Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi 9th February 2016 08:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Absolutely excellent Ibrahiim!!! Thank you so much for that entry.
That is perfectly substantiated support for the volumes of arms with these expatriated Jacobites in France. I'm always amazed at your tenacity at finding these extremely important references online.!

All the best
Jim


Salaams Jim...Thank you ! I just per chance happened to have a copy of Scotland (A New History) by Michael Lynch page 335 with that gem of information in it whilst web search showed the banker as having formed one of the band of men ..."Seven Men of Moidart"...who went ashore with the goods and joined Price Charles as one of his officers...:)

For the swashbuckling story of this gallant convoy please see http://yourphotocard.com/Ascanius/LogDuTeillay.pdf which are the events taken from the actual ships log of the Du Teillay.

Sobieski Family Jewellery.
The Jewellery is linked to the weapons procurement of a certain Scottish /half French banker, Aeneas MacDonald, who appears to have used the treasure as leverage to obtain weapons in France; noted in the above posts...Since Bonnie Prince Charlie later settled in France and Italy it can be perhaps assumed that the Jewellery was useful for that portion of his life in addition..

Prince Charles Edward Stuart. (1720 – 1788)
Prince Charles or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' as he is more commonly referred to, was a leader in the Jacobite uprising where the House of Stuart fought the House of Hanover to claim the British Throne. This ultimately lead to Prince Charles's defeat at the Battle of Culloden and his exile to Europe..

His mother, Marie-Clementina Sobieska, was the granddaughter of King John III Sobieski of Poland, married to King James III of England in 1719. Upon their marriage Marie-Clementina brought with her a large dowry, several thousand hectares of land and the Sobieski Family Jewellery.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 13th February 2016 08:26 AM

Salaams All...This is an interesting article below. I note that the author makes reference to the Shotley Bridge swordmaking centre, however, I have seen no examples of Basket Hilts from that stable...Not counting the two on the outside Wall of the local Hotel; "The Crown and Crossed Swords". (Owned at the time by the sword makers family) Whilst that could indicate English Basket swords I have seen no evidence other than below.

http://www.oldswords.com/articles/T...ord s-v1i4.pdf

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

kronckew 13th February 2016 09:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams All...This is an interesting article below. I note that the author makes reference to the Shotley Bridge swordmaking centre, however, I have seen no examples of Basket Hilts from that stable...Not counting the two on the outside Wall of the local Hotel; "The Crown and Crossed Swords". (Owned at the time by the sword makers family) Whilst that could indicate English Basket swords I have seen no evidence other than below.

http://www.oldswords.com/articles/T...ord s-v1i4.pdf

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

guess you could always ask them, pub/hotel email address is victoriasuddick@icloud.com :)
;)

Jim McDougall 13th February 2016 04:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams All...This is an interesting article below. I note that the author makes reference to the Shotley Bridge swordmaking centre, however, I have seen no examples of Basket Hilts from that stable...Not counting the two on the outside Wall of the local Hotel; "The Crown and Crossed Swords". (Owned at the time by the sword makers family) Whilst that could indicate English Basket swords I have seen no evidence other than below.

http://www.oldswords.com/articles/T...ord s-v1i4.pdf

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Thank you Ibrahiim for this and the previous detail and links to the clearly complex history surrounding Scotland in these times. Your tenacious searching through these many sources is very much appreciated.

You have mentioned Shotley and Hounslow before a number of times, and often I have wondered if the 'crossed swords' had any connection to the arms used by Solingen using this symbol. Obviously the use of the familiar running wolf on some of the blades from these relocated German makers had to do with their Solingen roots.

As you note, there is no record of any basket hilt in specific connected to either to the earlier Hounslow location of mid 17th nor the later Shotley Bridge location . While it would seem possible that the Hounslow might have some connection, it seems that they were more aligned with hangers and in degree with the so called 'mortuary' semi baskets. Mostly, it was the blades they focused on. With the 'mortuaries' it seems these were primarily backswords (SE) but I have had one which interestingly did have ANDREA FERARA in the fuller. This is most interesting as in that time this name on blades was well known destined on broadswords to Scotland, and here is an English backsword with this blade!

