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Old 20th November 2017, 01:08 PM   #271
urbanspaceman
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Hello Jim. That is precisely what I was looking for; I was wondering where I might find some early German sword history; thank-you.
So we can ignore the Archduke and the Passau guilds… good! Talismanic and mystical origins are so much more desirable.

To SB:
Between Oley and Mohll, the blade business at SB prospered (especially, it would seem, once greedy outside merchants were taken out of the picture) at least until the early 1800s, despite common apocrypha declaring otherwise. Oley had taken over Mohll's business:
"Newcastle Courant (16th May, 1724) - "To be sold, a sword grinding mill with about eight acres of ground, a very good head of water situated on the Derwentwater in the County of Durham. Also a very good house etc., all now within possession of William Mohll at Shotley Bridge..."

The Oleys were doing very well, so much so that a leading, local engraving company, 'Beilby', sent Thomas Bewick (now a local engraving hero) to work directly under the Oleys. This from Richardson:
Thomas Bewick in his memoirs tells us that in 1767, one of the first jobs he was put-to was "etching sword blades for William and Nicholas Oley, sword manufacturers of Shatley Bridge" (sic).

Also this: a unique glass tumbler, now in the boardroom of Wilkinson Sword Ltd. London, was made by the Beilbys and it can be seen by the inscriptions on the glass that it was presented to William and Ann Oley in the year 1767. On one side of the glass is "Success to the Swordmakers" and on the other side there are the initials of William and Ann Oley with the date 1767 - in the same fashion as upon the wall of Cutler's Hall, built in the same year: 100 years after the arrival in SB.

Moving forward we have this – again from Richardson:
William died on 13th August 1810, three days after making his will. He left his sole possessions to his wife and in the event of her death he detailed all that would be left to his three sons - William, Nicholas and Christopher and to his daughter Mary Brown. Her share - in the case of her death - was to pass to her son, William Oley Brown. In the terms of the day and especially within the confines of a village, William Oley left a fortune. Besides houses - which were copyhold premises with workshops (three) together with land bounding up to the mill races, and a butcher's shop as well as other houses (tenanted) bordering on the Plantation he left amounts of money to each. I found the item, 'all my tools except the old bellows, which is to be shared equally' interesting and I also found most interesting, 'as well as the two old shops now in ruin' (Were these the derelict first sword mills?). Mention too is made of a 'Grinding mill and warehouse against the bridge with the ground above'.

Richardson doubts, however, whether the Oleys ever owned the pub, Crown and Crossed Swords, despite its name being changed to celebrate the family's alleged victory in the competition; why he should doubt this I do not know but hopefully I will find out when I gain access to the SB village archives this week. Its name-change does give weight to the story of the competition though.

Christopher Oley built, in 1814, a small chapel in his garden; subsequently enlarged in 1855 – probably by Joseph Oley – to "The Chapel on the Hill".

So, despite numerous chroniclers insisting that everything was in unstoppable decline throughout the first quarter of the 1700s, it would appear that certainly did not apply to the Oleys. However, prosperity was slow in coming, and many Oleys moved out of the area to find alternative employment; in particular one of the Richards (of which there were a few) who moved to Birmingham to begin work in 1724; taking, as I've already mentioned, much knowledge and expertise and, although Ibrahiim and I disagree upon this, the image of the family fox, rapidly purloined by the Harveys it seems. I need to find with whom Richard Oley was working.

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Old 20th November 2017, 01:13 PM   #272
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Old 20th November 2017, 01:48 PM   #273
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That is a great bit of research Keith... especially on the glass vessel. I think you are close to cracking the enigma on the ceiling artwork in the Cutlers Hall.. I reckon it was borrowed/ taken by Samuel Harvey shortly after it was placed on the ceiling thus events rolled up fast and furious...and the Shotley sword smiths never got a chance to utilize that mark... The chapel on the hill at the top of Kiln Street I think...that was closed.. The Hotel was two drinking houses and the two were amalgamated... One was The Commercial and the other The Crown and Crossed Swords. I believe that was a coaching House and it was called the Sword Inn ...changed as we were saying when the crown was won for top sword.
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Old 20th November 2017, 02:41 PM   #274
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Bezdek doesn't list Richard Oley as working in Birmingham, I got that info from a source that needs to be verified (this week at SB again) unless anyone can help.

I need to find details of this competition: surely some record must have been kept somewhere. Who sponsored it? Was it the Tower? Was it the London Cutlers? Hmmm! Board of Ordnance is obviously favourite.

Nicholas Oley and all the Oleys interviewed in the 18/1900s insisted the story of the blade in the hat was true (well they would, wouldn't they?). My question is: what sort of a hat was it that could retain that degree of spring tension; unless the coil was fastened then placed in the hat... more likely. It was said a vice was needed to uncoil it and someone nearly lost their fingers trying.

Re. the chest of swords discovered in the 1850s: the museum denies all knowledge of them, so I am waiting on the return of the family at this week's end; maybe they are still hidden in the Priest Hole.

