The flintlock mechanism is a type of lock used on muskets and rifles in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries. It is referred to as a "flintlock", though that term is commonly used for the weapons themselves as a whole, not just the lock mechanism; the flintlock known as the true flintlock, was developed in France in the early 17th century. It replaced earlier technologies, such as the matchlock and wheellock and the earlier flintlocks, it continued to be in common use for over two centuries, until it was replaced by the percussion lock. Flintlock firing mechanisms made their appearance in the 16th century in the form of the snaplock, the snaphance, the miquelet, the doglock; the so-called true flintlock was developed in France in the early 17th century. Though its exact origins are not known, credit for the development of the true flintlock is given to Marin le Bourgeoys, an artist, gunsmith and inventor from Normandy, France. Marin le Bourgeoys's basic design became the standard for flintlocks replacing most older firing mechanisms throughout Europe.
Flintlock weapons based on this design were used for over two centuries, until superseded by caplock mechanisms in the early 19th century. The key element added by Marin le Bourgeoys was the vertically acting sear; the sear is a "catch" or "latch". The sear, located within the lock, had acted through a hole in the lockplate to engage the cock on the outside of the plate; the vertically acting sear acted on a piece called the tumbler, on the inside of the lock, mounted on the same rotating shaft as the cock. This design proved to be the most efficient in terms of reliability. A typical flintlock mechanism has a piece of flint, held in place in between a set of jaws on the end of a short hammer; this hammer is pulled back into the "cocked" position. When released by the trigger, the spring-loaded hammer moves forward, causing the flint to strike a piece of steel called the "frizzen". At the same time, the motion of the flint and hammer pushes the frizzen back, opening the cover to the pan, which contains the gunpowder.
As the flint strikes the frizzen it creates a spark which ignites the powder. Flame burns through a small hole into the barrel of the gun and ignites the main powder charge, causing the weapon to fire. Most hammers follow Marin le Bourgeoys's design, have a "half-cocked" position, the "safe" position since pulling the trigger from this position does not cause the gun to fire. From this position, the frizzen can be opened, powder can be placed in the pan; the frizzen is closed, the hammer is pulled back into the "full cocked" position, from which it is fired. The phrase "don't go off half cocked" originated with these types of weapons, which were not supposed to fire from the half cocked position of the hammer. A gun flint is a piece of flint, shaped, or knapped into a wedge-shape that fits in the jaws of a flintlock; the gun flints were wrapped in a small piece of lead or leather to hold them in place and were made in different sizes to suit different weapons. Pieces of the mineral agate could be used instead of flint, but this was difficult and expensive to shape and only used by countries such as Prussia that were without access to flint deposits.
The experience of modern flintlock shooters shows that a good quality flint can be used for hundreds of shots, although for reliable shooting it must be sharpened periodically. Despite this, it was the British practice to include a new flint in each box of twenty rounds for the Brown Bess musket. A skilled craftsman could make several thousand gun flints a day so they were individually quite cheap items. In times of war, millions of gun flints were needed and in the United Kingdom, mining flint and knapping it became a substantial cottage industry around Brandon, Suffolk, an area that saw large scale flint mining in the Neolithic area. In 1804, Brandon was supplying over 400,000 flints a month to the British military; however flint knappers suffered from Silicosis, known as Knappers Rot due to the inhalation of flint dust. It has been claimed this was responsible for the early death of three-quarters of Brandon gun flint makers. Brandon gun flints were well regarded as they had a lower rate of misfire than flints from other sources.
The industry reached its height during and after the Napoleonic Wars, when Brandon flints were exported worldwide with a near global monopoly. However it declined as flintlocks were replaced by percussion locks. Although it still supplied 11 million flints a year to the Turkish army during the Crimean War and was exporting flints to Africa as late as the 1960s. In France, gun flint production between the 17th and 19th centuries centered around the small towns of Meusnes and Couffy. Meusnes has a small museum dedicated to the industry. Small scale suppliers of gun flints still exist in the 21st century, supplying gun enthusiasts who continue to shoot flintlock firearms. A gunlock was a flintlock mechanism, they were a significant innovation in naval gunnery and were first used by the Royal Navy in 1745. Their use spread as they could not be retrofitted to older guns – the French had still not adopted them by the time of the Battle of Trafalgar; the earlier method of firing a cannon was to apply a linstock - a wooden staff holding a length of smoldering match at the end - to the touch hole of the gun, filled with loose pri
Boom (navigational barrier)
A boom or a chain is an obstacle strung across a navigable stretch of water to control or block navigation. Booms could be military with the goal of denying access to an enemy's ships. Booms could be used along rivers, to force passing vessels to pay a toll. A boom floats on the surface, while a chain can be on the surface or below the water. A chain could be made to float with rafts, ships or other wood, making the chain a boom as well. In medieval times, the end of a chain could be attached to a chain tower or boom tower; this allowed safe raising or lowering of the chain, as they were heavily fortified. By raising or lowering a chain or boom, access could be selectively granted rather than rendering the stretch of water inaccessible; the raising and lowering could be accomplished by a capstan. Booms or chains could be broken by a sufficiently large or heavy ship, this occurred on many occasions, including the Siege of Damietta, the Raid on the Medway and the Battle of Vigo Bay. A Frequently, attackers instead seized the defences and cut the chain or boom by more conventional methods.
