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H9608 Musket, 'Brown Bess', m,etal / wood, Great Britain, 1810-1820. Click to enlarge.

Musket, ‘Brown Bess’

  • 1810-1820
Earlier versions of this musket travelled to Australia with the First Fleet, arriving in here in 1788. The Brown Bess musket was the standard long arm supplied to the Marines at the time. Australia's first European sharp shooter, John McEntire, a convict entrusted to hunt for the first colony of Europeans, used a Brown Bess musket to hunt game.

Escaped convicts had stolen arms prior to the gold rush; however, by-and-large the arms were stolen for fundamental survival, not to assist larceny of capital. John Caesar, a West Indian born convict who was transported to Australia on the First Fleet stole a Brown Bess musket, which was prised from his rigour mortis stiffened hand after he was shot at what is now Strathfield in Sydney's west.

Damian McDonald
Curator, 2012


Object No.


Object Statement

Musket, 'Brown Bess', m,etal / wood, Great Britain, 1810-1820

Physical Description

'Brown Bess' flintlock musket, India Pattern version



  • 1810-1820


Produced in Great Britain, 1810-1820.



Used by British colonial forces in Australia.


Credit Line

Gift of Warren Anderson, 1982

Acquisition Date

26 July 1982

Cite this Object


Musket, 'Brown Bess' 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 January 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Musket, 'Brown Bess' |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 January 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}