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Old 11th October 2017, 12:12 PM   #121
Mel H
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Hello all, I've been a follower of the site for quite a long time and have recently taken the step of 'signing up', this is my first post.
I've long had an interest in the blades made at Shotley Bridge and am enjoying this particular thread, just a quick note to Urbanspaceman. Do you know of the paper written by Rhys Jenkins and read at the North of England institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers in 1935?
I've not yet had time to digest the full thread so may have missed any mention of it.
M.H.
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Old 11th October 2017, 04:47 PM   #122
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Welcome to the forum Mel .
You will surely enjoy being here.
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Old 11th October 2017, 07:51 PM   #123
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Along with Fernando, I would like to welcome you to the forum Mel!!
Keith, Ibrahiim and I have been quite interested in advancing the collective data and knowledge on Shotley Bridge and the related topics of Hounslow and the Hollow Sword Blade Co. for some time and heartily welcome others who share this interest.

The Rhys-Jenkins resource has been included in earlier posts, but thank you so much for bringing it up, one never knows what sources have been missed.

Looking forward to hearing more on your interest in this most esoteric topic.

All the best
Jim
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Old 11th October 2017, 08:35 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
Hello all, I've been a follower of the site for quite a long time and have recently taken the step of 'signing up', this is my first post.
I've long had an interest in the blades made at Shotley Bridge and am enjoying this particular thread, just a quick note to Urbanspaceman. Do you know of the paper written by Rhys Jenkins and read at the North of England institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers in 1935?
I've not yet had time to digest the full thread so may have missed any mention of it.
M.H.

Hello Mel. I am pleased to have you on board this thread: welcome.
You have reminded me: I am supposed to go down to the Mining Institute and read a bunch of stuff that has come up on this thread; for some reason, I don't seen to be able to open some archives. I know the folks down there and they are not only obliging but enthusiastic about digging out ancient tomes for me. Everything connected to Newcomen is directly accessible there, and that is what I am going to peruse. It's really a remarkable place, and the folk who work there are volunteers for the most part; when you go through the doors, it is like stepping back 100 years or more. Next door is the Lit and Phil as it is known locally: The Literary and Philosophic Society to be correct. Between the two, I would venture that every sparkling mind in the entire industrial revolution has graced its halls; and the Mining Inst's lecture hall is a genuine marvel with an atmosphere that is absolutely beyond compare... and that includes the Royal Institute.
Sorry, I've strayed far from the thread; I just get all gooey when mention is made of those two places. Again, welcome. Please post anything anytime, as Jim said, it is all valuable. I believe that we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel of mystery penetrating Shotley Bridge.
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Old 11th October 2017, 08:38 PM   #125
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Sorry Mel, I wasn't paying attention: you are from the North East, so you will know all about those two revered sanctums.
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Old 11th October 2017, 08:57 PM   #126
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I heard about an article, published in a local newspaper back in 1984, telling of a new permanent exhibition at one of our local museums (the one with Lord Gort's five SB swords on display; now ended) which was a transcription of details given by the curator.
Two pieces of information appear (there may be more but the microfiche was badly taken so some of the article is missing; another job for tomorrow) that I feel are worth posting as the curator had done his homework (I recently read all his notes at our local archives) so here they are:
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Old 12th October 2017, 01:59 AM   #127
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Most interesting signs ...It still never actually says Colichemarde though... Only hollow blades... Do they mean hollow sharpening?

Welcome to the Forum to Mel H. That's two Northern members...an army almost !!
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Old 12th October 2017, 09:59 AM   #128
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I dont know whether this of interest but I bought this sad little sword the other day. The blade definitely qualifies as hollow ground but isnt Colichemarde type.
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Old 12th October 2017, 10:40 AM   #129
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In over fifty years of collecting I can safely say that I've seen very few available swords with the Shotley Bridge name on the blade, most of which were straight blades. The more common offerings that I saw were mid 18th C. hangers with the bushy tailed fox stamp.
It seems to be clear that large quantities of blades were produced, given the length time that the industry was there, I've always assumed that many were produced without markings and subsequently may be more common than we think but we'll probably never know.
I remember being told in my earlier collecting days about the mercury filled hollow blades and thinking at the time that it was all a something of a fable, as my knowledge increased I came to the conclusion that the term was a description of the popular three sided 'smallsword' blade of the time.
I have to add that, as a collector of smallswords, I have examined a large selection of hollow blades over the years and never seen or heard of one with any indication of being made at SB, my personal view is that none were made there.
Mel.
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Old 12th October 2017, 11:32 AM   #130
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Hello to all you folks reading this thread.
I have a request.
It's kind of like the compare getting the audience to join in with the show.
In my last post I inserted a clip that referred to 37 different types of blade available from the Shotley Bridge swordmakers; that's a lot of different styles, and as a complete novice I am overwhelmed by the prospect of tracking down all these blade types but I do wish to illustrate them in my intended book on the SB swordmakers.
Could I ask everyone to submit names of as many styles in use at the time?
Any pictures would be particularly appreciated.
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Old 12th October 2017, 11:43 AM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
The more common offerings that I saw were mid 18th C. hangers with the bushy tailed fox stamp. Mel.


