I have a Brown Bess...

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Messages
24
Reaction score
20
I'm new to this forum but not to Firearms and I love history! A few years back I acquired a Brown Bess which I'm told is a 2nd Pattern East India Musket from around the early 1800's. Truth be told, I became a member of another forum that seems to be mostly members from Great Britain. Nice enough fellows once they got past the fact that I'm a "Yank". I get it. We can be jerks to the British sometimes. Anyway, they helped me identify my Musket as being of Irish Origin based on the Irish Registry number on the buttplate and barrel and what they called a "Broken Crown" Proofmark on the Lock Plate. But I had other questions and for some reason I was not able to get back onto that forum. I'm not interested in value. I really just want to learn as much about this old Girl as possible. Here are some pics.
 

Attachments

  • brown bess 1.jpg
    brown bess 1.jpg
    104 KB · Views: 104
  • brown bess 2.jpg
    brown bess 2.jpg
    93.9 KB · Views: 104
  • brown bess 3.jpg
    brown bess 3.jpg
    86.9 KB · Views: 101
  • brown bess 4.jpg
    brown bess 4.jpg
    158.6 KB · Views: 93
  • brown bess 5.jpg
    brown bess 5.jpg
    149.2 KB · Views: 91
  • brown bess 6.jpg
    brown bess 6.jpg
    107.4 KB · Views: 89
  • brown bess 7.jpg
    brown bess 7.jpg
    59.7 KB · Views: 85
  • brown bess 8.jpg
    brown bess 8.jpg
    92 KB · Views: 84
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Messages
24
Reaction score
20
Well... What, if any, is the significance of the "Broken Crown"? Sounded like it may have been an Irish jab at England from that time period. I also noticed that the Cock is an old-style one but the Pan is a later "straight-sided" pan... Not a teardrop shaped pan. Was that typical of "Irish" Muskets or just an anomaly? I've removed the Lock and it doesn't appear to have been re-built and the patina on the Cock matches the rest of the Lock assembly. The barrel has a 92nd Reg. mark on the top which is a bit obscured by the Irish Registry mark. Were the Irish building Muskets with re-purposed British parts? I also noticed that the touch-hole has no signs of corrosion or burns around it so I shined a light down the barrel. The breech of this barrel is still in the white and clean and shows no signs of burnt powder. The rest of the bore is also very clean for a Musket this old. Could it be unfired?
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Messages
24
Reaction score
20
Be proud. What is the bore like? Have you shot it?
Bore looks like a new Shotgun! Pretty thick at the muzzle too. With a small flashlight at the muzzle you can see the back of the breech and it looks like new steel. I haven't shot it because I "think" it may have never been shot. But I don't know how to verify that. I recently bought a bore scope for looking into the gas tank of my boat. Maybe if I can figure out how to capture images with it I'll run it down the bore and try to post them.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
4,216
Reaction score
5,494
Hi Oneshot,
Very nice Bess but your British friends are wrong. Assuming the flintcock is original and not a replacement, you have the earlier type of India pattern musket produced between 1794 and 1809. If it was the second type of India Bess it would have a double throated flint cock much like you see on late 18th century French muskets.

dave
 

Rudyard

54 Cal.
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
1,867
If its Irish you cant get too spesific and the 'Model' stuff isn' t the term used rather its the 'pattern' in this case Irish Ordnance India pattern. The throat hole dosn't change that . Americans persist in useing 'Third model' for the' India' pattern .Dr DeWitt Bailey born American but natrualised Brit has gone into all that .I could be wrong Ile ask him next time I ring him.
Regards Rudyard
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Messages
24
Reaction score
20
If its Irish you cant get too spesific and the 'Model' stuff isn' t the term used rather its the 'pattern' in this case Irish Ordnance India pattern. The throat hole dosn't change that . Americans persist in useing 'Third model' for the' India' pattern .Dr DeWitt Bailey born American but natrualised Brit has gone into all that .I could be wrong Ile ask him next time I ring him.
Regards Rudyard
Ah... I wondered if its Irish Lineage would cause conventional wisdom to be thrown out the window. I also know there is a lot of speculation and mis-information when it comes to definitions and "absolutes" regarding antique firearms. Sometimes a feature can be correct, even if it's rarely or never seen on something. I'll be very curious about what you learn. Thank You!
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Messages
24
Reaction score
20
I was able to take a few very blurry pictures of the breech from inside with the cheap bore scope I got on Amazon. It's not quite as pristine looking as I thought looking down the bore from the muzzle. However, the very back of the breech is in the white and quite clean looking. I was also able to get a VERY blurry and off-center picture of the touch-hole from inside. I still wonder, based on the pictures, if this old Girl has ever been fired.
Here are the pics. The white is the very back of the breech. One picture shows the touch-hole from the inside. It's very blurry and at the top corner. Its close to the breech so my 90 degree mirror wasn't able to center on it. Pretty crappy pictures.
 

