Original 1750 English Flintlock Pistol from the Haunted Duke’s Head Pub, Kings Lynn

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-Kind. Acquired from the Strakaty Collection of Vienna, Austria.

This is a perfectly standard mid 18th century brass mounted, brass barreled flintlock pistol. The Lock has no frizzen re-enforcement to the pan making this circa 1740-1750. The maker's name is worn and not fully legible it appears to start "Ha-----" perhaps Harman who worked between 1720 and1750. It could also be Hadley or Harding, both of whom worked at that time.

The pistol is generally in a very good condition regarding the wood and brass mounts and it is the brass mounts that make this item so interesting. The brass butt cap is engraved:


But most interestingly along the top of the brass barrel is the engraving:


Research tells us that this wonderful old 17th century building was in fact built in 1683 for Sir John Turner, King's Lynn's Member of Parliament, but in the early 1700s became a hotel. It was built on the site of an ancient Inn called "THE GRYFFIN" which was demolished to make way for Sir John Turner's new mansion in a dominating position on the town's "TUESDAY SQUARE". We rather suspect that in medieval times market day was held on Tuesdays, hence the name.

Tradition has it that there is a ghost at the Duke's Head, "A RED LADY" who was reported to be a maid servant that was executed in the Market Square in front of the Duke's Head for apparently poisoning her mistress. Multiple sightings of the RED LADY have been reported over the years and no doubt this pistol was a "behind the bar" weapon kept in case of loss of order or perhaps a supernatural visit!

This is a correct honest pistol of the period with a fascinatingly haunting association.

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