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Specialist Report

Date 2003

Event ID 932320

Category Documentary Reference

Type Specialist Report


An iron cannon recovered from the wreck and conserved by T Skinner and S Erpenbeck has been identified as a drake (essentially a lightweight minion with a tapered chamber). Known by the full designation of 'Bastard Minion-Drake Extraordinary', it measures 4ft [1.22m] in length and has a bore of 3.25 ins [83mm]. The piece is marked with the recorded weight of 3cwt 2qtrs 23lb [414 lb or 188kg] and the founder's mark 'I B', identifying the maker as John Browne, royal gunfounder to Charles I. This is the only example of his cast-iron drakes to survive into modern times.

Guns of this type were commonly equipped with skid-fitted carriages to control their very high recoil forces: a carriage of this type was found and is also in conservation. They typically fired anti-personnel projectiles in close-quarter actions and a wooden case containing lead musket balls roughened for this purpose was also found on the wreck.

Metallurgical investigation may also reveal the nature of the 'refined metal' from which such guns were manufactured and which served to justify their high cost.

[Illustrated in colour].

C Martin 2003.

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