Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A name given to one of the larger kinds of heavy gun, as used in the latter part of the sixteenth century. It is said to have been a piece having a bore of 6¾ inches, and throwing a shot weighing 33½ pounds. Some authors describe it as larger than this.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mil. Antiq.) A kind of ordnance, carrying a ball weighing from thirty to thirty-six pounds.
- demi- + cannon (Wiktionary)
“She carries sixteen pieces of ordinance, two brass rakers, six iron demiculverin drakes, four iron whole culverin drakes, and four iron demicannon drakes.”
“For this reason, Spanish demicannon were as long as 24 calibers and the quarter-cannon ran up to 28.”
“In St. Domingo about four score, whereof was very much great ordnance, as whole cannon, 10 demicannon, culverins, and such like.”
“Next in size was the demicannon weighing 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg), which fired a 30-pound (14-kg) ball to 1,700 yards; smaller guns included the cannon-petroe or periers, sakers, minions, and falconets.”
“The Bridgeward heard, and muttered, “A plague on falcon and falconet, on cannon and demicannon, and all the barking bull-dogs whom they halloo against stone and lime in these our days!”
“Her lower tyre [tier] hath thirty ports which are to be furnished with demicannon and whole cannon; her middle tyre hath also thirty ports for demiculverin and whole culverin; her third tyre hath twentie six ports for other ordnance; her forecastle hath twelve ports, and her half deck hath fourteen ports; she hath thirteen or fourteene ports more within board for murdering pieces, besides a great many loope-holes out of the cabins for musket shot.”
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