British Brass Barrel Blunderbuss by Barnett- WATERGUARD No. 17, Manby
Original Item: One-of-a-Kind. From the Reign of King George III here is an extremely interesting Brass Barreled Blunderbuss Pistol marked FOR HIS MAJESTY'S WATERGUARD No.17". The Water Guard was an organization formed to combat smuggling in 1809. It was also known as The Preventative Boat Service. The water guard complemented the riding officers of the Revenue Service and was stationed in watch houses around the coast and patrolled home waters in cutters each night. Later, the Customs and Excise Department absorbed the water guard organization in 1909.
This pistol 15.5-inches in overall length with a substantial 9.5-inch brass blunderbuss cannon barrel was made by the well know government contractor R.BARNETT of THE MINORIES, LONDON".
The lock has a Roller Frizzen spring and has brass mounts including a grotesque masked eared butt cap and substantial "proofed" 9" belt hook mounted over the brass side plate.
The Silver escutcheon is faintly engraved "Capt.G.B.Manby" which research tells us was a "Boyhood Friend of Horatio Nelson" and was the inventor of the "MANBY MORTAR" which appears to have been a shore based line throwing mortar used to reach ship's in peril.
This is clearly a rare pistol, owned by a figure of history that served in a dedicated Government Anti-Smuggling Organization, which lasted only 100 years.
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