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Bang, bang, you’re dead…. !


How intriguing that guns were used fairly early on in medieval times, but only today has a portion of evidence been discovered in England. Illustrations have long since been proof, but to actually have a piece of the action at last is quite a discovery.

There is another article on the same matter, but the link would not work here, so I have copied it in full below:

From The Yorkshire Press

Exploded fragment of War of the Roses gun goes on show at new Richard III exhibition

First published Friday 13 March 2015 in Features Last updated 13:03 Friday 13 March 2015 by Matt Clark

A new Richard III exhibition in York shines fresh light on the King’s reign. And it features a remarkable artefact that has changed the way historians interpret the War of the Roses. MATT CLARK reports.

BLINK and you’d miss it, but tucked away on the top floor of Monk Bar is one of the most important finds in the history of warfare. It may not look much, but this exploded fragment of a barrel is from the earliest hand gun found on a medieval battlefield anywhere in the world.

This is the evidence academics had been waiting for to prove that guns were used during the War of the Roses, and tomorrow it will go on public display for the first time.

“Handguns had been around for less than a century by the time of the Battle of Towton in 1461, and these fragments show just how unreliable they were,” says Sarah Maltby, of York Archaeological Trust. “We can tell that this weapon effectively blew apart, almost certainly in use, so we can only imagine the horrific injuries – and possible fatality – its owner would have suffered.”

The piece was found by detectorist Simon Richardson at Towton, the scene of the most barbaric battle ever fought on English soil, which led to the crowning of Edward IV, the first Yorkist king, and Richard III’s elder brother.

Part of the killing field was known as Bloody Meadow, with good reason. But for Simon it offers rich pickings. Over the years he has discovered hundreds of artefacts.

But nothing like this.

“It’s a very rare find,” he says.

“The only known gun fragment from that period found in Europe.

It’s also very important because it’s right on the cusp between armies using longbow and gunpowder weapons. This is from the beginning of the modern era of history.”

At first Simon didn’t know what he had unearthed. He’d found a lead ball so had a notion that guns might have been used, but nothing prepared him for this.

“It was a big lump of bronze that had been caught by a plough and brought up from really deep. At first I thought it might be from a steam engine, when I realised what I’d found I was overwhelmed, it was a bit more than wow.”



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