Shotley, mostly associated with hangers as far as I know, except possibly some smallswords, is even less likely to have been involved with basket hilts as they seem to have catered more to civilian market while Hounslow itself had begin in a military context in large degree.

The English makers of the dragoon sword basket type hilts were in Birmingham primarily with Jeffries and Drury, though Harvey may have had some input. This came about mid 18th century, long after Shotley had ended. Prior to this and a good while earlier, military aligned basket hilts were made in garrison cities Edinburgh and Glasgow in larger instance, while some other locations are I believe considered.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 14th February 2016 06:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
guess you could always ask them, pub/hotel email address is victoriasuddick@icloud.com :)
;)


Salaams kronckew ...I regret they are only the current proprietors of the restaurant... I have hoisted in most of the publications and web based details but nothing indicates a basket except on my last post....however something could turn up.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 14th February 2016 07:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thank you Ibrahiim for this and the previous detail and links to the clearly complex history surrounding Scotland in these times. Your tenacious searching through these many sources is very much appreciated.

You have mentioned Shotley and Hounslow before a number of times, and often I have wondered if the 'crossed swords' had any connection to the arms used by Solingen using this symbol. Obviously the use of the familiar running wolf on some of the blades from these relocated German makers had to do with their Solingen roots.

As you note, there is no record of any basket hilt in specific connected to either to the earlier Hounslow location of mid 17th nor the later Shotley Bridge location . While it would seem possible that the Hounslow might have some connection, it seems that they were more aligned with hangers and in degree with the so called 'mortuary' semi baskets. Mostly, it was the blades they focused on. With the 'mortuaries' it seems these were primarily backswords (SE) but I have had one which interestingly did have ANDREA FERARA in the fuller. This is most interesting as in that time this name on blades was well known destined on broadswords to Scotland, and here is an English backsword with this blade!

Shotley, mostly associated with hangers as far as I know, except possibly some smallswords, is even less likely to have been involved with basket hilts as they seem to have catered more to civilian market while Hounslow itself had begin in a military context in large degree.

The English makers of the dragoon sword basket type hilts were in Birmingham primarily with Jeffries and Drury, though Harvey may have had some input. This came about mid 18th century, long after Shotley had ended. Prior to this and a good while earlier, military aligned basket hilts were made in garrison cities Edinburgh and Glasgow in larger instance, while some other locations are I believe considered.



Salaams Jim, Shotley Bridge is an interesting place historically having gone through the industrial revolution but having only retained its market town attributes as all of the heavy industry evapourated...including the sword makers...I think there is a small museum at the Swordmaking House a minutes walk from the Crown and Crossed Swords which tantalisingly carries two big display sign basket swords under a crown...The area is well connected to what would have been border reiver trade in the old days thus both these small factors could point to a Basket Sword situation ...though as you note there is as yet no evidence...and it may only be co incidence.

What I note is the huge gap between the Shotley production and today thus much has been destroyed and more has been forgotten. Hopefully a blade could turn up...Thank you for your post..:)

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 15th February 2016 01:42 PM

I add these website for interest...
http://swordscollection.blogspot.co...late-xviii.html
AND http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Basket-hilted_sword

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Jim McDougall 16th February 2016 03:53 PM

Ibrahiim, outstanding note referring to the 'Border Reivers' of these northern regions! These are the unconventional groups that inhabited border regions and in essence did not claim allegiance nor favor to either English nor Scottish nationality. They were independent raiders whose raids and activity was not restricted to either side of these borders.
While Shotley swordsmiths had mostly removed to Birmingham it would not be surprising that local armourers would have been in place locally to keep the widely varied range of arms and armour serviceable.

It seems quite likely many variances in swords might derive from these contexts.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 16th February 2016 07:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Ibrahiim, outstanding note referring to the 'Border Reivers' of these northern regions! These are the unconventional groups that inhabited border regions and in essence did not claim allegiance nor favor to either English nor Scottish nationality. They were independent raiders whose raids and activity was not restricted to either side of these borders.
While Shotley swordsmiths had mostly removed to Birmingham it would not be surprising that local armourers would have been in place locally to keep the widely varied range of arms and armour serviceable.

It seems quite likely many variances in swords might derive from these contexts.


