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The English Snaphance developed during the second half on the sixteenth century and was in production by the 1580s. 

Several dated examples exist, the earliest known being the English Snaphance engraved 1584, now in the Tojhusmuseet, Copenhagen. Another, dated 1588, is in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and a third example, dated 1590, can be seen at the Royal Armouries, Leeds. These examples confirm that the lock was fully developed prior to 1580.

In the first two decades of the 17th century, Snaphance guns were considered to be one of the leading technological innovations in England and they were included among gifts to the royalty of Europe. Much evidence survives to show that the Snaphance remained popular in England until the 1640s, although comparatively few examples now exist.

For a detailed discussion of the English Snaphance Lock see: Brian C. Godwin, The English Snaphance Lock, London Park Lane Arms Fair catalogue, Spring 2006, pp.28.63