Object Title

Pike

Pike

Date

1500-1530

Object Number

VII.722

Physical Description

With Henrician head. Date of haft uncertain. The head consists of a small, narrow, leaf-shaped blade, of flattened diamond section with a spherical moulding at the base (deocration?); a tapering socket (decoration?); and two long langets (No. of rivets?). Haft with a grip of worn velvet attached near the point of balance.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 5461 mm (215 in), length of head: 197 mm (7.75 in), length of langets: 343 mm (13.5 in)

Bibliographic References

G Rimer, T Richardson and J P D Cooper, Henry VIII: arms and the man, Leeds, 2009,

C ffoulkes, Inventory and Survey of the Armouries of the Tower of London, London, 1916, vol. II, p. 235 (group entry for VII.722-802).

Notes

General notes and published discussion on this type have yet to be properly done here and this is an INTERIM note only. Most have leaf-shaped blades of similar shape and of flattened diamond section; a few have blades of a more rectangular section. The sockets are variously decorated, usually with incised lines of various forms. These pikes have been variously dated to the 16th and 17th centuries. It is likley that most date to the 16th-century and formed part of Henry VIII's arsenal because a number of them have pointillé decoration of the same type found on many of the staff weapons from Henry arsenal (see Lankester 2001: COMPLETE; latest list of examples noted, see entry for VII.757, under Notes). The date of the hafts is uncertain. They could be 16th- 17th- or 19th-century. The Typed Inventory entry for VII.722 (to which the rest of ffoulkes's sequence were merely said to be similar with no proper entries) described the haft as modern but this has been queried in a pencil note, possibly in the hand of William Reid. Some hafts appear to have been fitted to the heads on which the langets were already broken. Other pikes have been drastically cut down or the heads have been fitted to new short hafts. This has sometimes lead to the description of some of them as half pikes which is probably wrong.
This group of pikes were discussed in A V B Norman and G M Wilson, Treasures from the Tower of London, Norwich, 1982, pp. 70-71, no. 56. ADDANY OTHER REFS containing general discussion.
For other examples of this type in the Royal Armouries see list of Henrician weapons prepared by PJL (which is periodically updated). A list of examples can also be generated by computer search (PIKE and OREC=HEN).