Historical Time Line – 1637-1799

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Written by: A.W.F. Taylerson M.A., F Inst. D
Edited and augmented by: Philip H A Boulton


  • 14/3/1637 Incorporation of the Worshipful Company of Gun Makers of the City of London by King Charles I. (PHAB)


  • Second Royal Charter by Charles II for Proving of all Arms in England. (PHAB)


  • The Worshipful Company established their proof house on Commercial Road near The Minories and Tower. (PHAB)


  • William KETLAND established, until 1804, as Ketland & Co. Their mark was the basis for the crossed sceptres of the Birmingham proof marks adopted in 1813. (PHAB)


  • Adams’s forge and iron mills established at Camphill Lane, Wednesbury, in 1760. (Wendesbury Public Library 24/4/59)

1768 – 1771

  • Captain Cook charted the east coast of Australia and the islands of New Zealand. (PHAB, McLean)


  • Jos ADAMS, a Birmingham gun maker in 1770. (Harris, p145)
  • Alex ADAMS, a Birmingham gun maker in Steelhouse Lane late 18th C. (Harris, p145)
  • John ONIONS, a Birmingham gun maker in Steelhouse Lane, late 18th C. (Harris, p147)


  • James PURDEY born in London. (PHAB)


  • The known Australian mainland was proclaimed the British Penal Colony of New South Wales. (PHAB, McLean)


  • Claimed founding date for the Liege gun making firm of J B RONGE fils.


  • James Wolfe RIPLEY born. Windham County, Conn. USA 10/12/1794


  • (Ann ADAMS wife of Robert ADAMS age given as 46 at time of 1841 Census) (DOB c1795). (PHAB)


  • James PURDEY apprenticed to Thomas HUTCHINSON of Whitechapel. (PHAB)
  • British government view and proof office established at Bagot Street, Birmingham. (Timmins, p411)