Pair of “HMS Royal George” Miniature Bronze Barrel Naval Cannon
Pair of “HMS Royal George” Miniature Bronze Barrel Naval Cannon
Pair of “HMS Royal George” Miniature Bronze Barrel Naval Cannon
Pair of “HMS Royal George” Miniature Bronze Barrel Naval Cannon

Pair of “HMS Royal George” Miniature Bronze Barrel Naval Cannon

c. 1840 England

Offered by Thomas Coulborn & Sons

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This pair of cannon on oak carriages was made in 1840 from the recovered salvage of the wreck of HMS Royal George to commemorate the disastrous sinking of the ship in 1782. Both of the barrels are inscribed in copper-plate script, one reading: ‘Relic of Royal George, Sunk 1782, raised 1840’, the other: ‘Relic of the Royal George, Sunk 1782, Raised 1840’. These scale models have ring fittings.

HMS Royal George (1756-1782): The HMS Royal George was a 100-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Woolwich Dockyard and launched on 18th February 1756. At the time she was launched, the Royal George was the largest warship in the world, and she took part in the Seven Years' War and the Battle of Cape St Vincent.
During the summer of 1782, the Royal George was anchored at Spithead, just off the coast at Portsmouth, part of the fleet being assembled to relieve the Siege of Gibraltar. On 29th August, at seven o’clock in the morning, work was carried out on the Royal George’s hull. At the time, most of her crew was on board, in addition to workmen; merchants and traders; relatives visiting the crew; and women and children who were visiting the ship whilst it was moored in the harbour. In order to carry out the work to the hull, the ship had to be heeled over by rolling the ship's guns on one side into the centreline of the ship, causing the ship to tilt in the water. However, the ship was heeled over too far, and passed her centre of gravity, so orders were given to move the guns back into position to restore the ship's balance. But the lower gunports were not properly secured, creating an inrush of water and causing the ship to list, keel over and sink. Around nine hundred people were drowned in one of the most serious maritime losses to occur in British waters. Two hundred and fifty five people were saved, including eleven women and one child. Many of the victims were washed ashore at Ryde, Isle of Wight where they were buried in a mass grave that stretched along the beach.

Several attempts were made to raise HMS Royal George, both for salvage and because it was a major hazard to navigation, lying in a busy harbour at a depth of only 65 feet (20 metres). The most successful salvage attempt was made in 1839 by Major-General Charles Pasley.

In the 1850s, timber from the ship was used to make the billiard table, still in use today, for the North Wing of Burghley House. Several of the salvaged bronze cannons were melted down to form the base of Nelson's column in London's Trafalgar Square, and some of the timbers were used to create souvenir objects, such as this pair of cannons.
Height 11.50 cm (4.53 inches)
Width 18.50 cm (7.28 inches)
Depth 11.50 cm (4.53 inches)
Stock Code
Bronze, oak.
Thomas Coulborn & Sons

Thomas Coulborn & Sons
Vesey Manor
64 Birmingham Road
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands
B72 1QP

+44 (0)121-354 3974
+44 (0)7941 252299
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