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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Feb, 2017 12:27 pm    Post subject: New date for "Henry V" sword?         Reply with quote

According to Westminster Abbey's website, the sword attributed to Henry V by Ewart Oakeshott, likely dates later. I've heard that from other sources, too.

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A finely balanced 15th century sword with a cross of St George in the pommel, found in the Abbey triforium in 1869, was thought for many years to be part of this funeral armour . Recent research shows this to be a sword later than the time of Henry V, possibly from Henry VII's time.


Does anyone have more info on the current scholarly thoughts on this sword? It's always been a favorite sword of mine, and Henry V is an historical figure I've always found compelling. While I'd be sad to find out it's not his sword, I'm curious what the current research says on its age and provenance.

Happy

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Feb, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's always been one of my favorites as well. Still a fascinating sword, but it would be a shame to lose that association.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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William Swiger




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Feb, 2017 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Will be interesting to see if the various makers make a name change. Introducing the Henry VII Sword.......Just kidding. Wink
Non Timebo Mala
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Feb, 2017 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Swiger wrote:
Will be interesting to see if the various makers make a name change. Introducing the Henry VII Sword.......Just kidding. Wink


I think we should just call it, "Hanks mystery sword".

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Robert Morgan




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Feb, 2017 9:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Because it's a Type XVIII (if memory serves), there's a thought that this type was from the later 15th Century. The thing is, blade forms persisted throughout the period, and the basic diamond cross section like the Type XVIII's was in use far earlier. I'm therefore not sure that it can be stated definitively that by type it couldn't have been King Henry's sword. I'm not saying that it was, merely that making the conclusion that it couldn't have been simply by blade type seems a bit reckless given how long blade types were in use, and how often older blades were rehilted with more "modern" fittings even during the medieval period. The sword need not have been at Agincourt to have been his sword, as well. The Cross of St. George in the pommel may indicate a later weapon, or a rehilting of an earlier blade owned by the king.

Anyway, I personally using my totally unscientific and armchair historian "abilities" possess no issues believing it could have been King Henry's sword, at least until proven otherwise.

Bob
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Richard Miller




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Feb, 2017 11:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, Oakeshott himself warned us not to try to identify the era in which a sword was made strictly by the blade typology. We'll never be absolutely sure whether this particular sword was the carried by Henry V or anyone else in that particular era.
I tend to ignore those Oakeshott "purists" who will dismiss a sword from a particular era based upon the swords typology. Oakeshott was brilliant and his method is awesome, but who's to say that old King Henry V didn't just say "Make me a well balanced sword that cuts, thrusts and handles like a dream..." and this was the sword his royal smith came up with?
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Mon 06 Feb, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The argument that the sword might belong to Henry VII or one of a couple other nobles buried in the late 15th century goes back to at least Sir James Mann's article in the 30's, and was based at least as much on the form of the quillons as the blade, and on comparisons with other swords that seem to be most probably from the later date. Oakeshott's counterarguments still hold up pretty well as far as I can tell, at least to keep the attribution to Henry V plausible... I don't know if there is any newer new evidence that points in the other direction.

Arguments that it is not Henry V's on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KviXyMHbwDU
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Feb, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This type is all over the Beauchamp Pageant, which dates to that later period.
-Sean

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GG Osborne





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PostPosted: Mon 06 Feb, 2017 5:06 pm    Post subject: Henry's sword         Reply with quote

Sean.... there is also the fact that a very similar pattern sword (at least the iron oxide accretion/stain) was recovered from the Mary Rose wreck. Of course, this dates the sword well into the reign of Henry VIII but as it was found in a naval context, it stands to reason that it was a slightly earlier sword as even then the navy wasn't armed with the best and most current side arms.
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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