In the early hours of the 15th April 1912 the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg. Sailing from Southampton to New York on her maiden voyage she carried 2,224 passengers. More than 1,500 did not survive.
Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon and his wife Lucile were 1st Class passengers and famously escaped in Lifeboat #1, the Captain’s personal lifeboat. This was capable of holding 40 people, however it was launched with just 12 people on board.
After the sinking, Duff-Gordon was the only civilian that was called to the inquest of the sinking. He was accused of bribing his way onto the lifeboat and then paying the crew not to return for survivors. He was eventually acquitted but his name had been dragged through the mud and would not recover.
The report stated:
“The very gross charge against Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon that, having got into No. 1 boat he bribed the men in it to row away from the drowning people, is unfounded”
Letters have recently emerged backing up innocence.
“Presently there was a little boat at the end, what they called the emergency boat, the officers standing there told some stokers to man the boat and no other women were there, so Sir Cosmo asked if we could get in, and we said we would if he could come.
“The dear officers let us, and we dropped into this boat, then they let it down to the water.”
The group were later picked up by the Carpathia. Her words back up Sir Cosmo’s testimony to the inquiry into the sinking.
The letter also talks of the terror and confusion:
“We rowed away from the ship, which was sinking fast, so to get away from swell or sucksion.
“I . . . saw all the lights go out, and the very last of her, then the terrible explosion of rumbling, followed by the cries and screams of the hundreds in the water.”
Sir Cosmo was the most famous survivor of the Titanic and even appears in James Cameron’s epic film Titanic with Leonardo diCaprio and Kate Winslet.
6thDuke of Richmond, 6thDuke of Lennox and 1stDuke of Gordon KG GCVO. Lord Strettington until 1819 then Earl of March from 1819-1860.
He was the son of the 5thDuke of Richmond Charles Lennox and Lady Caroline. Educated at Westminster then Oxford, he then went into the Royal Horse Guards, acting as aide-de-camp for the Duke of Wellington. Then as a Member of Parliament Chairing many Royal positions including the Royal Commission on Captial Punishment.
The Duke of Wellington had a long association with the Duke of Richmond. The wife of the 4thDuke, the Duchess of Richmond held a ball in Brussels on 15thJune 1815. It was here that the Duke of Wellington was informed that the Prussian forces had been forced to retreat from the French. Wellington went into a side study with the 4thDuke of Richmond and exclaimed “Napoleon has humbugged me!” he then layed his finger on the position of Waterloo on a map and declared “I must fight him there”
It was said that many of the officers at this ball were found lying dead in battle still in there ball dress, having gone straight to Quatre Bras.
The 5thDuke also served as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington as the Earl of March at Waterloo. He lived with a musket ball in his chest for the rest of his life.
Goodwood bought by 1stDuke of Richmond and Lennox 1695 for £4,100. It was used as a hunting lodge and occasional residence. Over the years the residing Duke’s have purchased further land and houses. It was the 3rdDuke that made the most dramatic changes, he commissioned Sir William Chambers to build a new house at Goodwood and also contributed hugely to the grounds. When he inherited the estate in 1750 the acreage was 1,100, when he died in 1806 he passed on over 17,000 acres.
The 6thDuke also took a keen interest in the estate and built over 400 estate cottages, greatly improving living conditions
The 6thDuke was created 1stDuke of Gordon by Queen Victoria in recognition to his services to the Crown. For 10 years he was aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington between 1842 and 1852. His first choice of career was the army and served in the Royal Horse Guards
He succeeded his father to the Dukedom in 1860. Four years later he ordered this James Purdey 12-bore 1863 Patent snap-action thumbhole-underlever hammergun.
He died in 1903 leaving a legacy of care for his tenants, providing working and living condition at a higher standard than they had ever been before. In respect of the house and park, he effected many improvements and embellishments drawn from a deep personal interest in his estates.
During the Second Boer War 1899-1902 Captain Walker was part of Searchlight Section of the Royal Engineers. This role included the operation of searchlight equipment on all twenty of the British Army’s armoured trains under Lord Kitchener.
