Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Tyneside. North-East England
I think the presence of the wolf/fox on Hounslow swords may be due to Benjamin Stone, a London Cutler and Freeman, who, from 1613 till 1642, was buying blades from everyone: including Solingen, Passau, Venice, Milan, Toledo and finally – of course – Hounslow; then selling the finished swords primarily to the Board of Ordnance.
For example: in June 1628 he delivered 800 swords to the Board of Ordnance: 350 Italian blades and 450 Solingen; all of these swords had basket hilts.
He finally set up his own mill in Hounslow by converting a corn mill on the New Cutt River. He then bought forged but unground blades from the local Germans, ground, polished and hilted them before putting them in his own scabbards and selling them with belts to the Tower.
He also re-fitted and re-furbished for the Board; plus, he sold finished blades to London cutlers. An enterprising chap!
Because Hounslow was then not part of London, the London Cutlers Company could not interfere: for example, he used predominantly cast brass hilts from his own foundry and this was not favoured by the London Cutlers.
By 1631 he was really cooking and delivered 4,356 swords at six shillings each - all with basket hilts – to the Tower. The numbers just kept rising after that to such a degree that in 1637 he petitioned the Privy Council not to use German imports as he could supply swords of equal quality made entirely in England.
The civil war had him re-locating to Oxford and he probably set up the king's Wolvergate mill there.
If during all that time and amongst the thousands of blades he supplied to the Board of Ordinance, there wasn't some marked Hounslow and also featuring a wolf/fox then I would be very surprised.
Information collated and published by Richard H. Bezdek; what an endeavour!
I've heard about Konigsmark Jim but also been told the Colichmarde existed prior to his birth. Where else it could have come from seems to baffle a lot of folk.