Salaams Jim, It is certainly an interesting discussion and again your excellent pointers are very much appreciated.
The entire region in the days of the German immigrant sword makers was a hotbed of intrigue~ The whole business of the Jacobite rebellion was in ferment and it is here I wish to start. What degree of collusion was there with the sword-makers of Shotley Bridge? After Culloden many fighters from the Scottish side ran to the wilds of Durham, Northumberland and Cumberland where they formed an entirely separate although probably linked clan organisation known as The Moss Troopers who stole and robbed ...and were often caught and executed! It may be noted that Lord Derwentwater was tried and found guilty and executed for being a supporter of the Jacobite cause. Indeed such was the fervor and hatred for these brigands that the English set up a formidable military force at Newcastle and were unrelenting in tracking down sympathizers that many people caved in to government demands and openly expressed their government support. Mohll was caught with a load of swords and placed in jail only to harness important support and so he was released. It is said that there was some religious implication in pushing the Germans to elope with their sword secrets ...That would make the reasons Political and Religious ...a powerful enough combination linked to the obviously difficult situation in Solingen with the 30 year and later fighting taking place. That coupled with the intent in England to raise their game as far as sword making quality was concerned would probably suffice as to the reasons why they went.
If I may jump to the use of kilns at Shotley Bridge .. They were built certainly one at the south end of the Bridge and others further up river probably at the Forge and further up river a few miles on to Alansford . There is a even street in Shotley Bridge called Kiln Street. Somewhere I noted that materials were inported from Sweden ...ore?... for these kilns? No mines are reported in Shotley Bridge; coal or iron ore. There was plenty of wood... The swordmakers house stood in Wood Street..and Derwent meant oak valley. There was abundant Beech forest in the area. The water was excellent for tempering steel and for water wheel power. It is understood that the sandstone grit on the riverbed was ideal for sharpening and grinding blades.
In a further leap~ I question the Colichimarde situation...and the swords imported but initially confiscated when Mohl got arrested. If they were from Solingen they would surely have been stamped...My question being when was a sword stamped? There were a lot of these 1400 apparently but no definite detail of what sort of blades...nevertheless they would have been stamped I suspect...Solingen ! In all the examples seen so far ... and as far as I can see... No Colichimarde examples exist out of Shotley Bridge because they never had a machine capable of such grinding. Although this may not have been the only reason for its demise as other swords were being used...particularly in the Military ...It may have been a factor and why specialists were dispersed either back to Germany or to other English factories like Birmingham.
Post 28 sets another conundrum here... How do swords stamped with the Solingen mark of the running wolf appear with SHOTLEY BRIDGE stamped down the fullers? Are these examples of blades fetched by Mohl already with the wolf stamp or did shotley swordmakers place these ...It may mean they used both fox and wolf... but it seems odd. It is in fact the case that the hilts were often wire adorned in what is described at;
which is a must read for this style.