Salaams Jim, Whilst they appear to be mainly involved in relieving people of their flocks of sheep and cattle I understand their favourite weapon was the spear or rather the lance. I suspect they were very capable of borrowing their opponents weaponry(permanently !) :) on their travels but wondered how much they used basket hilts...

I am also fascinated as to the international stepping stones route that the basket hilt sword took in arriving in Scotland... and I hope I can add something in a moment on that subject...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 16th February 2016 08:11 PM

THE SWEDISH CONNECTION.
 
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Salaams All ...In following up Sinclairs exploits in 1612 where he was ambushed on the way to Sweden. The Swedish(and Norwegian) sword situation may be worth consideration here as one of the regions that reflected basket hilts on to Scotland. Are we in fact looking at a Solingen basket sword below in the four sword group, second from the left?

Below;
1. The slightly fragmentary hilt from the Mary Rose for comparison...From the vessel that went down in 1545 !...in the Solent.
2. The battle scene at Kringen where Sinclair died.
3. A group of weapons including a Basket hilted backsword at a museum in Sweden.
4. Sinclairs Sword. Also an axe.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 18th February 2016 12:21 PM

Border Reivers
 
3 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Ibrahiim, outstanding note referring to the 'Border Reivers' of these northern regions! These are the unconventional groups that inhabited border regions and in essence did not claim allegiance nor favor to either English nor Scottish nationality. They were independent raiders whose raids and activity was not restricted to either side of these borders.
While Shotley swordsmiths had mostly removed to Birmingham it would not be surprising that local armourers would have been in place locally to keep the widely varied range of arms and armour serviceable.

It seems quite likely many variances in swords might derive from these contexts.


Salaams Jim, I am tracking through various accounts of Border Reivers and note at; http://www.electricscotland.com/his...er_reivers7.htm

Quote" Chains were drawn 4 or 5 times around the thighs of the horses which helped deflect spear thrusts. A scarf was wrapped around and around the neck for protection against getting one's throat cut. There was no leg armor but thigh-high thick leather riding boots worn with spurs. Sometimes small shields called bucklers were carried. In the early 1500s helmets were worn for protection of the upper part of the face and neck. In the 16th century, these were replaced with light, open helmets called burgonets -- the steill bonnets. These provided protection without a loss of vision. They were peaked on top with protective cheek plates and a flared rim to protect the neck. They were padded inside with leather.

Border Laws required that all men must appear at Muster Days with all arms and armor. The Borderer probably did not show the government on these days all the weapons he had. The lance or the lang spear was the most common weapon and was about 8 to 12 feet in length. Basket hilted broad swords were predominately used among the less wealthy at the end of the 16th century. The nobility wore rapiers and parrying daggers. Dirks, which were long narrow daggers, were carried by everyone, including the clergy.

Longbows and arrows were used even as late as 1580. The Scots also used the bow but not as effectively as the English and preferred a small light crossbow known as the latch.

Scots on foot carried 16 foot pikes. A Jeddart Staff was a 4 foot blade of steel and was slim, providing a long cutting edge with a spike at the bottom for piercing.

Pistols were carried by the Border men but with some trepidation since these weapons were tedious to load and reload and if not in good condition could result in losing a good hand. Also they were not particularly accurate unless at a very close range".Unquote.

From another source at http://wwwborderreiverstories-neble...-reivers_7.html I note;

Quote."Broad swords fitted with basket hilts to protect the hand were in general use and jealously guarded because of their cost by their owners. Often they were handed down from generation to generation. That the sword was of supreme importance can perhaps by gauged from the argument and feud that raged between the Scotts of Teviotdale, Scottish Borders and the Charltons of Hesleyside, Tynedale, Northumberland, England.

In 1596 Thomas Lord Scrope, English West March Warden, when writing to the English Privy Council of his sour relationship with his opposite number on the Scottish side, Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, Keeper of Liddesdale, complained that Scott even made an argument for his grandfather’s sword which had been stolen by the English Charlton’s of Hesleyside some years before.

I am led to believe that the present Lord and Lady Charlton are still in possession of this sword today, four hundred years later.

The dirk, a long narrow dagger, in general use, made up the store of the Border Reivers armoury".Unquote.
Below a selection of artwork showing Border Reivers and a map of their operational areas called Marches..separate Clan like regions for the different Reiver groupings. See also http://www.sorbie.net/border_reivers.htm

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 18th February 2016 12:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Salaams All...Following on from the above post ~ The swords below seem to be associated with Border Reiver style...

