Craig Carries…A 17th Century Sword

We are back with our regular feature ‘Craig carries’ where our Collections Manager, Craig Bowen, showcases the objects he is currently transporting around our museums.

This week Craig has been carrying… a 17th Century Sword.

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A Royal Charter in 1609, granted by James I conferred the right to appoint a ‘Sword Bearer’ the city of Canterbury. The Charter stated that the Sword Bearer “shall carry and bear before the Mayor of the City one sword or blade covered everywhere within the City, the limits, liberties and the precincts of the same.”

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The sword was made at the order of Mayor Thomas Paramore and cost ten shillings and sixpence. On the Sword is an inscription that reads “to be borne before him (the Mayor) and all others that shall succeed him.” This was a great privilege as it symbolised authority normally only the prerogative of kings.

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This object usually lives in our museum store and is not on display to the public; however, The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge is home to an impressive collection of Arms and Armour which is available to view in the Explorers and Collectors gallery. Click here to plan your visit.

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