Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Rob Roy's Sword Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,241

PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Rob Roy's Sword         Reply with quote

Hello all...

I received an email through our Clan Gunn Commissioners' Group tonight that I thought was very interesting and wanted to share it. The text of the post from the sword forum by Paul Macdonald tells it all. I do not know anything about Mr. Macdonald but am sure a lot of you do. So here it is.

Here is the posting from Paul Macdonald.
http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=80548
Dear All,

It is a pleasure to recount recent adventures by the sword again, this time in bringing together some rare Scottish legends.

I was recently contacted by an elderly Scots lady and asked if I could restore an old sword that had "been in the family for some time".

This turned out to be the sword of Charles Stuart of Ardshiel, a renowned Jacobite, who survived the battles of Sherrifmuir and Culloden, commanding the Stuarts of Appin there.
He also was regarded as one of the greatest swordsmen in Scotland in his day and during his Life of adventure had an encounter with another legendary Scot, one Robert Roy MacGregor.

The sword I received to work on was that which he had used to face MacGregor and as a result became the only swordsman to successfully defeat Rob Roy by the sword.
What is more, MacGregor eventually succumbed to infection of this wound and died as a result. This was the sword that had shed the blood of and ultimately killed Rob Roy.

This particular piece has been kept in Ardshiels direct family to this day and carries full historical provanance.
On the back of this, I decided to chase a local legend back home in Moidart, West Highlands, concerning the whereabouts of Rob Roys own sword.

This I discovered and also received to restore.

This has been the first time the two swords have been together for nearly three hundred years.
As a result of much research, the full and original story of the duel itself has become known (as Sir Walter Scott has led historians to believe a different version over the years) and the two swords re-united for a brief period again, and this time, they met in peace.

Both are typical pattern Scottish basket hilts of the period (MacGregors being a bit earlier c.1680 - 90), but with quite different blades, weight and feel overall.

So, here they both are (MacGregors on the left, Ardshiels right) -
Legends still, and an honor to have known. May their spirit yet inspire us All.

Yours Very Truly,

Macdonald

www.historicalfencing.org/Macdonaldarmory



 Attachment: 17.95 KB
Saltireswords.jpg


Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 12:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's awesome. I mean, really, that's pretty damn EPIC. Cool
View user's profile Send private message
Shamsi Modarai




Location: On wuda bearwe, under actreo in žam eoršscręfe.
Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Reading list: 16 books

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 1:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, indeed! Thank you for making my groggy, essay-writing induced morning much more exciting. Big Grin

Though this makes me want to get my arse up to Scotland again really soon...... mmmhmmmm.

Wa biš žam že sceal of langože leofes abidan.

~ The Wife's Lament
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 2:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is just awesome. My day is brightened considerably. Thanks for sharing that! Big Grin
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,241

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Macdonald was a contributor to Mark Rector's book, Highland Swordsmanship - Techniques of the Scottish Swordmasters. I thought I had encountered the name somewhere so got out my copy and there it was.

I was suprised to find that the whereabouts of Rob Roy's sword were not known prior to Mr. Macdonald retrieving it. We visited the Rob Roy Center in Callander in 1991. My memory of the trip lacks details of the swords on display at the Center, but I seem to remember at least one there with provenance that suggested it was Rob's. Of course over his long career he could easily have owned several swords.

I had to resize the photo to include it in my post. The larger version shows what appears to be the name "Andrea Farara" or some variation on both blades. However, even with the larger photo it is difficult to tell.

Glad you liked the story. I thought it was very interesting.

PS...I just visited Callander's web site. It appears that the Rob Roy Center is closed. Too bad, as it was a very interesting place to visit. It also served as a visitor center for people visiting the area of the Trossachs.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
The larger version shows what appears to be the name "Andrea Farara" or some variation on both blades.