Please see http://fallingangelslosthighways.bl...-borderers.html from which I extract the pictures below and Quote"All three of the weapons illustrated are "backswords." that is to say that they are sharp on the forward (cutting) edge, and blunt on the back edge.

However in each case, the last four to six inches of the back edge are sharp, in order to provide a thrusting point.
The sword on the left of the picture, is one of the most important surviving British Basket hilts, and dates from the second quarter of the 16th century.

The large "Globe pommel" is both light in weight, and hollow, and the guard is asymmetrical being of a different form on the outside of the hand than the inside."Unquote.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi

Richard G 31st March 2016 12:09 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Came across this the other day, (a bit grisly, I know)
Montrose was James Graham, a Scottish Royalist, (the Great Montrose) hung, drawn and quartered in Edinburgh in 1651, if I remember rightly. The sword was reputedley Montrose's
Regards
Richard
PS Will try to attach a pdf file. Page 69 describes the sword.

fernando 18th December 2016 01:01 PM

Cathey, you have a PM.

Cathey 27th December 2016 01:12 AM

Vol 1, "The Scottish Basket Hilted Sword"
 
6 Attachment(s)
Hi
If you are a seriously addicted to Basket Hilted swords then Volume 1 of The Baron of Earlshall's "The Scottish Basket Hilted Sword" is a must. Privately published, this limited print run is restricted to 200 total copies worldwide. last time I heard there was only 30 left. Volume 1, covers the years 1450-1600, contains three chapters consisting of 479 pages, 325 black & white plates, 11 colour plates & 39 figures (line drawings). At 12" X 8.5" and 1.5" spine width, it weighs slightly over 2.5 kilograms.

Personally, I have been waiting for this book for a long time, and now it has arrived I can’t wait for Volume 2 to be released. Rex would have preferred more consistency in the quality of the photographs, however the information contained in Volume 1 has exceeded my expectations. If you would like the details of how to purchase a copy send me a PM or look in Swap and Sell.

Cheers Cathey and Rex

Cathey 11th January 2017 01:24 AM

Pattern 1828 Basket Hilt Princess Louise's Argyll & Sutherland
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Guys, thought it was time to post another Basket hilt.


Date: Pattern 1828, manufacture date 1857
Nationality: British
Overall Length: 102 cm (40.2 inches) in scabbard, 98 cm (38.6 inches) sword only
Blade length: 82.2 cm (32.4 inches)
Blade widest point: 3.256 cm (1.3 inches)
Hilt widest point: 14.6 cm (5.7 inches)
Inside grip length: 10.3 cm (4.1 inches)
Marks, etc. Back-edge of blade, bottom of ricasso, is stamped with the serial number "8512". Etched onto ricasso, right is, "HENRY / WILKINSON / PALL MALL / LONDON"; in left ricasso is the Wilkinson "proof plug" (slightly damaged); etched into blade panel on left is the Argyll 'Boar's Head' over the motto of the 91st Regiment, "Ne Obliviscaris" over "PRINCESS / LOUISE'S / ARGYLL / & / SUTHERLAND / HIGHLANDERS"; the right blade panel is etched with the Sutherland 'Wild Cat' over the motto of the 93rd Regiment "Sans Peur"

Description
Scottish basket hilt in correct steel field scabbard. This sword belonged to a field officer in, "Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders". It is believed this was a family sword and used before the creation of this particular unit in 1881. The sword was manufactured by Henry Wilkinson, the serial numbered 8512 for 1857. It is also believed this sword was likely shipped back to Wilkinson for the subsequent new unit designation etching circa 1881. The blade has scattered dark oxidation and some scattered minor edge wear; hilt does not appear to have any fractures.

General Remarks
Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was formed in 1881 by combining the 91st (Argyllshire Highlanders) and the 93rd (Sutherland Highlanders), both Regiments of Foot. The 91st and 93rd Regiments of Foot were first formed in 1759. The 93rd - originally known as the 1st Sutherland Fencibles - became the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders in 1800. These two regiments were merged during the Childers Reforms in 1881 - the 91st becoming the 1st Battalion, the 93rd becoming the 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It is very likely this sword was originally carried by a Field Officer in either the 91st or 93rd Regiment of Foot before the merger.

