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A rare British military .58 calibre percussion Coastguard pistol dated 1849. Ref 3440

A rare British military .58 calibre percussion Coastguard pistol dated 1849. Ref 3440

Stock Status: In Stock

A rare British military .58 calibre percussion Coastguard pistol. Lock Marked with a Crown over V.R. and dated Tower 1849. 6 inch barrel stamped with British proof marks. Fitted with a swivel steel captive ramrod. British military style brass ramrod pipe, trigger guard and butt-cap. Iron lanyard swivel fitted to the butt. Walnut Stock. Good crisp action. Some minor dings and scratches during it's working life otherwise in good condition. Overall length 12 inches. As soon as medieval taxes were charged on imports and exports, people began smuggling. By 1743 it was  estimated that half the tea sold in Britain was illegally imported and it shows that smuggling was highly profitable. Smugglers have often been romanticised but the reality was brutal. Local people lived in fear with violent reprisals on informers and the murder of revenue officers, whilst corruption enabled smugglers to evade harsh penalties. In 1809 the Board of Customs formed the preventative water guard to fight smugglers and this small force used boats to patrol every bay and cove. In 1816 the guard was placed under the Treasury and at each station the chief officer and chief boatman were experienced naval seamen or fishermen. In bad weather they formed a shore patrol. Although created to end smuggling, the Preventative Water Guard quickly acquired extra duties and were instructed to take responsibility of shipwrecks to safeguard cargoes and vessels from looters. In 1821 a Committee of enquiry examined every aspect of the Customs service. It recognised the Preventative Water Guard as a major force against smuggling and recommended that it again be controlled by the Board of Customs. In recorded minutes dated 15 January 1822 the Treasury accepted the proposals noting the new force would be called The Coast Guard which was in effect, the birth of H.M. Coastguard. A very interesting piece. Ref 3440.

This is an antique and is sold as a collectors item only.
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    3440 in stock now