English Revolutionary War Named Flintlock Pistol: Hadley of London c. 1781
Original Item: Only one available. A nice quality Officer's Flintlock Pistol by one of London's leading makers of the day. High quality Sterling Silver mounts well hallmarked bearing the inscription on the escutcheon of "Capt. S. Baggot, Lt. Dgns. Fourteen inches in overall length with eight inch brass barrel bearing London proof marks and well marked "LONDON".
A very attractive original pistol that does show signs of long ago of use in that the touchhole in the brass barrel has been relined by using a brass dovetailed plate. It was a common practice on brass barreled weapons that firing caused extensive erosion to the touchhole so relining gave a completely new life span to an otherwise fine barrel. The brass lock plate is lightly marked "Hadley" in script. Also of note is a sterling sliver hallmarks indicating that this pistol was made in Birmingham England in the year 1781 (see photos).
Further Internet research shows (rootsweb.ancestry.com) that a Captain S. Baggot was with the 17th Light Dragoons from 1775-1790. This regiment apparently saw action both in the battles of White Plains and Monmouth. He was promoted to Captain in 1780. The 17th had troopers with Tarleton in the South (1780-1781) and fought at Cowpens and were interned in Yorktown. The regiment left New York in June 1783. It is unclear, and perhaps we will never know, if Baggot possessed this pistol during his time in the colonies or if he acquired it immediately upon his return to England. However, this is a cracking pistol with definitive historical ties to a British officer that saw action in the Revolutionary War.
The pistol came from a collection of an extreme Anglophile who lived in Vienna, Austria and only collected English weapons with a named connection to the British Military or Civilian individuals or organizations such as Coaching Lines, Ship's names or the like kind. This is a nice quality pistol with masses of research potential, if proof can be acquired that this pistol was in the colonies during the Revolutionary war, this pistol will be worth far more than what we have listed..
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