Original British East India Company Brown Bess Short Musket by Henshaw with Grenade Cup and Letter- Ship Melville Castle

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Included with our purchase from the old palace of Lagan Silikhana in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2003 here is very interesting P-1771 EIC Brown Bess Musket that has had the original 39-inch barrel shortened to 26-inches for the express purpose of converting it to a "Grenade Discharging Gun". These types of muskets were typically used at sea to launch incendiary grenades to set fire to the sails of any hostile predators.

Bearing the remains of British proof marks both the barrel and lock are marked HENSHAW 1793 and both are marked with the EIC heart (East India Company) logo.

We also found a small assortment of original Brown Bess grenade discharger cups in Nepal. This particular cup has the remains of an EIC heart log and conveniently fit but we have no idea if this musket was every truly intended to be used with this cup.

The most interesting feature, however, is that on the S side plate there has been clearly imprinted the name of an East India Company Ship MELVILLE CASTLE. We have had a couple of short muskets before with ship's names but on each occasion the name was on the barrel, this time it is on the brass side plate.

The MELVILLE CASTLE is easy enough to research online and it's history of sailings easily found, however while cruising the internet we discovered a company selling an original letter dated 29th June 1793 from aboard the MELVILLE CASTLE, whilst in route from Calcutta, India.

This was just to good to miss so we purchased it and it relates a tale from a son to his father.

"My Dear Father" it begins in beautifully written in script, a long lost art. This letter is from Thomas D. Campbell to his father Mr. P. Campbell in Argyll in Scotland. The letter relates to the fact that the Melville Castle has encountered an American Ship, "about one month ago", who told us that the King of France had been beheaded and that France has now declared war on England!

What a fabulous letter written aboard the very East India Company Ship from which the Flintlock

Short Musket was serving, presumably at that very time since both are dated 1793.

A fascinating Flintlock grenade discharging Short Musket has now been transformed into a compelling addition to any British East India Company Naval or just swashing buckling collection.

We offer the Musket with the Grenade Cup together with the letter as a complete set.

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