Light Field Guns

The distinction that this author is making between light and heavy guns is a purely modern one but it is clear that the English Civil War saw the use of guns of position as well as their more mobile counterparts. It must be remembered that even a saker 5'A or 6 pound shot weight on the field was a heavy object to lift or draw but culverins are recorded as having been used in the field. In reality a minion was probably the limit to that which could be moved quickly and safely around the...

The Saker And Its Component Parts

Artillery Lynch Pins

7 Middle transom position on cheek 8 Head transom position on cheek Spunge your peece - using the long stave the sheepskin head was moistened and then pushed down the bore of the gun. This had the effect of damping down any embers that were still smouldering in the gun and which would cause a premature explosion. The sponge could also be used to clean the bore. Fill your ladle - this involved one man holding the barrel at waist height and the other pushing in the ladle until the head was full....

Transport

17th Century Robinet Gun

There were four main ways of getting a gun from one place to another during the English Civil War horses, oxen, men and ships. The use of the first two was extremely significant to the prosecution of land battles and it has been said many times that artillery trains were the slowest part of the army. The combination of bad roads and heavy cumbrous transport meant that the artillery train was always the last to arrive anywhere. In order to pull it, horses or oxen were needed in great quantities,...

Carriages

Fortress Defence

Any large field gun carriage was composed of several components that were virtually standard in all European armies. The three largest elements were the two cheeks and the axletree. The axletree was normally of oak although it could have been made of other materials. Elm was widely used, but any hardwood could be pressed into service if required. It was normally A stylized view of a wrought iron gun on a land service carriage. Iron versions of this kind of carriage still exist and are likely to...

Gun Casting

A nice representation of 17th-century gun types with a culverin, cannon, perrier and two types of mortar and showing the different proportions of each weapon. Since muzzle-loading smooth bore guns were the most commonly encountered form of artillery used during the war, it would not be out of place to describe the casting process that produced them. Bronze and iron gun casting processes were very similar and both started with the manufacture of a model. The model of the gun was made of wood...

Bibliography

Siege Woodcut

Blackmore, Howard, The Armouries at the Tower of London Volume 1, Ordnance, 1976 DiueLort, Daniel, LArcenal et magazin de LArtillerie, 1610 Eldred, William, The Gunner's Glasse, London, 1646 Evans, D., ed., Equipping a CI 7th Army, March, Powys, 1985 Firth, C. II., Cromwell's Army, Greenhill, 1992 Hall, A. R., Ballistics in the Seventeenth Century, CUP, 1952 Hexham, Henry, The Principles of the Art Militarie practised in the wanes of the United Netherlands, Delph, 1630 journal of the Ordnance...

Organization

Flintlock Hand Mortar

The organization of artillery trains is a difficult thing to define since most trains were raised on an ad hoc basis for a period of time. However, there are certain roles that occur with regularity and these we can define reasonably easily. The General of the Artillery was normally the leader of the train and responsible for its direction and upkeep and he supervised A 17th-century illustration showing the various types of mortar projectile available to the gunner. The left-hand mortar appears...

Gun Types

Linstock Cannon

The terminology of guns in the 17th century can be very confusing and so it is worth trying to explain here the logic in use at the time. Before 1716, when gun calibres became standardized, they were often known by the names of animals or birds of prey. Although theorists and gunners wanted guns to be standardized they very seldom were and so these categories could only ever be used in a broad sense. The following table gives the lengths of the guns and their calibres according to three...

English Civil War Artillery 164251

Paintings Osprey Publishing

Chris Henry Illustrated by Brian Delf First published in 2005 by Osprey Publishing Midland House, West Way. Botley. Oxford 0X2 OPH. UK 443 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016. USA Email info ospreypublishing.com All rights reserved. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or...

Sieges

Tudor Breech Loading Cannon

Sieges in the first part of the war were haphazard and often not well prosecuted. Often the building being besieged was not designed to withstand the attack of artillery. As the war dragged on they were carried out in a much more methodical way. The Parliamentarian train that accompanied the New Model Army was very powerful and was increased as the army came under control of the Commonwealth. There were many fortified places in Britain in the 1640s, some of which were more important or better...

Naval Carriages

1690s Carriages

There are few existing gun carriages for this period that hail from naval vessels, but we are fortunate in that there is one known carriage that dates to the period and has been left virtually undisturbed in Windsor Castle since that time. It is thought to date to the 17th century and is of fairly simple construction. That this is a naval carriage is supported by the fact that documents exist detailing links between naval carriages and their use in fortifications. The carriage in this case...

Ammunition And Tools

Mallet Breech Loading

Although the cast iron round shot was the commonest form of projectile in use during the 17th century, stone projectiles were in use as were those made from lead. There are even many examples of shot formed of a central iron cube but cast in lead. All of those projectiles were used at long range for siege work. The main problem during this period was that shot sizes tended to be non-standard so that ammunition made for one gun would not fit another. Several contemporary writers have written...

Colour Plate Commentary

Breech Loader

The siege of Basing House was one of the most celebrated events of the Civil War. There were in fact three sieges and the illustration shown here is during the siege of 11 July 1644 when the Parliamentarian Colonel Richard Norton laid siege to the Marquis of Winchester. The first siege had proved difficult so the second was intended to be carried by artillery at a distance. Two large mortars were sent to the siege on 20 July with 'divers grenadoes' to cause the besieged trouble. It is thought...