It's all slow but definitely real progress I feel.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 01:57 PM   #275
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No additional knowledge to report; just a note to say that Alnwick Castle and their incorporated Northumberland Fusiliers Museum have no Shotley bridge swords to offer me.
The Bowes Museum deny all knowledge of the bequest of a chest of SB swords, destined for a Jacobite militia, so the pertinent family are investigating.
I'm continuing to explore all public and private collections.
I'm waiting to access the SB village archives any day now.
Meantime, I'm getting all my information into a chronological order.
Meantime also, the Durham County Council are proceeding with their plan to link the length of the Derwent Valley's history to SB which is conveniently in the middle and was the beginning of the iron and steel industry anyway. They have hopes for a permanent exhibition based in the village; so perhaps this will help bring swords out of hiding (there are a lot of SB swords in private ownership around this area) and we can maybe establish a definite indication of markings, dates and styles.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 04:10 PM   #276
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Ummm, if the Shotley Bridge makers were of the families migrating from Solingen, one can be fairly certain no swords were made and sold to a sympathizer/patron of a Jacobite militia (religious contradictions).

Cheers

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Old 23rd November 2017, 10:44 PM   #277
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I have to disagree for two - possibly three - reasons:
Primarily, the smiths did not (ostensibly) work for themselves, they were under contract, first to the initial syndicate, later to the Blade Bank, finally to Cotesworth: a very greedy, powerful and influential local merchant who would have sold his Granny as the saying goes. It was not until the end of the first quarter that the Oleys became autonomous.
Two, their immediate neighbour was the Earl of Derwentwater, an extremely powerful Jacobite. Should they have refused him, yet continued to supply the government, he could have wiped out the entire Shotley Bridge community and been back in time for breakfast, and no-one could have lifted a finger to help nor complained about it afterwards.
Except possibly Blackett, who was the Sherriff of Newcastle and a government supporter. But he was also an opportunist and a survivor: just like the entire population of Newcastle, who have been on whatever side is winning since the days of the Romans. Living on a border like ours, people quickly learned to keep their head's down, or lose them - ultimately, as the Earl did... on Tower Hill in 1716!
The chest of swords in question was waiting for a group of Jacobite supporters a few miles south of Newcastle, hidden in a Priest Hole; and probably with the defeat of Derwentwater, never retrieved. My knowledge of this area during this period is sketchy at best, but I will know more when I speak more with the family who own the Priest Hole, who's unbroken lineage goes back to pre. Norman times.
It's also quite possible the German smiths were forging for Derwentwater surreptitiously; it may account for the huge amounts of stock they were using and supposedly unable to pay for; perhaps it was all subterfuge. Tucked away up in the valley, they could easily have been playing both sides.
Rotterdam (for Swedish and Remscheid steel imports) was the bigger problem when it came to religious politics, hence possibly their reliance on Hayward's stock and his usurious prices.
Finally, it has to be said, when it comes down to buttering one's bread, and given the labour problems and religious favouritism back in Solingen, it definitely inspires a great degree of pragmatism.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 11:01 PM   #278
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That reads as a decent novel Show me the money!

Cheers

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Old 23rd November 2017, 11:46 PM   #279
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Yes, the money!
There are three things going-on here on Tyneside:
one, I'm trying to compile the definitive account of the SB swordmakers;
two, there is a plan afoot to create a permanent display/exhibition/attraction in Shotley Bridge;
three, a novelist is setting a story around the Solingen immigrants.
Actually, four things:
a local heritage-memories/local-history lecturer is planning a new program based on the - yes, you've guessed it - SB swordmakers.
Naturally, where two women and one county council are involved, guess who is doing all the donkey-work?
That's not true really.
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Old 24th November 2017, 03:40 PM   #280
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That is quite an amazing development Keith.

I agree to much of your reasons why Shotley was not supplying the Jacobites although it is a protracted group who also seeded much of the border riever activity or at least the Moss Troopers who were another group on the border lands very much on the Durham Northumberland doorstep.

Generally the Shotley people will have wanted to retain their heads! and with Newcastle bristling with troops they certainly had to keep their heads down.

I think the smuggling is another league and seen as semi allowable and in the case of the Shotley team they got away with that by having people in high places... I also suspect the ruse of the hollow blades was half myth and half true since the word "fuller" before 1850 was "hollow". A sort of deliberate subterfuge that fitted the mix-up nicely.

In the situation of what was stamped on which blades I have to note that Shotley did not use the bushy tail fox and that was the sole domain of Birmingham although it may possibly have become mixed up in a number of blades out of Hounslow although if evidence is available I would be ready to concede it may have been used elsewhere...or traded. Usually it was with the addition of SH stamped in the body of the Fox; Samuel Harvey Snr or his son Samuel...

Shotley Bridge used the hammered and chiseled Passau Wolf in stick form either applied there or on smuggled Solingen blades or both.

