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Old 13th September 2021, 04:05 AM   #1
M ELEY
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Default Awesome Jacobite period basket hilt broadsword

Hello folks! Here's the newest member of my collection (straying a little from the naval/pirate, but there were many Scots who were privateers!)

Here we have a nice early 18th century basket hilt, probably made during the first quarter of the century (1700-25). The piece measures 35" overall with a 29" blade. The blade is classic German import, with a lenticular profile, unmarked, rounded tip and broad flat ricasso. Note the pommel is an early form of squat muchroom form. I have heard many speak of 'munitions-grade pieces' made in direct response to the Rebellion (used on both sides, BTW. Not all clans embraced the Bonny Prince!), but I think mine is nicer than some of those rougher examples.

You will note the nice piercings of hearts and dots to the side plates, as well as the merlons/fish tails, ridged decorations to the plates and bars. Interestingly, this example is missing two items, the so-called wrist guard to stop the slashing blow used by Scottish fencers (mine appears to have never had one. These wrist finials started popping up around 1700, with some earlier baskets actually braising them on later) and also the 'additional rear guard'. I attribute this to the early pattern and also this provincial weapon's no-nonsense creation as rebellions loomed. You will note that, as with the missing wrist guard, there doesn't appear to be any indication with this basket ever had the 'additional guard', no evidence of damage/removal, etc. I've seen several other types missing the additional rear guards, including the 'S' bar types which seem to never have them, on several British baskets and on at least two classic Scot examples.

The basket is tight and probably made for a smaller hand than mine (I've 5' 11''). My hand fits, but you can see there isn't any extra room! I'll post a pic of my other basket hilt for comparison soon. Note the original leather grip with double strand twist wire. The overall pattern of the basket would be the 'Glasgow style', meaning flat noodle-like bars nicely braised and the flaoting bars resting uder the grooved slot just under the pommel (another early feature). The overall impression is one of a basket created by garrison smiths imitating the 'masters' in Glasgow. The nice patina and some damage (cracked main knucle guard with inner basket reinforcement, minor damage to blade, chips, etc) are a testamony to it's use and history!
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Old 13th September 2021, 04:07 AM   #2
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Some more pics...
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Old 13th September 2021, 04:10 AM   #3
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More basket hilt pics!
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Old 13th September 2021, 05:40 AM   #4
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What a nice piece. You are right - some of these did not have that wrist guard. What is also nice is that the original patina and japanation is on the surface of the basket, and it hasn't been re-peened. The repair on the inside seems later but not recent, and keeps that part together.

Would you post pics of the whole piece please?
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Old 13th September 2021, 06:02 AM   #5
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Thanks so much for commenting, Battara. I will snap a few more shots of the whole piece and also of my other basket just for comparison. I truly love this sword and I love the stories of how many of these old baskets were hidden after the '45 Rebellion when they were basically made illegal to own. What stories it might tell!
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Old 13th September 2021, 10:24 AM   #6
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Great sword, Mark. Congratulations !
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Old 13th September 2021, 05:19 PM   #7
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Great sword, Mark. Congratulations !
Thank you, Colin!
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Old 13th September 2021, 07:05 PM   #8
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Default More pics Jacobite era baskets

Here's the whole sword plus my 'S' guard basket for comparison of size, grip wrap, etc. Note this other basket also lacks the 'additional rear guard' bars.

I hadn't noticed until I was looking at the pics that my new broadsword blade is set at a slight angle to the hilt, as evident in the second pic below. This is again an early feature and I begin to wonder if this might place the dating closer to c.1700!!
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Old 13th September 2021, 07:06 PM   #9
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Still more. What really speaks to me about these pieces was the turbulent time in which they were created. The old ribbon-hilt style of basket was transitioning into these forms and after the '45 Rebellion, baskets would rapidly become plainer, more functional. Gone would be the heart piercings, merlons and square cuts found on these types. Compare a Drury basket of the Blackwatch ca. 1770 for comparison (no less magnificent, just not the same decor).

