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Frontiers & Pioneers in Gloucestershire’s Archives: Display 2 of 20

Revolver gun

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Budding’s Pepperbox Revolver (D10638/1/1968/22/18)

Edwin Beard Budding was born in Eastington, the illegitimate son of a farmer, Charles Budding and Mary Beard and was baptised in the parish church on 10th November 1796.  Little is known about his early life, although after working for a time as a carpenter, he then became a freelance engineer because he was good at solving engineering problems. Although today he is more famous for inventing the lawnmower, he first came to prominence between 1825 and 1830 when he developed a new type of gun – a pepperbox revolver.  Sadly, little is known about Budding as a gunsmith but the ‘Budding pepperbox revolver’ multi-shot firearm was an historically important weapon that held a number of firsts: the world’s earliest percussion pepperbox (multi-shot) gun; the world’s earliest percussion revolver; the earliest percussion pistol with in-line (aka centre fire) percussion caps and the earliest copper cap pistol with an enclosed action.   They are now very rare and only appear at auctions – such as this Citizen image from a Knight, Frank & Rutley 1968 auction.