Hello Mel. I don't know if you've reached that part of the thread yet, but we are considering the possibility that the fox was never used by the SB sword-makers - only by Birmingham smiths.
We are even questioning whether the Passau Wolf was actually used by the SB smiths or if it came already stamped on smuggled Solingen imports brought by Mohll for finishing at SB.
Well, I am considering all of this; although I have support with regard to the fox. It's always been associated with the SB blades, but now I'm beginning to wonder.
Do you have knowledge of blades definitely made at SB that feature the fox?
I never received a response from the vendor of the sword ascribed to Oley sold at auction last year (see earlier post).
I think it is impossible to determine the wolf issue because the SB name may easily have been added to ready made stock after the fact.
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Old 12th October 2017, 12:01 PM   #132
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Default £1.0s.0d a blade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Most interesting signs ...It still never actually says Colichemarde though... Only hollow blades... Do they mean hollow sharpening.

Hello Ibrahiim. Re. the above: I notice that it costs a £1.0s.0d. for a 'Hollow' blade in contrast to £1.10s a dozen for other blades: essentially twelve times as much. This has to be for something more than a sharpening, or even a fuller of one sort or another. Perhaps these were the blades smuggled in from Solingen. If they wanted to sell hollow blades, even at such a price, that price had to be very competitive compared with the 'official' Solingen blades imported with appropriate duty paid.
There is that mention in a letter to Cotesworth that tells of a 'Gent' in London having to 'venture' £8.00 for a decent sword; so even after the hilting and etc., £1.0s.0d. for the blade was more than acceptable.
On another note: it appears that Carnforth was actively involved in the setting up of SB in advance of the 19 arriving. I suspect it was a joint arrangement with the Hounslow three and the Syndicate, plus Vinting. I'm using that as a working hypothesis for the time being anyway but happy to be shot down whenever.
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Old 13th October 2017, 07:18 AM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
Hello Ibrahiim. Re. the above: I notice that it costs a £1.0s.0d. for a 'Hollow' blade in contrast to £1.10s a dozen for other blades: essentially twelve times as much. This has to be for something more than a sharpening, or even a fuller of one sort or another. Perhaps these were the blades smuggled in from Solingen. If they wanted to sell hollow blades, even at such a price, that price had to be very competitive compared with the 'official' Solingen blades imported with appropriate duty paid.
There is that mention in a letter to Cotesworth that tells of a 'Gent' in London having to 'venture' £8.00 for a decent sword; so even after the hilting and etc., £1.0s.0d. for the blade was more than acceptable.
On another note: it appears that Carnforth was actively involved in the setting up of SB in advance of the 19 arriving. I suspect it was a joint arrangement with the Hounslow three and the Syndicate, plus Vinting. I'm using that as a working hypothesis for the time being anyway but happy to be shot down whenever.



As I note from a previous post what is the difference between a Hollow blade and hollow grinding. I assume hollow blade means the Colichemarde form so far as I can see never done in Shotley Bridge..I cannot believe that this could be done by hand. Hollow grinding however was something different and possible on the flat blades Shotley was turning out.

Regarding Hollow Blade machinery~ what was that? I have tried to reverse engineer this problem ~ Indications are that it was connected to small wheels as a concept. Small grinding wheels a half inch across up to about an inch across perhaps set up on a machine of quite simple mechanics. 3 small spinning grinding wheels; Inch, half inch and quarter inch diameter placed so they are almost touching in concentric form with the Colichemarde shape in the centre. Starting with the basic blade shape of triangular main blade and a flat top cross section of about 12 inches. Several sets of these (three wheels) to cover the diminishing size of the blade moving toward the tip and that's the sword done. Final sharpening and sword complete . Without the concentric grinding wheels this would take forever.

To remind readers about the basics on Colichemarde~From https://www.knifeplanet.net/buyers-...swords-reviews/ Quote "While the Rapier and the Small Sword are both excellent civilian weapons, they were both specifically designed for fencing with an unarmored opponent with a blade of similar weight and design. However, when facing and opponent wielding a much heavier military style blade, they both have the distinct disadvantage of being prone to break when used to parry a powerful slashing cut.

Therefore, the Colichemarde Sword was specifically designed to provide civilians with a sword that retained the speed of a Rapier and the convenience of a Small Sword but, which was also capable of parrying a blow from a much heavier sword without fear of it breaking. Therefore, the blade of the Colichemarde Sword consists of a heavy duty parrying forte combined with a much lighter and thinner cutting and stabbing section to provide a civilian swordsman with the ability to defend himself from opponents wielding much heavier, military style, blades."Unquote.
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Old 13th October 2017, 08:30 AM   #134
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I have notes indicating that hollow blades were found dumped in the Estuary ... This means probably that hollow blades had been entering the system at Shotley...If this was only for polishing and hilting this could have been done ...
At https://www.goodreads.com/author_bl...e-their-strange The Author Helen Steadman speaks about the Richardson book but it can be seen that Richardson is unable to substantiate a number of details including the radio active water comment supposedly good for the steel treatment process...and said to be an advantage of Derwent water...
Richardson refers to the court papers from the quarter sessions (Northumberland Record Office), and he mentions various letters and statements, so these will be useful to check when I begin the archive work. Quote"He explores the notion of Mohll’s involvement with the Jacobites, but dismisses this, saying ‘that no plots were uncovered’ (p.45). He also refers to there being only hollow blades dumped in the river (p.46), and wonders at Mohll’s release, suggesting ‘Herman Mohll himself must have been surprised and certainly must have sensed an unseen kindly hand’ (p.46)."Unquote.

