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NTS secure blunderbuss used in Battle of Culloden

Picture: Peter Jolly

Picture: Peter Jolly

A HISTORIC blunderbuss that was used at the Battle of Culloden is to remain in Scotland.

The firearm has been on loan to the battlefield’s visitor centre since 1996 and is regarded as one of the most significant artefacts in the collection.

The weapon is now up for sale and the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which owns the Culloden centre, was given first refusal.

A public appeal for donations has now raised more than £45,000 towards the purchase, with a total of £85,000 required.

The NTS is also applying to grant-awarding bodies to secure some of the balance.

An NTS spokeswoman said: “The trust’s public campaign has raised £45,000 so far.

“The strength of that support means that NTS has now committed to purchasing the blunderbuss .

“It is fantastic that we’ve been able to ensure that this iconic item stays where it belongs.

“However, fundraising efforts continue - we have an application in with a grant-awarding body and the public campaign continues for the foreseeable future.”

The gun is designed to fire a hail of metal shot or other projectiles -including nails.

If the charity had been unable to secure funds, the gun would have been returned to the owner for sale.

Overseas sale

The most likely scenario is it would have been purchased by a collector overseas and removed from Scotland.

The blunderbuss was made around 1670 by John Finch, a leading London firearms maker, and is a rare survivor of its type.

It is a muzzle-loading firearm with flintlock mechanism and “dog lock”.

The form of early shotgun was used to good effect at close range but with no accuracy for long-range shooting.

The term blunderbuss is from the Dutch word donderbus, which is a combination of donder, meaning thunder and bus, meaning pipe.

It is inscribed: “Taken at the Battle of Culloden 16 April 1746 by Captain John Goodenough with 18 balls in it.”

The weapon would likely have made a good battle trophy for Captain John Goodenough, who is known to have fought with the government forces at Culloden in Blakeney’s 27th Foot Regiment.

 

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