Walker introduced the motorized engine to the British Army during the Boer War. He gives an account of him buying the car in Cape Town and using it for his daily operations “Several months ago I noticed a locomobile car at Cape Town, and being struck with its simplicity and neatness, bought it and took it up country with me….. It also performed some very useful work in visiting out-stations, where searchlights were either installed or wanted……undoubdtedly the best piece of work done by the car so far was its trial trip with trailer, when it blew up the mines at Klein Nek” (The Romance of Modern Invention by Archiblad Williams).
This account was also used in a Daily Telegraph article in 2001 by David Burgess-Wise
” WE think of the car-phone as a modern phenomenon, but it first made its appearance at the end of Queen Victoria’s reign. It was in 1901, during the South African campaign, that the enterprising Captain RS Walker of the Royal Engineers went to war against the Boers with a Locomobile steam car which he had bought in Cape Town.
Its most daring feat was blowing up the Klein Nek minefield with a dynamo driven off the back tyre. Its usefulness as a communications vehicle was limited: in those pre-radio days the maximum range of the telephone was precisely one mile – the length of the wire linking the car to its base station.”
1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War:
The Queen’s South Africa (QSA) Medal Clasps: Belfast, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Laing’s Nek
The King’s South Africa (QSA) Medal Clasps: South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902
—A copy of Captain R.S. Walker giving evidence of the accidental wounding of a Corporal W. Hayward of Search Light Section 22ndFeb 1902—
By 1904 he was Major and he had qualified as Interpreter in Modern Foreign Language – French 1stClass and by 1909 German 2ndClass. In 1910, he was stationed in Gibraltar.
World War I:
March 1917 became Commander Royal Engineers for
Mentioned in despatches in 1915 and again in 1916 by General Haig. He was temporary Lt. Colonel in 03/06/1916 and awarded D.S.O for Distinguished Service in the Field. In 1917 he was mentioned in despatches again “Mentioned in Despatches by General Sir Douglas Haig, G.C.B., Commander-in-Chief of the British Armies in France, to the Secretary of State for War, for distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty.” Again, in September 1917 mentioned in despatches and acting Battalion Lt. Colonel.
Killed 30thSeptember 1918 age 46 part of VI Corps probably killed after the Second Battle of Bapaume (31stAugust-3rdSeptember 1918) during subsequent Allied attacks. Possibly killed at Battle of Canal du Nord 27thSept-1stOct 1918, a battle that saw twelve Victoria Cross’ awarded.
Admiral Henry Cecil Bovell D.S.O joined the Navy in 1910 and retired in 1948 as Vice-Admiral. He Captained the Argus aircraft carrier …
An exceptional pair of 12-bore sidelock’s, by William Powell, serial no’s:14672/14673, the W. Baker 1913 patent action engraved with border engraving and virtually full renewed colour-hardening, with gorgeous slender fences, the top levers engraved ‘1’ and ‘2’ in gold, with classic double trigger’s and well-figured walnut stocks.
The ‘Twelve Twenty’ action is a design for a 20-bore action with 12-bore barrels. It is a rare design and beautifully crafted.
Records show that this pair was made for a Thomas Leslie Bookless on 29th October 1948. Born in Newcastle in 1909 to parents Walter and Minnie. Married Jeanne Moffat in 1935.
He was a Moto GP driver in the 1930’s and competed in 1930 Junior race in MGP he finished 6th with a time of 4.04.46 with average speed of 56.14mph. Then raced in the senior event later that same year, riding a 348 Velocette. He also raced in the Senior MGP in 1932 on a Norton bike.
Racing image also included: Velocette. Entry No.28. T.L. Bookless. Ramsay Parliament Square, Isle of Man Junior Manx Grand Prix 1930.
Snipet of the race” There was a few minor crashes which, was hardly surprising under the conditions, but none were serious. Velocettes had occupied the first six places since the first lap, and their delightful roadholding and steering were proving invaluable under the treacherous conditions, and there was no repetition of the remarkable state of affairs at the S-bend before Greeba bridge three years ago when on several occasions there was seven and eight riders off at a time, and trying to collect themselves and get away before another slithering machine came to take their own motor out of their very hands ! The fourth lap, however, brought bad news, for Muir’s machine gave up and, his wonderful ride was at an end, after establishing a 4-minute lead over Harding. The vacancy on the leader board was thus taken up by another Velocette in the hands of T. L. Bookless, giving the first six on the fourth lap as….”