Could they have been made by the same smith, by chance? That would make a great story; born in the same forge, joined in a battle of two warriors of great renown, separated for centuries and finally reunited as siblings. I know, I'm a hopeless romantic about these things. Big Grin

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,241

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Barris wrote:

Could they have been made by the same smith, by chance? That would make a great story; born in the same forge, joined in a battle of two warriors of great renown, separated for centuries and finally reunited as siblings. I know, I'm a hopeless romantic about these things. Big Grin


I agree that would be interesting. However, the name “Andrea Farara” in a number of different spellings was used as a trademark by blade smiths in Solingen and elsewhere. Mr. Farara was – supposedly – a 15th c. Italian sword maker whose blades were of exceptional quality. There are also stories that he came to Scotland to forge blades at some point, etc. Nobody is quite sure how the name came to represent quality blades in Scotland, but it is found on a large percentage of antique blades in various spellings. It should also be noted that not all the blades marked thusly are of top quality. Apparently anyone who wanted to sell in Scotland used the mark to help boost business.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt




Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,977

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could it be that the blades are original, with later hilts? The baskets look later to me--maybe mid 18th c. But then, I don't know all the ins and outs of baskets. Something just strikes me as not quite right here.
-Sean

Author of the Little Hammer novel

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Hammer-Sean-Flynt/dp/B08XN7HZ82/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=little+hammer+book&qid=1627482034&sr=8-1
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,241

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Could it be that the blades are original, with later hilts? The baskets look later to me--maybe mid 18th c. But then, I don't know all the ins and outs of baskets. Something just strikes me as not quite right here.


Sean...

You may be right. Re-hilting was done from time to time. I have seen several swords that clearly had hilts of later manufacture than the blades. The Ardshiel hilt, at least, does look later. I am not where I can check my reference books but when I get back to the home office I will take a closer look. As mentioned, I had to downsize the photo to attach it, taking away a little of the clarity. It is hard to view any detail on the Rob Roy sword even in the full sized photo. I am still a bit puzzled as to how the Rob Roy sword came to be missing all those years.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all,

They haven't really been missing. But they have been in private collections, and that's not really the same thing.

Paul MacDonald wrote that Rob Roy's sword is from 1680-1690, and if you look at other conventional basket hilts that have been dated to this time it doesn't look out of place. The only thing I think may looks like a later feature is the scrolled wristguard.

I agree about the hilt of Ardshiels sword. It looks like it's from the mid 18th century, and is quite similar to some military hilts from that period.

Paul posted the same text and picture on the Scottish and Borders forum on the SFI. There he added a couple of close-up photos of the hilt of Ardshiels sword: http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t...y+ardshiel

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
View user's profile Send private message
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,241

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 5:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Bjoern Boegh wrote:
Hi all,They haven't really been missing. But they have been in private collections, and that's not really the same thing.Paul MacDonald wrote that Rob Roy's sword is from 1680-1690, and if you look at other conventional basket hilts that have been dated to this time it doesn't look out of place. The only thing I think may looks like a later feature is the scrolled wristguard.I agree about the hilt of Ardshiels sword. It looks like it's from the mid 18th century, and is quite similar to some military hilts from that period.Paul posted the same text and picture on the Scottish and Borders forum on the SFI. There he added a couple of close-up photos of the hilt of Ardshiels sword: http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t...ers,Henrik
Henrik...Thanks for  the new link.  The one I posted initially did not have the close up of the Ardshiel hilt.  Having looked at that photo I would have to say that the Ardshiel hilt is definitely later than the blade. It certainly looks more like the mid-18th c. military hilt. The wrist guard on the Rob Roy sword might date it later than the 17th c. but there were some swords with wristguards that have been dated to the mid to late 17th c.  Without more detail it will be difficult to say.Any way, two interesting pieces.  By the way, at some point Macdonald said the Rob Roy sword had been stored in garden shed and was covered in rust.  I don't know who the collector was there, but they did not know very much about caring for antique blades, or so it would seem.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Rob Roy's Sword
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2022 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum