Cathedral on target with latest exhibit

The blunderbuss, which has been extensively restored.
The blunderbuss, which has been extensively restored.

An early 19th century blunderbuss which has been in storage in the Cathedral for many years has recently been restored by John Nesbitt and is now on display in the Chapter House Museum.

Prior to it being donated to the Cathedral, it was in Roddy’s Hotel in Bishop Street until it was sold at an auction of the Hotel contents in 1915.

A blunderbuss is a muzzle-loading firearm with a short, large caliber barrel, which is flared at the muzzle and the Cathedral is also in possession of a transcript of a letter from John G Roddy giving more details about the immaculate firearm, which relates how it was bought at an auction in Roddy’s Hotel, in September 1915, by Mr F McClure, of Myrtle Terrace, Northland Road.

A genuine old weapon of its class, and was carried for many years in charge of the Royal Mail Guard on the four-horse coach running between Dublin and Londonderry in the years 1818 to 1828.

In the letter Mr Roddy said the mail guard who gave the gun to his father was ‘Melaugh’ and noted that the stock of the weapon was damaged when the coach was upturned in an incident near Omagh and afterwards it was roughly repaired.

Donated to the Cathedral a number of years ago, it has now been completely stripped back and repaired and assembled, and a purpose-built stand to showcase the firearm made for display.

The blunderbuss is now on show in the Chapter House Museum in the Cathedral.