PLEASE NOTE THE TROPHY IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE SALE
A career officer that started his military service in 1933 with the Lancashire Fusiliers. He was one of the first to volunteer and ultimately …
Through extensive research and by obtaining a copy of the original records we can say that this gun was made for a Charles Tottenham Esq. Steeped in Irish history, this sporting arm was made for Charles of the Tottenham family of Tudenham House, County Westmeath, Eire.
Through dating of this sporting arm and through the family records it is most likely that this was made for Major Charles Bosvile Tottenham D.S.O (19th October 1869-2nd November 1911).
Tottenham was the eldest son of Colonel Charles George Tottenham former M.P for New Ross, Wexford. He was educated at Eton and Sandhurst and joined the Scots Guard in 1890. He was later transferred to the 14th Hussars. Promoted to Captain in April 1900, he served throughout the Second Boer War 1899-1902. He was mentioned in despatches in 1901 and received the Queens South Africa Medal with seven clasps and Kings South Africa Medal with two clasps. 13th October 1900, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O) for his command of the rear guard when retreating from Geluk, Transvaal, an action which saw the Victoria Cross be awarded to his commander Colonel Edward Douglas Brown-Synge-Hutchinson. He was promoted to Major in 1905 and married in 1907. He left the army in 1910 due to ill health and died the following year.
Geluk, 13 Oct 1900
The war, according to Lord Roberts was over, and he had relinquished command after annexing Transvaal. Kitchener was left in charge to mop up. The cavalry was re-organised so that the 14th Hussar were now in a new brigade commanded by Colonel B T Mahon. Their fellow regiments were the 8th Hussars, Mahon’s Horse and M Battery RHA. On 12 Oct they marched to Heidelberg with a large transport column, and on the first day bivouacked on a ridge at Geluk. This was stalked by Boers in the night and attacked at dawn. They were forced to retire to Dalmanutha but they were slowed down by the wagons. A picquet of the 8th Hussars lost 2 officers and several men killed and wounded. A Squadron of the 14th under Capt Tottenham was dug in on the forward slope of the ridge covering the retreat. When the wagons were out of range of enemy fire Major E D Brown, second in command of the regiment, rode back to extricate A Squadron. This involved the men leaving the trenches one at time and running for the horses, a distance of 150 yards. M Battery came under heavy fire and lost men and horses so that the guns had to be manhandled out of action under covering fire from A Squadron. Major Brown and their horses were in a dangerous position, being fired on from two sides. This made the animals very agitated but two Troops managed to get away. One Troop of A and one of C Squadron were having trouble getting mounted but three men were helped by Brown. He then rescued Sergeant Hersey whose horse was killed. Then, together with Trumpeter Leigh he rode back to check that no-one was left behind. They found one unmounted man, Private Gregory, but he was too heavy to ride behind the saddle so Leigh gave him his horse and got up behind Major Brown. This was all done under heavy fire but they got themselves clear. Meanwhile Sergeant Hersey found another unmounted man and rescued him.
Tottenham halted his squadron to take up a position from where they could cover C Squadron’s withdrawal. This time the horses were not exposed and it was easier for them to retire. But one officer, Lieutenant J G Browne could not mount his horse although he had a hold of the reins. Major Brown was still keeping an eye on the rearguard and saw the Lieutenant’s difficulty. He galloped over and held Brown’s horse until he was mounted. They both survived, later to become commanding officers of the 14th. Major Brown was awarded the Victoria Cross and altered his name later so that he became Colonel Edward Douglas Browne-Synge-Hutchinson VC CB, commanding the 14th from 1907 to 1911. Lt John Gilbert Browne reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 14th from 1921 to 22, and the 14th/20th Hussars from 1922 to 25. The brigade casualties amounted to 70 killed and wounded while the 14th had one man killed and 9 wounded, with 5 horses killed and 10 wounded. Sgt Hersey had been wounded and was decorated for his bravery, as was Trumpeter Lance-Corporal Leigh and Private Shenton. 28th May 1900. The Fourteenth had 2 men and 6 horses wounded. Major Brown, Captain Tottenham, and Lieutenant and Adjutant R. Lawrence, D.S.O., had their horses shot under them. Engaged at On the 2gth, 2 squadrons of the 7th Dragoon Guards and 2 squadrons of the Fourteenth gallantly stormed and captured a kopje near Doornkop.
