19th century muskets discovered by Newfoundland fishing trawler

Newfoundland Lynx

The trawler, known as the Newfoundland Lynx, made the incredible discovery just inside territorial waters off the coast of Nova Scotia on December 15

A fishing trawler made an interesting find last Thursday.

The Newfoundland Lynx, an OCI (Ocean Choice International) trawling vessel based out of St. Johns, NL, was fishing for scallops just within the 200-mile limit off the coast of Nova Scotia when it unexpectedly hauled up a crate of Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-muskets.

The find was brought to the attention of the Newfoundland Provincial Archaeology Office by the OCI’s Operations Manager and the rifles are currently undergoing conservation treatment.

According to a military historian, the rifles appear to be three-band Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-muskets and were in what was left of the original crate as they were packed in the Tower of London sometime in the 1850s or 1860s. They were a standard British military firearm during this period, and were the very first standard British rifle.

The P53 Enfield was a popular choice among militaries and militias associated with the United Kingdom and its colonies, seeing use in a great number of wars. It was also highly favoured by both sides of the American Civil War.