However a number of indicators are not substantiated in the Richardson book such as THE WATER AT THE SPA WAS SUPPOSEDLY SLIGHTLY RADIO ACTIVE AS SPA WATER OFTEN IS...BUT THAT IS NOT DERWENT WATER BUT DRAWN FROM A WELL.

I somehow doubt that Richardson was pinpoint accurate when he noted that these Hollow Swords were all that was dumped ...Did he mean Colichemarde or flat blades Hollow Ground?

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Old 13th October 2017, 08:32 AM   #135
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colchemarde blades were not necessarily hollow ground on three sides of a triangle, they were small swords where the initial forte section was very noticeably wider to allow for a strong parry, like the one below. some had a noticeable central ridge, some had forged in fullers, some had shallow triangular x-sections with a 'hollow ground' fuller on one side, flat on the other two. some had flat hexagon shapes. simply put in other words, they varied in x-section like any other sword...
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Old 13th October 2017, 08:52 AM   #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
colchemarde blades were not necessarily hollow ground on three sides of a triangle, they were small swords where the initial forte section was very noticeably wider to allow for a strong parry, like the one below. some had a noticeable central ridge, some had forged in fullers, some had shallow triangular x-sections with a 'hollow ground' fuller on one side, flat on the other two. some had flat hexagon shapes. simply put in other words, they varied in x-section like any other sword...


That is interesting. I note also a false hollow form with a different x section. However for the discussion we cannot find any x form Colichimarde or anything resembling it made at the Shotley Bridge Factory. The reference material confuses (I suspect) hollow ground edges on flat blades, with hollow swords of the Colichemarde form.

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Old 13th October 2017, 09:28 AM   #137
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To re examine or simply have this note as an anchor on thread I have a precis of the Hollow Blade Co. fiasco from Wike Quote"

Hollow Sword Blade Company
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Hollow Sword Blades Company was a British joint-stock company founded in 1691 for the manufacture of hollow-ground rapiers by a goldsmith, Sir Stephen Evance. The company ceased manufacturing swords in 1702 following the suicide of its founder and was purchased by a syndicate of businessmen who used the corporate identity of the company to operate as a bank. At this time the Bank of England held a monopoly by act of parliament as the only organisation permitted to operate as a bank in England, so anyone wishing to carry out banking operations had to do so by devious means. The company was used as a stepping stone to the foundation of the South Sea Company which set out to supplant the Bank of England as banker to the government.

Foundation.
Sir Stephen Evance was a goldsmith whose father had been born in New England, but who had set up a business in Lombard Street in London. Evance did not confine his interests simply to metalwork, but had attempted salvage work with a diving machine, lead mining, mineral prospecting in Canada, a fishing enterprise off the coast of Ireland in partnership with Sir James Houblon (one of the founders of the Bank of England) and a draper named Samuel Ongley.

In 1691 war between France and England interrupted the importation of hollow ground swords from France which had become popular weapons in England and a business opportunity presented to manufacture the swords in England. Evance arranged for Huguenot metalworkers to move to Britain to manufacture the swords and obtained a charter of corporation as the 'Governor and Company for Making Hollow Sword Blades in England', granted 13 October 1691. The company obtained premises at Shotley Bridge in Durham. Granting of the charter plus two patents was on condition the applicants loaned the government £50,000, which sum was provided by Evance and Sir Francis Child in August 1692. Evance was appointed the first governor of the company, Peter Reneu the deputy governor, assistants Francis Tissen, Matthew Evans, John Carter, John Holland, Abraham Dashwood, John Samford, Robert Peter, Thomas Evans, Peter Justice, John Reneu, William Reneu, John Baker. The corporation had power to purchase land and issue stock to unlimited value.

The company manufactured swords and by virtue of the charter had power to seize imported foreign hollow swords. Evance became an excise commissioner and succeeded Childs as jeweller to King William III. However, after the king's death in 1702 the business failed and Evance committed suicide. One of the swordsmiths employed by the company, Herman Mohll continued to manufacture swords at Shotley in his own right under the name Herman Mohll and son, founding a company which continued with a change of name to Mole in 1832. The company was purchased by Wilkinson Sword in 1922.

Banking operations[edit]
The Sword Blade Company was sold and moved to Birchin Lane in London, to the premises of its new company secretary, John Blunt, a scrivener (lawyer specialising in business and financial contracts). The sale was probably arranged by Francis Child, whose son was a banker and business associate of Blunt. The new Governor was Elias Turner, a goldsmith with a shop in Lombard street under the sign of the Fleece, who provided both finance and experience. The deputy Governor was Jacob Sawbridge, who came from a business family and who had a small estate in Canterbury. The fourth partner, George Caswall, came from Leominster which his family had represented as MP for generations. His father had been Mayor, and Receiver of the land tax for Monmouthshire. Caswall was a partner with another goldsmith, Brassey, specialising in finance and trading securities. Daniel Defoe described them: "Sawbridge is as cunning as Caswall is bold, and the reserve of the one with the openness of the other makes a complete Exchange Alley man. Turner ... acts in concert..and makes together a complete triumvirate of thieving". (Exchange Alley was the place where stock trading and other financial transactions took place in London.) The objective of the partnership was to break into the business monopolised by the Bank of England, which was handling and providing loans for the government.

