View Single Post
Old 17th April 2021, 04:52 PM   #304
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
Jim McDougall's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,505

Originally Posted by BlackcapBob
Hi Jim and Wayne, Thanks for replies it would be interesting to know if the 1627 sword still exists to check out the stamps.

If my sword is pre or around the English Civil War time 1642-1651 then which side would have had Basket hilts or was it simply a case of bring what you have and choose a side.

Basket Hilts, Mortuary swords were in fashion and obviously the Rapier and Short swords were very popular never mind Blades from one era being re-hilted with a more modern style. Reworking old swords has happened for centuries, family swords being upgraded.

Would enlisted men have been given a hanger for infantry and cavalry would get a sword of some description, it appears that even organised armies had numerous options.

I have often wondered, in the British army officers and gentlemen bought their own swords I assume pre 1750 they could buy what they wanted either a Rapier, Broadsword or Backsword or were there regulations then giving guidance.

I assume that people often had more than one sword anyway, as the occasion dictated.

History is so interesting................for some people !! Cheers Bob.

History, for many of ADDICTING!

In history, war, battles etc. there are no fine lines, rules or categories in 'sides' in conflicts. During the English civil wars (a comprehensive term to describe not only the primary conflict, but many rebellions and insurgences before, after and during.........weapons were obtained by any means.
The well known Hounslow shops producing swords were taken over by Cromwell, and many of the makers left to go with the Royalists at shops in Oxford and London, many remained at Hounslow (though Cromwell turned the mills into powder mills).

While the 'Royalists' were regarded as 'dandies', cavaliers, they were of course inclined to more elegant rapiers etc. while the Cromwellians were more pragmatic and munitions grade arms and armor.
The so called 'mortuary' ( a misnomer) was used thoroughly on both sides.
Naturally basket hilts (which are not entirely Scottish) found use by most everyone. Actually the Scottish basket hilt was termed the 'Irish hilt' into Victorian times.

In border regions between England and Scotland, you might look into the groups known as 'Border Reivers'. These groups might be on 'one side' or the other, depending on the situation or times, and here the amalgam of weapon forms, styles etc. was completely catch as catch can. Through these channels weapons filtered through to any and ALL sides, and through all the many conflicts and actions.

The notion of 'regulation' patterns is in many regards, a kind of myth, though obviously such administrative protocols do of course exist, mostly from 19th century on. The commanders of units chose, commissioned and bought the arms they supplied thier troops was entirely thier choice. However, obviously the favored forms being bought by others were easier to concede to, so some uniformity prevailed.

Officers were typically of high station or gentry, often nobility, so clearly the choice of weapons for them was carte blanche. However, often for battle or campaign, they used 'fighting weapons' which were in many cases similar to the forms used in other ranks.
While the ranks had weapons 'issued' from the racks, officers often had a 'stable' of swords to choose from. In actuality, many officers would take their dress type swords into battle as they were not expected to participate in combat....but direct troops and actions, so the sword was more used in that capacity. Naturally that often changed as situations developed.

I am hoping to hear more on the 1627 sword soon.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote