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Old 4th February 2021, 09:08 PM   #15
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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"...the BROAD ARROW mark now making its appearance on ordnance stores was a Government mark which can be traced back to the 14th c. , when in 1386, a certain Thomas Stokes was condemned to the pillory for pretending to be a Kings officer and marking some barrels of ale with the 'AREWHEDE' mark. Although the Broad arrow mark s mentioned in the 1699 notice it does not seem to have been generally introduced until the reign of Queen Anne. Throughout the reigns of Charles II, James II and William III, the two government marks stamped on gun barrels were the rose and crown mark and the Royal Cypher. On the locks the Royal cypher was engraved in the middle, with the name of the maker across the tail".
"British Military Firearms 1650-1850"
Howard L. Blackmore, 1962, p.262

The reference to the 1699 notice refers to a notice in the London Gazette, Feb. 1699 drawing attention to an act of Parliament against the embezzlement of stores: "...the marks on his Majesty's arms...which are, the Kings cypher in the reign in which they were made and the rose and crown on the barrels, and SOMETIMES THE BROAD ARROW........".

It would seem that beyond these provisions for marking of the locks and barrels of firearms, it was the STOCK that was marked with the broad arrow and BO. ...according to plates in Blackmore.
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