In 1703 the company purchased some of the Irish estates forfeited under the Williamite settlement in counties Mayo, Sligo, Galway, and Roscommon. They also bought the forfeited estates of the Earl of Clancarty (McCarthy) in counties Cork and Kerry and of Sir Patrick Trant in counties Kerry, Limerick, Kildare, Dublin, King and Queen's counties (Offaly and Laois). Further lands in counties Limerick, Tipperary, Cork and other counties, formerly the estate of James II were also purchased, also part of the estate of Lord Cahir in county Tipperary. In June 1703 the company bought a large estate in county Cork, confiscated from a number of attainted persons and other lands in counties Waterford and Clare. However within about 10 years the company had sold most of its Irish estates. Francis Edwards, a London merchant, was one of the main purchasers.

The recent conquest of Ireland by England had resulted in the confiscation of land from Jacobites which had been given to members of the army. Blunt was amongst others who campaigned that the property should instead have been sold to defer government expenses, and an act of parliament was passed cancelling the grants of land which instead were to be sold. The Sword Blade company now used its charter powers to own property to purchase land to the value of £200,000 with anticipated revenues of £20,000 per year, or 10%. To pay for this, the company used a trick which the Bank of England had employed in its own creation. The Hollow Sword Blades Company issued shares, which it was also entitled to do under its charter. It offered to exchange its own shares at a nominal value of £100 for £100 of government debt issued by the army paymaster. The government was willing to accept its own debt as payment for the land, so no cash money was required for the transactions. The army debt could at that time only be sold on the open market at a rate of £85 per £100 of face value, so this offered a way for holders to realise a better price. The land remained the property of the company, and the company would pay dividends on the shares from its rental income.

The deal was negotiated with the treasury by Blunt and their legal advisor, Lake and agreed on 1 June 1704. Once the debt was cancelled, the government no longer had to pay interest upon it, which it had been doing at 7.5%. However, it also required a 'sweetener' in the form of receiving a new loan of £20,000 at 5% as part of the deal, secured against Royal shares in Cornish tin.

Before announcing the offer, the Sword Blade Syndicate made full advantage of the anticipated rise in value of army debt, by buying as much as it could privately beforehand. This was then sold as the price rose once the general market realised there was an offer available to trade in the debt at its full value.

The Sword Blade company also branched out into providing mortgages for other would be purchasers of Irish land, accepting cash deposits and issuing its own notes. This came to the attention of the Bank of England, who advised the treasury that their own monopoly to act as a bank was being infringed. The treasury took no action. In part, the government recognised that it had a good deal it did not wish to spoil. There was also a legal complication, that the Bank act protected it against any other company being set up by act of parliament to operate as a bank. In the case of the sword company charter, although the steps to enact its charter had been commenced, they had never actually been completed in parliament.

The Bank of England charter was due to expire in 1710, and they were concerned to arrange its renewal. Others, however, continued to lobby parliament not to do so, and a new syndicate had formed, offering to take on funding of the latest loan required by government. The Bank responded by dropping its interest rate to underbid the competition, and succeeded in renewing its charter until 1732, with more strictly drawn terms to prevent others operating as banks.

Further complications faced the Sword Blade company, as title to land in Ireland began to be disputed by relatives of dispossessed Jacobites and others claiming to have bought from the initial beneficiaries of the first cancelled land distribution. The matter was settled by an act of parliament in 1708 setting a time limit on further claims, but by then the company stock had fallen to £55 per nominal £100 issued. As some consolation, pressure was also mounting on the Bank of England from an increasingly distressed government seeking new ways to raise money."Unquote.

In Conclusion It would seem that the situation on Hollow Ground Swords ... The Colichemarde type was in fact a ruse gone viral... The swords were probably never manufactured in England at all although some finishing processes are plausible. The whole idea was to manipulate the licence for greater private gain in supplanting the bank of England in South Sea Bubble operations which would have included such distasteful but highly profitable business as slavery. Shotley Bridge would have been advised to go along with the story since these power brokers in the City held powerful sway in the administration of immigration from Europe of specialists, sword workers and other customs avoidance matters perhaps such as sword blades from Germany? And getting people out of jail!! Mohll?

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Old 16th October 2017, 10:23 PM   #138
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There is a vexing question that I am struggling with - hence my recent silence - and that is simply this: did they intend to produce hollow blades, then concentrate on military supply; or was it a deliberate façade from the start?
I am presently studying the overall political situation in Britain from 1680 onwards in the hope it might shed some light on why they began the project in the first place.
There were certainly many petitions and requests being bandied about in the mid 1600s regarding manufacturing hollow blades; how did any of them intend to achieve a viable output without the grinding machine? They were in no better a position in Hounslow at the time, yet many attempts were made to set up a hollow blade production facility there. Hmmm.
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Old 17th October 2017, 12:45 AM   #139
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Hey Keith,
These are some vexing questions indeed, and now that you and Ibrahiim are 'on the case' I think we can get somewhere. Despite the apparent lack of community interest on this topic here, it seems that has been an inherent posture in the arms community at large for too many years. Little has been really done on this for 70+ years beyond simply conveying old material over again.

In my opinion, and writing off the cuff here, the 'Hollow Sword Co.' was created, more as a front for banking enterprises and real estate speculation. There was a good degree of interest in the developing new forms of rapier blades and fencing forms, which I think was a genuine interest at first. The Hounslow enterprise had ended after the end of the civil wars, and it seems the blade production had gone to London/Birmingham. However, these centers were plagued with notably poorly regarded blade quality.
The descendants of some of the Hounslow families were recruited to establish facilities at Shotley Bridge, where the Derwent river and standing grist mills could be converted to blade producing mills.

