(The Army Musket – 1700-1815)
| notes on the text
I have not been altogether idle for I’ve done an additional set of verses for my history book – a metrical version of the life, death and adventures of the old Tower musket which from 1710 to 1835 or 40 was the arm of England and won for us all the main blocks of Empire. Naturally the refrain is “Brown Bess.”Just over a week later, on 13 January, he also tells Feilden about the ‘new set of verses called “Brown Bess.”’ In both letters he quotes from the poem. Some of the lines were to have slight changes made to them, and one couplet didn’t make it at all to the final version, but it seems clear that by the second of the letters the poem was pretty well completed.