The boom at the siege of Londonderry, for example, was cut by sailors in a longboat. As a key portion of defences, booms were heavily defended; this involved batteries or forts. In the Age of Sail, a boom protecting a harbour could have several ships defending it with their broadsides, discouraging assaults on the boom. On some occasions, multiple booms spanned a single stretch of water; the Leonine Wall included a chain blocking the Tiber A chain spanned the Golden Horn A chain and boom blocked the River Medway during the Raid on the Medway Hudson River Chain The chain blocking the Parana River during the Battle of Vuelta de Obligado Anti-submarine net Boom defence vessel - a vessel charged with laying anti-submarine nets Log boom - a boom for collecting logs Boom - a boom for containing oil spills A.^ Some sources have the chain being dismantled instead of broken by a ship in the Siege of Damietta and in the Raid on the Medway
The shilling is a unit of currency used in Austria, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, United States and other British Commonwealth countries. The shilling is used as a currency in four east African countries: Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia, it is the proposed currency that the east African community plans to introduce. The word shilling comes from old English "Scilling", a monetary term meaning twentieth of a pound, from the Proto-Germanic root skiljaną meaning'to separate, divide.' The word "Scilling" is mentioned in the earliest recorded Germanic law codes, those of Æthelberht of Kent. Slang terms for the old shilling coins include "bob" and "hog". While the derivation of "bob" is uncertain, John Camden Hotten in his 1864 Slang Dictionary says the original version was "bobstick" and speculates that it may be connected with Sir Robert Walpole. One abbreviation for shilling is s, it was represented by a solidus symbol, which may have stood for a long s or ſ, thus 1/9 would be one shilling and ninepence.
A price with no pence was sometimes written with a solidus and a dash: 11/–. The solidus symbol is still used for the Kenyan shilling, rather than sh. During the Great Recoinage of 1816, the mint was instructed to coin one troy pound of standard silver into 66 shillings, or its equivalent in other denominations; this set the weight of the shilling, its subsequent decimal replacement 5 new pence coin, at 87.2727 grains or 5.655 grams from 1816 until 1990, when a new smaller 5p coin was introduced. In the past, the English world has had various myths about the shilling. One myth was that it was deemed to be the value of a cow in a sheep elsewhere. A shilling was a coin used in England from the reign of Henry VII; the shilling continued in use after the Acts of Union of 1707 created a new United Kingdom from the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, under Article 16 of the Articles of Union, a common currency for the new United Kingdom was created. The term shilling was in use in Scotland from early medieval times.
The common currency created in 1707 by Article 16 of the Articles of Union continued in use until decimalisation in 1971. In the traditional pounds and pence system, there were 20 shillings per pound and 12 pence per shilling, thus there were 240 pence in a pound. Three coins denominated in multiple shillings were in circulation at this time, they were: two shillings, which adopted the value of 10 new pence at decimalisation. At decimalisation in 1971, the shilling coin was superseded by the new five-pence piece, of identical size and weight and had the same value, inherited the shilling's slang name of a bob. Shillings remained in circulation until the five pence coin was reduced in size in 1991. Between 1701 and the unification of the currencies in 1825, the Irish shilling was valued at 13 pence and known as the "black hog", as opposed to the 12-pence English shillings which were known as "white hogs". In the Irish Free State and Republic of Ireland the shilling coin was issued as scilling in Irish.
It was worth 1/20th of an Irish pound, was interchangeable at the same value to the British coin, which continued to be used in Northern Ireland. The coin featured a bull on the reverse side; the first minting, from 1928 until 1941, contained 75% silver, more than the equivalent British coin. The original Irish shilling coin ) was withdrawn from circulation on 1 January 1993, when a smaller five pence coin was introduced. Australian shillings, twenty of which made up one Australian pound, were first issued in 1910, with the Australian coat of arms on the reverse and King Edward VII on the face; the coat of arms design was retained through the reign of King George V until a new ram's head design was introduced for the coins of King George VI. This design continued until the last year of issue in 1963. In 1966, Australia's currency was decimalised and the shilling was replaced by a ten cent coin, where 10 shillings made up one Australian dollar; the slang term for a shilling coin in Australia was "deener".
