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All of these items are for sale and inquiries are welcomed by email at axeantiques@yahoo.com or by phone at 704-236-4333.  These are just a sampling and if you don't see it we probably have it and haven't listed it yet.

Not your Ordinary Blunderbuss: British Mail Coach Blunderbuss

Not your Ordinary Blunderbuss: British Mail Coach Blunderbuss

5,500.00

British Mail coaches were subject to robberies of some frequency late in the 18th century. Guards who were not used to combat situations rarely hit their marks with the pistols they were issued and therefore the mail coach system adopted  the blunderbuss.  This wonderful and rare example is made and is signed by WH Mortimer.

A Postal Museum article from January 2017 printed below explains:

THE POSTAL MUSEUM

ARMING THE POST

1784, John Palmer introduced the first mail coach from Bristol to London. This faster and well-armed postal service proved to be a great deterrent to robbers, as they risked being shot or, if caught, tried and hanged. The first recorded robbery of a mail coach did not occur until 25 July 1786.

A letter to joint Postmaster Generals asking for the establishment of a regional mail coach was signed by over 100 people, whose businesses had been damaged due to the frequency of robberies. Mail coaches were a better way of securing the post’s safe passage, though there are a few recorded instances of attempted robberies even of them.

In January 1816, an Enniskillen coach was attacked and robbed by a gang of 14 men who had barricaded the road. The guards fired off all of their ammunition but the mail bags and weapons were all stolen.

 

The chances of hitting the target with a pistol were small, so a popular choice for Mail Guards became the blunderbuss, an intimidating weapon good at close range. Royal Mail began using blunderbusses in 1816, loaded with 10 or 12 shots ‘the size of a pea’ and a small amount of powder.

Some blunderbusses like the one in our collection featured a bayonet, held in place by a clip with a strong spring that would sweep forward and lock into position, allowing the guard to thrust it at the attacker.

 

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