Could anybody tell me what “squibs” were, what they looked like, and how they were used in the early seventeenth century? What was their military application, if any?
My son is currently illustrating a juvenile book on Plymouth Plantation, in which a boy almost starts a disastrous fire aboard the Mayflower:
"The fifth day [of December, 1620] we, through God's mercy, escaped a great danger by the foolishness of a boy, one of ... Billington's sons, who, in his father's absence, had got gunpowder, and had shot off a piece or two, and made squibs; but there being a fowling-piece charged in his father's cabin, shot her off in the cabin; there being a little barrel of powder half full, scattered in and about the cabin, the fire being within four foot of the bed between the decks, and many flints and iron things about the cabin, and many people about the fire; and yet, by God's mercy, no harm done." Mourt's Relation, ed. Jordan D. Fiore (Plymouth: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1985), p. 27.
A picture of one, or a lead to a picture, would be greatly appreciated.
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