Attachments

  • 20220420084349634.jpg
    20220420084349634.jpg
    100.2 KB · Views: 18
  • 20220420084405860.jpg
    20220420084405860.jpg
    102.6 KB · Views: 19
  • 20220420085142118.jpg
    20220420085142118.jpg
    61.9 KB · Views: 17
Last edited:

Rudyard

54 Cal.
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
1,867
Being a member of the forum the poster refers too I don't recall he got any' its a Yank stuff ' .The 92nd Regiment of foot where the Gordon Highlanders . Fine fellows but no Irish connection I know of . The Forum is based in the US & Canada but quite global . The broken crown might be no more than a slightly angled proof punch , Or one broken .That can happen if rarely. That strieght sided pan is unusual but it comes in with the ' New Land 'series /Pattern c 1802 & In the Bakers series East India company muskets after 1818 still within the production run of the more numerous India Pattern Pre c1809 & post c1810 throat hole cock ones other wise as Dave says its the same pattern and some three million plus where estimated produced since Govt supplied any usefull oponenants of Boneapart & his Troops over the Napolionic Wars. Just maybe the 92nd went over for the 1812 actions that might be a link . But its only the Waterloo period Im'e familiar with the 92nd .Its kept nice , Pity it cant talk . Looking again it seems only the Irish Registration marks suggest its Irish the BO & store keepers are on the opposite side to Irish made arms & is there any Dublin Castle mark ? Im'e not sure When the Registration marks come in I think its post dates the muskets period of service but can have made its way to Ireland as surplus later on.
Regards Rudyard
 
Last edited:

DOUBLEDEUCE 1

69 Cal.
Joined
Jan 25, 2008
Messages
3,920
Reaction score
461
This is an interesting post. In the first photo, on the right side of the comb, it looks like a name was scratched into the wood. It could be the lighting. :dunno:
 

Loyalist Dave

Cannon
Staff member
Moderator
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2011
Messages
12,969
Reaction score
7,877
Location
People's Republic of Maryland
I'm new to this forum but not to Firearms and I love history! A few years back I acquired a Brown Bess which I'm told is a 2nd Pattern East India Musket from around the early 1800's. Truth be told, I became a member of another forum that seems to be mostly members from Great Britain. Nice enough fellows once they got past the fact that I'm a "Yank". I get it. We can be jerks to the British sometimes. Anyway, they helped me identify my Musket as being of Irish Origin based on the Irish Registry number on the buttplate and barrel and what they called a "Broken Crown" Proofmark on the Lock Plate. But I had other questions and for some reason I was not able to get back onto that forum. I'm not interested in value. I really just want to learn as much about this old Girl as possible. Here are some pics.
The Gordon Highlanders was the 100th Regiment of Foot when it was raised in 1794
It was renumbered the 92 Highland Regiment of Foot in 1798
It was again renamed as the 92 Regiment of Foot in 1809. I think this musket was theirs for use in the field against Napoleon.
A second battalion was raised in 1803, but was used as a training and replacement pool, and never left the UK.
I don't think the number on the butt plate is pre 20th century; I don't think this an Irish made musket.


LD
 

Rudyard

54 Cal.
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
1,867
Dear LD You seem to have the 92nd well studied. I was at Waterloo in 1995 the only OR of the 'Regiment of three' as it transpired Benton Jennings was The Colonel (Supernumery in the event ) And old 'Stumpy' the Piper who was in the modern Gordons previously . I couldn't get contact with the unit before from NZ despite some who went from Perth West Australia . So I just went . I had an old Kilt & probabley Victorian Sporron I had a coat of Kings 8th ,a bonnet of RHE' to which I added fly tyeing feathers .Made B 'net & cart belts and box of linolium scraps & hose from diced table cloths modified brass buckle shoes and a Trotter pack of bits of ply & some dark wool covering . My musket might have been at the original along with its B'net . Thusly attired I go with friends doing Durum L I and camped with the two companies of 95th & the KGL who had a cannon on a football pitch with a couple more loose Scots one from Cincinatti ( The main contingent where based miles away ) So Saturday all units march into Waterloo each falling in per script so allong comes the Highland brigades. I give a smart' Present' as they passed & fell in with the rear fully prepared to be rejected as unknown entity . Once they halt Im'e called forward . And rather than being rejected I evidently passed muster & they where delighted . A musket is a musket after all &' Field expedients' would be the norm on Campaine .to some degree Thusly I 'Fought 'the Sunday even put me on the corner of a Square . And pleased I was as the sticky mud was saturated & I didn't fancy kneeling in it . But the Saturdays return up the Village street was ammusing as being a ' Regiment of three ' OR I could call my arms as it suited to avoid shop signs . While beaming like a Cheshire cat as I sang snatches of " Madamosel from Armanteirs , Parley Vou ?".And similar ribald ditties ignoreing requests as to what was worn under the kilt .As I wore the historic issue drawers of course ?. Ide donned my attire the mid week of our arrival & never took the togs off . but some East German units slept out in the rain which if being" wicked authentic" well enough but it was rather more that I was game to emmulate (Any fool can rough it )
Your Servant '
OR Rudyard.
late of his Britanic Majesties 92nd of foot
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Messages
24
Reaction score
20
The number on the brass looked like a "newish" font to me as well but I didn't know the Irish were still marking firearms like that. The Brits who saw it didn't indicate either way. The number on the barrel marked over the Regimental markings looks older.
There is a name scratched on the stock. I think it's "Dietrich" or something similar. Looks like it's been there a long time but who knows if it was the original person it was issued to.
 

Rudyard

54 Cal.
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
1,867
That Irish Registateion idea was pushed in 1847 or there abouts & perhaps the Butt plate marks donote a County . cant see it clear & other than that I think we can safley drop any Irish connection . Regards Rudyard
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
1,945
Reaction score
972
Very nice third model Bess. Great condition the flintcock Looks like it might’ve been a replacement it seems a little low compared to the profile of the border engravings, Or that could just be its original variation. Otherwise very nice.
 
Top