Category Archive 'Alexander Henry Gunmaker'

02 Jul 2019

Alex Henry Double Rifle Gifted By Queen Victoria to Her Servant John Brown Bought by National Museum of Scotland

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Alex Henry .450 Double Rifle given by Queen Victoria to her personal attendant John Brown in 1873.

The Henry double rifle, commissioned by Queen Victoria as a Christmas present for John Brown, has been bought by the National Museum of Scotland and will be displayed in public for the first time this summer, from 26th June until November.

Scottish Field:

A gold plaque fitted into the butt of the.450 double-barrelled hammer rifle records that Queen Victoria presented it to John Brown as a Christmas gift in 1873. It was made that year in Edinburgh by noted Edinburgh gun maker Alexander Henry.

Dr Patrick Watt, curator of the exhibition, at National Museums Scotland, said: ‘This a tremendously significant acquisition for National Museums Scotland. It is a stunning object which shows directly the connection and the affection between Queen Victoria and John Brown.

‘The high-quality design and obvious expense of the gift highlights the position of trust and esteem in which the Queen held her loyal servant. …

John Brown had worked on the Balmoral estate since 1842, and rose in the Queen’s favour to special status as Her Majesty’s Highland Servant. After the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, Brown supported Queen Victoria in her grief. …

Brown died unexpectedly in 1883. Devastated by his loss, the Queen wrote to Brown’s brother Hugh, ‘we all have lost the best, the truest heart that ever beat!’


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