Research to date
The Wilkinson Proof docket says McNeill or Mr Hart (it has been suggested that they meant McNeill for Mr Hart) in which case the sword belonged to Hart. At some time after 1881 the sword has been re-designated/engraved with the regimental emblems etc. of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. By this time both McNeill and Hart had long retired. There is a Malcolm McNeil in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at this time, perhaps a son or grandson of the original Malcolm McNeill linked to the sword.

The only regiment that had a McNeill and a Hart in it at the same time was the 78th Ross Shire Buffs. Both a Malcolm McNeill and a James Hart are in the Harts Army list for 1860. Wilkinson Sword purchase is dated 6 February 1858, Malcolm McNeil was gazetted Ensign in 18 December 1857 but Mr. (Ensign) James Hart was not gazetted until 10 September the following year (1858).

James Hart was promoted from the ranks, Sergeant-Major James Hart to be Ensign, without purchase, vice Ewing. Dated 10th September, 1858.

Both Men retired in 1861, James still an Ensign, however having seen considerable action Malcolm a Lieutenant with no record of serving in action found to date.

According to the 1860 Hart Army list “Ensign Hart served in the Persian war in 1857, including the night attack and battle of Kooshab, and bombardment of Mohumrah (medal and clasp). Served in Bengal with Havelock’s column from its first taking the field in 1857, including the actions of Futtehpore, Aoung, Pandoo Nuddee, Cawnpore, Onao, Buseerutgunge (1st and 2nd), Bithoor, and the several actions leading to and ending in the rleif of the Residency of Lucknow and subsequent defence; with Outram’s force at Alumbagh, including the repulse of the numerous attacks, and operations ending in the final capture of Lucklow; the Rohilcund campaign in 1858 and capture of Bareilly (Medal and Clasp).

I have found no record of a Hart in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

At this stage I am leaning towards the view that McNeill gifted the sword to James Hart, who latter re-gifted it to a son or grandson of Malcolm McNeill serving in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders


Cheers Cathey and Rex

fernando 11th January 2017 11:00 AM

Beautiful sword, in excelent condition and with a well researched background :cool: .

Cathey 14th January 2017 04:47 AM

BASKET-HILT c1615 – 1625 –Help with blade mark
 
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Hi Guys’

This sword has been in our collection for many years and we have never come across the blade mark before. Any assistance regarding this odd mark will be most appreciated. I have found some marks that are vaguely similar but they date from 1380 onwards. The references for these are:

GYNGELL, Dudley S. Hawtrey ARMOURERS MARKS pp25
KINMAN, Steffan European Makers of Edged Weapons, their Marks A Handbook for Museums and Collectors pp23
LENKIEWICZ, Zygmunt S. 1000 SWORD MARKS OF EUROPEAN BLADEMAKERS pp80, 88, 94,

Nationality Scottish
Overall Length 96 cm (37.8 inches)
Blade length 83.2 cm (32.8 inches)
Blade widest point 3.3 cm (1.3 inches)
Hilt widest point 5” 12.7 cm
Inside grip length 3 ¾” 9.5 cm
Marks, etc. Deep blade mark stamped just below hilt.

Description
BASKET-HILT Scottish Circa 1615 Cavalry Broad Sword. Blade is pitted and has dark patina, possibly predates hilt. ‘S’ type basket. The same style of basket is featured in the September 1994 “Scottish Sword & Shield“ catalogue on page 12 no. 25 described as “Scottish basket hilted sword of the Saltire Group. S type basket Circa 1610 – 1625.”

This sword has more neatly formed frontal saltire bars and the mid-point notches on the vertical sides of the junction plates are more U Shaped than those seen on other examples, but the pommel is cone shaped with grooving and fluting at the front and the rear but not, apparently at the sides. The lobes at the centre of the lateral linking bars are extremely long. Interestingly, the extended horizontal S bars are welded at the very top of the aperture formed by the rear and front vertical bar; the upper curve of the S bar nestling between the juncture of the rear vertical bar and where it joins the shoulder linking it with the forward vertical bar.

