Original U.S. Revolutionary War 46” Barrel British Brown Bess Musket by Willetts dated 1761 & marked 18th Regt. - Captured and Rebuilt by Colonists

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. This musket began life as a British "Long Land Pattern" Brown Bess Musket, one of the standard muskets in use during the American Revolutionary war. It was made and marked on the lock plated tail in 1761 by WILLETTS of Birmingham, England, though the Lock engraving is hard to read. We have examined it thoroughly to determine the maker. It also bears the correct CROWN / GR proof on the barrel breech, as well as the CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS mark from Birmingham, England.

It was then captured from the British during the war, very likely having had it's butt broken off by the surrendering British Infantryman, an unfortunate but common habit denying the Colonist Rebels their arms. The Barrel has very worn faint markings that we believe is the 18Th. Regt. of Foot. At first glance it appears to read "13 REG’T", however it is very much obscured.

Doing Regimental research however dictates that it really reads 18 REG'T, as it was the only candidate of the regiments with “rounded” second digits (13th, 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th Regiments) that was actually present in the Colonies in the early days of the revolution. The 18th Regiment was raised in Ireland in 1684 and saw much action during the 7 Years War in Europe. It was first posted to Philadelphia in 1767 as garrison troops for eight years and transferred to BOSTON in 1775 just in time to fight at LEXINGTON, CONCORD AND BUNKER HILL. Thereafter they were shipped to Nova Scotia before going to Dover Castle in England.

We believe that at one of the these battles this musket was damaged and left on the battlefield only to be collected by the winning Rebels and the REBUILT for use AGAINST the British. It has an entire Colonial made wood stock, but only using THREE ramrod Pipes as was the colonial way. All other parts are of British Pattern Brass including a rounded and tailed long side plate. The escutcheon and nose cap were also not fitted.

The stock has a very pleasing "BOW" to it and the whole musket presents very well having remained unaltered from then until the present day having we understand been hanging in a private home in Massachusetts. The lock is still fully functional, though the main spring is a bit weak, so it does not dry fire with much force.

A remarkable find in lovely condition! Reach to research and display!


Year of Manufacture: 1761 - Rebuilt by Colonists c. 1776
Caliber: .75" Musket
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 46 inches
Overall Length: 61 inches
Action: Flintlock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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