaham
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One of the thin Shire Album books, #186 on Naval Cannon, by John Munday
(1987/1998), mentions that Admiral Lord Anson ordered flintlock primers to be
supplied for his quarter-deck guns in 1755 and that Captain Charles Douglas
of HM Ship Duke equipped his ship with flintlock primers in 1778, using his
own money as the Navy refused to supply them. A painting of Douglas, as
Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Douglas Bt, is in the National Maritime Museum in
Greenwich (I don't know the date of the painting but uniform looks
contemporary to our period, at least to this landlubber's eyes) and he has
his left hand on a flintlock primer fitted to a naval tube. But the book
echos what has been said on the list before that there are lapses of time
before this and other innovations gain wider acceptance.
- Joe & List,
Very interesting indeed. I have seen reports of the Prussians firing up
to 16 rounds per minute from smaller field guns but I was under the
impression that they were not sponging between shots.
The rate of 23 rounds per minute from a heavy 12-pounder and sponging as
well has to be the all time record. I wonder if that was done with the
carriage "scotched" to prevent recoil. That rate of fire would seem to
allow no time for getting the gun back in battery.
To obtain that rate of fire Col. Desaguliers must have had his gunners
choreographed rather than merely drilled. Since this method was not
generally adopted it must have been determined to be too difficult or
risky for all but the very best guns crews and relegated only to Royal
dog and pony shows. I would certainly like to have seen it done.
> For what it's worth, here's an article from the Annual Register
> [23? August 1770]
> "This morning their Majesties honoured the regiment of artillery
> with their presence in the warren at Woolwich. His Majesty came
>purposely to see some experiments tried. ... Their Majesties next saw >a heavy twelve pounder brass gun filled twenty three times with shot in >a minute, spunging between each fire, and loading with the greatest >safety, which surprising every spectator, having far surpassed any >quick firing ever yet practiced.-The method is entirely new, and
> supposed to be the invention of Col. Desaguliers_."
> Be interesting to know what the Colonel's new method was all