The slang term for a shilling as currency unit was "bob", the same as in the United Kingdom. After 1966, shillings continued to circulate, as they were replaced by 10-cent coins of the same size and weight. New Zealand shillings, twenty of which made up one New Zealand pound, were first issued in 1933 and featured the image of a Maori warrior carrying a taiaha "in a warlike attitude" on the reverse. In 1967, New Zealand's currency was decimalised and the shilling was replaced by a ten cent coin of the same size and weight. Ten cent coins minted through the remainder of the 1960s included the legend "ONE SHILLING" on the reverse. Smaller 10-cent coins were introduced in 2006. Shillings were used in Malta, prior to decimalisation in 1972, had a face value of five Maltese cents. In British Ceylon, an shilling was equivalent to eight fanams. With the replacement of the rixdollar by the rupee in 1852, a shilling was deemed to be equivalent to half a rupee. On the decimalisation of the currency
The pound or pound-mass is a unit of mass used in the imperial, United States customary and other systems of measurement. Various definitions have been used; the international standard symbol for the avoirdupois pound is lb. The unit is descended from the Roman libra; the English word pound is cognate with, among others, German Pfund, Dutch pond, Swedish pund. All derive from a borrowing into Proto-Germanic of the Latin expression lībra pondō, in which the word pondō is the ablative case of the Latin noun pondus. Usage of the unqualified term pound reflects the historical conflation of weight; this accounts for the modern distinguishing terms pound-force. The United States and countries of the Commonwealth of Nations agreed upon common definitions for the pound and the yard. Since 1 July 1959, the international avoirdupois pound has been defined as 0.45359237 kg. In the United Kingdom, the use of the international pound was implemented in the Weights and Measures Act 1963; the yard or the metre shall be the unit of measurement of length and the pound or the kilogram shall be the unit of measurement of mass by reference to which any measurement involving a measurement of length or mass shall be made in the United Kingdom.
An avoirdupois pound is equal to 16 avoirdupois ounces and to 7,000 grains. The conversion factor between the kilogram and the international pound was therefore chosen to be divisible by 7, an grain is thus equal to 64.79891 milligrams. In the UK, the process of metrication and European units of measurement directives were expected to eliminate the use of the pound and ounce, but in 2007 the European Commission abandoned the requirement for metric-only labelling on packaged goods there, allowed for dual metric–imperial marking to continue indefinitely; when used as a measurement of body weight the UK practice remains to use the stone of 14 pounds as the primary measure e.g. "11 stone 4 pounds", rather than "158 pounds", or "72 kilograms" as used elsewhere. The US has not adopted the metric system despite many efforts to do so, the pound remains used as one of the key United States customary units. In different parts of the world, at different points in time, for different applications, the pound has referred to broadly similar but not identical standards of mass or force.
The libra is an ancient Roman unit of mass, equivalent to 328.9 grams. It was divided into ounces; the libra is the origin of the abbreviation for pound, "lb". A number of different definitions of the pound have been used in Britain. Amongst these were the avoirdupois pound and the obsolete Tower, merchant's and London pounds. Troy pounds and ounces remain in use only for the weight of certain precious metals in the trade; the pound sterling was a Tower pound of silver. In 1528, the standard was changed to the Troy pound; the avoirdupois pound known as the wool pound, first came into general use c. 1300. It was equal to 6992 troy grains; the pound avoirdupois was divided into 16 ounces. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the avoirdupois pound was redefined as 7,000 troy grains. Since the grain has been an integral part of the avoirdupois system. By 1758, two Elizabethan Exchequer standard weights for the avoirdupois pound existed, when measured in troy grains they were found to be of 7,002 grains and 6,999 grains.
In the United Kingdom and measures have been defined by a long series of Acts of Parliament, the intention of, to regulate the sale of commodities. Materials traded in the marketplace are quantified according to accepted units and standards in order to avoid fraud; the standards themselves are defined so as to facilitate the resolution of disputes brought to the courts. Quantifying devices used by traders are subject to official inspection, penalties apply if they are fraudulent; the Weights and Measures Act of 1878 marked a major overhaul of the British system of weights and measures, the definition of the pound given there remained in force until the 1960s. The pound was defined thus "The... platinum weight... deposited in the Standards department of the Board of Trade... shall continue to be the imperial standard of... weight... and the said platinum weight shall continue to be the Imperial Standard for determining the Imperial Standard Pound for the United Kingdom". Paragraph 13 states that the weight in vacuo of this standard shall be called the Imperial Standard Pound, that all other weights mentioned in the act and permissible for commerce shall be ascertained from it alone.