On the 1 2th there was considerable opposition encountered Engaged at in the advance. A squadron of the Fourteenth, under Lieu- nea/Komati tenant Hill-Whitson, came across a party of the Boers on the right flank and drove them off. The remainder of the regiment I 9. had to dismount and lead their horses up a very rugged and steep hill, which they had been ordered to occupy by Brigadier- General Gordon, commanding the ist Cavalry Brigade. Lieutenant the Honourable H. Grosvenor took a squadron to occupy a nek to the right, while Captain Tottenham, with his squadron, pushed on in advance and occupied a position on the higher hills beyond. This was effected without any loss. Lieutenant Grosvenor’s squadron became hotly engaged, and his dismounted men did good work with their carbines, driving off the enemy and only losing one horse. Lieutenant Campbell had been ordered to push on as advance-guard to a convoy in front of the infantry (two battalions, commanded by Lieutenant- Colonel J. Spens, Shropshire Light Infantry) ; he came under a very hot fire from both flanks, but he took the kopje, the enemy retiring when he got within 300 yards of the position. Presently the infantry came up and occupied it. This was Nel’s Hoek. Next day, i3th, the ist Brigade, consisting of the Cara- Dash for biniers, Scots Greys, Inniskillings, and Fourteenth made a dash cavalry under for Barberton over Nel’s Hoek, Lieutenant-General French ^chf^ leading. Captain Tottenham’s squadron of the Fourteenth was September sent forward from a hill, 7 miles from the town, where the cavalry was concentrated about 1.30 P.M., and brought back the Military Governor, Van der Post. At 5 P.M. the cavalry moved to a point 3 miles from Barberton, where they bivouacked, and the town was quickly evacuated by the Boers.
Captain Tottenham’s, the ‘ A ‘ squadron, lined the trenches nearest the enemy, and was much exposed to fire. During the withdrawal of a picquet of the 8th Hussars which was nearly cut off, Lieutenant Wylam, 8th Hussars, and several men of his picquet were killed ; Lieutenant Gilmore of the 8th Hussars and several men were wounded, and the adjutant of the 8th Hussars, Lieutenant Jones, was killed. The Fourteenth had 2 men and 5 horses Casualties of killed, 9 men and 10 horses wounded, and Lieutenant Harvey *’ had his horse shot under him. Major E. D. Brown, 1 4th Major Brown, Hussars, behaved most gallantly during this action : he brought a sergeant and a trumpeter out of action on his lantly – own horse one after the other, their horses having been shot, and himself remained behind under a very heavy fire to assist Lieutenant J. G. Browne to mount his horse, which was restive under the galling fire of the enemy and would not stand still. He was afterwards awarded the Victoria Cross for his conspicuous bravery on this occasion. 1 The ‘ M ‘ Battery
Major Tottenham, of the 14thHussars, with Mrs. Tottenham, passed through Rawal Pindi en route for Kashmir, last April. Recently we were grieved to hear that he had been seized by paraysis whilst staying at Gulmarg. He was brough down by easy stages in a motor car, and arrived here on the 3rdNovember, stayed with the Regiment until the 6ththen proceeded, accompanied by his wife and sister, to Bombay, there to embark for home. His friend’s in the Tenth hope he will make a speedy and good recovery. – The Tenth Royal Hussars Gazette
