Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard


about 1821-1829

Object Number



'Part of the Gaunt gift [from J.R. Gaunt, swordmakers, a1950s?]; replaces missing item.' (IBE).

Physical Description

Sword: Brass stirrup hilt with cap pommel, fish-skin covered grip and short rear quillon. Short, broad blade etched in a wide fuller on one face, 'DISMOUNTED HORSE PATROL', and on the other, 'W PARKER HOL[BORN]'. Both inscriptions are very faint.
scabbard Of black leather with brass locket and chape with a frog stud.


Dimensions: Sword: Overall length: mm (27 in.), Blade length: mm (22.4 in.), Blade width, by hilt: mm ( in.), Scabbard: Length: mm (23.7 in.) Weight: Sword: 1 lb. 8 oz. ( g.), Scabbard: 13 oz. ( g.)

Inscriptions and Marks

On blade: maker's name of W. Parker (see Description). On scabbard, on the locket: S 6 (or G).


Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and A. Borg, European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London, London, 1974, p. 31, Pl. 84 c.

F. Wilkinson, 'William Parker and family, gunmakers', Royal Armouries Yearbook, III (for 1988, publ. 1999), pp. 116-19, at p. 118, fig. 3.


Swords of this type were supplied by W. Parker, 233 (High) Holborn, to Bow Street, the headquarters of the Dsmounted Horse Patrol, which was in existence only 'from 1821 to 1829 when they were absorbed in to the Metropolitan or New Police. They were an off-shoot of the Horse Patrol which was much older (started 1805) and were restricted to the Metropolis. There were 79 patrols and 21 leaders ... and each man had a truncheon and cutlass and the leaders also had a pistol' - from a letter from Mr Frederick Wilkinson, Sept. 1960 (on inv. file). Mr Wilkinson said he had formerly had a similar sword in his collection which was numbered 45.
For the firm of William Parker generally, which traded at 233 Holborn from 1792-1841, see F. Wilkinson 1998/9 (see under Publications); also W.E. May and P.G.W. Annis, 'Swords for Sea Service', 2 vols (cont. pag.), London, 1970, pp. 297-8. After William's death in 1842, the business was continued under the name of Parker Field (the name of his son in law) until the late 19th century. F. Wilkinson, 'Those entrusted with arms..., London and Leeds, 2002, p. 148, fig. 11.5 illustrates Parker's shop as it was in the early 20th century.