Travel buy coach in England, supported by coaching inns, was popularized by the 18th century. In the absence of any police protection in the countryside, and a proliferation of highwaymen, every coach needed to provide its own protection. Large bore pistols backed by blunderbusses, were common. This is an English coaching blunderbuss of the period which started life as a flintlock military musket. It has been shortened to 35 ¼” overall with the addition of a separate bell muzzle. The rounded lock plate is marked TOWER. It is heavily used throughout with the lock and barrel worn and pitted. Ram rod lacking. By the 1840’s, railroads were well established and coaching in all but remote areas, discontinued.