Just as intriging are the sheer numer of baskets absent from the field of Culloden after the battle. In other words, despite the massive numbers of fallen Scots, others retrieved their baskets and hid them away. Those that were recovered, perhaps 150 or so, were taken as war trophies or chopped up/destroyed. A large grouping of them were made into an iron fence surrounding some aristocrat's estate, the ultimate insult! I'm glad this survivor came into my collection!
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Old 14th September 2021, 01:06 AM   #10
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........and some had their blades broken down and used to make Scottish dirks.
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Old 14th September 2021, 01:49 AM   #11
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........and some had their blades broken down and used to make Scottish dirks.
Excellent point as well. I forgot to thank you for your insight on the original peened tang. I know so many of these baskets saw major makeovers and repairs over the years (bars cut out, replaced pommels, repalced grip materials, blade shortening/rforging, etc. In a way, those points alone attest to how important and cherished these items were.
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Old 14th September 2021, 11:23 AM   #12
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Mark, I know very little about Europeans swords ... about the blade, is it a Solingen production ? any marks, running wolf etc ? Did they make sword blades in Scotland at all ?? The blade seems to have an early look to it...
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Old 14th September 2021, 03:15 PM   #13
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Hello Colin. It is my understanding that the vast majority of blades coming into the British Isles at this time were of German manufacture. This blade apears to be a common pattern, of lenticular form () in cross section, plain, unmarked (some will cry "where are the king's head marks?! Where is the 'Andria Fererra' markings and Latin symbols?! Many blades were completely unmarked. See Neumann's Guide, also Culloden:The Swords and the Sorrows for other unmarked examples) Two classic characteristics of a German blade are the broad ricasso and rounded tip on this one (I used to own two Spanish 'bilbo' broadswords with imported German blades with same rounded tip).
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Old 14th September 2021, 06:18 PM   #14
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There were not really any blade forgers in any degree in the British Isles until the mid to latter 17th century, these being the Hounslow makers who who primarily Germans brought in, later the Shotley Bridge makers. During the English civil wars shops in Oxford and one or two others began, but again with mostly German makers.

In the early 18th century the shops in Birmingham began, but even by the second half of the 18th century there were only three (possibly four) sword blade makers were were English. The Hounslow shops were long gone, and Shotley stubbornly hung on through the 18th c. but faltered away by early 19th.
By this time Birmingham was bustling and British blade making had taken hold.

As far as Scotland, there were never blade makers there, just 'sword slippers' who used foreign blades and made hilts, much as in most places where cutlers used blades from known blade forging centers.
Sword making was seldom a 'comprehensive' industry, but used components made by others and assembled them together.

The rounded tip on 'arming' sword blades was as Mark notes well known on German blades on these times, and designed primarily for more surface in slashing cuts, key in Scottish swordsmanship.
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Old 14th September 2021, 11:30 PM   #15
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Thank you, Jim, for coming in on this one. I know you are the expert when it comes to the Scottish pieces. I had forgotten about the German smiths of Houndslow, but, as you said, they were long gone. I am unfamiliar with the Scottish fensing style with basket and hope to find information on it, especially pertaining to the slashing cut and tageting the opponent's hand inside the basket (thus, the need for the later wrist guard).
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Old 15th September 2021, 06:39 AM   #16
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I'm surely no expert on these Capn, but thank you! I do clearly have a passion for them, and though I have tried to study them for many years, their history is complex and elusive.

In reading through resources trying to get 'up to speed' here, I wanted to address some of the comments thus far.

It is known that only some 190 swords were recovered from the field at Culloden, but over 1800 men were killed, of over 6000 troops. In the aftermath, there were paltry numbers of swords surrendered, 25 here, 50 there. Scholars insist the numbers of swords recorded were relatively few compared to muskets.
However, some insights into the battle are found in "How the Scots Invented the Modern World", A.Herman ,2001:
pp.152,53;
paraphrasing the author, ' the clans maddened by the shelling, could no longer be held back and charged like wildcats into the British lines...most came too fast to use the muskets they were carrying....in thier bloodlust they threw their firearms away'.

'..the Scots hacked at muskets with such maniacal fury that down the line men could hear the clang of swprd on barrel'.

"...clansmen blindly hacking and thrusting as choking smoke closed around them....dreadful to see swords circling in the air as they were raised from strokes'.

Clearly, while many writers presume from records that the numbers of muskets known to have been with the Jacobite forces, that these were the predominant arm......the Scots would not have simply carried a musket....without their faithful basket hilts.
As seen here, in the fury of battle, they deferred to their distinct weapon, the sword.......'and threw muskets away'.

So what then became of the probably considerable number of swords of the fallen. Many of these men were of closely related clans, and these swords were inherently sacred, so in my opinion, many of these were taken by thier relatives and among those who fled the field.

Then as noted by the author, (p.150),
"..warriors hid their swords and targes in the heath, hoping that they or their children would remember where they had buried them'.

