Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Tyneside. North-East England
I am in complete agreement Ibrahiim: all blades going for military use, regardless of politics or religion, would not have been marked at all.
I need to find out why the two Londoners (Parsons and Justice), half of the original syndicate of four, were involved in an armoury developed up North. As I said, there were numerous previous attempts to set up a hollow blade manufactory both in London and Hounslow.
The syndicate existed prior to 1685: Charles II helped these two Londoners, along with Sanford from Newcastle (and probably Carnforth), to bring Henekels and Hoppe from Oxford, and Dell from Hounslow, up to SB. This syndicate of four (Dell had become one of them) then brought the 19 families over at James II's behest in '87. That same year they petitioned the king to grant them exclusive right to produce hollow blades using a new milling machine; but as far as James II was concerned they were not brought over to produce hollow blades – that had been the wish of Charles II – James wanted broadswords for his ever growing standing army: granted by parliament and camped on Hounslow Heath. In fact, the exclusive right to make hollow blades was never actually signed by King James.
Regardless of that, work had already begun at SB, and the new arrivals were bound by a six year contract to the syndicate, which eventually (in '88) officially leased land from William Johnson, who owned the estate and had previously allowed the adaption of his corn-mill there to produce blades; hence the abandoned giant corn mill-stone Ibrahiim. What we have to remember is that those two Germans - Henekels and Hoppe - had previously moved from Hounslow to Oxford and began work on behalf of the king using a converted corn-mill, which is essentially what they did at SB. I think the new arrivals spent their first year building homes and getting established, alongside helping out at the new works.
King William 1st finally granted the charter to a reformed syndicate in 1691, and the Hollow Sword Blade Company was certified. At least six years since the original syndicate was formed, and with new syndicate member Peter Reneau now in charge at SB. That same year, Mohll, Schimmelbush, Groats, Krantz and Voes rented a premises in SB and set up a grinding, polishing and finishing mill. Adam Ohlig (the blade forger) built Cutler's Hall; and John Sanford (previously of the syndicate) leased a corn-mill at Lintzford (up-river from SB and near Blackhall) to make blades.
At this point I suspect Sir Stephen Evance and his new partners had begun to realise the potential of this newly formed company; because despite all things being very well established, there appears to have been no attempt to employ a hollows grinding machine. I think it was better to let SB produce common or garden blades and have the specialist blades smuggled in from Solingen. I am certain that the great political weight exerted by this new syndicate/company was the reason Mohll was released without charge despite being found red-handed smuggling blades on a Jacobite ship.