Two flintlock blunderbusses by John Dafte, circa 1680.

On each trip abroad, the 5th Earl of Exeter’s party included several ‘gentleman soldiers.’ Their role was to provide a measure of security, protecting the travelers against thieves and brigands. These men, usually officers on half-pay leave from their regiments, were equipped with weapons brought from the household armoury at Burghley. A consequence of carrying arms whilst travelling was that customs duty for them had to be paid on entering any walled or defended town.

REFERENCE: ARM20035 & ARM20038

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