Fifteenth-Century Iron Bombards

Special acknowledgment for much of the material in this page must be given to the following work:
Smith, Robert D. and Ruth Rhynas Brown. Mons Meg and her sisters, Royal Armouries Monograph 1, Royal Armouries Monograph 1, Dorset, UK, 1989.
It is sponsored by the Trustees of the Royal Armouries, HM Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB, England.
This exceptional examination of a few, select, wrought-iron, late medieval gunpowder artillery pieces sets high standards of scholarly, scientific study of weaponary of the era.

'Les Michalettes' (two wrought-iron bombards)
ca. 1400-1420
at Mont St. Michel, France, where it is believed that they were left in by the English in their failed 1423-24 siege in the Hundred Years' War.
One gun is 217 cm. in overall length, with a 41 cm bore diameter calibre (barrel).
The other piece is 364 cm. in length with 51 cm bore.
Both pieces are badly corroded and are missing their muzzle hoops.

ca. 1450+ wrought-iron bombard
Musée de l'Armée, Paris, France
202 cm. overall length
34 cm bore diameter calibre (barrel)

ca. 1450
240 cm. overall length
34 cm bore diameter calibre (barrel)
Once known as the Eridge Mortar' until moved (1979) to Boxted Hall, Suffolk, England; it is
now at the Royal Armouries, London, England.

ca. 1420-1455
Historisches Museum, Basel, Switzerland
271 cm. overall length
34 cm bore diameter calibre (barrel)
Captured by the Swiss from the Burgundians after the battle of Murten (1476).

Dulle Gret (Marguerite Enragée, Mad Margaret)
ca. 1450
In Ghent, Belgium
501 cm. overall length
16,400 kg weight
64 cm bore diameter calibre (barrel)
Believed to have been used by Ghent army besieging Oudenarde in 1454. It bears the coat of arms of Philippe 'le bon', duc de Bourgogne, and is believed to have been made by Jean Cambier around the mid-fifteenth century.

Mons Meg
Edinburgh Castle, Edinbourgh, Scotland
49.6 cm calibre (barrel, to the viewer's right)
401 cm overall length
5,080 kg gross weight
Forged (c.1449) by Jean Cambier in the Low Countries (most likely at Mons in Hainault) for Philippe 'le bon', duc de Bourgogne. Sent to James II, king of Scotland in 1457. Believed to have been used in the siege of Roxburgh Castle (1460). Known to have been at the siege of Morham Castle (1489) with James IV. Reportedly fired stone shot weighing 249 kg (549 pounds). The barrel was rent apart firing a salute in 1660.

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Gunpowder Weapons of the Late Fifteenth Century

This page was created in July 1999 and was last updated 22 October 2001.
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