Yes....that's what I was afraid of....still more mystery in the English gun-making progress - how did patent use numbers work? Were all firms the same? How did numbering systems work? How did outworkers contracts work? Does a gun company get credit for building a gun if barrels, engraving, barrel blacking were outsourced? Nevertheless, delving into the patent use question may add a piece to the puzzle.

By the way, more from Purdey....."Stranger and stranger," said Alice to the Rabbit. All these years everybody has said that Purdey was next door to Reilly because Purdey was 314 1/2 and Reilly was 315. Turns out Purdey was 300 yards down the street in a building later renumbered 295...meaning that was the very building that Reilly moved into in 1904.

Dear Mr. Williams

The patent use numbers on the guns may assist you, as may stamps applied to the barrels such as the ‘JA’ of Joseph Asbury. However, on a side note – it is worth looking at where Reilly’s actually operated from. I say this because we actually had 313 & 315 Oxford Street, with the factory in 313 and the shop in 315. We used 314˝ from 1827 until we left in 1882 because there was more than one 315 Oxford Street, another one of which held a gunmaker called Rivere at some point. When they renumbered the street in the late 1870s, we became 295-297, but used the 314˝ address on guns until we moved to Audley House. I know that the Survey of London are working on research on Oxford Street, and I can ask them to see whether they might be able to confirm Reilly’s ‘true’ position on the street?

I hope that this is of some help.


Edited by Argo44 (Today at 12:09 PM)
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