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Nice pair of old cannons from Perth Ontario


Brian Wolfe
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Hello Everyone,

I have held a fasination for cannons and artillery pieces for many years. I must admit that I stopped short of much else and have not taken the time to research and learning about them. My plan now it to visit as many locations displaying these weapons, photographing, documenting and learning more about these deadly instruments of warfare.

This autumn we visited my wife's family in Perth Ontario (half way between Kingston and Ottawa) and while there I took a few photos of a pair of cannons that are displayed outside the Court House. They are not large cannons but they look pretty well complete.

Take a look a the photos and tell me what you think and add any information you can. I'll revisit this area later and get some research material on them which I will post. I would like to put together a CD of cannon and artillery pieces for my collection since there is no room in either my collection room or my bank account to actually own one of these.

I'll describe the photos as I post them.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Here is a photo of one of the cannons showing the touch hole and part of the name and date. The writting says, "L&P VERBRUGGEN A.1775 FECERUNT" This is repeated on the second cannon but with the date 1776. Now there's an interesting date (1776). I have not had the time to research the name but I will do so this winter when more time allows. I would and probably should have done so before I posted but I just couldn't wait to show these to the members.

Brian

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This is what I think would be the elevating device. I guess you would have to move the whole cannon to fire to the right or left. There seems to be a lot of metal reinforcement pieces on the carrige. This must surely be a replacement carrige but it's good to see that everything is either original or at least place back on the restored carrige.

Brian

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This is the business end with the Court House behind. The smooth bore measured 3 inches in dia. There were some cannon balls welded together and chained down on the ground, they may be in one of the photos but I didn't bother to show them on their own as a cannon ball is a cannon ball, especially if it is covered with rust.

I hope you liked my photos and if you are ever in Perth check these out.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Brian

The elevating device you show here is a pretty standard fitting for a mid-19th C. British field carriage but the strapwork on the trunnions looks very heavy to me (I'll try to check my books later). The wheels are the proper 'dished' design for a Br. field carriage too, so off the top of my head I'd say the carriage is at least partly period but perhaps the main parts of the trail have been repaired or replaced. My tuppence worth!

Nice shots, btw, of a very attractive bronze tube.

Peter

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Here's some info. on the tubes:

"The original Verbruggen cannons were manufactured by Jan Verbruggen, Master Founder, and his son Pieter at the Woolwich Arsenal, (outside of London) for the British military. Jan Verbruggen, a Dutchman, had been the Master Military Founder in Holland but left over a controversy and was brought to the Woolwich Arsenal shortly before the American Revolution. He was joined there by Pieter."

It's from a site run by an American Rev. War group. Apparently some of the V. guns were captured at Saratoga and became Continental Army artillery.

They are 3 pounders, btw. Probably left behind in stores when the British Army handed over to us in 1867 and eventually downgraded to training pieces then eventually ornaments. It would be interesting to find out if they ever saw any service - 1812 would be a distinct possibility and maybe called out as late as 1861, 66 for the Fenian scares. The Perth Regiment might have some info. on that.

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Thanks for the information fellows. I intend to research these cannons more deeply as time goes on.

Peter, isn't the Perth Regiment out of the Stratford area? That's situated right next door to where I now live while Perth (the municipality) is south of Ottawa in Lanark County.

As I find out more about these pieces I'll share it on the forum as well as the Perth Museum and Archives.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Brian, you are corret that the Perth Regiment is from Statford Ontario and not Perth Ontario. As far as I recall Perth Ontario is not home to any Regiment.

I enjoyed these photos very much as I live in Ottawa and pass through Perth about 3 times a month on my way to Toronto or Peterborough. I really must make a day trip to to Perth and the surrounding country side before winter sets in.

Thanks for posting these photos.

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Hi Pylon1357,

I hope you do take the time to stop in at Perth. These cannon are in front of the Lanark County Court House on Drummond Street.

Your correct, the Town of Perth itself never had its own Regiment. Many of the fellows who joined up in WW I did so with the Peterborough Rangers. The Second World War saw many Lanark boys joining up in Cormwall Ontario with the Glengarry Fencibles of the Stormont Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders (SD&G). Their nic-name was Sand, Dirt and Gravel.

By the way, it was a good thing that I posted these photos because I seem to have lost them from my computer. :banger:

Oh well, I'll take more next year when I visit Perth again.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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  • 3 months later...

My wife was given an old book titled "Lanark Legacy, Nineteenth Century Glimpses of an Ontario County" by Howard Morton Brown. This book was published by the Corporation of the County of Lanark to celebrate the 1984 Ontario Bicentennial. Knowing I had posted photos of the cannons on this forum she drew my attention to a passage from this book dealing with these very cannon. Here is the passage.

"Now something for the antiquaries. On the green sward in front of the Court House are two brass field pieces, three pounders, to which there is quite a history attached. The little 'barkers' were originally taken from the French by the Duke of York, in Flanders, and did service for the British in the American war, then they were taken from Gen. Burgoyne at the battle of Saratoga. They were retaken from the Americans by the British at the Battle of Crysler's Farm, on the 11th November, 1813, which affair Mr. Manion's father took part in, and Mr. Manion himself, then only a youngster of about seven years old, was an eye-witness. The two guns alluded to have still the original trails and axles, and they bear the inscription on the breech, 'J. & R. Verburggen, fecerunt 1775 and 1776', showing by the name of their maker that they were either of Flemish or Belgian manufacture. They were taken to Perth when peace was declared, and presented to the town, and are now used for saluting purposes on high days and holidays."

I don't know who Mr. Manion was and I don't think it is very important to this post in general. A lot of local histories make the assumption that the reader will know who this person is or that person was.

Just as a matter of record. These cannon are plugged and are no longer used to salute high days and holidays.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

Be sure to visit the Court House if you are ever in the Perth area and check out their museum. It well worth your time.

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