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[AmRevolution] British Howitzer cast in New York

I checked the index and didn't find an article I could get my hands on, that might have discussed this particular piece. There were two articles in Vol. 8 by the late Jac Weller, on Revolutionary War artillery, and those must have come out before I was recruited.

Anyway, Colonial National Park in Yorktown, VA has a very interesting British 8-inch bronze field howitzer in its collection, their item number Y-3185, from accession number 119 (War Department, Ft. Leslie J. McNair, Washington DC. (no accession date given). The howitzer was cast for the Crown in New York, by one "R. Allen" probably before 1760. I'd never heard of this piece until I was reading over some NPS descriptions of the trophies there. They describe the piece as "of rather crude construction, without dolphins."

I haven't found my photos of all the Yorktown trophies, but I think I have one of that piece. The piece is marked with the typical capture inscription found on similar pieces there:

"Surrendered by the capitulation of Yorktown, Oct. 19, 1781." Bore is 8". Overall length 41 in., nominal length 36 in. On the breech is inscribed "R. Allen New York Fecit." The weight mark is "7*3*16" (884 lbs.) This is extremely light for any 8" howitzer. The right trunnion bears incised figure "11." The mark on the breech is the cypher of George II, thus dating the manufacture of the piece to 1760 or prior. The park service notes that R. Allen was "a member of the famous Allen family of gunfounders in England and had been sent to this country as an agent for B. Gilpin, gunfounder (1756-62.)" There is no date of manufacture on the piece but the park service estimated the date as between 1756 and 1760 based on the facts given above.

The most complete book I have listing gunfounders is A.N. Kennard "Gunfounding and Gunfounders," Arms and Armour Press, New York, 1986. It does not list any gunfounder named Allen.

To me, this piece is fascinating. Does anyone know of any article that tells more about it? I wonder where in New York the foundry was located?

I'll post my picture of the piece when I find it.

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[AmRevolution] British Howitzer cast in New York
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