'The Honourable Society Of Lincoln's Inn' & This Week's Curious Find

Favourite Finds


Ahoy there!  Thanks for joining me for another instalment of 'Blog Post Monday'.

Another week of searching for treasures and another rather fascinating find with a potential curious link to tell you about...  While stumbling around York Car Boot last weekend I found something that I guess wouldn't ordinarily get my tingles going, however, on this occasion, I was struck by the beauty of it.  I'm a firm believer that beauty can be found in the most obscure of pieces and this pair of antique rifle trigger locks not only radiated beauty, but they were also full of intrigue...

So, as always, get that kettle on and get your pistols out as we take a look at this week's find and the potential link it has with an honourable society...


Image:  my antique finds


The first thing that struck me when I found these while rummaging through a box was the rather beautiful engravings they had.  Beautifully decorated around the perimeter with simple dashes and with intricate swirls to one end.  To the other end you'll see an engraving of what looks like two flying ducks.  The cocking hammer itself is also finely decorated.


Image:  my antique finds


The second thing that struck me was the wording engraved onto the side, "Carter Maker" and "Lincolns Inn".  I'm not entirely sure why, but this wording grabbed my attention and was ultimately what persuaded me to buy these pieces. 


Image:  my antique finds


Obviously, the first thing I did when I returned home was research, research, research...  I started by trying to identify 'Lincoln's Inn' while also seeing if there was any link to that with a gunmakers, particularly one with the name 'Carter'.


Image:  'The Honourable Society Of Lincoln's Inn' in London


My search for 'Lincoln's Inn' kept bringing me back to 'The Honourable Society Of Lincoln's Inn' in London.  Now, The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. 


Image:  'The Honourable Society Of Lincoln's Inn' in London


Dating back 600 years to 1422, Lincoln's Inn is recognised as being one of the world's most prestigious professional bodies of judges and lawyers.  It's situated in Holborn in the London Borough of Camden, just on the border with the City of London and the City of Westminster.  Lincoln's Inn is rather large, covering 11 acres (4.5 hectares) and it's believed to be named after Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln.


Image:  'The Honourable Society Of Lincoln's Inn' in London


I discovered that the Society had its own military regiment, 'The Inns of Court Regiment' (The Devil's Own), which existed under that name between May 1932 and May 1961.  However, the unit traces its lineage back much further, to at least 1584, and its name lives on today within 68 (Inns of Court & City and Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, as part of 71 (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment. 


Image: 'Inns of Court & City Yeomanry' insignia 


So, could my finds have been linked to this regiment, I thought... 


Image:  my antique finds


No, is the short answer.  I don't think there's a link to the regiment itself, certainly the imagery engraved onto the pieces is more indicative of sports and game shooting which was certainly a popular hobby within the wealthy circles of the time.  But, perhaps there was/is a gunmakers on site...  So, I emailed Lincoln's Inn to see if they could shed any light on these pieces.  I'm still awaiting a response and I will update this blog should I receive any further information.


Image:  Findmypast - City of London gunmakers company admissions 


I did, however, find a gunmaker based in the City of London during the 18th century.  (Could my finds be older than I first thought...?)  Now, his name was 'Benjaminus Carter' and he was an apprentice gunmaker with records dated 1724.  His Master was 'Johis Hawkings Junior'.  Was Benjaminus Carter the maker of my pieces...?


Image:  my antique finds 


There's certainly still plenty more research to do around these finds.  I love this part of the job and these pieces have certainly grabbed my full attention.  While I hope to hear back from the good people at Lincoln's Inn, in the meantime, I'll be reaching out to a few antique gun specialists to see if they can provide any clarity on the maker and any possible connection to Lincoln's Inn.


You'll be pleased to hear that these pieces are currently available to buy HERE



Well, that's it for this week folks!  I hope you've enjoyed this little look into this week's fascinating finds.  As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, particularly if you're an antique gun specialist...

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So, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!




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  • Chris Vernon on

    Hi Stephen
    Did You ever manage to get any info on these rifle hammer locks as I have just purchased a shotgun with exactly the same locks, with Carter Lincolns Inn escribed on it. The shotgun has Birmingham proof marks dating between 1887 and 1896 and mine have no ducks or the word (maker) Would be great to hear from you.
    Best Regards Chris

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