TOTTENHAM, CHARLES BOSVILE, Captain, was born 19 October 1869, at 57 Belgrave Road, London, elder son of Colonel Charles George Tottenham, of Ballycurry, County Wicklow, late of the Scots Fusilier Guards, and formerly Member of Parliament for New Ross, Wexford, and Catherine Elizabeth (who died in 1905), daughter of the Honourable and Reverend Sir F Stapleton, 7th Baronet, of Gray’s Court, and granddaughter of the 22nd Lord Despencer. He was educated at Eton and Sandhurst, and joined the Scots Guards 29 October 1890, and was transferred a few months later to the 14th Hussars (14 January 1891). He became Lieutenant 23 November 1892, and Captain 16 April 1900. Captain Tottenham served in the South African War, 1899-1902, and was present at the Relief of Ladysmith, including the operations of 5 to 7 February 1900, and action at, Vaal Kranz; operations on Tugela Heights 14 to 27 February 1900, and action at Pieter’s Hill; operations in the Orange Free State, February to May 1900, including actions at Houtnek (Thoba Mountain) and Zand River; operations in the Transvaal in May and June 1900, including actions near Johannesburg, Pretoria and Diamond Hill (11 and 12 June); operations in the Transvaal, east of Pretoria, July to 29 November 1900, including action at Belfast, (26 and 27 August); operations in the Transvaal 30 November 1900 to January 1901; operations in Orange River Colony, February to 31 May 1902; operations on the Zululand Frontier of Natal in September and October 1901. He was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 10 September 1901]; received the Queen’s Medal with seven clasps, the King’s Medal with two clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 27 September 1901]: “Charles Bosvile Tottenham, Captain, 14th Hussars. In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa”. He was awarded the DSO for his successful command of the rear-guard when the column was retreating from Geluk, Transvaal, on 13 October 1900, when Colonel Brown-Synge Hutchinson (who is also in the 14th Hussars) won his VC. He was promoted to Major 14 January 1905. Major Tottenham was a noted rider, and won many regimental races. He married, in 1907, at Christ Church, Folkestone, Ruby, daughter of Mr and Mrs Piercy Benn. He left the Service in October 1910, owing to ill-health, and died on the 11th February 1911, at Mentone. (An obituary notice appeared in the ‘Times’ of 14 February 1911.)
GORDON, JOHN FARQUHAR, son of C. G. Gordon; born Deal, 23 March 1893. Sc. (Agriculture), 1910-11. 2nd Lieutenant, Gordon Highlanders, August 1915; attached Royal Flying Corps Served Home, 1915-16; France, Belgium, 1916-19. Final rank, Acting Major. Distinguished Flying Cross, September 1918.
No.1 Reserve Aeropland Squadron – Gordon Highlanders. Reported at South Farnborough on 22/12/1915 and is attached to No.1 Reserve Aeroplane Squadron for instruction in aviation.
March 1920 Flight Lieutenant No. 4 Squadron
|1 Apr 1926||Sqn Ldr John F Gordon DFC C/O No. 31 Squadron|
|8 Mar 1932||Sqn Ldr John F Gordon C/O No. 35 Squadron|
|28 Sep 1918||Maj J F Gordon C/O No.205 Squadron|
5/11/18 – 1/12/1919 – Commanding Officer of No. 18 Squadron
1933 – Aiport Depot Iraq
Flight Lieutenant to Squadron Leader 1926 – General Duties branch
Placed on half pay in 1932 then returned to full pay only a month later
J.F. Gordon D.F.C:
1915 as cadet in Gordon Highlanders arrived at South Farnborough from Royal Military College for aviation instruction.
- 1916 as 2ndLieutenant was still under insutruction at S. Farnborough.
- 24/03/1916 to be Flying officer and seconded to Royal Flying Corps.
