Very Rare Restored Revolutionary War Period British Military 2nd Model Short Land 1779 Pattern Brown Bess Flintlock Service Musket
A Good and Very Rare Restored Antique Revolutionary War Period British Military 2nd Model Short Land 1779 Pattern Brown Bess Flintlock Service Musket, circa. 1779-1780. 42 1/8", .80 cal. barrel with remnants of the Tower of London Proofs of the top of the breech, (rust pitted throughout). The lock is maker engraved "HENSHAW" just below the pan. The musket lock is in its original flintlock configuration. All standard regulation 2nd Model pattern brass furniture with the exception of the side plate that is standard on the 3rd model India Pattern musket (see notes below). All steel parts have areas of salt & pepper pitting from rust. The stock has the British Arsenal Ordnance stamp on the right side of the comb, inspectors marks just below the tail of the trigger guard and branded on the left side of comb "CUMBERLAND", and roman numerals "X I X" (CUMBERLAND County, Nova Scotia Militia). Overall good as restored. The stock is solid with scratches and dings from years of service. Retains the original full length iron button head ram rod. A great Historical Brown Bess Musket from the Revolutionary War Period !
Measures: 57.75" overall.
RESTORATION NOTES: The musket was most likely converted to percussion. The barrel has been restored back to flintlock. The original lock was replaced by another by contractor to the ordnance "HENSHAW" and is in its original flintlock configuration. The stock has several inset repairs where the pins hold the barrel and other parts to the stock. There is a 2" repair at the toe of the stock and another small section restored at the fore-end at the muzzle. There are several age and stress cracks. The sling swivels are modern replacements.
NOTES: This musket is the 1778/1779 pattern and is a result of the Board of Ordnance relaxing some of the standard requirements because of the desperate need for weapons. Several thousand muskets were produced by contractors and accepted by the Ordnance without the complete Tower-issued components allowing the independent gun makers to include their own barrels, locks, and brass furniture. This example has the "S" shaped convex side plate without a tail was substituted, which was the design on the 3rd model India Pattern musket being produced for the British East India Company at the same time. The other major trait of the musket is the sloped second ram rod pipe which is the "PRATT'S" improvement that gained acceptance and can be found on other muskets produced after 1778.
The CUMBERLAND marked Brown Bess Muskets: In 1753-1755 hostilities were approaching a boiling point in the American colonies and in 1756 the 7 Years War began against France so it was imperative that the system was improved. After the major revisions of 1757-8 the Cumberland Militia in Great Britain was first formed in June 1760 and embodied in August 1760. The Militia Act of 1757 required each county to pay for the militia out of the rates. Each county was to raise a fixed quota of men selected by compulsory ballot; however, if you could afford to pay you could engage a substitute. In 1804 it was granted its “Royal” title and in 1881 it became the 3rd (Royal Cumberland Militia) Battalion of the Border Regiment. There is a lot of confusion regarding musket and swords marked with "CUMBERLAND". Many collectors assume these weapons were issued to the American Pennsylvanian Cumberland County Battalions for the Revolutionary War. Some may have seen action there but the majority were issued to militia units in Great Britain and Nova Scotia. It is always possible that these CUMBERLAND marked weapons captured from the British were re-issued to the American forces.
Ref. p. 68, BATTLE WEAPONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, by George C. Neumann, c. 1998.