Andrew Dolep - 1648-1713
Born 1648-Died 1713
- A fine and industrious gun maker to Prince George of Denmark, who married Princess Anne of England, daughter of James 2nd.
- Dolep arrived in England with the court of Prince George and worked for (among others) Sir Philip Howard at Charing Cross in London. Sir Philip was the commander of the Queen's Troop of Horse guards.
- However Dolep, in a rare moment of cupidity was fined in 1686 for not proving his guns, by the Company of Gun makers which was a legal requirement before a sale was made. Dolep had powerful friends and at the request of Lord Dartmouth (a very wealthy patron who stood guarantor) was made free of the fine within 12 months.
- Apart from producing fine pistols he was the developer of the blunderbuss, quite a cumbersome weapon.
- He was married at St Martin's church London in July 1687 and was granted denization in 1691. He died in Barrow upon Soar in 1713. It is not clear how or why he chose to live in the village: possibly his wife had relations here; sadly we do not know her name.
- His fine guns now command a very good price: the last known auction was in 2000 when the starting bid for a pair of pistols was £10,000.00
- At the Royal Armouries in Leeds you can see a sporting flint lock, signed on the lock by him. It has a chiselled steel barrel and lock with a walnut stock decorated with fine silver wire. The author and armament expert Keith Neil describes him as one of the great gunmakers.