Original British Brass Barrel Inscribed Officer Fusil Dated 1813
Original Item: Only One Available. Now if this could only speak, an original British Flintlock Officer's Fusil, a short musket of Pistol bore, with all brass mounts and brass 32.5 inch British Proofed barrel marked; MINORIES - LONDON.
The flintlock mechanism signed by the well-known gun maker and military contractor WILSON. This would have been a private purchase weapon but it greatly resembles a miniature third model Brown Bess musket. The brass side plate faintly retaining an engraved inscription:-
TAKEN FROM THE BRITISH SCHOONER DOMINICA, AUGUST 5TH.1813
The inscription is faint due to age and years of over polishing. The brass escutcheon is marked G.W.B. (George W. Bush, were the Texans in England?)
Overall length is 48 inches.
Research shows that the H.M.S. Dominica, originally the French Vessel "Duc de Wagram" captured by the British in 1809 was renamed and put into service under the command of Lt. George Wilmot Barrette.(G.W.B.)
On August 5th 1813 whilst escorting a Merchantman "The Princess Charlotte the American Privateer Decatur attacked her under the command of Captain Dominique Diron. The attack lasted some 6 hours at the end of which Captain Diron ordered the boarding of H.M.S Dominica. In the melee that followed Lt. Barrette was mortally wounded and fought with a sword till he died together with 13 other Royal Navy sailors. Both vessels were extensively damaged but Captain Diron managed to bring both ships into Charleston harbor in South Carolina. The Dominica was then used by the Americans and on 22 May 1814 was recaptured by the British Man-of-War HMS Majestic.
Just over one year later H.M.S. Dominica foundered and was wrecked off the island of Bermuda on 15th August 1815.
This is a fascinating well-documented story, with basic research included, weaving an exciting tale of a fight to the finish leading to the death of the owner of this interesting flintlock fusil.
Obtained from an English Collector who got it from a Maritime museum collection together with several other items when the museum was liquidated in 2003. Interestingly IMA also had a Powder Bucket, now long sold, also taken from the Dominica and originating from the same Collection but two years prior to this fusil.
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