In most cases, these were removed to more favorable hiding places.
The 'disarming act' of that year proscribed not only the weapons, but Highland dress, even bagpipes.....for generations, over 50 years.

Only in the British regiments were swords permitted, and these, as Mark has described, were often produced in the garrison towns, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling, and the decoration in the basket hilts became rudimentary, many hilts becoming 'munition grade'.

With the wonderfully roughly done decoration in this example of Mark's, it seems to be of Glasgow form, but not of the munitions grade forms of post Culloden.....here noting that Glasgow and Stirling still produced worthy hilts for British cavalry officers in the Highland dragoon regiments.

The first Jacobite rebellions began in 1689, with uprisings in 1715 and 1719, and while Glasgow became a primary garrison town in these times, there were hammermen in the environs who would fashion thier own versions of these well known hilts. These men were of course outside the records of established hammermen.

In an earlier post, it was asked whether any Scots produced blades. In the writing of Charles Whitelaw (1934), the venerable sage of the study of Scottish arms, I found two cases which he thought were NOT imported blades.

These were (p.309, plate IV#4; plate V, #2,#3)
Both were basket hilts by W. Allen (Walter Allen of Glasgow, later Stirling).
He suggested these blades were by Allen, and not imported.
Both blades were with the favored ANDREA FERARA name, which was of course typically on the German imports, so it is curious how he arrived at this conclusion, but is noted here regarding the possibility of Scottish blade production.
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Old 15th September 2021, 07:07 AM   #17
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M Eley, regarding your interest in knowing more about the Scottish fencing style the main 2 references would be:

Thomas Page's "The Use of the Broad Sword" published in 1746 and availiable online at https://linacreschoolofdefence.org/L...Page/Page.html

And Donald McBane's "The Expert Sword-man's Companion" published 1728 and currently available in print in a modern edit by Jared Kirby.
Donald McBane is primarily a small sword instructor but he does devote a small chapter to the broad sword.

Both authors only touch briefly on the use of the targe with the broad sword which has led to the Cateran Society https://cateransociety.wordpress.com/ turning to the additional resource of the Penicuik Sketches in an attempt to recreate the system.

Robert
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Old 15th September 2021, 04:14 PM   #18
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Jim, that is an amazing description of the battlefield at Culloden, both exciting and terrible in the slaughter. It would have been a sight to see. What I found interesting is that there were no clear lines as to who was friend or foe to either side. Jacobites were, after all, made up of many Scots (both from the Highlands and some Lowlanders, many Irish, the French forces who supported the Bonnie Prince and a mishmash of Englishmen and others who hated the Hanoverian king.

Not all Highlanders supported the Jacobites. The two main branches of the Clan Campbell, for instance, fought against each other on rival sides. I always wondered how that worked for the clans that supported the king having to surrender their pipes, weapons after they fought for him!

I'm assuming from the reports of the battle that the vast majority of casualty at the '45 were Scots, though, as I've never heard of any French weapons being picked up off of the field at Culloden.
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Old 15th September 2021, 04:16 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by toaster5sqn View Post
M Eley, regarding your interest in knowing more about the Scottish fencing style the main 2 references would be:

Thomas Page's "The Use of the Broad Sword" published in 1746 and availiable online at https://linacreschoolofdefence.org/L...Page/Page.html

And Donald McBane's "The Expert Sword-man's Companion" published 1728 and currently available in print in a modern edit by Jared Kirby.
Donald McBane is primarily a small sword instructor but he does devote a small chapter to the broad sword.

Both authors only touch briefly on the use of the targe with the broad sword which has led to the Cateran Society https://cateransociety.wordpress.com/ turning to the additional resource of the Penicuik Sketches in an attempt to recreate the system.

Robert
Hello Robert and welcome to the Forum! Thank you very much for these references. I will assuredly get a copy to try and understand the nuances of Scottish fencing with the basket versus the typical rapier format. Much appreciated!
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Old 15th September 2021, 07:53 PM   #20
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Jim, that is an amazing description of the battlefield at Culloden, both exciting and terrible in the slaughter. It would have been a sight to see. What I found interesting is that there were no clear lines as to who was friend or foe to either side. Jacobites were, after all, made up of many Scots (both from the Highlands and some Lowlanders, many Irish, the French forces who supported the Bonnie Prince and a mishmash of Englishmen and others who hated the Hanoverian king.

