During the English Civil War period, all soldiers, cavalry and infantry carried swords, although most soldiers of the Civil War were not trained in swordplay to any degree. Many of the swords were made in Germany, and this one features a stamp which indicates that it was possibly made in Hamburg or Hanover. Swords such as this one may have been used by either side during the period, as basket-hilted swords had already been around since the sixteenth century. The protective ‘basket’ was initially a simple design, but as time passed they became increasingly ornate and decorative.
This sword from the Worcester City museums collection was thought to have been used at the Battle of Powick Bridge on the 23 September 1642. Although some skirmishing had occurred throughout the country before this point, this battle was the first major cavalry engagement of the English Civil War. Powick Bridge was a victory for the Royalists in 1642, but there was another clash at the same location nine years later before the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, after which the Royalists had to abandon their position and retreat, leaving the Parliamentarians to advance towards Worcester.