Under the guise of this, the Hollow Blade Co. began, and I believe were indeed intending to produce such rapier blades, however geopolitical unrest both overseas and with the Jacobite issues resulted in the clear need for supplies of military weapons. I think that there was actual production in degree, but that much of the volume was 'salted' with imported blades from Germany via Holland. Much of this stock coming in seems represented by the shipment Mohll was caught with, a number of such blades, and also of hangers.

The reason the banking set up was contrived was that the Bank of England held a monopoly on banking and loans etc. The syndicated speculation in real estate in trade in the South Seas (South America) and confiscated Irish properties in the political troubles of the times, was filtered through the 'sword company'.
The actual mills in my understanding used grindstones converted from existing ones there already. In the lists of Shotley Bridge, many of the names show them as 'grinders' as well as proprietors. There does seem to have been actual production in addition to the furbishing of imported or 'salted' products.

While I have presumed that some of the blades were marked with a 'fox' instead of the German wolf of Solingen products, I have seen the German wolf next to SHOTLEY BRIDG on blades. I think this may be a mix due to the combined German and English workers there so perhaps both existed, just as variants will.

While sword blade production waned with the advent of Birmingham and London in mid 18th century, I believe Shotley probably continued with cutlery and such sundry products into the final days in the 19th c,
Whether some sword blades were either produced or fitted there in these later times is hard to say. It does not seem official records recognize Shotley as an entity active in such enterprise so possibly other business records and ledgers might have them showing what their function was.

Most of this is simply reiterating what Ibrahiim has explained in much greater detail in the previous post.
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Old 17th October 2017, 12:22 PM   #140
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Salaam Jim,

My concern about the Shotley Bridge factory is that no blade appears to exist from there with a Fox (bushy tail variety) So far as l know it was a Samuel Harvey Mark from Birmingham only.

Shotley only appears to have used the Running Wolf. The Passau stick version.

Regarding Jacobite weapons...The Shotley Swordmakers would all have been arrested and probably executed had they provided blades to the Jacobite cause marked SHOTLEY BRIDGE. Newcastle was heavily garrisoned and immediate action would have ended the Derwent production.

Mohl being in the know... purchased cheap unfinished military blades in Solingen for refining at Shotley and we see grinders and engraver employed there...probably linked to London Gentlemens Outfitters providing swords to rich city men. MOHLL was key to all of that.

Great pressure was being encountered with the demise of ordinary blades and the Solingen mass production of Colichemarde ..a term we do not hear in Shotley evidence...We only hear the term Hollow Blades and it is unclear what they meant by that phrase. lf there were swords with tri angular blade form at Shotley we have no examples...So as to escape this timewarp...and stay modern in the industry specialists simply left: l think this was an added reason the unit dwindled and coincided with the rise to power in England of German George.

The real reason, however, may well have been the corrupt development around the skulduggery of The Hollow Sword Co. This unsavoury lot were up to their necks in the dirty business of South Sea Co activity and the rich pickings of slavery..No doubt also the lucrative international trade in Ivory for billiard ball and piano keys !...

As you say the idea was to supplant the Bank of England thus this was a huge enterprise..so when it collapsed the repercussions must have also dislocated Shotley Bridge activity and the Blade makers would have started to look elsewhere...

A short resurgence in flat blades was followed by demise but eventually Birmingham and Germany pulled most of the workers away...Cutlery may have only served as a brief respite but the end of the Napoleonic wars may have finally put a lid on Shotley Bridge production.

Has anyone seen a Colichimarde machine...? I am intrigued to see what that looked like.
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Old 17th October 2017, 05:32 PM   #141
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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.
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Old 17th October 2017, 05:45 PM   #142
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This is brilliant insight guys! and it is starting to really make sense with these well thought out assessments. When I first heard of all these terms and names so many years ago, it was so complicated I honestly could never get a foothold in it. Thanks to you two, the puzzle pieces begin to fit.
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Old 17th October 2017, 06:08 PM   #143
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and John Sanford (previously of the syndicate) leased a corn-mill at Lintzford (up-river from SB and near Blackhall) to make blades.

Kieth.. Lintzford is down stream of Shotley Bridge.. as is Blackhall Mill...See https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ge...d-county-durham

Great research so far... It wouldn't surprise me if Blackbeard the Pirate turned up next !!

Has anyone a copy of what a Hollow Sword making machine looked like?

I have to agree with page 34 on https://oldswords.com/articles/Smal...tibles-v1i1.pdf

and the conclusion that since the Shotley Makers never became millionaires because they were unable to produce Colichemerde and were thus relegated to flat, military, far cheaper blades...and anyway swords were either going out of fashion because of gunpowder weapons and the general decline of wars in Europe requiring such blades...plus the agonising time needed to even turn out one Colichemarde by hand was simply not viable...