Not all Highlanders supported the Jacobites. The two main branches of the Clan Campbell, for instance, fought against each other on rival sides. I always wondered how that worked for the clans that supported the king having to surrender their pipes, weapons after they fought for him!

I'm assuming from the reports of the battle that the vast majority of casualty at the '45 were Scots, though, as I've never heard of any French weapons being picked up off of the field at Culloden.
Actually the CB (=casus belli) for individuals varied, and mostly the reason was protest of the 1707 combining of Scottish and English parliaments.
Naturally there were Jacobites (those in support of the Stuart right to the throne) but many had other reasons. You're right, there were Highlanders, Lowlanders, English, Irish, and a few French. There were supposed to be many more, but only small numbers of French were present.

The muskets carried by the Jacobite forces were primarily Spanish, French and numbers of captured English examples. As noted, while they were carrying these, the pent up fury of the Scots compelled them to charge wildly, throwing these guns aside to wield the deadly broadswords.

Good note on the proscription of Highland dress and weapons, and how it would have effected the Campbells. Actually there seems to have been some degree of circumvention through military involvement in British Highland forces.
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Old 15th September 2021, 08:27 PM   #21
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Default Rob Roy MacGregor

Some years ago while researching Rob Roy, I found that the swords actually used in the fight between Rob Roy and an opponent much younger , Charles Stuart of Ardshiel, had been restored by an Edinburgh master of arms. I have yet to find notes but what I can find so far,

While Rob Roy was born in Stirling regions, he was primarily in Highland regions in Argyll, where his now legendary 'cattle' enterprises took place. He was born in 1671, and was very distinctly Jacobite, participating in the early uprisings in 1689, and years later in 1715 and 19.
His sword was of 'Glasgow' form, and from what I have seen of pictures of it (pending) the styling, and more importantly, the piercings, are remarkably similar to those on Mark's example.

I had thought the rough apertures on the right guard were holes drilled too close to the edge, but as seen on the MacGregor sword, were intentional designs. The curious pierced device with two holes and triangular figure below are interestingly similar to the MacGregor sword also.

The Jacobites apparently had numerous 'secret symbols', oak leaves, thistles, etc. and it has been my opinion that in many cases, these were cryptically stylized for covert recognition. This may account for the difficulty in accurately describing these devices. In some cases authors will 'suggest' what these are for the sake of a working term in discussion, but more history of them are wanting.

It has been suggested that the Rob Roy sword (owned by a West Highland family in Moidart) dates from late 1680s-90s).
The Stuart sword is from a Borders family and is a later backsword.
The duel concerned the mens' activity in the Battle of Sheriffmuir 1715, and while it concluded with no fatality, Roy was wounded, and that wound eventually caused his death in 1734.

Therefore I suggest this is a Highland basket hilt, in the Glasgow manner, dating from 1690-1710. It is unlikely this was a 'garrison' make, and probably by a regional 'sword slipper' imitating the well known makers in Glasgow. Walter Allen (later Stirling) was a Glasgow maker who used these kinds of pierced devices, so clearly these were around before the '15 as his family were active there since 1680s.

The absence of the wrist guard seems to fit as well, as these period of 1680s-90s precedes the addition of the wrist guards (called a 'backward').

While the Allen hilts were signed, this one unsigned was probably by perhaps a journeyman working toward 'hammerman' status. The blade being unmarked may suggest it could be local if the Whitelaw theory of Walter Allen producing his own blades is correct, as it shows some blade activity in these regions probably existed.

The photos are:
A 'Glasgow' basket hilt c.1715+ ...note more conical pommel
This is from "Early Scottish Edged Weapons and Militaria" H.Menard, in 'Book of Edged Weapons", 1997, ed. George Weatherly, p.178,
it is noted "...it appears that Scottish armorers within a geographic area usually fabricated similar style guards like Pennsylvania rifle makers".

Next is of course, Mark's fantastic example of a Glasgow type hilt with early type pommel latter 17th c. and resemblances to the Rob Roy sword of that period. Notice how the stylized 'thistle' (?) in his example is completely pierced as one aperture (as per Mazansky, family A example) while the later Glasgow form is two holes above a triangle.
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Old 15th September 2021, 09:53 PM   #22
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Jim, you are amazing!! Thank you for this incredible back information and the comparison to MacGregor's sword is humbling! I wasn't aware Rob Roy's weapon still survived! I had also wondered about the symbols used on these pieces, but understand that there is a lot of guesswork when it comes to meaning versus design. Perhaps each smith had their own 'totum' or variation however subtle, to indicate clan, region, affiliation. As much of this was 'forbidden' during the time of the troubles (again, if one suspects they represented more than just decor), we may never know. Secret societies, Freemasonry and various other mystical clubs were alive and well during this time period after all!
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Old 15th September 2021, 10:22 PM   #23
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Thank you Capn, this was very exciting research!!! While my comparisons to the Rob Roy sword may seem optimistic to some, I think there is more than reasonable plausibility to place your sword in these Argyll regions in that late 17th century period.

