ENGLISH & WELSH GUNSMITHS AND GUNMAKERS
The Links below will open two PDF files: one containing a list of English & Welsh gunsmiths and gunmakers from around 1550 to about 1850*; the other a list of gunsmiths and gunmakers from Birmingham and its environs. The lists have been compiled from free on-line sources such as County Record and Archive Offices and The National Archives, but must not be considered definitive. The search and compilation was first made during the Winter of 2014/15 and updated in 2016.
The on-line sources of English & Welsh County Record and Archive Offices vary enormously, some as yet having no searchable digitised records, while in other Offices the digitalisation of records can vary from 20% to 80%. Each county record office is listed alphabetically, although this may cause some confusion as Yorkshire and Sussex, for instance, are split into east and west. The Record Office document reference is shown on the right hand side and the date of the document on the left. The PDFs are searchable via Edit on the drop-down menu, select Find and enter the search word.
Those on-line gunsmiths records available from Bristol Record Office are included but a complete list of Bristol gunmakers can be found in the publication, Bristol Gunmakers from the 16th to 20th Century, 2012 available from Ken Trotman Books.
*excluding London gunsmiths/gunmakers - these can be found in the 2 volumes of London Gunmakers 1350 - 1850 by Howard Blackmore, London 1986 & 1999.
Other publications on English gunmakers by the author are;
• “Samuel Newton- Gunmaker of Nottingham”, Classic Arms & Militaria Magazine, Vol.XV, Issue 4, 2008
• “Wilding, Salop – Gunmakers”, Classic Arms & Militaria Magazine, Vol.XV1, Issue 5, 2009
• “Wilding, Salop – Gunmakers”, Journal of the Arms & Armour Society, London (March 2011)
• "Provincial (English) Makers Marks", (authored with John Evans), Classic Arms & Militaria Magazine, (Oct/Nov 2011)
• “Oxford Gunmakers – Part 1”, (authored with John Evans), Classic Arms & Militaria Magazine, 2013
• “Oxford Gunmakers – Part 2”, (authored with John Evans), Classic Arms & Militaria Magazine, 2014
• "John Probin and the Probin gunmakers of 18th Century Birmingham", Classic Arms & Militaria Magazine, (Oct/Nov 2014)
• "The Probin Gunmakers of 18th Century Birmingham", (authored with John Evans and David Williams), Man at Arms Magazine, U.S.A. 2015
• "Henry Ellis of Doncaster, the Man and his Work", (with David Weaver), London Park Lane Arms Fair catalogue, Spring 2016
• "Thomas Fitzpatrick of Dublin", Royal Armouries Journal 2016
• "Firearms from the William Palling Collection at Stroud Museum", Journal of the Arms & Armour Society, London, 2017
Stan Cook's Gunmakers Database
Stan Cook established the Gunmakers & Allied Trades Index in 1982. As of April 2004 over 9000 surnames are listed, covering a total of at least 25,000 individual workers. The collection has information about gun trade people working in the U.K. from the start of the trade before 1500 up to 1901. Contact details here