The grip is a replacement 18th century one with plain iron collars at top and bottom. The double edged blade has single central groove stamped at the top with curious mark resembling a fleur-de-lys lacking its central stem. An additional curiosity is the arrangement of how the linking bars and lower rear arms of the saltires are welded behind the forward vertical bar instead of being merged directly into it.


Regards Cathey and Rex

Cathey 25th January 2017 11:21 PM

Scottish Basket Hilt Pattern 1828 Black Watch
 
2 Attachment(s)
Hi Guys

Another pattern 1828 Scottish Basket

Date: Pattern 1828 (19th Century)
Overall Length: In Scabbard 104 cm, (40.9 inches) Sword only 99cm (39 inches)
Blade length: 82.7 cm (34.3 inches)
Blade widest point: 2.9 cm (1.1 inches
Hilt widest point: 14.9 cm (5.9 inches)
Inside grip length: 11.6 cm (4.6 inches)

Maker is S MAYNARD & HARRIS LEEADENHALL ST LONDON, Army and Navy Agents which are listed as Maynard and Harris 1851-1862

Description
Basket Hilt-Scottish-Pattern 1828-Highland Officer-Black Watch
Victorian officers regimental broadsword attributed to Harry Richard Stanhope Foley, as the ricasso has been engraved H.R.S.F over the original makers details, the blade is etched on one side with a crowned VR cipher and a Prince of Wales feather with By Appointment and on the other with the battle honours of the 42nd to Sevastopol, the hilt with a regulation steel basket retaining the original red faced leather liner, and with the field service scabbard, this has wear to the top leather.

Harry Richard Stanhope Foley
4/6/1864 joined the 42nd (the Royal Highland) Regt of Foot (the Black Watch).
14/6/1864 Appointed Ensign
9/11/1866 Appointed Lieutenant
9/11/1866 THE LONDON GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 9, 1866. 42nd Foot, Ensign Harry Richard Stanhope Foley to be Lieutenant, by purchase, vice John Allatt Drake, who retires. Dated 9th November, 1866.
17/3/1869 Retired from the Black Watch.
2/4/1869 Joined the West Kent Light Infantry as Captain.

Not a terribly interesting chap, but a nice sword and we have recently acquired a photo of him, although sadly not in Uniform.

Cheer Cathey and Rex

fernando 26th January 2017 01:51 PM

Very nice sword, Cathey,
Its owner might not be an interesting chap but, the 42nd Black Watch certainly was.
They played an important role in the Peninsular War, as etched in your sword blade. Eventually one of the battles in which they were part of the allied forces (Buçaco) is a place hardly 100 miles from my home town.

Jim McDougall 26th January 2017 04:13 PM

The 42nd Highland Regt of Foot ("Black Watch") is definitely a most distinguished and well known unit of the famed 'Highlanders' of the British military.
There is considerable debate about the origin of the name of this regiment, typically presuming it had to do with the dark tartan they are said to have worn. Actually it derives from a colloquial expression from the time the ancestral unit was formed, in the turbulent climate of the Scottish Highlands post '15' (the Scottish rebellion of 1715).
In 1725, George II authorized units of Highlanders from various clans loyal to the crown to patrol ("watch") areas of the Highlands for potential troubles and further organizing of insurgence.

These units were termed 'Am Freiceadan Dubh', (= the dark, or 'black' watch) much as in modern terms we refer to covert activity in the intelligence communities as 'black ops'.
The well known knife traditionally hidden in the sock of kilted clansmen is the skean dubh ( = hidden, dark, or 'black' knife, dubh meaning dark or black).

In 1740, more units were added and formed into an official military infantry regiment which became the famed 42nd .

This regiment, which fought with distinction and valor through many campaigns, including as Fernando noted at Bucaco in 1810 during the Peninsular campaigns, is also well known from one of the most famed paintings of the Napoleonic Wars.
Lady Butler painted her rendition of the immortal charge of the Royal Scots Greys cavalry at Waterloo, titled 'Scotland Forever'.

In this fabulous painting, she portrays the spirited charging of these horsemen in this charge in which Highlanders (the 42nd) were said to have tried to go into the breach with them by grabbing their stirrups. This was more of course an elaborate exaggeration, but in fact the cavalry did break through the ranks of the Highlanders in moving toward the French, but the Highlanders cheered them through, and in that spirit, Lady Butler simply portrayed them very much wanting to 'go with them'.