I say this with the proviso that anything can happen in this story and I am ready to believe what transpires ! The Duck and Crossed Sausages even !!
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Old 25th November 2017, 09:31 PM   #281
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I've just had a thought regarding the arrival of Richard Oley in Birmingham in 1724 and the apparent lack of connection between the Shotley Bridge Mohll and the Brummie Mole.
Is it possible that it was Oley who became Mole? It would explain the lack of evidence linking the two Mohll/Moles. Richard Oley may well have had his name corrupted by local accents, vernacular and domesticities and ended up with Mole. Just a thought.
Any Brummies reading this want a genealogical endeavour to pursue... I doubt it.
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Old 26th November 2017, 01:43 AM   #282
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Quote:
Any Brummies reading this want a genealogical endeavour to pursue... I doubt it.


Show me the money! I thought this was your baby.

The British History Online link and a bit of plumbing the depths might yield information. On the other hand, a lot of genealogical research these days is pay for play. I have done work (gratis) for some threads here and continue to do so but it might be some years before your questions re Oley might hit the bottom of a very long list of things to do. If I find a family tree for you this weekend, you owe me. Seriously.


A slip of the tongue omitting an M to come up with Ole' is kind of hard in any accent, as one has a consonant. You seem to be concentrating on the wildest explanations possible instead of digging deeper on a topic (such as early hollow ground blades).

Time permitted lad, I'll take a look at your latest request (to do your project).

Take my surname of Cleeton and explain how that could be somehow be written or associated with Eaton. Cleaton, Cleoton and say, the Clee hills outside of Cleeton-St Mary. Or perhaps the manor of Cleoton or Cletune now underwater off Skipsea (1066 and all that). Could any be be mistaken as originally lacking a consonant? Back to the Halstatt era and the Black Sea with the current surname Kleeman. Always a consonant.


Cheers

GC

ha, in the first five minutes Oliey (not on Ancestry.com)
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Old 26th November 2017, 02:08 AM   #283
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This isn't your's is it?
http://www.exodus2013.co.uk/the-sho...ge-swordmakers/

Note the date 1628 and fill in some blanks.

Cheers

GC
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Old 26th November 2017, 09:36 PM   #284
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Hi Glenn. Please don't concern yourself with my fanciful theory; I agree that the consonant is the clincher, but I was just hoping for a break. They are very keen, over here, to retain the story about Mohll becoming Mole at whatever cost.
With regard to that 'Exodus' article: no, it is yet another catalogue of fallacies and falsehoods. The 19th C. chronicler in question (married to an Oley) misread the entry in the parish register which admittedly was faint, but it said Cler - for Cleric - not Oley.
The Shotley Bridge endeavour began in 1685.
The Vintings/Vintons were mining and forging iron and lead around there, certainly since the 1500s; and local historians will tell you that there were forges going back to before the Christian era.
We did have Germans working in the glass industry in Newcastle itself - primarily the Tyzacks - a good hundred years earlier, but Shotley Bridge sword-making with the Solingen immigrants didn't start till 1687.
BTW. You're not from Birmingham, are you?
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Old 26th November 2017, 10:14 PM   #285
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Nope. Originallly mid west US
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Old 1st December 2017, 11:08 PM   #286
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During my endless searches for examples of SB blades I occasionally come across interesting examples and such was the case this evening.
The first is a Scottish (long) dirk dating to c.1720 according to the dealer made from a cut-down backsword blade.
(Apparently, after swords were banned in Scotland following the 1715 rebellion, attempts were made to lengthen the dirk to give a degree of decent protection; hence this example.)
So-far, so well-known, amongst the cognoscenti; the curiosity is the marking on the blade: see image.
The second is described by the dealer as a late 17th C. Shotley Bridge Smallsword with 'TLE xx on one side and Bridg xx on the other plus a running fox; see image.
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Old 1st December 2017, 11:16 PM   #287
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sorry, this image didn't upload the first time.
The second is described by the dealer as a late 17th C. Shotley Bridge Smallsword with 'TLE xx on one side and Bridg xx on the other plus a running fox; see image.
Sorry the resolution is poor but it's a bushy tailed fox.
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Old 4th December 2017, 04:54 PM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
sorry, this image didn't upload the first time.
The second is described by the dealer as a late 17th C. Shotley Bridge Smallsword with 'TLE xx on one side and Bridg xx on the other plus a running fox; see image.
Sorry the resolution is poor but it's a bushy tailed fox.

Hmm, and not a hollow sword grind but rather a hexagonal cross section..

Cheers

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Old 4th December 2017, 05:05 PM   #289
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Do we think this may be a re-hilting of a cut-down broadsword blade?
Can you tell by observation of the blade?
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Old 5th December 2017, 04:29 PM   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
Do we think this may be a re-hilting of a cut-down broadsword blade?

No

Quote:
Can you tell by observation of the blade?

Yes
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Old 5th December 2017, 08:57 PM   #291
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So, we have an image of a genuine SB small-sword then: surely a rarity.
Has anyone else ever seen such a thing?
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