Quest to find the Guns of Horsmonden
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, 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, Royal Armoury, Northern Ireland, The Netherlands, Bermuda, Brazil, Moscow, Barbados and off the coast of Scotland, you can find the individual pages in this section below.
Calling all Ordnance Experts, Historians, Historical Metallurgists and you!
Thanks to those who have been in touch. You also may be able to help us with your expertise or information you hold. You may spot one in some far flung part of the world. 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 as many photographs as you can supply.
Once we receive this information, we’ll publish it and share it with the world.
This information is not available anywhere else 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.