The Rev. Alexander John Forsyth
Father of percussion ignition
Born in Bclhclvic Parish, Aberdeenshire. Scotland, the son of a minister, Alexander Forsyth also studied for the ministry and eventually succeeded his father at Bel-hclvic when the elder Forsyth died in 1790. Yet whenever the duties of his parish permitted, Alexander Forsyth devoted himself to the 3 enthusiasms he had had since boyhood: chemistry, mechanics, and shooting. It was the fortunate combination of these 3 interests that led Forsyth to the development of the first percussion lock in 1805. He adapted the new lock to his own fowling piece and shot with it throughout the season of that year before taking it to London to show to ordnance officers.
For the next few years, Forsyth spent most of his time perfecting his new svstcm. Lord Moira, Mas-
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