A Fine & Rare Flintlock Rifled Nock Light Cavalry Carbine. 44" overall, 28" browned, sighted, round barrel with 7 groove rifling; Nock's patent octagonal breech with London proof marks, engraved 'London No 9' on the top flat, fixed block ‘V’ rearsight. Rounded, bevelled, double border line engraved lockplate, engraved 'H.Nock' under the pan, rounded, double border line and foliate engraved, swan necked cock. Walnut full stock with saddle bar and ring, full length split ramrod channel. Brass furniture comprising butt plate, sideplate, trigger guard incorporating tail pipe, 2 ramrod pipes and forend cap; ramrod with swelling towards top, and the other end with brass cap enclosing a wooden plug to prevent distortion of the ball on ramming. Bow of trigger guard engraved 'C' over 'Y*C' (Cobham (Kent) Yeomanry Cavalry).
Very good overall condition, very good bore.
Note: The rifling of the barrels on these carbines ends 3½” from the muzzle, which are then in 0.72” smooth bore, to make them easier to load on horseback. Unfortunately, it spoils their ballistic performance, so the Baker Rifle, which was its rival, performed better in trials for the British Military and was adopted for the new Rifle Regiment in 1801.
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.
See “British Cavalry Carbines & Pistols of the Napoleonic Era” by Barry Chisnall and Geoffrey Davies, pages 162 and 171.
In 1794 local volunteer troops were raised for the first time to assist the civil power when required. These volunteer troops were given the status of Volunteer Yeomanry Regiments. In West Kent a similar body of volunteers was raised with troops at Cobham, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Chislehurst, Farningham, Tunbridge Wells and Coxheath, near Maidstone. These volunteers were expected to provide their own uniforms and mounts while the government supplied their arms and ammunition. They were only paid when they were mobilised. There is an example of this type of pre-Baker Rifle in the Royal Armouries, with the same letters engraved on the trigger guard, which was acquired from a collector who had bought it from Cobham Hall, near Gravesend, the seat of the Earls of Darnley, in 1957, when the family sold up. The Cobham Yeomanry Cavalry was, presumably, set up in 1794 by John Bligh, the Fourth Earl of Darnley, who was also a noted amateur cricketer.