British Musket Possibly Used on April 19th, 1775

by / / History

Skinner Auctioneers Historic Arms & Militaria auction on November 2nd in Marlborough, MA has an interesting item: British Pattern 1756 Long Land Service Musket Marked to the 4th Regiment of Foot.

The auction catalog describes the musket as follows:

British Pattern 1756 Long Land Service Musket Marked to the 4th Regiment of Foot, or the Kings Own Regiment, c. 1762, .79 caliber, lock engraved “GRICE/1762” behind the cock and crown over “GR” below the pan, walnut stock with brass fittings, brass wrist plate engraved with rack numbers “28/30,” barrel engraved on the top “Ks OWN REGt,” breech marked with remnants of board of ordnance proof marks and “FG” for “Farmer and Galton,” and an iron ramrod, barrel lg. 45 1/4, overall lg. 61 1/2 in.

Provenance: The Bill Ahearn collection.

Literature: Illustrated and described in Bill Ahearn, Muskets of the Revolution and French & Indian Wars (Lincoln, RI: Andrew Mowbray Publishers, 2005), pp. 41-45; Bill Ahearn and Robert Nittolo, British Military Long Arms in Colonial America (Pittsburgh, PA: Dorrance, 2018), pp. 127-43.

Note: The gun was found in a barn in Massachusetts and was sold by Norm Flayderman in 1978. May 21, 1774, returns of the Kings Own Regiment show that guns were issued to them on January 19th, 1765. There is a good possibility that this gun saw service on April 19th, 1775, the first day of the American Revolution. The light infantry and grenadier companies were on the expedition to Concord that day. The grenadier companies carried the 1756 long land pattern musket, as did the battalion companies that marched out of Boston with Percy’s relief column. With the gun is a binder with information about the gun including the original catalog listing and the restoration work that was done on the gun.

The events of April 19th, 1775 form the backbone of the history discussions at each an every Revere’s Riders event. Seeing photographs of a British musket that could have been carried by one of the Red Coats on that day is certainly exciting. Hopefully, the musket will find a good home.