Dying owner sells historic gun to shooting club to continue its legacy

A YORKSHIRE wildfowling club has bought a 140-year-old shotgun named “Roaring Emma” after its terminally ill former owner said he wanted it heard on the Humber marshes.

Arthur Hampton, from the Hull and East Riding Wildfowlers’ Association (HERWA), paid £16,000 for the historic firearm on behalf of his fellow club members.

It was once owned by James Wentworth Day, a writer for Country Life magazine. He is thought to have christened it after meeting a woman with a formidable voice. The East Yorkshire club is the most recent in a long line of owners of the eight-bore shotgun, which is thought to have been built around 1870 by celebrated London gun maker Joseph Lang.

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At one time it was owned by a retired army colonel in Keighley, West Yorkshire from whom it was stolen in the 1980s only to be returned anonymously to a gunsmith in almost perfect condition a few weeks later

It then travelled to America in the 1990s, with new owner Charles Anglin. During that time, John Humphreys – the Shooting Times magazine columnist – contacted Mr Anglin and tried to buy it back but had no luck. Mr Anglin promised, however, to leave it to Mr Humphreys in his will, with the caveat he planned to outlive the columnist. Ten years later Mr Anglin died in his sleep and Mr Humphreys took possession of the shotgun. Seven years on, the gun has been sold to HERWA after Mr Humphreys was diagnosed with terminal cancer and said he would like Emma to continue “roaring” over the foreshore.

Ken Arkley, the secretary of HERWA, said: “It was a very emotional occasion. I’m really proud to have it here.”