Cutesy tag

17th Century Artillery

Parts of the piece
Parts of the piece

That a peece of Ordnance is divided into three parts.

1. The Breech, or chamber,
2. The Trunions,
3. The Muzzle, or neck and the length of the whole peece is called the chase or colume.

A. Is the Cornish, brow, or base ring of the peece.
B. Is the peece's neck.
C. The peeces Boutill, or astragull called the mussel ring.
D. The reinforced ring.
E. The trunion ring and the two tronions.
F. The Casacabel, or the outmost pommel or button of the peece.
G. Dolphins.
H. Touch-hole.

After H. Hexham's "Principles of the Art of Militarie" 1639

Loading the piece
Loading the piece

Petard blowing a gate
Petard blowing a gate

Artillery crew
Artillery crew

The gunners illustrated include 2 members of a gun team, one wearing an old 'cabasset' helmet and bearing a rammer, and the other with a knitted woolen cap and carrying a ladle used for transferring powder from the 'budge-barrel' into the muzzle of the piece. Powder-barrels were lined with fabric or leather, enabling the top to be drawn together; and banded with rope rather than iron.
The gunner in the foreground carries a 'linstock', which holds the burning slow-match, used to ignite the priming powder in the touch-hole. The spiked or tapered foot allows the linstock to be stuck in the ground while the gun captain directs the laying out of the gun.

After "The English Civil War" by Philip Haythornthwaite

The following pictures illustrate some of the guns and gunners (both come in a variety of sizes) of the English Civil War Society. The large pieces are the biggest that would have accompanied the army, anything bigger would have been with the Artillery Train. According to one gunner of the period, the whole point of the army was to get the artillery from A to B.

Points to note: The lack of uniform among the gunners. Regimental guns positioned outside the musket block. Flames coming from the touch-hole. A 'cannon' is a specific type of gun. Swords, if carried, tend to be short 'hangers', so as not to get in the way of the work. Regimental gunners could carry premade charges in leather 'snapsacks' (satchels). Due to the manufacturing process, each gun is unique.

These photos are from Ken & Denise Guest's "British Battles" - a worthwhile book filled with photographs of re-enactors.

Andy + Phil Wall
Andy Kurdzeil + Phil Wall with Barak [not Rob Jones]

Regimental guns
Regimental guns by Rossiters

Loading Raven
Loading Raven

Raven fires
Raven fires

Why the linstock is used!
Roger Emmerson showing
why the linstock is used!

I love the smell of gunpowder in the morning!
Clothes quickly pick up the smell of sulphur

Pictures from my scrap album.

Loading Raven (Gosport '89)
Firing Raven (Gosport '89)

Raven's first outing
The official postcard of Raven's first outing

Raven at Harlow ('91)
Rob 'n' Angus posing with Raven
Rob 'n' Angus Konstam
posing with Raven
(Powderham Castle '91)
Rob loading Raven
Rob loading Raven
(Powderham Castle '91)
Gun lines at Helmsley
Heavy artillery (Helmsley '94)
Raven firing at night
Raven firing at night - we were supporting
a performance of the 1812 Overture
(Powderham Castle '91)
Saker firing
Fenwick's saker firing (Helmsley '94)
Grasshopper (Tatton Park '94)
Regimental Guns
Light artillery by Colquhoun's
(Aldershot '91)
Artillery reloading and repositioning
Artillery reloading and repositioning (Aldershot '92)
Raven at Aldershot
Heavy artillery by Colqhoun's and Hazzards (Aldershot '91)
Artillery at Hull
Light artillery (Hull '92)
Artillery line-up at Gosport (1989)
Richard Duthie
Richard Duthie at Hull, 1992
Tatton Park
Guns at Tatton Park, Cheshire (April 1994)
Upnor Castle
Duncan, Speed and Jammy at Upnor Castle in Kent (June 1989). To the right of us is a wall gun.
Thirty Years War
Painting of 30 Year War Artillery
by Pieter Meulner
Tower of London
Gun carriage from the Tower of London
We were damned fast.
One of my early commands
(Yeovil '92)

Reconstructed guns from the Swedish ship, the Wasa, of 1628. Note the gun tools - a ladle, sponge, and rammer; the piece itself fired a 24 pound shot.

From Peter Padfield's "Guns at Sea" - an interesting history of naval firepower up to WW2.

The Wasa (1628)

Gustavus Adolfus

Last updated: 14 March 2003