The Battle of Crecy, which took place on August 26, 1346 during the Hundred Years' War, was a significant military engagement between the English and French forces. This battle marked a turning point in medieval warfare, showcasing the strategic prowess of the English army. In this blog post, we explore two royal weapons we make that might have been used by the English that day.
A depiction of the Battle of Crecy
Edward III was the king of England who also claimed much of France as part of his domain, a major driver of the Hundred Years War. Considered by many of the acknowledged experts of the last 80 years to be a fake, recent tests have indicated that the original of this sword may indeed be a genuine 14th Century sword. If so, it most probably would have been the personal sword of Edward III, King of England. This exquisite piece of history is certainly one of the best preserved swords from this period in existence. The grip appears to be original, which is extremely rare and the pommel and cross guard are in beautiful condition. The pommel has the enameled royal coat of arms on the face, replicated on our pommel in translucent red, blue and purple. The back side of the original pommel carried a relic of rough cloth behind an opaque disc of crystal. We have duplicated the gilding on the original furniture by encasing our bronze parts in gold.
The blade is an excellent example of an Oakeshott Type XVIIIa. The etching on the blade depicts a very early example of the badge of the Order of the Garter and possibly the earliest use of the portcullis as a badge by an English Royal. Edward formed the Order of the Garter in 1348 and died in 1377 (thus the sword would fall into this period somewhere). This knightly order was the first and most prestigious of the royal sponsored orders. This magnificent sword is one of a very few that can be seriously attributed to its original owner, a King of England no less. Designed and constructed for battle, the grip and furniture bear the marks of extensive use. This extraordinary sword is a pleasure to wield and a truly historic centerpiece for any collection.
The second sword related to Crecy, which rests in a private collection in England, is thought to possibly be the sword of Edward the Black Prince. The Black Prince, son of Edward III and father of Richard II, was known as a great warrior who spent much of his life fighting in the fields of France. The sword was removed from its resting place during the English Civil War, Cromwell being blamed for its disappearance. When the sword resurfaced its origin was lost but its style and structure seem to have an uncanny fit to the scabbard of the Black Prince still with his funerary achievements. This was identified by one of the most respected sword experts in Europe. We were, fortunately, able to take direct measurements of this sword and have gone back to our original research materials to upgrade our replica, increasing accuracy to the original in the furniture, grip and the blade.
This weapon, from the apex of the middle ages c. 1400, exemplifies the functional beauty of a knight's sword. It is the type of sword often illustrated in the fight manuals of the period.
As always, our products are hand made by us in our shop in Minneapolis, MN. USA. Our swords are constructed of 6150 carbon steel hardened to 52 Rockwell. Our goal is to replicate the look, feel , and function of the historical original swords on which our products are based.
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