Horsmonden Cannons

Quest to find Horsmonden Cannons

Some of our cannons are missing! Well in fact most of them are! Horsmonden Furnace would have manufactured thousands of cannons in its time from about 1588 to about 1685, but very little is known about the whereabouts of the weapons made during this period. Many of them ended up at the bottom of the sea, buried on land, in museums, as street bollards, as dock bollards, mooring weights or pivots.

The manufacturers we know about are John Browne (IB marking) and Thomas Johnson (TI marking). In the Elizabethan alphabet the old English letters ‘i’ and ‘j’ were used as the same letter.

So, we now have an ongoing quest to find as many of these cannons as possible and to bring you the stories behind them.

So far, they have turned up in the Tower of London, The Netherlands, Bermuda and off the coast of Scotland, you can find the individual pages in this section.

Calling all Ordnance Experts, Historians and Historical Metallurgists!

You may be able to help us with your expertise or information you hold. If so, please let us know by contacting us.

Do you know the whereabouts of a Horsmonden Cannon?

If you can help us at all, please use the contact us button. Ideally we’d like a brief history, as much data as you can supply and a photograph.

Once we receive this information, we’ll publish it and share it with the world.

This information is not available anywhere on the internet, so we will be creating a unique and useful resource for anyone interested in history.

How can I identify them?

All our cannons as far as we known date between 1588 and 1685. They may carry the marking IB or TI on them. Many would have CR for Charles I as John Browne held the position of King’s Gunfounder. If you are an expert and know specific features to look for please get in touch.

Useful Links

The Historical Metallurgy Society

Ordnance Society

Ones we know about…

  • 1630-40 Gun Moscow

    Horsmonden made gun at the Donskoy Monastery, Moscow, Russia Donskoy Monastery, Moscow with John Browne cannon behind smaller Swedish piece John Browne gun displayed outside the Donskoy Monastery in Moscow brought to our attention by Nico Brinck. Donskoy Monastery is a major monastery in Moscow, founded in 1591 in commemoration of Moscow’s deliverance from the […]
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  • 1639 Bronze 4-Pounder National Maritime Museum

    Horsmonden made brass cannon at the National Maritime Museum Gun KTP0045 John Browne 4-pounder gun at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. National Maritime Museum description Bronze muzzeloading smoothbore 4-pdr gun mounted on replica carriage. Calibre: 3.2in. Engraved: MOUNTIOY EARLE OF NEWPORT MR GENERALL OF THE ORDNANCE IOHN BROWNE MADE THIS PEECE 1640*. Tudor Rose […]
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  • 1640 Bronze 4-Pounder National Maritime Museum

    Horsmonden made brass cannon at the National Maritime Museum Gun KTP0044 John Browne 4-pounder gun at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. National Maritime Museum description Bronze muzzleloading smoothbore 4-pdr gun mounted on a replica carriage. The gun is engraved: MOUNTIOY EARLE OF NEWPORT MR GENERALL OF THE ORDNANCE IOHN BROWNE MADE THIS PEECE 1640. […]
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  • 1640 Bronze 4-Pounder National Maritime Museum

    Horsmonden made brass cannon at the National Maritime Museum KTP0023; Gun John Browne 4-pounder gun at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. National Maritime Museum description Bronze muzzleloading smoothbore 4-pdr gun engraved MOUNTJOY EARLE OF NEWPORT MR GENERALL OF THE ORDNANCE IOHN BROWNE MADE THIS PEECE 1640 Tudor Rose crown CR (for Charles I). Calibre: […]
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  • 1661 3-pounder HMY Mary, Anglesey

    First Royal Yacht of the Royal Navy HMY Mary was the first Royal Yacht of the Royal Navy. Built in 1660 by the Dutch East India Company, she was purchased by the City of Amsterdam and given to King Charles II, on the restoration of the monarchy, as part of the Dutch Gift. Whilst on […]
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  • 1638 Demi-Culverin Drake Sovereign of the Seas

