THE ENGLISH LOCK

The English Lock is thought to have developed from the English Snaphance Lock, and many characteristics, as well as mechanical similarities, can be found between the two. The English Lock evolved into two forms, each form with several variations.

Gallery
Click on the thumbnails below to view full size examples and explanations of the two forms of English Lock.
You can pause, fast forward or rewind at any time.

THE FIRST FORM

The first form uses a horizontally acting sear that protrudes through the lockplate to secure the cock and is thought to have developed during the 1630s.

At first the lock used a 2-piece sear but within a few years a simpler 1-piece sear had been developed that also engaged a projection on the tumbler to provide a half cock safety position. Its characteristics are an archaic looking, irregular, often trapezoidal shaped lockplate and a dog-catch safety device that hooks into the rear of the cock. It would seem that this lock type was produced well into the 1660s.

THE SECOND FORM

The second form followed soon afterwards, c1640, and used a horizontally acting sear that engaged in projections on the tumbler, working entirely on the inside of the lockplate. Its characteristics are the use of a broad-based flat cock and a dog-catch to safely secure the cock between half and full cock. This lock type was produced into the early 1680s.

For a detailed discussion of the English Lock see: Brian C.Godwin, John S.Cooper & Michael G.Spencer, “The English Flintlock; its Origins & Development”, 20th Park Lane Arms Fair catalogue, London 2003, pp.49-91.

....................................................................................................................