Crowdfunding Appeal to Save Culloden Blunderbuss
The National Trust for Scotland have launched an online crowdfunding appeal to save one of the few items removed from the historic battlefield at Culloden. The 343 year old blunderbuss, currently on display at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, is to be listed for sale in six months time, endangering it of being lost to an overseas buyer.
The historic weapon has been on loan to the National Trust and displayed at the visitor centre since 1996. However the private English owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, has indicated they wish to sell the blunderbuss, offering the trust ‘first refusal’ to purchase. If the trust is unable to secure funds within six months, the gun will be returned to the owner for sale. The trust have indicated that if this happens, the most likely scenario is that it will then be purchased by a collector overseas and removed from Scotland.
The blunderbuss was made in 1670 by John Finch, a leading London firearms maker, and is a rare survivor of its type – a muzzle-loading firearm with a flintlock mechanism and dog lock. It is connected to Culloden battlefield by its inscription ‘Taken at the battle of CULLODEN 16 April 1746 by Captain John Goodenough with 18 balls in it’. This particular blunderbuss would likely have made a good battle trophy for the captain, who is known to have fought with the Government forces at Culloden in Blakeney’s 27th Foot Regiment.
The trust launched their fundraising appeal last week, inviting local members of the trust to ‘The Secrets of Culloden’ event at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, where they were able to view the weapon first hand. Since then the appeal has gone viral online, helped by a post on Outlander author Diana Gabaldon’s Facebook page. The trust is hoping to raise £65,000 towards the purchase of the weapon, half coming from the appeal and the remainder from grant-funding bodies.
The National Trust for Scotland said the blunderbuss was an item of national interest and a key element of the collection at Culloden, providing a tangible link to the past. Individual Giving Manager Rebecca Amiel said: “The response to our call to arms last night was very positive. Our local members and supporters are unanimous in their agreement that Culloden is where the blunderbuss belongs and they left ready to champion the cause.
“As a conservation charity, we are so grateful for this support which we hope will help us to secure this important piece of Culloden’s history for the future.”
Donate via: www.justgiving.com/ntsculloden
If you’re in the UK, text BUSS14£5 to 70070 (to donate £5); you can also choose to donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £10 to the appeal by texting the word ‘BUSS14£(amount of donation) to 70070.
Via NTS website: www.nts.org.uk/Donations/Tagged