A fine and rare London & Westminster Light Horse Volunteers Rifled Flintlock Carbine by Henry Nock. 42” overall, 26" two stage 16 bore barrel with seven groove rifling, Nock's patent octagonal breech, engraved “H. Nock Patent” on the top flat, and with a band of chevrons at the breech, blade foresight and fixed block “V” rearsight, and bayonet bar mounted on the right side of the muzzle. Nock patent screwless lock engraved in script “H Nock” in front of the cock, with a starburst over the front retaining hook, a “P” stamped at the base of the right side of the cock, an indistinct stamp on the left side of the comb, and “IX” etched on the inside of the lock. Figured walnut full stock, with padded leather-covered cheek piece attached with small brass nails and full length split ramrod channel stamped “WT” and “II”. Brass mounts comprising forend cap, butt plate engraved “Nº..22” on the tang and stamped “163” towards the top, Baker pattern hinged patch box with a single compartment, trigger guard, two ramrod pipes, the front of the trigger guard forming the third, rear, ramrod pipe with retaining spring, original sling swivels and original swelled and button headed iron ramrod, the ramming end thicker for the last two inches and with a female thread for tools.
Very good condition (leather slightly damaged).
Henry Nock was a contractor to the Board of Ordnance from 1771 to 1804. He was appointed Gunmaker-in-Ordinary to George III in 1789 and was Master of the Gunmakers' Company in 1802.
In about 1798 he was contracted to produce rifled carbines of this pattern for the well-heeled London & Westminster Light Horse Volunteers, not for the cavalry troops, who only carried swords and pistols, but for the infantry men, who accompanied the cavalry in horse-drawn carriages. Each man purchased his own carbine. The number “163” on the butt plate is most probably a soldier muster roll number.
If so, “163” was Robert Sutton, who was elected to The London & Westminster Light Horse Volunteers on 9 October 1794, became a Cornet on 2 February 1799, and who subsequently became the Commandant of a Rifle Company in Ongar, Essex.
See the article “The Light Horse Volunteers' Rifled Carbine” by Jeff Paine in “The Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting”, Vol. 34, No. 4 (November 1996), pages 111-115, and “British Cavalry Carbines & Pistols of the Napoleonic Era” by Barry Chisnall and Geoffrey Davies, pages 160-161 and 165-167.
Sold with some research