    The most powerfully armed ship in the world with cannons made in Horsmonden We know of one remaining cannon and are on the look out for any more! Sovereign of the Seas was a 17th-century warship of the English Navy. She was ordered as a 90-gun first-rate ship of the line of the English Royal […]
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  • 1638 Bronze 4-Pounder Tower of London

    Horsmonden made brass cannon in the Tower of London The armouries of the Tower of London have a total of seven cannons made in Horsmonden. There are two large brass cannons (shown above) made for Charles I and five small training cannons made for his son, the Prince of Wales who became Charles II. All […]
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  • 1638 Small Bronze Cannons Tower of London

    Five training guns in the Tower of London The armouries of the Tower of London have a total of seven cannons made in Horsmonden. There are two large brass cannons made for Charles I and five small training cannons made for his son, the Prince of Wales who became Charles II. All of them were […]
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  • 1590 Gun at Fort of Santa Catarina, Brazil

    Thomas Johnson gun located on the ramparts of Fort of Santa Catrarina in Brazil by Christopher Sellars in July 2022 Late in December of 2020, whilst on a scooter trip in the State of Paraíba in the North-East of Brazil, Christopher Sellars visited the Fort of Santa Catarina in Cabedelo. The majority of the 24 […]
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  • 1590 Demi-Culverin C12 Londonderry

    Thomas Johnson Demi-Culverin cannon found defending the siege city Demi-culverin Cannon A gun found on the ramparts, designated ‘C12’, a demi-culverin of 10ft dating to 1590 and bearing the mark of Thomas Johnson, Queen’s founder of iron ordnance. Analysis of this piece revealed that it may have been one of those sent to Sir Henry […]
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  • Bantam or Banten Java

    Guns for the King of Bantam

    Gifts for trade relations The East India Company carried cannons in their East Indiaman ships in order to present as gifts to rulers in return for favourable trade terms or as a free sample with the view to selling more. Usually these guns were of the highest quality, so it no surprise that many of […]
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  • demi-culverin londonderry

    Cannons at Londonderry

    Horsmonden built cannons on the ramparts of the siege city We have recently had it confirmed that there are probably three John Browne cannons and one Thomas Johnson cannon amongst the recently restored 16th and 17th century cannons at Londonderry (aka Derry) in Northern Ireland. Londonderry claims the largest collection of cannons in Europe whose […]
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  • 1638 Bronze 4-Pounder Tower of London

    Horsmonden made brass cannon in the Tower of London The armouries of the Tower of London have a total of seven cannons made in Horsmonden. There are two large brass cannons (shown above) made for Charles I and five small training cannons made for his son, the Prince of Wales who became Charles II. All […]
    Read More
  • john browne drake bermuda

    1637 or 1640 Demi-Culverin Drake Bermuda

    Charles I cannon found in the Dockyard in Bermuda In a number of places about Bermuda, obsolete cannon were recycled as dock bollards, mooring weights and pivots, the last for new guns. One such cannon pivot was unearthed at Bastion ‘I’ at the southern end of the Northwest Rampart connecting the Commissioner’s House to the […]
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  • Thomas Johnson Minion Sluis

    1590s Minion Cannon Sluis The Netherlands

    Thomas Johnson Minion Gun found in old harbour at Sluis in The Netherlands One of Thomas Johnson’s cannons was excavated in Sluis, a former harbour on the Flemish-Dutch coast. After the cannon was cleaned the marking TI could read, the initials of Thomas Johnson of Horsmonden, Gunfounder to the Queen Elizabeth. It was was a […]
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  • Dr Colin Martin with Drake Cannon

    1620s Drake Cannon Mull Scotland

    John Browne’s Drake relic found off Mull A small iron gun recovered from the wreck of the Caroline warship Swan has been identified as a drake, a lightweight tapered-chamber design dating from the 1620s. It is the only known cast-iron example of such a piece made by Hormonden’s John Browne, gunfounder to Charles I, who […]
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