Some firearms were highly decorated. The wood around the stock was handsomely carved, and brass mounts in a variety of styles were engraved with a wide range of designs. This weapon, however, is extremely utilitarian. Restocked from older parts, it lacked even limited embellishments, a simple serviceable weapon.
This musket was carried during the American Revolution and was made from a variety of recycled parts. The barrel is marked with the stamp of a British ordnance inspector who worked from 1689-1721. Although nearly illegible the lock was imprinted with the monogram of Queen Anne who reigned from 1702-1714. The brass hardware may also date from the early 18th century. The stock, however, is of cherry wood, which was not used for British weapons and indicates this gun has been re-stocked in America by its frugal owner.
This is a musket. With a large, smooth bore and a sturdy stock, this was a weapon for war not sport. The original design was stocked to the muzzle, designed for a plug bayonet which fit inside the barrel. An iron lug brazed just below the muzzle secured the wood to the barrel and was filed off when the stock was shortened. A new stud was attached to allow the gun to accept a socket bayonet. Being able to mount a bayonet is indicative of a military weapon.
This musket was carried by John Stewart, originally of Londonderry, New Hampshire. Stewart may have participated in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, after which he accompanied the American invasion of Canada. He lived near Pawlet, Vermont after his service was over and served as a volunteer during the Battle of Bennington in August of 1777. He settled in Ticonderoga for a time following the war. His musket may have been used well after the war ended as the cock and hammer are replacements from a late 1760s French musket, a type imported in great numbers during the American Revolution.