NAPOLEONIC OR WAR OF 1812 BROWN BESS BAYONET BY OSBORNE

$350.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1037-228

A very good Brown Bess bayonet for an India pattern musket. Adopted in 1793 as a replacement for the Short Land pattern, the India pattern derives its name from the British East India Company, which had ordered less expensive “Windus Pattern” muskets to arm its private armies. When war with France was again declared in 1793 the army had to expand quickly and government took over company arms in storage, arranged for the recall of some that had been shipped out, assumed arms contracts the company had let, and adopted the pattern as its own. With slight modifications this was the standard British long arm for the rest of the flintlock period.

This is the conventional socket bayonet for the India Pattern, having a base ring and three-step mortise in the socket and a triangular blade. The blade has good edges and tip, and is smooth metal, a light silver-gray in color. There is some darker gray on the socket with some slight pitting near the muzzle and some on the neck. The socket is fitted with a spring catch, which is occasionally seen on earlier bayonets, but becomes more common in this period.

The maker name “Osborne” is stamped on the top of the blade near the base. Bailey lists him as working in Birmingham under his own name and producing bayonets (among other things) from about 1797 to 1807, when he partnered as Osborne and Gunby. Bailey does not list him as contracting for bayonets after he went back into business on his own in 1818.

The socket is numbered “2/27 A/51.” Deciphering British rack numbers can be an inexact business. There is a chance this represents the 2nd Battalion of the 27th Regiment of Foot, Company A, Soldier 51. Known as the Inniskilling Regiment, the 27th had been founded in 1689 and had a record of active service, including the American Revolution. In 1800 they formed a second battalion that served on the Spanish coast, Malta and the Egyptian Campaign. Disbanded in 1803, it was reformed in 1805, fought in northern Germany in 1806, then garrisoned Sicily and Malta, before deploying to the Peninsula in 1813. It was again disbanded in 1817.  [sr]

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