Original Revolutionary War Era British Long Land Pattern Brown Bess Musket Marked to the 43rd Regiment of Foot - As used at the Battle of Lexington and Concord - Jordan 1747 - As Seen on History Channel Pawn Stars
This very Musket was featured and test fired on an episode of History Channel's Pawn Stars in November 2023. You can watch it on the episode below:
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This incredible early Brown Bess musket dated 1747 is marked to the British 43rd Regiment of Foot. Now, we have no way to know the service life of this musket but the 43rd left Portsmouth for America in June, 1774 as the first of ten regiments sent to bring order to the chaotic situation in Boston, MA. The Light Company of the regiment was one of several engaged at Concord Bridge under the command of the 43rd's Capt. Walter Laurie. If, as it seems, no actual command to fire was given at Lexington Green earlier in the day, Laurie was the first British soldier to order his troops to fire on Americans. The first three British dead of the Revolution are from the Light Companies under his command. Altogether that day, the 43rd lost Lt. Edward Hull, taken prisoner after being mortally wounded; four enlisted men killed, five enlisted men wounded and two captured.
This magnificent 46 inch long barreled Brown Bess Musket was exactly what the British used in those early Colonial days and saw service throughout the French & Indian War (Seven years War 1756-1763) and on through the Revolutionary War of 1775-1784.
The Long Land Pattern British Brown Bess musket was the primary weapon of the British soldier throughout the early and mid-18th century. They were the standard weapon of the British army and colonial provincial militia troops during the French-Indian War in America and many were used during the American Revolution. Close range combat was the order of the day and these smoothbore weapons were terribly effective when volleys were fired at massed troops.
The manufacture of muskets in 18th century Great Britain entailed a system where metal gun parts which were stored in the Tower of London were distributed to gunmakers for manufacture into complete weapons. The gunmaker firms were comprised of two groups of workers called "roughstockers" and "setters-up". The roughstockers formed the finished gunstocks from rough
blanks and the setters-up fit the metal components to the finished gunstocks. In many cases the stocks of completed muskets contain a proofmark found in the ramrod channel. This mark is usually found between the third ramrod guide and the tailpipe. Usually these marks are comprised of a letter or number but in some instances whole names appear. Quite often the metal parts are also marked with Roman numerals. These marks represent the stockmaker's mark, and the mark of the person setting up the metal parts of the gun, as proof for payment of their services.
This example is what we would consider a transitional model of the Long Land Pattern British Brown Bess musket, as it has some early features such as the a 1730-1742 type trigger guard. The convex "banana" shaped lock plate is engraved with the standard British military marks of a crown over a GR, plus a crown over a broad arrow. The name of the lock maker, IORDAN (JORDAN), and the 1747 date of lock manufacture, are also stamped on the lock plate. 18th century J's were engraved as I's. The brass tipped wooden ramrod is held by three barrel shaped thimbles plus a tailpipe. The 46 inch pinned .75 caliber barrel is marked with correct proof marks. The brass lock side plate is the raised early variant.
The top of the barrel is faintly engraved 43 REG-T for the 43rd Regiment of Foot. The brass butt plate tang is engraved with the rack number E/9 and the 9 also appears on the wrist or thumb plate behind the tang. Y+C/111 Stamped on the left side of the stock on the butt, most likely associated with a York Militia or York Castle Armory which would have been applied later on in its use.
The 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1741.
Year of Manufacture: 1747
Caliber: .75" Musket
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 46 inches
Overall Length: 61 1/2 inches
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded
The 43rd Regiment of Foot was raised at Winchester by Colonel Thomas Fowke as Thomas Fowke's Regiment of Foot in 1741. The regiment's first deployment was on garrison duties at Menorca in 1742.The regiment was numbered 54th Regiment of Foot from 1747 until 1751 when it became the 43rd Regiment of Foot.
In May 1757, the 43rd sailed for North America, arriving at Halifax, Nova Scotia the following month to defend the British North American colonies during the French and Indian War (the North American Theatre of the Seven Years' War) against France. A detachment of the 43rd was defeated in a skirmish with Mi'kmaq and Acadian resistance fighters at Bloody Creek near Fort Anne on 8 December 1757. The regiment had spent almost two years on garrison duties when, in 1759, as part of General Wolfe's force, it took part in the capture of Quebec gaining its first battle honour. The next campaign was in the West Indies where the 43rd took part in the capture of Martinique in January 1762 and of Saint Lucia later in the month from the French and the capture of Havana In August 1762 from the Spanish.
The regiment returned to North America in 1774 and remained there throughout the American War of Independence. The 43rd were joined by the 52nd at Boston in June 1774. At the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Grenadier and Light Infantry (flank) companies of the regiment were deployed.
At the Battle of Bunker Hill, the regiment formed part of the 'Assault Force', which had the unfortunate job of assaulting the heavily defended Breeds Hill. Following the Siege of Boston, the regiment was evacuated to Halifax in Nova Scotia. One year later, the regiment sailed for Long Island and took part in the Battle of Long Island,
Between 16 and 18 November 1776, the regiment took part in the Battle of Rhode Island, and shortly thereafter was withdrawn back to New York where it took part in the Battle of Fort Washington and Battle of Fort Lee.
In 1781, the regiment was moved back into New York City where it formed part of the garrison under Major General Henry Clinton. Later that year, the regiment joined Brigadier General Benedict Arnold in his Virginia campaign and took part in the Battle of Green Spring.
Later, the regiment arrived in Yorktown and was present during the Siege of Yorktown later that year.
In 1782, regimental county titles were granted and the 43rd became the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot. The regiment returned to the West Indies in January 1794 to capture for the second time Martinique and Saint Lucia which following the peace treaty of 1763 had been returned to France. They were defeated at Guadeloupe in 1794 by a much larger French force after defending their position for three months.
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