I recall in 1983, I went to a performance of the Black Watch bagpipe band . It was exciting and fabulous, and there are no words to describe the emotion as they dedicated their music and a standing crowd to the Marines who died in the barracks bombing in Lebanon the week before.

From the early days of these Highlander regiments, the bagpipes always accompanied them, and before battle, the pipes stirred the troops, much as what I witnessed that day in 1983.

kronckew 26th January 2017 06:22 PM

bit more contemporary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2gDkcpYnMc

a slightly better version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8LPu8Jzjxg

we even have our own tartan :)

(i'm prejudiced. they are somewhat better fed - and a tad older ;))

Cathey 22nd February 2017 10:07 AM

Scottish or British?
 
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Hi Guys

Not all basket hilts are actually Scottish, but how can you tell if its a Scottish Basket Hilt or a British Basket Hilt. Even the Baron of Earlshall in Volume 1 of his new book is cautious about a definitive answer as such and whilst his book is titled "The Scottish Basket Hilted Sword" it contains just as many British Basket hilts. Just to add to our confusion it may be British in manufacture but used by a Scottish Regiment and of course the Scott's where not renowned for blade making so a British manufactured blade on a Scottish Basket is not unusual either.

Whilst their will always be anomalies, two principle indicators are worth considering. 1st the pommel shape, many British military swords have what "Mazansky" refers to as a bun pommel. Scottish swords, more often than not have a more conical shaped pommel often with incised decoration. The second indicator can be found on the underside of the guard. In most British basket hilts the tang fits neatly into the sword slot, whilst in Scottish examples there is often a longer recess that may even be wider than the actual blade, thus comfortably seating the blade as such.

I have probably explained this rather badly so I have attached some pictures that I hope will better convey what to look for. The Baron does say in his book that whilst some Scottish swords do not have this extended sword recess, he has never seen the feature on a British example. So whilst we still can't be sure a basket is Scottish, if it has the extended recess under the guard we can be reasonably confident that it isn't British.

Cheers Cathey and Rex

Cerjak 22nd February 2017 12:38 PM

Dear Cathey and Rex
Really useful information many thanks .
Best
Cerjak

NeilUK 22nd February 2017 02:23 PM

I'll second Cerjak's comment. I had not appreciated that point about the blade/tang slot in the base of the basket. Thank you.
Neil

Cathey 13th March 2017 05:13 AM

Scottish Basket Hilt Crimea Service
 
3 Attachment(s)
Hi Guys

Running out of old Baskets to post, now moving into the Victorian era.

Date: Pattern 1828 Wilkinson number for 1857
Maker/Retailer: Wilkinson
Overall Length: 42 1/16” 106.8 cm
Blade length: 36” 91.4 cm blade only
Blade widest point: 1 5/16” 3.3 cm
Hilt widest point: 5 5/8” 14.4 cm
Inside grip length: 4” 10.2 cm
Marks, etc. Engraved Death when struck to death from sleepless grave, great Jesu stoop a sin stained soul to save’ then in Gaelic ‘NA TARRAIN MI GUN AOBHAR NA CUIR SUAS MI QUN CHLIU’ Also has crest and moto for Godley ‘Sans Dieu Rien’. Wilkinson Number 8214 or 1857

Description
Basket Hilt-Scottish-Pattern 1828-HRC Godley
Victorian officers regimental broadsword attributed to Henry Robert Crewe Godley, the ricasso is engraved H.R.C.G below the family crest and moto ‘Sans Dieu Rien’. The blade is etched on one side with Death when struck to death from sleepless grave, great Jesu stoop a sin stained soul to save’ then on the other in Gaelic ‘NA TARRAIN MI GUN AOBHAR NA CUIR SUAS MI QUN CHLIU’ which translates to Draw me not without cause and sheath me not without honour. The blade also features the maker Henry Wilkinson Pall Mall London number 8124. The hilt with a regulation steel basket retaining the original red faced leather liner.

Provenance
Major Godley served with the 28th Regiment in the Eastern campaign of 1854 and up to the5th July 1855, including the battles of Alma and Inkerman, siege of Sebastopol, and affair in the Cemetery – severely wounded (Medal and three Clasps, Brevet Major, 5th Class of the Medjidi, and Turkish Medal.