- 14/02/1917 to be Flight Commander (and temporary Captain)
- “Gordon,Capt,JF – 25Sq,08.07.18,Ok [A7626 DH4] u/c broke on landing from test. Capt JF Gordon Ok/46288 Cpl H Emerson Ok,CasRep,AIR 1/857,109292,,180708,GORDON”
- “Gordon,Capt,JF,,,,25Sq,30.07.18,Ok [A7877 DH4] f/l Reclinghem due excessive vibration during machine test. Capt JF Gordon Ok/Lt GM Lawson Ok,CasRep,AIR 1/857,109293,,180730,GORDON”
- “Gordon,Maj,JF,,,Gordon Highlanders,18Sq France,24.06.19,inj [- -] Engine backfired while turning starting handle of Crossley touring car,CasCards,272153,109294,,190624,GORDON”
Won D.F.C with No. 25 Squadron in 1917/18
1918 – Flight Lieutenant
D.F.C. – 1918 Captain J.F. Gordon – Gazette Issue 30989 1/11//18. D.F.C. The King has been graciously pleased to award the Distinguished Flying Cross to this officer in recognition of his gallantry in flying operations against the enemy. An exceptionally able leader, who has carried out thirty-one bombing raids and twenty photographic reconnaissances. Many of these fights were of great distance and carried out at a very high altitude, calling for great courage and stamina. This officer possesses these qualities in a marked degree, and his example has been of the greatest service to his squadron.
No. 25 Squadron:
|Battle honours||Home Defence, 1916: Western Front, 1916–1918: Somme, 1916: Arras: Ypres, 1917: Cambrai, 1917: Somme, 1918: Lys: Hindenburg Line: Channel & North Sea,|
- 25 Squadron was a long-rage reconnaissance and fighter unit. Equipped with the FE2B twin-seater plane.
- Its duties changed to bombing, reconnaissance and eventually included photography in 1917.
- 25 Squadron was the first RFC squadron to receive the new DH4 de Haviland bomber, which made the squadron a long-range unit.
- Germany’s last big offensive in march 1918 led to the unit performing many low level raids and strafing of advancing German units.
- In April 1918 the unit returned to high-altitude long-range bombing sometimes over 100 miles into enemy terrioty.
- 23/6/1918 was the last bombing raid of the squadron. Long-range photo recon was performed after this.
1941 – Mentioned in Despatches
Retired 1943. Served in General Duties Branch
Gordon,Cadet,JF,,,,,22.12.15,to join S Farn for instr in aviation (from Royal Military College),Posting,33/img_0369,109287,,151222,GORDON
Gordon,2Lt,JF,,,Gordon Highlanders,1RS South Farnborough,24.03.16,under instruction,Mar-16,25/img_2163,109288,,160324,GORDON
Gordon,2Lt,JF,J.F.,,Gord. Highrs.,,03.06.16,to be Flying Officer and to be seconded,Gazette,16.6069,109289,,160603,GORDON
Gordon,2Lt,JF,J.F.,,Gord. Highrs,,14.02.17,to be Flight Comdr from Flying Officer and to be TCapt whilst so empld,Gazette,17. 1956,109290,,170214,GORDON
Gordon,Lt(TCapt),JF,,,Gordon Highrs,,00.03.18,Flight Comdr,ALMar18,25/img_3673,109291,,180300,GORDON
Gordon,Capt,JF,,,,25Sq,08.07.18,Ok [A7626 DH4] u/c broke on landing from test. Capt JF Gordon Ok/46288 Cpl H Emerson Ok,CasRep,AIR 1/857,109292,,180708,GORDON
Gordon,Capt,JF,,,,25Sq,30.07.18,Ok [A7877 DH4] f/l Reclinghem due excessive vibration during machine test. Capt JF Gordon Ok/Lt GM Lawson Ok,CasRep,AIR 1/857,109293,,180730,GORDON
Gordon,Maj,JF,,,Gordon Highlanders,18Sq France,24.06.19,inj [- -] Engine backfired while turning starting handle of Crossley touring car,CasCards,272153,109294,,190624,GORDON
Gordon,,JF,J F,,,,,,AIR76-1,AIR 76/188/79,109295,,0,GORDON
Gordon,Capt,JF,John Farquhar,,Gordon Highlanders 2Lt. RAF Capt,,,,Medals,WO 372/8/69969,109296,,0,GORDON
A superb 12-bore boxlock with a rich history, by J. Rigby & Co, serial no: 17599, the action with beautiful border engraving with some foliate-scrolling, the fences ensuite to the action with some engraving, a classic double-trigger and figured walnut stock.
