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Armament Remains from His Majesty's Sloop Boscawen

Brinnen Stiles Carter
Thesis: August 1995
Chair: Crisman
Nautical Archaeology Program

His Majesty's Sloop Boscawen was built on Lake Champlain by British forces in 1759 as part of their successful campaign to drive the French Army from the Champlain Valley. This thesis describes and analyzes the armament remains found in and around the hull during its excavation in 1984 and 1985. Weaponry recovered from Boscawen includes small arms parts and ammunition, pole arms, and artillery munitions. The distribution of armanents indicates that muskets, other personal weapons, and artillery munitions were loaded into the center of the hold, while ammunition for small arms was loaded in the bow and stern. Attributes of individual arms remains show that non-regulation British, French, and Dutch muskets were most commonly represented on board. The variety of arms remains and ammunition types supports Boscawen 's historically-documented use as an active combat ship in 1769 and as an armed transport for the Royal Artillery in 1760.

A review of research reports on contemporary archaeological sites reveals serious deficiencies in the description and identification of weaponry from some sites. Additionally, the site reports generally do not consider the distribution of artifacts. A re-analysis of armament remains from Seven Years War sites would improve our understanding of how small arms and artillery were distributed on and among those sites.

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