Service History – Henry Robert Crewe Godley
1828: Birth Year (Estimated)
25/9/1846: Ensign, Henry Robert Crewe Godley, Gent, to be Ensign, by purchase, vice Shute. Dated 25th September 1846
2/7/1848: Lieutenant, Ensign Henry Robert Crewe Godley to be Lieutenant, by purchase, vice Jeffery. Dated 21st July 1848.
17/2/1854: Captain
18/6/1855: Godley, Henry Robert Crewe Captain 28th Foot (North Gloucestershire) Severe Wound 1st Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855
6/6/1856: Brevet-Major Captain H. R. C. Godley, 28th Foot Dated 6th June 1856
17/4/1860: Retired by Sale of Commission
20/1/1869: Deceased Surname Godley, Deceased Forename Henry Robert Crewe, Primary Beneficiary/Executor Frances Eliza Godley, Date of Death20 Jan 1869, County of Death Dublin
Photograph 1 Fenton Photograph of Captain Godley mounted on a horse facing left. He is wearing military uniform and has a sword by his side. There is an area of open land behind him. Captain Godley served with the 28th Regiment during the Crimean War.

The Mystery is what prompted Godley to purchase a claymore in 1857?

Cheers

Cathey and Rex

Cathey 26th May 2017 05:00 AM

Scottish Staff Sergeant Mark I Sword
 
6 Attachment(s)
Hi Guys

Picked up this Sergeants Basket Hilt Crimea Period recently by Garden.
Nationality: British
Date: 1852 pattern
Maker/Retailer: GARDEN
Overall Length: 40 3/8” 102.4 cm in scabbard 39” 99cm sword only
Blade length: 33” 83.9 cm, fuller 8 ½” 21.7 cm
Blade widest point: 1 ½”
Hilt widest point: 7” 17.5 cm
Inside grip length: 4 ¼” 10.5 cm
Marks, etc.: Stamped I over 4 on the Wrist Guard, Etched GARDEN 200 Piccadilly LONDON in the fuller

Description
Scottish Staff Sergeant Sword Mark I.
Large Steel Basket with Fishskin grip bound with copper wire. Plain Broadsword blade with short central fuller engraved GARDEN 200 Piccadilly LONDON. Leather scabbard with two steel mounts and frog.

Interestingly it is marked with a 1 over 4 on the wrist guard, no idea what this means but probably confirms that this is a NCO sword not an Officers.

Cheers Cathey and Rex

Cathey 27th May 2017 02:24 AM

Need to update description
 
Hi Guys

Need to update my description due to new information about this Sergeants Basket Hilt Sword by Garden.

Nationality: British
Date: 1857 pattern official introduction, Sword appears to pre-date pattern introduction
Maker/Retailer: Hugh GARDEN
Overall Length: 40 3/8” 102.4 cm in scabbard 39” 99cm sword only
Blade length: 33” 83.9 cm, fuller 8 ½” 21.7 cm
Blade widest point: 1 ½”
Hilt widest point: 7” 17.5 cm
Inside grip length: 4 ¼” 10.5 cm
Marks, etc.: Stamped I over 4 on the Wrist Guard, Etched GARDEN 200 Piccadilly LONDON in the fuller
Description

Scottish Staff Sergeant Sword Mark I.
Extremely Large Steel Basket with Fishskin grip bound with copper wire. Plain Broadsword blade with short central fuller etched GARDEN 200 Piccadilly LONDON. Leather scabbard with two steel mounts and frog.

Interestingly it is marked with a 1 over 4 on the wrist guard, no idea what this means but probably confirms that this is a NCO sword not an Officers.

General Remarks
Due to chat with Gordon Byrne this morning I need to edit my description of this sword. Firstly the pattern as such was introduced in 1857 not 1852. However, too much emphasis is placed on recorded pattern dates, swords could have evolved prior to the actual official date of introduction. As this sword in etched GARDEN not Garden and Sons it is likely by Hugh Garden 1827-1851 200 Piccadilly, Army Accoutrements and Saddler. Whilst this sword appears to comply with the general description of the sword introduced in 1857, the maker would have been Hugh Garden who died in 1852, and there are similar examples that pre-date the Indian Mutiny.

Cheers Cathey and Rex


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