.450/.400 3.25" Express Double Rifle
~ NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED ~
This card would seem to come from the period between 1851 and 1872. In his work, British Gunmakers, Nigel Brown speculates that Charles Moore left the partnership of Moore & Woodward in 1851. The card must date prior to 1872, because in that year James Woodward joined with his two sons, James and Charles, to form the partnership "James Woodward & Sons."
Born June 10, 1864 in Penrhyn, Caernarvonshire, Wales, Edward Sholto Douglas-Pennant was a scion of the Penrhyn slate dynasty. His father was the Hon. George Sholto Gordon Douglas-Pennant, 2nd Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai, who was to be made famous across the United Kingdom by the great strike of 1900-1903 at Penrhyn Quarry. His mother was Pamela Blanche Rushout. Penrhyn Castle lies near Bangor and Bethesda in north Wales.
In 1903 the Hon. E.S. Douglas-Pennant appears on the roster of the Imperial Yeomanry, Buckinghamshire (Royal Bucks Hussars), headquartered at 23 Carlton House Terrace, London S.W. He was Second in Command, with the rank of Major.
In 1906 he was living in Whittlebury, at Sholebroke Lodge.
On March 10, 1907 the Hon. George Sholto Gordon Douglas-Pennant, 2nd Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai died. Thereupon, the Hon. Edward Sholto Douglas-Pennant succeeded to the estate and title, becoming 3rd Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai.
Life in Wales and good fortune for the Penrhyn Dynasty could never be the same. Accounts of the great quarry strike of 1900-1903 depict it as an epic struggle between the traditional owners of capital and the emerging trade unions. Lord Penrhyn (the 2nd Baron Penrhyn) stubbornly refused to deal with the workers’ committees. Bethesda and its environs suffered, as did the Welsh slate industry as a whole. Sickness and hunger plagued the idle workers. The standoff took its measure of Lord Penrhyn’s wealth, too; the quarry being closed three years. Compounding negative events followed: the Great War, the Great Depression, and the Second World War. The overall result was a precipitous decline in production of Welsh slate. Records show that Wales produced 364,000 tons of slate in 1912. By 1958 output was only one-seventh that amount, and it further declined to 22,000 tons by 1970.
The Hon E.S. Douglas-Pennant died on August 27, 1927 at age 63. His first son, Alan, preceded him in death, tragically killed in action in the Great War. The Penrhyn estate and title descended to his second son, the Hon. Hugh Napier Douglas-Pennant, 4th Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai.
The 4th Baron Penrhyn died June 26, 1949. Perhaps what then occurred is a reflection of the hardships of strikes, wars, and depression. Following his death, in 1952, Penrhyn Castle and a substantial portion of the Penrhyn Estate were ceded to the Treasury in lieu of death taxes, vesting in the National Trust. This history of misfortune may explain why this rifle now has an owner in the United States.
The 27” barrels are fluid steel. The rifle weighs 8 lbs., 7 oz.
There is a cylindrical lug on the side of each tumbler. As the underlever is articulated forward, its head pushes upward against these lugs in the forward cut-through in the head of the stock. This motion causes the tumblers to pivot in an arc until the sears engage and the action is cocked.
Intercepting safety sears are unnecessary in this system.
When reading the advertisement, it is easy to sense the concern of the shooting public. Shooters of the day were accustomed to external hammers which are only drawn to full-cock when the shooter is ready to take aim and fire. The new "hammerless" action always remains at full cock. Thus the advertisement eases the concern of the shooter by explaining the unique safety features of this design.
The locks are signed, "TL". Presumably they were made by Thomas Law, the younger, of Wolverhampton.
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