There was of course elements of totemic, occult, arcane and other symbolisms imbued in makers markings etc. and the Jacobite symbols were simply used broadly by devotees of this broad movement. Most of the makers who signed their hilts just used their own initials, these were the Simpsons and Allen's as well as Thomas Gemmill. I think there were others but cannot specify offhand.

The symbolic devices used in the decoration of hilts were not specific to any one maker, but as often the case, they were individually drawn to favor particular themes. Case in point were the Stirling hilts, which tended to be more 'designed' with more elaborate styling. The Glasgow were a bit more rudimentary following structural form with piercings in the plates.

Secret societies were of course rampant in these times, and elements of magic, occult, etc. mixed with Masonic, religious and political elements.
These were times of intrigue, of all kinds, and these wonderful swords hold the secrets and tales of them!
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Old 16th September 2021, 12:30 AM   #24
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........and some had their blades broken down and used to make Scottish dirks.
After Culloden (1746), the Scots were forbidden to have weapons, or wear Highland dress, with these proscriptions in place for nearly 50 years. While swords were permitted in degree of course in the case of the Highland regiments in the British army, none were permitted to civilians.

The exception was the dirk, which was considered a utility knife for hunting etc. and as such became extremely popular. Many Scots took down heirloom blades to fashion dirks which were already in use, but their popularity increased accordingly. This was likely of course the end of many wonderful family basket hilts, and one wonders how many of the hilts were kept until the day they could once again have a full length blade.
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Old 16th September 2021, 12:48 AM   #25
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M Eley, regarding your interest in knowing more about the Scottish fencing style the main 2 references would be:

Thomas Page's "The Use of the Broad Sword" published in 1746 and availiable online at https://linacreschoolofdefence.org/L...Page/Page.html

And Donald McBane's "The Expert Sword-man's Companion" published 1728 and currently available in print in a modern edit by Jared Kirby.
Donald McBane is primarily a small sword instructor but he does devote a small chapter to the broad sword.

Both authors only touch briefly on the use of the targe with the broad sword which has led to the Cateran Society https://cateransociety.wordpress.com/ turning to the additional resource of the Penicuik Sketches in an attempt to recreate the system.

Robert

These are excellent references Robert! It is interesting that these masters approached 'fencing' but more in the sense of dueling and the small sword and rapier. It seems that 'fencing' is perhaps a misnomer as far as the actual use of the Scottish broadsword, and that actual combat protocol was most likely not present in anything other than familiarity in movements.

Sir William Hope was the most prolific writer on 'fencing' in the late 17th into early 18th century ("Complete Fencing Master", 1697) and his contemporary William Machrie also wrote on fencing about that time as well as Donald McBane (as you well point out).

It seems the most commonly thought of fencing writer was Henry Angelo, but he did not write until 1790s.

It would seem that, swordsman that he was, Rob Roy would have been familiar with Hope, Machrie and McBane, and Hope was a proponent of the duel (he wrote outspokenly in 1711 for this), which would come into play when the MacGregor vs. Stuart duel took place c.1730.
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Old 16th September 2021, 03:20 AM   #26
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Once again Jim, I bow in your presence!
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Old 16th September 2021, 03:36 AM   #27
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Once again Jim, I bow in your presence!
Wow Jose!! very nice to say, but no need, I walk among giants here, and we all have areas that we have chosen as favorites. I'm just so glad Mark posted this so I could revisit these things I've studied off and on for many decades..
I'm totally still learning and look forward to input from others on these Scottish topics.
Thank you so much my friend!
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Old 16th September 2021, 05:24 AM   #28
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Just as intriging are the sheer numer of baskets absent from the field of Culloden after the battle. In other words, despite the massive numbers of fallen Scots, others retrieved their baskets and hid them away. Those that were recovered, perhaps 150 or so, were taken as war trophies or chopped up/destroyed. A large grouping of them were made into an iron fence surrounding some aristocrat's estate, the ultimate insult! I'm glad this survivor came into my collection![/QUOTE]