The founder of Rigby was John Rigby in 1758. However it was his grandson, another John, who took the business to world fame. It was he, who oversaw the Lee .303 rifle into British military service. A world famous maker that can claim to be oldest firm of gunmakers still practising in Britain.
This particular sporting arm, no:17599 was sold to a Sir David Gill on 30th August 1910.
Sir David Gill (1834-1914) FRS, PRAS, K.C.B.-
Gill is the only Scot to be awarded the Bruce Medal for astronomy, the Watson medal by US Academy of Science and the Gold Medal by the Royal Astronomical Society…..twice! He was also knighted by Queen Victoria in 1900, Commander de la Legion d’Honneur and Prussian Pour le Merite together with six honour doctorates. He became President of the Royal Astronomical Society and President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
From timely beginnings as an amateur astronomer to being appointed Queen Victoria’s Royal Astronomer, he would go on to take the first HD photograph of the moon and also photograph the Great Comet of 1882. His workings on finding a scale of the solar system, was to within 0.2% of todays recordings. He also played a major role in mapping the entire sky in the Carte de Ciel project, an ambitious International venture, which resulted in over 10 million stars being recorded. In his later years he sat as President of the Royal Astronomical Society in London.
His work was so impressive that the great astronomer Arthur Eddington said “Whenever they have been put to the test,Gill’s values have been confirmed…..When we compare the instruments – the 40 inch telescope at Yerkes, or the 26 inch at Greenwich, with his 7in heliometer – we must marvel at the precision he could obtain.”
A 12-bore pinfire, by Adolphe Jansen of Brussels, this quite superb pinfire action is heavily engraved with game scenes of pheasant, deer and hunting hounds in natural settings, surrounded with both border and foliate-scroll work engraving, the hammers are also engraved heavily, together with a Jones patent rotary underlever, the Damascus barrels are in their original gun metal grey finish, with some engraved decoration, with a classic double-trigger and walnut stock.
Adolphe Jansen of Brussels was gunmaker to King Leopold and designed several patents in the mid to late 19th century. The name finished trading in 1958.
Rare composed pair of non-firingJ&W Tolley 1879 Patent Sidelocks, 1883/1884 (Location: Nicholas Brawer Gallery, New York)
Rare composed pair of non-firingJ&W Tolley 1879 Patent Sidelocks, 1883/1884 (Location: Nicholas Brawer Gallery, New York)
A superb rare pair of 16-bore sidelocks, by J&W Tolley, the 1879 patent actions masterfully engraved with beautiful border, acanthus and foliate-scroll, together with the rear of the dipped edge lock plates engraved superbly with a charming set of game scenes of partridge and grouse in natural setting, with ornate carved fences, the trigger-guards engraved with running hare, the barrels finished in original steel, classic double-trigger, the Homer patent 1877 forends with push-forward release, with well-figured semi-pistolgrip stocks.
J&W Tolley was first recorded in Birmingham in 1859 however they opened London premises over the years and this pair we built in their shop on Conduit St as mentioned on the rib. This dates the gun to 1883/1884 as this was the period of trading at this premises. The original records were lost due to bombing during WWII.
A fine pair of 12-bore sidelocks, by Joseph Lang & Son, serial no:15174/5, the beautiful sidelock actions engraved with best foliate and bouquet engraving, the carved ornate fences also engraved with bouquet engraving, the top levers and ribs numbered ‘1’ and ‘2’ in gold, with barrels polished in their original steel finish, with single-triggers and well-figured walnut stocks.
The makers have confirmed that this pair were made 15th August 1912 for a Mr J.P. Anderson.
Joseph Lang set up on his own in 1921 having worked for a number of years for Alexander Wilson. It appears he may well have had some help along the way having married one of James Purdey’s daughters! He was then credited with the introduction of breech loading sporting arms due to the improvements he made on an existing French design.
The business changed names many times over the years and was even in agreement with Abercrombie & Fitch of New York to act as an agent. In such high regard the business was held, records shows that in 1933 they had well over 6,000 customers including eight Dukes and two hundred and fifty four Lords.