Original English Cased Pair of Percussion Pistols Circa 1840 of Viscount Palmerston

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. HENRY JOHN TEMPLE 1784-1865 was born as the heir to an Irish Peer, entered British Politics in 1806 at the age of 22. His flair was quickly recognized that in 1809 he was offered to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lord Percival's Cabinet. This held little attraction for him so he requested the post of Secretary of War charged with being totally responsible for Military expenditure. A position he held for 20 years despite the fact that this lesser post did not provide him with a cabinet seat.

He was known by the nickname "The Mongoose" but he is more familiar to history as:

THE THIRD VISCOUNT LORD PALMERSTON. An exceptional Political career, twice Prime Minister, in his later life The London Times even referred to him as "Lord Cupid" for his amazingly youthful looks as he was cited, at the age of 79 as a co-respondent in an 1863 divorce case.

He guided England through some of her most glorious and powerful stages and came very close to joining the Confederate States in the uprising in 1861 against the Union government of Abraham Lincoln. He ended up, after the defeat of the Confederacy at Antietam and the Emancipation Proclamation, of declining Napoleon the Third's proposal that Britain and France should intervene with arbitration. Had they done so perhaps the United States would now have a Queen?

He actually died while still in office from complications of a chill, and upon his deathbed having been warned by his Doctor of the severity of his condition, famously replied with his last words:


Here we have a nice Cased Pair of Percussion Box lock Pistols purchased in London from the retailer, "G.STURMAN, of 2, Church Row, Upper Street, Islington", as stated on the Trade Label in the Case lid. The pistols were actually manufactured by WILLIAMS of Birmingham a Trade supplier of the day.

These are very nice work-a-day Percussion box lock pistols intended for personal defense. Each is signed by the maker, with finely checked grips and folding triggers and fitted with a small belt hook for easy concealment. The quality wood case in lined in blue velvet and contains a copper powder flask, iron bullet mold, a combination barrel wrench, a nipple key and a rather smart set of combination screw drivers with wide wood handles. There are two lidded compartments in the case that now hold a few of the lead balls, presumably one once held the percussion caps.

The lid of the case has a large oval silver plaque bearing the Coat of Arms and Motto of the Viscounts of Palmerston and each of the pistols bears the Third Viscounts initials "H.J.T. for Henry John Temple.

In addition we include an original signed WAR OFFICE Order 7th Sept.1815 authorizing Government expenditure in Palmerston's role at the time as "The Paymaster-General" (The Secretary of War). Beautifully framed including a color image of the young Viscount Palmerston at the time, displaying his "Lord Cupid" good looks.

An interesting set of personal defense pistols, no doubt needed in the foggy streets of Victorian England together with an interesting signed official document by the owner who was to go onto become one of England's greatest statesmen.

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