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Baude [Bawd, Bawood], Peter (d. 1546), gun-founder, is thought to have been born in France, but nothing is known of his origins or family circumstances. It is said he came to Britain as early as 1509 but the first official reference to him is as a 'gunner' at the ...

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Browne, John (c. 1590–1651), gun-founder, was born in Chiddingstone, Kent, the son of Thomas Browne, founder of iron ordnance to Elizabeth I and James I. He joined his father's thriving business, although not apprenticed in iron making, and took over Thomas's patent in 1615. The ...

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Galton, Samuel (1753–1832), gun maker and local politician, was born on 18 June 1753 in Birmingham, the eldest son of Samuel Galton (1720–1799), haberdasher and later gun maker, originally from Bristol, and his wife, Mary, née Farmer (1718–1777). His mother was the daughter of ...

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Grueber, Francis (1658?–1730), gunpowder and leather manufacturer and merchant, was born in Lyons, France, probably in December 1658, the eldest of the three sons and three daughters of Daniel Grueber (d. 1692) and his wife, Susanne (née Monginot). The Huguenot family arrived in ...

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Hale, William (1797–1870), rocket inventor and entrepreneur, was born on 21 October 1797 in Colchester, Essex, the son of Robert Hale, baker, and his wife, Elizabeth, and may have been descended from Sir Matthew Hale, lord chief justice.

Hale's early education is unknown, but his maternal grandfather, ...

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Hogge, Ralph (d. 1585), gun-founder, was a leading figure in the expansion of the iron industry in the Sussex Weald. Nothing is known of his parentage or place of birth, though he was probably born in Sussex. He had business connections with Brian Hogge...

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Hortop, Job (fl. 1550–1591), powder maker and seaman, was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire. From the age of twelve he served the queen's powder maker in Rotherhithe, London, until pressed as a gunner in the Jesus of Lubeck on John Hawkins's third slaving voyage (October 1567). After the disaster at ...

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Kynoch, George (1834–1891), ammunition manufacturer, was born on 22 August 1834 at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, the youngest son of John Kynoch, a journeyman tailor, and his wife. They lived in humble circumstances and after education at the local national school, Kynoch obtained employment first in an insurance office in ...

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Levett, William (d. 1554), Church of England clergyman and gun-founder, was the son of a substantial landowner in the Hollington area of Hastings, where he was born, and the brother of John Levett of Little Horsted, gentleman and ironmaster. He obtained an Oxford...

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Pritchett, Robert Taylor (1828–1907), gun maker and landscape painter, was born, probably in London, on 24 February 1828, the son of Richard Ellis Pritchett (c.1782–1866), and his wife, Ann Dumbleton. His father was head of the firm of Enfield gun makers, which supplied arms to the ...

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Purdey, James (1784–1863), gun maker, was born in August 1784 in Whitechapel, London, the third son of James Purdey, blacksmith, and his wife, Anne. Of their three sons and five daughters, only James and his sister Martha (1774–1853) survived infancy. Martha married in 1793 ...

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Image

James Purdey (1784–1863) by unknown artist by courtesy of James Purdey & Sons Ltd.