image MS_776_468
Image number: RS.17396
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Powder mill for gunpowder


22 July 1663


Unknown, Artist

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 320mm
width (page): 200mm


Content object


Figure of a trough of a powder mill used to make a new kind of gunpowder (designed by Prince Rupert), which was more powerful than the best English powder. The trough, which is an oval shape, should be about 19 inches deep and at its widest breadth, 14 inches to the centre. The manner of making the gunpowder (mixing 2 ounces of brimstone and 2.5 ounces of coal to every pound of saltpetre) was reported and ordered to be registered at the meeting of 22 July 1663.

This image is copied from RBO/2i/286. Another copy can be found at MS/215/125.

This volume is another copy of entries of the first two volumes of the Register Book. It was given to Sir Joseph Banks by G. S. Heales Esquire of Doctor's Common on 31 May 1814.

Object history

At the meeting of the Royal Society on 22 July 1663, ‘[Sir Robert Moray] related, that prince Rupert had made a new kind of gunpowder, in strength so far exceeding the best English powder, that trial being made with a powder-trier, it was found to be in the proportion of 21 to 2. It was desired, that a trial of it might be made before the society’ (Birch 1:281). The text and figure are printed in Birch 1:281-85.

Related Fellows

Prince Rupert (1619-1682, German), Natural philosopher

Associated place

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