A very rare first model “Brown Bess” British infantry musket dated 1741 is one of many artifacts that have been acquired, with private gifts to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., for exhibit in the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown galleries opening in October 2016. The musket, also known as a “Long Land Pattern Brown Bess,” was the standard British infantry musket during the French and Indian War and was in use during the American Revolution.
Many later versions of the Brown Bess can be found, but early versions like this one survive only in a small number of museums and private collections. This particular musket is further distinguished by markings that suggest it saw service on the American side during the Revolution.
The Brown Bess musket will be exhibited in the first case visitors encounter upon entering the new galleries along with a previously acquired rare early American long rifle, two remarkable survivals from the era of the nation’s birth.