The First Schedule of the Act gave more details of the standard pound: it is a platinum cylinder nearly 1.35 inches high, 1.15 inches diameter, the edges are rounded off. It has a groove about 0.34 inches from the top, to allow the cylinder to be lifted
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, was an English statesman and the favourite of Elizabeth I from her accession until his death. He was a suitor for the Queen's hand for many years. Dudley's youth was overshadowed by the downfall of his family in 1553 after his father, the Duke of Northumberland, had failed to prevent the accession of Mary I. Robert Dudley was condemned to death but was released in 1554 and took part in the Battle of St. Quentin under Mary's husband and co-ruler, which led to his full rehabilitation. On Elizabeth I's accession in November 1558, Dudley was appointed Master of the Horse. In October 1562, he became a Privy Councillor and, in 1587, was appointed Lord Steward of the Royal Household. In 1564, Dudley became Earl of Leicester and, from 1563, one of the greatest landowners in North Wales and the English West Midlands by royal grants. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was one of Elizabeth's leading statesmen, involved in domestic as well as foreign politics alongside William Cecil and Francis Walsingham.
Although he refused to be married to Mary, Queen of Scots, Dudley was for a long time sympathetic to her until, from the mid-1580s, he advocated for her execution. As patron of the Puritan movement, he supported non-conforming preachers but tried to mediate between them and the bishops of the Church of England. A champion of the international Protestant cause, he led the English campaign in support of the Dutch Revolt, his acceptance of the post of Governor-General of the United Provinces infuriated Queen Elizabeth. The expedition was a military and political failure, it ruined the Earl financially. Leicester was engaged in many large-scale business ventures and was one of the main backers of Francis Drake and other explorers and privateers. During the Spanish Armada, the Earl was in overall command of the English land forces. In this function, he invited Queen Elizabeth to visit her troops at Tilbury; this was the last of many events he had organised over the years, the most spectacular being the festival at his seat Kenilworth Castle in 1575 on occasion of a three-week visit by the Queen.
Dudley was a principal patron of the arts and the Elizabethan theatre. Robert Dudley's private life interfered with his court vice versa; when his first wife, Amy Robsart, fell down a flight of stairs and died in 1560, he was free to marry the Queen. However, the resulting scandal much reduced his chances in this respect. Popular rumours that he had arranged for his wife's death continued throughout his life, despite the coroner's jury's verdict of accident. For 18 years he did not remarry for Queen Elizabeth's sake and when he did, his new wife, Lettice Knollys, was permanently banished from court; this and the death of his only legitimate son and heir were heavy blows. Shortly after the child's death in 1584, a virulent libel known as Leicester's Commonwealth was circulated in England, it laid the foundation of a literary and historiographical tradition that depicted the Earl as the Machiavellian "master courtier" and as a deplorable figure around Elizabeth I. More recent research has led to a reassessment of his place in Elizabethan society.
Robert Dudley was the fifth son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, his wife Jane, daughter of Sir Edward Guildford. John and Jane Dudley were known for their happy family life. Among the siblings' tutors figured John Dee, Thomas Wilson, Roger Ascham. Roger Ascham believed that Robert Dudley possessed a rare talent for languages and writing, regretting that his pupil had done himself harm by preferring mathematics. Robert learned the craft of the courtier at the courts of Henry VIII, Edward VI, among whose companions he served. In 1549 Robert Dudley participated in crushing Kett's Rebellion and first met Amy Robsart, whom he was to wed on 4 June 1550 in the presence of the young King Edward, she was of the same age as the bridegroom and the daughter and heiress of Sir John Robsart, a gentleman-farmer of Norfolk. It was a love-match, the young couple depending on their fathers' gifts Robert's. John Dudley, who since early 1550 ruled England, was pleased to strengthen his influence in Norfolk by his son's marriage.
