Small cannon shot?

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Pete E
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Small cannon shot?

Post by Pete E » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:03 pm

Was out today on a new field and found four iron balls in a relatively small area.

Three were small, measuring about 3\4" in diameter and were more or less within a couple of feet of each other.

The fourth was about 20 feet away and measures approx 1 1\2" in diameter.

Local folklore links the area to some minor actions during the Civil War and in the wider area I have found quite a few musket and pistol balls, including on with the sprue still attached.

So is there any chance these iron balls were some sort of shot from a cannon? I have no idea what size shot were used in that period.

Sorry no pics but my phone is playing up but they just rusty round spheres....

Thanks in advance..

Peter


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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by Pete01 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:27 pm

Could well be small cannon balls!- as used in 'Swivel guns' which were small cannons with a bore of up to 1.5inches. Check the Wikipedia link below!- they were commonly used in forts in North America as well apparently.

Might be helpful if you upload a photo of your balls for possible identification though!.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swivel_gun

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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by Pete E » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:35 pm

Unfortunately I won't be able to upload any pics now until next weekend, but I will do so when I can..

I knew there were small cannon such as those swivel guns mounted on ships, but I wasn't sure if they were used on land as well.

The smallest I have come across were the Falconet cannons which I think fired a 2" ball?
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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by Pete01 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:44 pm

Pete E wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:35 pm
Unfortunately I won't be able to upload any pics now until next weekend, but I will do so when I can..

I knew there were small cannon such as those swivel guns mounted on ships, but I wasn't sure if they were used on land as well.

The smallest I have come across were the Falconet cannons which I think fired a 2" ball?
Yeah it's worth uploading some pics as there could be someone on here thats seen or handled that type of thing before who could possibly confirm identification one way or another!.

2 inch balls proabably begin to fall in to the catagory of a normal sized cannon although I'm not sure- other people on this site might know more about small cannons etc!.

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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by Saffron » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:19 am

There is a very detailed item about English Civil War Cannons here
http://www.derbyshireas.org.uk/Suppleme ... il War.pdf

The smallest size listed is the Robinet, which had a calibre of 1 1/4" and fired a 3/4lb cannonball.
Although the shot would have been smaller than the bore of the cannon your 3/4" "shot" would seem to leave a bigger gap than I would expect (but its a subject I know nothing!)

Although it does not mention all the types of cannon in the above item this is a general item overview pictures.
http://www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk/englis ... -overview/

Evan

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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by Wigeon » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:27 am

My friends and I have recently concluded a research project regarding impact scars from this size of projectile that are present on our local church and Peterborough cathedral. They date from 1643.

The sizes that you have fit perfectly with 'case shot'. Case shot was a group of cast iron balls, contained within a leather or cloth bag. The naval term is 'grape shot'.

Small pieces of field artillery in the three to four pounder range could be drawn by a pair of horses.
They could fire between eight and twelve balls making the 'cannon' into a giant shotgun for use against infantry or cavalry.

This particular size of field piece was known as a 'minion or minion drake'. Three superbly preserved examples can be seen in the Guildhall museum in Boston Lincolnshire.

The picture shows a group of impact scars on Peterborough cathedral SE corner and on the W face of our local church. The scars increase in size with weather erosion however we have a method of establishing the original size of projectile. One of our articles was published in the November 2018 Current Archaeology magazine.
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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by JBM » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:27 am

There is a long thread on this subject from only a week ago which may be of interest to you. ;)

Happy Hunting.

Jerry.

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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by GeorgeMK » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:31 am

JBM wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:27 am
There is a long thread on this subject from only a week ago which may be of interest to you. ;)

Happy Hunting.

Jerry.
Pete E have a read through this, viewtopic.php?f=61&t=115997

.

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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by Pete E » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:44 am

Thank folks, this is a subject I know little about so all this info is much appreciated...
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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by Wigeon » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:09 pm

Pete E wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:44 am
Thank folks, this is a subject I know little about so all this info is much appreciated...
We are almost ready to publish a 30 page booklet, which details our research and evidence for the use of civil war period field artillery pieces, loaded with case shot in iconoclastic 'ritual killings' of church buildings.
The booklet investigates two verbal traditions, set in the civil war and Napoleonic war respectively. Once published I will seek permission to post it on MDF as our research may be of interest to some members.
The picture shows the front cover. All proceeds will be donated to Sue Ryder Hospice.
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Re: Small cannon shot?

Post by Saffron » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:45 pm

Wigeon, I am very impressed with the work you and your group have done.

I had never hear of the "iconoclastic 'ritual killings' of church buildings". I know a couple of the churches around here, North Gloucestershire, have "damage from the civil war" which I had assumed (always dangerous!) was due to soldiers of one side or the other using the strong stone church building as defensive position and the other side trying to get them out, or maybe bored soldiers taking an odd pot shot for target practice, but maybe your idea could be the cause.

Hopefully your booklet can be put on the MDF shop, or at least advertised here, so we can get a copy and support a good cause.

Thanks for the mention of the November 2018 Current Archaeology magazine, I will get a copy.

Evan

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