44th ESSEX REGIMENT British Brown Bess FLINTLOCK Musket NAPOLEONIC WARS Era
BRITISH INFANTRY Regiment Raised in 1741
Here we present an antique British Brown Bess Flintlock Musket marked on the top of the barrel “44 Essex REGT”, indicating it was used by the 44th Regiment of Foot (associated with East Essex from 1782 on), a British military unit with a long history.
The 44th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment in the British Army, raised in 1741. The regiment was raised by Colonel James Long as James Long’s Regiment of Foot in 1741. The regiment saw active service at the Battle of Prestonpans in September 1745 during the Jacobite rising. Ranked as the 55th Regiment of the Line in 1747, the regiment was renamed the 44th Regiment of Foot in 1751. It embarked for North America in January 1755 for service in the French and Indian War and took part in the Battle of the Monongahela where Colonel Sir Peter Halkett was killed while commanding the regiment. The regiment went on to fight at the Battle of Carillon in July 1758, the Battle of Fort Niagara in July 1759 and finally the Montreal Campaign in July to September 1760 before returning home in 1765.
The regiment returned to North America, landing in Boston in 1775 for service in the American Revolutionary War. It saw action at the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776, the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777, and the Battle of Germantown in October 1777, as well as the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778. In May 1780 the regiment moved to Canada before returning home to England in September 1786.
It is at this time when this musket was likely used. In 1792, the French Revolution set off a series of conflicts that are collectively called the Coalition Wars, most of which would eventually involve Napoleon Bonaparte. Part of the regiment went to Flanders, while the other part was sent to the West Indies to capture the island colonies of Martinique and St. Lucia from the French in 1794. Reunited in 1795, the 44th fought at the Battle of Alexandria (21 March 1801) against Napoleon’s forces and put them under siege until they surrendered in September of that year.
1811 found the 44th on the Iberian Peninsula during the Peninsular War (1808-1814) where it fought against Napoleon’s forces at Sabugal, Fuentes de Oñoro (both 1811), and Badajoz (1812). In July of 1812 at Salamanca, 44th Regiment Lieutenant William Pearce captured the eagle standard of the enemy French’s 62nd Regiment. 1815 found the 44th finishing off Napoleon at the Battle of Quatre Bras and Waterloo. With the finale of the Napoleonic Wars, the regiment was then sent to India and Southeast Asia where it was involved in the 1st Burma War (1824-1826) and the 1st Afghan War (1839-1842).
The overall condition is fair to good. Gray patina throughout. Birmingham proofs on the barrel. There is some little graffiti on the stock. The action will hold in half- and full-cock but the hammer does not drop the cock when pulled. Some adjustments would have to be made to the lock internally if desired. The bore is smooth and patinaed as expected. The stock shows much wear and some repairs. This is a remarkable piece of history that will look great on display.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 39 inches.
Caliber: .75 Flintlock
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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