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Old 17th October 2017, 07:06 PM   #144
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An interesting note , the colichemarde apparently only was in favor in the civilian sector for a short time, yet it remained a favorite for military officers until nearly the end of the 18th c.
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Old 17th October 2017, 08:11 PM   #145
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However ! Here is something I have dug up... A story linking all of this except the illusion perhaps caused by the financial institution The Hollow Blade Co etc etc This is a long chapter but in it are gems of detail not to be missed. From http://archive.li/8YXCY Quote"

THE GERMAN SWORDMAKERS Of SHOTLEY BRIDGE

by H. Raine

AMONGST the refugees who came to England about 1685 because of religious persecution, was a large number of German artificers and amongst them were a number of swordmakers, who settled in different parts of the country. One of these companies of swordmakers found its way into the Derwent Valley and settled at Shotley Bridge. A uniform tradition among the German descendants relates that the first German who fled from the persecution on the Continent, brought with them a Lutheran Minister who used to officiate for them after they settled in Shotley Bridge. This account is not improbable: the severe persecutions then raging, and the conditions of several families having to seek in a foreign land religious liberty are facts strongly presumptive that their minister would accompany them. The more severe the persecutions of people on account of religion, the greater are their exertions and closer their union, and but few statesmen estimate the strength of religious principles. The tradition, however, does not relate how long the Lutheran ministry continued. No vestige of the German priesthood remains. Their line of apostolical succession is certainly broken. At that date a couple of German towns occupied the highest position in the steel industry. These were Smalcald and Solignen. The former is situated in the province of Hesse-Nassau, some fifty miles south east of Cassel, and, with the village of Stahlberg near it, has long been celebrated for the manufacturing and tempering of steel made from excellent ironstone which exists in plenty in the neighbourhood. The latter is a city in the province of the Rhine standing upon the Wiffer, which flows into the Rhine from the East about half way between Dusseldorf and Cologne, and situated about 14 miles south-east of Dusseldorf. This place was celebrated for cutlery manufacture, and especially for its fine Damascene Sword-blades and bayonets.

Tradition says that it was from Solignen that the Shotley Bridge sword makers came to England bringing with them the art of tempering steel which was not thoroughly known in England before their arrival. The business of sword making was an important one in those days and on the outbreak of war against France in 1689, a company of sword cutters was erected by patent in the county of Cumberland and the adjacent counties for making hollow sword blades. A great number of German cutters were employed, and it was to this company of sword cutters that the Shotley Bridge sword makers, who settled in the Derwent Valley within twelve months of its foundation, were connected. The English, it is true, had implements of war, prior to this time and had done good service with them on the continent, but there was a general fault in them. The steel was defective in temper, and upon that quality in the weapon, the issue of the contest often depended. On the establishment of the company of sword cutters, these defects were remedied, and from thenceforth the German sword blades were second to none in the world in temper and execution.

The sword makers on the Derwent took up their residence at Shotley Bridge at the close of 1690, or the beginning of 1691. Before settling at the place they sought for a locality suited to their purpose in several other parts of England, and especially near London, but wanting to conceal the secrets of their trade, and especially that of this excellence in tempering, they left the metropolis, where prying eyes were ever ready to take advantage of every new invention, or the mysteries attached to their production, and came to the North of England, which they considered would be more remote and secluded for their industry. They first examined the banks of the Tyne, but not finding a place to their liking, they next commenced to explore the River Derwent. Under the direction of a guide they traced the winding river from its confluence with the Tyne, to Shotley Bridge, where, finding the water (one of their greatest considerations) particularly soft and suited to their purpose, the presence of excellent ironstone in the neighbouring hills, and the locality a secluded one, they finally settled, and commenced a flourishing industry, which existed for a little over a century. These German artisans were the first to introduce the manufacture of steel in the County of Durham and though their industry is now no more, we have an example of the saying that “history repeats itself” in the presence of the famous works of Consett Iron Company, which overlook the Derwent and which are foremost in the steel industry, with the exception that their products are not for the destruction of mankind. A much earlier date than 1690 has been mistakenly assigned as the date of their' settlement in the Derwent Valley. In 1840 the Rev. John Ryan, who married a descendant of the original settlers, published an interesting little volume, entitled “The History of Shotley Spa” and in it he fixed the date of the arrival of the German Swordmakers nearly a century earlier, from the supposed fact of the name Oley, the name of one of the German families being mentioned in the Ebchester Registers under the date 1628. Unfortunately he made an error in reading the almost illegible entry. He read the entry as, “Ellinor the daughter of Matthius Wrightson Oley was baptised the 11th day of June 1628,” and concluded that the Oleys and Wrightsons had either intermarried or were particular friends at that time, and that if the former, a sufficient time must have elapsed since their arrival to have allowed Matthius to have found matrimonial alliances with natives of the Derwent Valley. This statement, however, falls to the ground on close examination. The correct entry in the Parish Register in question is Ellinor the daughter of Matthius Wrightson Cler., baptised the 11th day of June 1628. The word Cler., being a contraction of Clericus, clerk, or clergyman, as we would now say.

An inscription over the doorway of the Oley cottage in Wood Street, Shotley Bridge, read: -



“The blessing of Heaven gives wealth without care,

Provided that you contribute your share,

Be faithful, also just and true,

And do what is commanded of you.”



A second inscription has been largely defaced by weathering. The first three imperfect lines indicate that the immigrants from the Fatherland came to this country in search of religious freedom and settled at Shotley Bridge, and the last two, though even more mutilated lines, is an invocation of the divine blessing on all who may enter the door.



“The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in,

from this time forth for evermore” - “PSALM cxxi. 8.”



