Ball, Musket

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A pale coloured lead musket ball. The surface of the ball is covered with a smooth white substance, making it look almost ceramic. There is a ridge down the middle of the ball where the two sides have been joined. The surface of the musket ball is marked and discoloured.
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It's tempting to get carried away with the history this little musket ball may have been a part of, given it was found at a site key to the unfolding of the Taranaki Wars. The musket ball was found at Brookwood, a homestead at Omata and the home of Reverend Henry Handley Brown. Brown was renowned through the region prior to the outbreak of war for his humanitarian efforts, and he developed a close relationship to the local Maori community. This relationship meant he and his family, along with their home, were protected by a panui posted by local Maori on the gate of their residence. The battle of Waireka in late March 1860 saw many Omata settlers flee their properties for New Plymouth, while the Taranaki Rifle Volunteers and Militia as well as British troops fired their muskets in an attempt to "rescue" settlers from Maori attack. It is likely this musket ball was fired as a part of this battle - but the musket ball refuses to answer who it was shot by and at what target.
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