Monday, January 28, 2013

Mr. Jencks' Sword

   I just received a response from the Curator at the Powysland Museum in Wales concerning the sword, made by Joseph Jencks, Sr., that is in their collection. Below are some recent photographs of that sword:


   In 1938, an expert was given an opportunity to examine a sword that had long been in the possession of the Powysland Museum. After cleaning this sword, the expert described the weapon as an English 17th century basket hilted broad sword. It measured 38 inches overall with the blade 32 and 1/2 inches, carrying two flutes to the extremity. The grip missing, the basket battered, the sword weighed 1 lb. 10 ozs, with the whole surface coated with a black paint which collectors have come to regard as typical of a church or mortuary exhibit. The removal of the black paint and much rust from a section of the blade revealed the inscription: IOSEPH IENCKES and, in a similar position, on the opposite side of the blade: ME FECIT HOUNSLOW

From the 1938 Catalog. A current photograph provided by the museum failed to reveal the inscription.

   A 1922 catalog of the Powysland Museum associates this Jencks sword with Colonel William Salusbury (1580-1660), affectionately known as Hen Hosanau Gleision "Old Blue Stockings", who was a colorful character famed for his part as the Royalist Defender of Denbigh Castle, Denbighshire, Wales in 1645,which finally succumbed  to the forces of Parliament after a six month siege. Denbigh Castle was the last holdout of the Royalist Forces in Wales and, as the garrison marched out with full military honors, Col Salusbury allegedly handed the keys to the castle to the Parliamentary Commander with the remark: "the world is yours, make it your dung hill."

An 18th Century Engraving of Denbigh Castle


1 comment:

  1. That is a Mortuary Sword, not an ordinary british basket hilt sword. It could be called an english half-basket sword too, but Mortuary Sword is most accurate.