From researches made, Mr. Fawcett found at least ten different German families had settled in the Derwent Valley. They were Bertram, Buske, Groates, Henkels, Moll or Mole, Oley, Shindlebrush, Vintner, Woper and Vooz.

The Bertrams were steel manufacturers and had the forge or steel mill at Blackhall Mill, about three and a half miles further down the Derwent from Shotley Bridge and other places in the Derwent Valley. They intermarried with other local families. The Buskes did not stay long at Shotley Bridge. The Groates were another family who soon left Shotley Bridge. The Moles were sword grinders and their mill stood on the site of the offices of the Co-operative Flour Mill at Shotley Bridge. One of them according to tradition, is stated to have come over from Germany to England covered up in a large cask or tub. Their descendants exist at the present day. The Oleys were sword cutters at Shotley Bridge, and were the principal members of the colony, being large proprietors and employers. They possessed very remarkable skill in the production of swords, and were capable of following the weapon through all its processes, forging, grinding, engraving and polishing up to the hands of the cutter whose duty it was to add the hilt and scabbard. Their descendants also exist at the present day. The Shindlebrushes died shortly after settling at Shotley Bridge. The Vinters were forgemen and were connected with the Bertrams at Blackhall Mill. They seem to have left the district about the middle of the eighteenth century. Some of them intermarried with local families. The Voozes were sword grindes and also traded between Germany and England. At first the swordmakers manufactured their own iron which they obtained from ironstone pits, sunk to the thin bands of ironstone which occur on both sides of the Derwent. Some of these ironstone pits were at Hownsgill and the Delves. Those at the latter were known as Delfts or Delve Moles, hence the present place name. The ironstone was carried from the various pits by pack horses to the various roasting furnaces. One of these old furnaces is on the north side of the Derwent, between Allensford and Shotley Bridge, in the woods opposite Mole House. The shape of this furnace has been hexagonal, narrowing towards the top. The effects of the extreme heat can yet be traced on the glazed stones. A few yards up a steep declivity to the west of the furnace, are the ruined remains of three roasting kilns, where the ironstone appears to have been put through its first process. The shape of the roasting kilns is round, narrowing towards the bottom. The kilns and furnace are generally supposed to have been erected and used by the Bertrams.

A forge also belonging to the Bertrams existed on the north bank of the Derwent, about a mile further down the river, below the old furnace and kilns just named, a little above the High Paper Mill, but on the opposite side of the stream, on a site now occupied by a cottage, and known as the old forge. From some old deeds of the place, containing a transfer of the property in the reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714) we learn that it was then an extensive manufacturing area and included various messuages, tenements, watercourses and dams and having a right of many roads, but no vestiges now remain. The Bertrams also had a forge and Smelt-Mill at Blackhall Mill for the manufacture of steel, when they were associated with the Vintners, another German family. In the woods of Ravenside up Milkwell Burn, on the north side of the Derwent from Blackhall Mill and also in the neighbourhood of Hedley-on-the-Hill, further west are several heaps of iron scoria or slag, the remains of smelting operations, generally attributed to the work of the Shotley Bridge Swordmakers.

In the later years owing to the local ironstone costing too much to work, the Swordmakers purchased the best Swedish iron from Danomora in Smoland, and out of this they produced their steel. The Shotley Bridge sword blades were the best tempered in Britain. The remarkable soft waters of the Derwent, one of the chief things which made the swordmakers settle in the district, were second to none in Europe for tempering steel, except that of the Tagus at Toledo in Spain, which is celebrated throughout the world for the best tempered sword blades, being equal in this respect to the famous sabre blades of Damascus, and the Spanish swordmakers long ago confessed that the only waters in the world equal to those of the Tagus were those of the Derwent, and their only rivals in the art of sword-making were the swordmakers of Shotley Bridge. The Shotley Bridge swords were perfectly formed and equal in finish, flexibility, strength and elegance to the distinguished blades of Damascus and Toledo, and thus in temper and execution, second to none in the world, were decidedly the most valuable in the British market, and they kept their reputation and maintained the very highest prices to the last. The manufacture of swords at Shotley Bridge was more varied than is commonly understood and the following kinds of weapons were made:



Cutto - a cutlass or broad carving sword.

Hanger - a short broad sword incurvated towards the point, or a short sabre shaped cutlass.

Both made for the Navy, and used by seamen when boarding an enemy ship.

Long sword - used by the Army.

Small Hollow Blade.

Slick Sword.

Dirk or Dagger.

Scymiter - a short sword with a convex edge or recurvated point.

Latsin Blade - a two edged sword thirty-two inches in length.



The long swords made at Shotley Bridge, and used in the English Army were of such marvellous temper that the point might be bent and pressed back on the hilt, with the certainty that when released it would become as straight as if it had never been bent.

There was one kind of sword made at Shotley Bridge, called the Hollow Blade, which, it has been widely stated, none in England, but the Shotley Bridge sword-makers could make to perfection, and they required peculiar workmanship.

In the engraving and polishing department, the local swordmakers, however, though excellent, were frequently equalled and sometimes excelled, for they did not regard as much the polish as the temper of their swords, and they were unequalled in substantial qualities. Their swords were made for use and not for show, for the battlefield and not for the drawing room, for soldiers and not for courtiers. Much of, the work of engraving the blades for the swords was done by outsiders amongst those who were sometimes employed in this kind of work was Thomas Bewick, afterwards the celebrated engraver, who was apprenticed to Ralph Beilby, engraver of Gateshead in October 1767, and who himself tells us that amongst the first jobs he was put to was that of “etching sword blades for William and Nicholas Oley, sword manufacturers of Shotley Bridge”.

