Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fuller Guns

While researching the Fuller's ironfounding history I got interested in tracking down any surviving guns that were made at their Heathfield Forge. From as early as 1693 until 1763 the Fullers made hundreds, if not thousands, of cannons ranging from 1-pounders to 24-pounders in size.

So far I have found: a 1-pounder at Anne of Cleves House at Lewes, Sussex; two 24-pounders at Firepower - The Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich; two or more guns at the Tower of London; a 4-pounder recovered from the wreck of Blackbeard's flagship the Queen Anne's Revenge now at the North Carolina Maritime Museum; a gun that was reclaimed from the wreck of English merchant slave ship the Henrietta Marie now in the collection of the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, Key West, Florida.
I have some evidence that there is a Fuller gun at Dover Castle.

Any help in locating cannons made at the Heathfield Forge, Sussex by the Fuller family would be gratefully received.
Many thanks to: Les Smith at Firepower - The Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich; Nathan Henry, Assistant State Archaeologist and Conservator, Underwater Archaeology Branch North Carolina Office of State Archaeology; Mark Wilde-Ramsing, Project Manager, Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck Unit; Friends of Dover Castle

One Pounder Cannon - c. 1749

"The initials IF of the trunnion normally represent John Fuller of Heathfield 1706-1755 but this may be one of the small guns cast by W & G Jukes of Robertsbridge Abbey Furnace. The Jukes[sometimes Jewkes] were commissioned by Fuller to supply him with a number of small iron guns but they forged his initials on the trunnions which led Fuller - a founder of repute - to terminate the contract. The second reinforce bears a shield with a cornet above the letters D probably relating to the first Duke of Dorset, Lionel Cranfield Sackville (1688-1765) who was Variously Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Constable of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque Ports and whose family has long associations with the Weald and Sheffield Park."

Source: Anne of Cleves House Museum, Lewes, East Sussex

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