This type XVIIIc longsword is a great example of one of the most important things to know about swords. A good sword is a compromise. There is no such thing as "the best sword". Your intended use should dictate the type and form of sword you choose. What sword to use is not a question with a single answer. It needs to be a balance of factors that work together to create a tool that fits the needs of its user in the context their situation. Using a sword that is appropriate with well-practiced intentions is far better than having a perfect sword.
The Towton Sword has specifications which are not pushing the design envelope in anyway, but were chosen to work together very well in a variety of situations with exceptional ease. This sword cuts and thrusts exceptionally well. The length is comfortable in the hand or on your belt. The sword works very well in the longsword systems of its day and has proven to be an exceptional cutter in training and competition. Its weight and speed provide excellent options when in combat. It also can be used while mounted quite well.
Towton sword with green grip
The Battle of Towton in 1461 was a particularly bloody episode in the War of the Roses. The men at arms fighting this conflict would have been armed with swords of this type and we felt a fitting title for this sword. It would be a weapon that would serve well in the maelstrom that occurred in the front lines of this deadly battle.
15th C combat from same period as Towton.
Here is a quick video spotlight of our Towton sword describing its characteristics and how good it feels in the hand.
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985.