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Purchased from the Beriah Botfield collection at Norton Hall, Northamptonshire, with the aid of the National Art Collections Fund, 1942.

Physical Description

Head: the head is comprised principally of the blade and the socket which are connected by a an integral neck:-

Blade: 203 mm (8 in) long, 27 mm (1.062 in) wide at base tapering to a point in an elongated leaf shaped profile and having a trapezoidal section with deeply hollowed faces producing a pronounced medial ridge and creating a flattened cruciform section. At its root, the blade is shouldered and changes section to form a circular neck by means of which it is smoothly joined to the socket.

Socket: of circular section and truncated ogival form, 74 mm (2.9 in) long, 26 mm (1 in) diameter at its open end; the upper portion forming the neck by which it is connected to the blade, and the lower edge having two langets extending from it. The langets are of unequal length, being 537 mm (21.14 in) and 455 mm (17.9 in) long and approximately 10 mm (0.39 in) wide. The junction between langets and socket produces a markedly square shoulder. The langets are secured to the haft by rivets; three of these rivets have eyelets formed at one end and pass from the shorter langet and terminate in the longer langet. The spacing of the eyelets is such that the first is 30 mm (1.2 in) from the root, a space of 200 mm (7.87 in) between first and second eyelets and 205 mm (8.1 in) between second and third. The eyelets are thus on the short langet and arranged so that the axis of the eye lies transversely to the haft. The fourth rivet (or probably spike) simply passes through the tail of the longer langet and terminates within the body of the haft.The juxtaposition of blade and socket is such that the edges of the blade are coincident with a plane between the langets

Haft: comprising a single piece of timber, possibly ash, 25 mm (1 in) diameter at the junction with the head and 28 mm (1.1 in) diameter at the junction with the shoe, being suitably shaped at each end to fit the sockets of the head and shoe and recessed to receive the langets. A buff leather looped strap is fitted and bound to the shaft by buff leather thongs.

Shoe: of hollow circular section 28 mm (1.1 in) diameter at the mouth and 155 mm (6.1 in) long, gently tapering to within 25 mm (1 in) of the foot where the taper becomes much more pronounced and terminates in an almost flat bottom of approximately 6 mm (0.25 in) diameter. On the upper edge of the mouth are two short diametrically opposed leaf shaped langets approximately 25 mm (1 in) long and 18 mm (0.7 in) wide at the root. A rivet passes through these langets to secure the shoe to the shaft.


Dimensions: Overall length: 2625 mm, length of head: 277 mm (excluding langets), length of shoe: 155 mm (excluding langets)



Twelve lances (but see PJL's note of 27/11/02, below), VII.1432-VII.1443, from the Norton Hall Collection were described in the Typed Inventory as 'French pattern of 1812 (?)'. In two details, these lances differ from the French 1812 Pattern lance illustrated in Aries; the latter is shown with much longer langets on the shoe and the shoe is shown as being secured by screws through the langets rather than rivets. For details of the French Pattern 1812 lance see C. AriÞs, 'Armes Blanches Militaires Franþaises', VIII, (2nd fasicule 1968).
The following lances are of the same or similar pattern: VII.2860, VII.2861, VII.3813 and VII.4062, but since three of the Norton Hall lances could not be found in or by 1993 (VII.1432, VII.1437 and VII.1439) it is probable that they had lost their numbers and were re-numbered as three out of the four recently numbered ones (VII.2860 and 2861 were newly numbered in 1989 and VII.3813 and 4062 in 1992 and 1993). Two of the 13 (9 with numbers in the original sequence plus the 4 newly numbered ones) are slightly different from the others: VII.1442 and VII.2861 (for details see entries under those numbers). Since VII.1442 is in the original sequence and since one of the other newly numbered ones (VII.4062) has a numbered white plastic tag of the type found on others from the set (VII.1438, 1441 and 1442), it was decided that VII.2861 was not from Norton Hall and that the other three newly numbered ones (VII.2860, 3813 and 4062) were those originally numbered VII.1442, 1437 and 1439. Since it is not now possible to say which is which, the new numbers will be retained (PJL, 18/07/02).
All these lances have blades similar to ffoulkes's pattern 1846, but of thicker section and with a more pronounced medial rib. The hafts are all stained black. The eyelets on the langets do not occur on the pattern 1846 (which has keyhole slots) but do occur on what may be a variant of the pattern 1846, of which there are at least fifteen in the Royal Armouries collection and some of which are stamped 'Enfield' (e.g. VII.692 - where other examples are listed) (PJL, 24/03/1997).
There were in fact originally 13, not 12 lances from Norton Hall. 13 is the number listed in the Catalogue of additions to the inventory since 1916 (MS I.1528) but the numbers of only 12 were given in the Typed Inventory (VII.1433-1443). The thirteenth, VII.1444, was described as having its 'head loose and tied on'. While this extra lance would neatly explain the 13 rather than 12 lances of this general type now in the collection (see above) all the 13 now have their heads and none shows any sign of the head having been detached and reattached. (PJL, 27/11/02).