Sword of State

Sword of State
From Manx Soc vol 19

The Manx Sword of State has long been thought to be one of the earliest objects to show the three-legs. Many theories have been proposed about the origin of the ceremonial sword that is carried point upright in front of the Lord of Man (or their representative - the Lieut. Governor) at the annual Tynwald Ceremony.

Blair points out that bearing-swords, designed to be borne point upright in ceremonial occasions rather than for combat, are known from the late Middle Ages, such swords would naturally have a rounded point for safety's sake. Similar swords to the Manx sword can be found as the Mayoral Swords of Chester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne which are thought to date from c.1440, a date that also agrees with the design of the spurs shown on the three-legs. Blair suggests that the Manx Sword is essentially a fifteenth century design, probably made in London, but fitted with a new blade in the late sixteenth or seventeenth century. It may have been made for the 1422 Tynwald meeting attended by Sir John Stanley.


C. Blair The Manx Sword of State Proc IoMNH&ASoc XI #2 pp259/274 2003

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2003