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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 06 Sep, 2006 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you. Henrik, you are exactly right! Bravo.
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep, 2006 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

About the epees given to the Jacobites by the French:
Reid mentions "broadswords" of poor quality shipped over with the muskets (though his source is not stated).
Frank McLynn in his biography Bonnie Prince Charlie mentions Charles having purchased 2000 "broadswords" by 1744. He does not tell if these swords were shipped to Scotland, but it's fairly reasonable to assume that these were the same swords. But not all of these "broadswords" might have been landed.
Could these "broadswords" be infantry epees? Or might they have actually been French cavalery broadswords/backswords?

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep, 2006 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's an intersting question, Henrik. The problem I see with equating the epee d'infantry with a "broadsword", either French, German, or Swiss is that there aren't any examples in major Scottish colections that I am aware of. All the blades that made-up the infamous Twickenham House fence had a fairly well-known providence based on blade engravings. Out of the 190 mentioned as retrieved from the battlefield at Culloden, 160 were used in the fence. Only two bore a "GR" broad-arrow Ordanance Board mark, the rest were Passau, Soligen, or "Andria Ferara" or some sort. The lack of physical enivence makes it hard for me to believe that the swords the Prince brought with him even made it to Scotland. Most were probably on the Elizabeth when she returned to port after the engagement with HMS Lyon. Of course, the epee's don't figure much historically either.... But I'd still place my bet that they never made it to the theater of action.

George

"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep, 2006 3:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George,
Good point! The HMS Lyon did make the Elizabeth, which did carry allmost all the armaments which the Prince had gathered and that she had to return to port did give Charles some trouble. But considering that a lot of French muskets, amunition and even cannon were landed in Scotland later could mean that the cargo originally transported in the Elizabeth might have been landed eventually. Bear also in mind that, as I mentioned earlier, even Reid supports the broadswords being landed! And he is the Historian who has had the greatest influence on the modern views on Culloden. (No, I'm not saying that we should swallow all his theories! After all, he didn't , as all historians before him, find out that the Jacobite right flank were pounded by mortar fire!)
Though he is critical to the idea of all highlanders brandishing broadswords, he does come to the conclution, after doing a bit of math, that at the 192 broadswords captured at Culloden gives an estimate of one in every five Jacobite would have a sword. And that's not really that far from the theory that all frontrankers had broadswords!

Now there is another thing I think is a bit curious. After Prestonpans the Jacobites equipped the lowland regiments with captured British arms. Did they also recieve captured hangers? The British infantry regiments at the time were equipped with hangers, and though they might have been of poor quality, I don't think the Jacobites would have discarded them considering their lack of equipment at that crusial stage of the uprising. Are no british equipment captured after Prestonpans reported as recaptured after Culloden?

By the way, I find the Twickenhouse fence very interesting. Do you have any clue what happened to the 30 other blades? Are they for instance at museums, like the "Captain Powell" sword?

Oh, and returning to dirks! I've read reference to dirks in the Highland regiments in the post-Culloden period that many soldiers bore a dirk. (Like the one Chris shared earlier.) There is a reference to privates dirks and officers dirks, and the Officers dirks were of finer manufacture, often having knife and fork in their scabbards. The privates dirks supposedly were generally simpler and less refined with simpler interlace carvings etc. This might be a clue to how the everymans dirks were..?

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
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Martin Wilkinson





Joined: 05 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Sep, 2006 3:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been thinking about this, and have a theory.

"Everyman"'s Dirks could have been hilted differently to what we know as Dirks. And therefore, not be thought of as a dirk.

I have no evidence for this, just an idea.

"A bullet you see may go anywhere, but steel's, almost bound to go somewhere."

Schola Gladiatoria
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Sep, 2006 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, Martin. That theory was proposed earlier in this thread. And supported by some of the observations that Mac made when he visited the storages in some of the Scottish museum.

Cheers,
Henrik

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Sep, 2006 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is the knife I mentioned in an earlier post while discussing the similarities of homemade dirks of various periods. This late 19th weapon was made by my great-great grandfather, a Confederate veteran. I assume this was made after the Civil War because he was imprisoned in New York as a POW (I assume his service knives/weapons would have been confiscated). Certain elements of the design suggest that it might have been concieved as a fighting dirk, and someone familiar with Confederate fighting knives once advised the family that it might be a fighting knife. The family tradition is that this was my great-great grandfather's hog-killing knife. It is quite large, with a thin, single-edged blade. Two nail rivets hold the grip to the tang, which is broken near its mid-point. Interestingly, the grip is of a single piece, sawed down the middle but left intact at the top end. But notice the classic dirk elements--the swelling at the top and base of the grip, single edge and symmetrical taper of the convex, triangular blade. The blade is of uniform thickness throughout, suggesting that it may have been made from a broken saw blade, as was common. For what it's worth, my family on this side is Scots and Scots-Irish.

Overall Length 13.75 inches
Blade Length 7.25
Grip Length 6 and 3/8 inches
Grip Width 1 and 5/8 inches
Grip Circumference at Center 4. 25 inches



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knife.jpg


 Attachment: 18.87 KB
knifeside.jpg


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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