Another first-rate sword engraver was Robert Wilson, who resided in the neighbourhood of Shotley Bridge, and who was best known as “Witch Wilson,” because of his seemingly supernatural powers and capabilities. He was generally employed by the Oleys to engrave their best ornamental blades. In time competition in the making of swords increased, and the art in tempering steel became no longer a secret. After the close of Napoleon's career as a man of war in 1815, the demands for swords diminished, and in time when the rifle began to take the place of the sword, the once flourishing industry declined, and eventually ceased altogether, after having had a flourishing existence for about a century and a half.

The following notice appeared in the London Gazette in August 1690, “Whereas great industry hath been used for erecting a manufactory for making sword blades at Newcastle, by several able working men, brought over from Germany, which being now brought to perfection, the undertakers thereof have thought fit to settle a warehouse at Mr. Isaac Hadley's, at the Five Beds, in New Street, near Shoreham, London, where callers may be furnished with all sorts of sword blades at reasonable rates”.

Having an abundance of employment and great remuneration the sword makers enjoyed a long continued tide of prosperity. Though their workmen had large wages, their profits were very high, as the demand for their articles was insatiable. Their travelling expenses involved only a journey once a year to London, and they soon acquired considerable property.

William Oley was the person who in 1787 built the cottage called Cutlers Hall, and which has since given a name to the locality and the road. Over the doorway of the house in question was inscribed -



CUTLERS HALL

W. A. 1787



The initials were those of William and Ann Oley. This William Oley died in 1810 aged 73 years and his wife Ann in 1831 aged 94 years, and both are buried at Ebchester. He was a man of property and at his death owned nearly the whole of the village of Shotley Bridge, and the adjoining fields and gardens, which have however, passed into other hands.

This advertisement appeared in the Newcastle Courant, issue of 16th May, 1724



“To be sold, a sword grinding mill, with about eight acres of ground, a very good head of water, situated on Derwent Water in the County of Durham; also a very good house, etc., all now within possession of William Mohil at Shotley Bridge, who will treat with any about the same.”



There were several sword mills at Shotley Bridge. The sword shops of the Oley family stood on either side of the house with the inscription over the door in Wood Street, and there generation after generation carried on a most ingenious and lucrative business. Another stood on the right bank of the Derwent, near the South side of the bridge, and a portion of it was built up in a house still standing, this mill being driven by water from the Derwent. Along the rocks in the bed of this river on the west side of the bridge, just above the pool known as the “Bluther,” are a number of square holes in which stood the timbers which formed a dam to check the water into a mill-race which drove the sword mill. Another sword mill stood on the site of the Shotley Grove Paper Mills. It belonged to the Johnsons, an English family, who had learned the art of sword cutlery from the German Swordmakers, and passed into the hands of the Annandales in 1812, when it was transferred into a Paper Mill after an existence of half a century."Unquote.

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Old 17th October 2017, 08:28 PM   #146
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Hey Ibrahiim, you are quite right, downstream not up. I had the map upside down.
Yes, I knew about the Lutheran minister from the research done by the man who curated the permanent display in the Joicey Museum, but he gave no reference to where the info came from; I was going through his notes a couple of weeks ago to try to find out but nothing was forthcoming. Nobody else has ever mentioned it as far as I am aware - until now.
Incidentally, a Shotley Bridge broadsword inscribed Shotl Bridg was auctioned today and the hammer price was £1,300. I had a commission bid in at £1,000 but it went up to 1300 so fast there were obviously some serious buyers on line. This was the only picture.[IMG]
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Old 17th October 2017, 08:33 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
An interesting note , the colichemarde apparently only was in favor in the civilian sector for a short time, yet it remained a favorite for military officers until nearly the end of the 18th c.

I suspect that the un-shouldered short-sword very quickly predominated in the civilian world, but in military worlds there was always a probability you might be facing a heavy sword and need the colichemarde to tackle it.
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Old 17th October 2017, 08:47 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
I suspect that the un-shouldered short-sword very quickly predominated in the civilian world, but in military worlds there was always a probability you might be facing a heavy sword and need the colichemarde to tackle it.



Good point Keith......er, forte!!
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Old 17th October 2017, 09:00 PM   #149
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One trick was to grasp the sword at the Forte with the left hand and use the power of both arms to deflect the opponents sword with yours and follow through with the vicious point..piercing probably straight through and causing a certain degree of pain...until an Elastoplast could be applied...
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Old 17th October 2017, 09:16 PM   #150
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I think that, considering the Oley's substantial empire noted in probate, that they, being the only ones able to produce from stock to finished blade, began to make serious money after c.1730, by which time there were only them and English mill owners left in the village. Also, the Oleys were making and selling anything and everything with a sharp edge: and good domestic and commercial tools were ever more important until Crowley got firmly established but even he had to buy sword-blades from Oley. Crowley boasted, and was probably perfectly honest, that he could supply everything from a pin to an anchor but I suspect that he left the production of sharp edges to Oley.
The Johnsons and the Leatons both had mills that were run by progeny who had been apprenticed to the Germans. Also, I have mentioned before that Hayford supposedly had a mill in SB. I need to ascertain who exactly owned what and when.
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