One of the most important cannons in British naval history is to be offered for sale at auction.

One of the most important cannons in British naval history is to be offered for sale at auction. The 24-pounder was aboard Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s flagship HMS Association when it was wrecked off the Isles of Scilly in October 1707.

The Admiral himself is thought to have escaped by boat but, although found alive on the beach by a local woman, was promptly murdered by her for his emerald ring. His body was initially buried at Porth Hellick, but was later exhumed and laid to rest in an elaborate tomb in Westminster Abbey.

Dreweatts auctioneers say the bronze cannon, which has a barrel 10ft 6in in length, was almost certainly cast for the French Navy during the period 1669-1683. It is thought to have been captured by the British fleet at the Battle of Vigo Bay in 1702.

The cannon, which could fetch more than £30,000, was recovered from the seabed in 1967, and was successfully test fired on Trafalgar Day in 1969. It is part of the J B Close Collection of Historic Naval Cannon being sold at auction at Donnington Priory on 15 July.