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Writing on ENGLISH CANNON - Can anyone translate?

#1
I saw an English cannon dated 1676 and on the breech it has the following writing; IOHANES BVRGER HVYS ME FELIT 1676.

I know the ME FELIT means 'Made By' but I have no idea what the other writing means. Would appreciate if anyone could please assist me with this.

Cheers!
Tony
tonywells82@hotmail.com
 
#5
Whats the context? If you saw it in a musuem, have you asked?

I think its more likely that the mark refers to the maker "The House of Johannes Burger". There were relatively few good cannon makers, and some of the best were in flanders and the Netherlands. Schalch and the Verbruggens are two names that were promminant in cannon casting at Woolwoich.
 
#6
StabTiffy2B said:
I think that the Johannes Burger bit means made in Johannesburg (spelling), not made by a bloke called burger.
Um! Doubt that some how especially as Johannesburg didn't exist until 1886. :roll:

Unless of course there is another Johannesburg somewhere in the world??
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#7
van Riebeeck first landed at what is now Cape Town in 1652 and however much I'd like it to be so they weren't running a gun foundry 24 years later.
Besides, Jo'burg only dates from the 1886 discovery of gold on the Highveld so it's not from ZA.

Without seeing it I'd say it was more likely to be Dutch than Flemish as they'd just had a kakhuisvol of wars with the Brits.

What calibre and length is this piece ?
 
#10
'Y' is equivalent to 'ij' here in Cloggieland and seems to be interchangable (hence sometimes being one letter short or to many in crosswords :lol: ).
V=U

So Hvys = Huijs = House, now just Huis.

Translation of Pteranadon appears correct!

The Dutch were excellent gunsmiths their golden age, visit the Delft Leger (army) museum if you happen to be in the Lowlands, it is small but impressive.
 
#12
StabTiffy2B said:
I think that the Johannes Burger bit means made in Johannesburg (spelling), not made by a bloke called burger.
Well cosidering Johanessburg didn't exist unti the late 1700's I some how don't think that the northern reaches of the Zulu nation were making canon.....especially in Swedeish! The inscription is that of a Swedish manufacturer and the Royal Crest is most probably that of the king who I belive was Gustav at the time!!!!
 
#13
StabTiffy2B said:
I think that the Johannes Burger bit means made in Johannesburg (spelling), not made by a bloke called burger.
Well cosidering Johanessburg didn't exist unti the late 1700's I some how don't think that the northern reaches of the Zulu nation were making canon.....especially in Swedeish! The inscription is that of a Swedish manufacturer and the Royal Crest is most probably that of the king who I belive was Gustav at the time!!!!
 
#15
'Me fecit' is Latin meaning 'made me'

It is quite feasible to encounter both Latin and the vernacular used in one sentence at this period in time. If it is indeed Dutch then burger could simply mean 'citizen' equivalent to modern day 'burgher.'

The word 'huis' is more probable although spelling wasn't a fixed system in the 17th century.

Depending on which case Johannes is in, it could mean 'Johannes made me' (nominative) or 'I was made for Johanes' (dative)

More info needed though!
 
#16
I don't think it can be an English cannon then? We Brits made our own cannon from the time of ole Enery the Eighth. Could have been captured from the Cloggies or ..................?
 
#18
My guess is that this cannon is a Dutch piece dating from the period of the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), or more specifically the English phase of this conflict, known as the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-74), where England participated in the French invasion of the Dutch Republic in 1672. That this cannon may have been made by a Swede is also possible, as the Swedish aspect to the Franco-Dutch War - the Scanian War - involved that kingdom from 1674-79.

Cannon makers of this period tended to inscribe their pieces in Latin or a hybrid form mixed with their native language. Additionally, it may have been a Swedish-born cannon maker in Dutch service. Its arrival in England may be attributable to the following possibilities:

- Captured from the Dutch during the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

- Gifted as a trophy of war by France to England during the same conflict.

- Brought to England by William of Orange in 1688.

Of course, a picture of the cannon and crest would possibly clear up its provenance.
 

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