"...frequently a family heirloom-often in its second or third hilting-the Highlanders 'sword was far more than just a weapon. The great symbolic value of these arms was not lost upon the Duke of Cumberland. A bounty was paid from the royal purse of one shilling for every broadsword picked up from the battlefield".
"Scottish Swords from the Battlefield
of Culloden"
E. Andrew Mowbray, 1971
Text and photos from records
of Lord Archibald Campbell, 1894
This is EXACTLY what the clans dreaded, and why I believe the precious heirlooms were carried away by clansmen. Of the 190 swords recovered from the field, 150 of them were given to the master of ordnance, John Hay, 4th Marquis of Tweeddale...........who then had points broken off and hilts removed, taking these amazing blades made into a travesty of poor taste of a fence at his estate at Twickenham House.

The house was later demolished (1888) and the blades sold to a scrap dealer, then later acquired by Lord Archibald Campbell, who wrote this in 1894.

Images of some of the blades from the terrible fence, and in an article about a Stirling hilt believed of Walter Allen, found alone and with damage to the pommel ring believed from said removal.
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Old 16th September 2021, 10:32 AM   #29
M ELEY
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It is shocking to think about how many of these baskets we're lost, between the aftermath of 1745, the outlawing of swords and the unfortunate (but necessary) cut-down of swords to make dirks. That story of the remnants of the battle being made into a fence makes me boil inside! Just like the soldiers after WWII shoveling piles and piles of katana, tachi, waks, tantos into blast furnaces! The ancestral items gone forever! Why not just lock them away for later generations. We stored munitions, right? It makes me sick...
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Old 16th September 2021, 06:50 PM   #30
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Capn, as we, along with so many others, are passionate students of history and these amazing weapons, I share your outrage intensely. It is impossible to study these things without being exposed to the sheer ugliness of war and the politics and the flaws in humanity that cause it.

The disarming of the Scots was not to seize and prohibit their arms, but more broadly to break their spirit and take their identity. Many of those who fought with the Jacobites at Culloden were fighting to preserve the deteriorating clan system and the social entity of Episcopalism .

Your analogy of the confiscation of the Japanese weaponry, which included many thousands of heirloom Samurai swords is well placed, and very much like this with the Scottish broadswords after Culloden.
The Samurai's sword, was the very soul of the warrior who wielded it, and as much as they loved these cherished weapons, a Samurai would break it rather than be disgraced by handing it over to an enemy.

This was, as I earlier noted, the case with the Scot's broadsword. It is clear that Cumberland's exact purpose in offering bounty for these was maliciously intended, and the heinous degradation of them being dismantled and placed in the fence of a political stooge is part of the disdain held for the Jacobites by these 'victors'.

However, as sickened I am, as well as you, in the destruction of these amazing weapons, I would note that I choose to remember the high side of these situations. With the Japanese swords, there were many tens of thousands of these weapons taken away as souvenirs by American and allied soldiers. Most of these were the treasured Samurai examples, but even the more pedestrian military types were taken as well.
For many years, there have been Japanese figures who traveled the US to repurchase these important swords, to be returned to thier homeland and properly restored and documented. In many cases, these were returned to their respective families. I can recall one instance where a katana with remarkable history and provenance was taken personally to Japan by a collector, and given to the family. Quite literally, a small temple was built to hold the sword.
I spoke to one of these traveling repatriation figures on one occasion, and he showed me the incredible examples he had acquired that day, some were over 600 years old! He actually had tears as he reverently showed me one example.

So returning to the dismantling of the Scottish broadswords to make dirks.
Think of it this way, rather than suffering the disgrace perpetrated by Cumberland and many of the victors at Culloden......many of these precious swords were dismounted, and the blades survived in the families as the permitted dirks. In many cases, the hilts, so many carrying the symbolism and heritage of the family also survived...but no longer weapons, just art or a family heirloom, not subject to confiscation.

I would venture to say that this is the very reason we have so many Scottish basket hilts (relatively of course) that survive today. While many were hidden away in entirety (as your wonderful example) or perhaps taken overseas, numbers of these remaining hilts were likely remounted with old blades in the 19th century with the new fascination with Scottish dress and items.

The blades that were intended to be disgraced in this travesty of a 'fence', however, stood proudly as the warriors who wielded them on that fateful day at Culloden. Though wounded, that pride could not be taken from them, instead it empowered their legacy.
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