Lord Robert, as he was styled as a duke's son, became an important local gentleman and served as a Member of Parliament for Norfolk in 1551-52, March 1553 and 1559. His court career went on in parallel. On 6 July 1553 King Edward VI died and the Duke of Northumberland attempted to transfer the English crown to Lady Jane Grey, married to his second youngest son, Lord Guildford Dudley. Robert Dudley led a force of 300 into Norfolk where Edward's half-sister Mary was assembling her followers. After some ten days in the county and securing several towns for Jane, he took King's Lynn and proclaimed her in the market-place; the next day, Jane's reign was over in London. Soon, the townsmen of King's Lynn seized Robert Dudley and the rest of his small troop and sent him to Framlingham Castle before Mary I. Robert Dudley was imprisoned in the Tower of London and condemned to death, as were his father and four brothers, his father went to the scaffold. In the Tower, Dudley's stay coincided with the imprisonment of his childhood friend and Mary's half-sister Elizabeth, sent there on suspicion of involvement in Wyatt's rebellion.
Guildford Dudley was executed in February 1554. The surviving brothers were released in the autumn. In December 1554, Ambrose and Robert Dudley took part
A bastion or bulwark is a structure projecting outward from the curtain wall of a fortification, most angular in shape and positioned at the corners. The developed bastion consists of two faces and two flanks with fire from the flanks being able to protect the curtain wall and the adjacent bastions, it is one element in the style of fortification dominant from the mid 16th to mid 19th centuries. Bastion fortifications offered a greater degree of passive resistance and more scope for ranged defense in the age of gunpowder artillery compared with the medieval fortifications they replaced. By the middle of the 15th century, artillery pieces had become powerful enough to make the traditional medieval round tower and curtain wall obsolete; this was exemplified by the campaigns of Charles VII of France who reduced the towns and castles held by the English during the latter stages of the Hundred Years War, by the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the large cannon of the Turkish army. During the Eighty Years War Dutch military engineers developed the concepts further lengthening the faces and shortening the curtain walls of the bastions.
The resulting construction was called a bolwerk. To augment this change they placed v-shaped outworks known as ravelins in front of the bastions and curtain walls to protect them from direct artillery fire; these ideas were further developed and incorporated into the trace italienne forts by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, that remained in use during the Napoleonic Wars. Bastions differ from medieval towers in a number of respects. Bastions are lower than towers and are of similar height to the adjacent curtain wall; the height of towers, although making them difficult to scale made them easy for artillery to destroy. A bastion would have a ditch in front, the opposite side of which would be built up above the natural level slope away gradually; this glacis shielded most of the bastion from the attacker's cannon while the distance from the base of the ditch to the top of the bastion meant it was still difficult to scale. In contrast to typical late medieval towers, bastions were flat sided rather than curved.
This eliminated dead ground making it possible for the defenders to fire upon any point directly in front of the bastion. Bastions cover a larger area than most towers; this allows more cannons to be provided enough space for the crews to operate them. Surviving examples of bastions are faced with masonry. Unlike the wall of a tower this was just a retaining wall; the top of the bastion was exposed to enemy fire, would not be faced with masonry as cannonballs hitting the surface would scatter lethal stone shards among the defenders. If a bastion was stormed, it could provide the attackers with a stronghold from which to launch further attacks; some bastion designs attempted to minimise this problem. This could be achieved by the use of retrenchments in which a trench was dug across the rear of the bastion, isolating it from the main rampart. Various kinds of bastions have been used throughout history. Solid bastions are those that are filled up and have the ground with the height of the rampart, without any empty space towards the centre.
Void or hollow bastions are those that have a rampart, or parapet, only around their flanks and faces, so that a void space is left towards the centre. The ground is so low, that if the rampart is taken, no retrenchment can be made in the centre, but what will lie under the fire of the besieged. A flat bastion is one built in the middle of a curtain, or enclosed court, when the court is too large to be defended by the bastions at its extremes. A cut bastion is that, it was sometimes called bastion with a tenaille. Such bastions were used; the term cut bastion is used for one, cut off from the place by some ditch. A composed bastion is when the two sides of the interior polygon are unequal, which makes the gorges unequal. A regular bastion is that which has proportionate faces and gorges. A deformed or irregular bastion is one. A demi-bastion has flank. To fortify the angle of a place, too acute, they cut the point, place two demi-bastions, which make a tenaille, or re-entry angle, their chief use is before a crownwork.
A double bastion is that which on the plain of the great bastion has another bastion built higher, leaving 4–6 m between the parapet of the lower and the base of the higher. Semi-circular bastions were used in the 16th century, but fell out of favour because of the difficulty of concentrating the fire of guns distributed around a curve. Known as "half-moon" bastions. Circular bastions or roundels evolved in the 15th and early 16th centuries but were superseded by angled bastions. Bastille Battery tower Roundel Whitelaw, A. ed. The popular encyclopedia. P&G, pp. 50–54, ISBN 978-1-906394-07-3 Nossov, Konstantin. H. (19